How to Get Wax Off Wood with Mineral Spirits
If the wax is cool to the touch and relatively firm, you could use mineral spirits to get the job done. This process begins when you mop the floor firmly using warm, clean water. Avoid using a chemical floor cleaning product.
Mineral spirits are often compared to paint thinner, but this liquid uniquely is a petroleum-based product. It should only be used on protected or coated wood. If your wood is bare and exposed, this method should not be used. Once your work space is free of debris and general filth and you have ensured that the wood is coated or protected, pour mineral spirits liberally over the waxy area. Using a clean cloth, rub the mineral spirits over the waxy spot.
By now, the wax may be completely removed. If any residue remains, use fine steel wool and plenty of friction to continue working on the area. Once all signs of the wax are gone, rinse and dry the space.
How to Remove Wax from Wood with Ice
While wax is a relatively soft solid when it is cool, it may become harder and easier to remove when it is chilled. There may also be less remaining residue after the primary clump is removed. To begin using this wax removal method, place an ice cube on top of the wax for a few minutes. If the waxy spot is larger than the ice cube, move the cube across the full area so that it cools relatively evenly.
When the wax feels firmer, use a flat, plastic edge to scrape away the wax. Some tools that work well include the edge of a credit card or a plastic ruler. If any waxy residue remains, rub furniture wax into the area to complete the job.
How to Get Wax Off Wood with Heat
If you notice the waxy spot before it has hardened, you can use a spoon to scrape up as much of the wax as possible. In rare situations, you may get all of the wax up immediately. If the wax cools quickly or if you discover the wax drop after it has hardened, heat should be applied to the area. Specifically, use a hairdryer to keep the wax warm while you continue removing the mess. Turn the hairdryer’s heat setting to a middle level, and direct the hot air at the wax. The heat generally should not damage the floor, but avoid using a high setting and placing the hairdryer too close to the floor to err on the side of caution.
When the wax is warm once again, wipe the space with a clean, dry cloth. You may be able to remove all of the wax with a few swipes of the cloth. Remember to fold the towel so that a clean surface is used with each new swipe. If any wax remains, you could finish the effort by using mineral spirits as outlined in the first method.
A Word of Warning
You understandably need to know how to get wax off wood completely and without damaging the wood. Keep in mind that excessive moisture, such as from a damp mop, can cause water-related warping of wood planks. When moisture is needed, always use minimal water for as short of a time period as possible.
In addition, many wood flooring materials are protected by polyurethane or varnish, so they may resist damage from mineral spirits, scratches and other potentially destructive elements. However, to protect your wood flooring from unnecessary damage, always test a small, inconspicuous area with your preferred method before you attempt to remove wax from a highly visible area on the floor.
These effective methods work well in most cases. However, if your efforts to remove the wax are unsuccessful, it is easy to assume that your wood floor is damaged beyond repair. Replacing the few damaged planks could be a cost-effective alternative to a full flooring replacement. Reach out for assistance with your wax removal project if you are not confident in your abilities to remove the wax safely and effectively.