How to Remove Wax Buildup on Furniture

Furniture wax can build up on wood furniture, trapping dirt and creating a dull, dingy finish. Removing a thin layer of waxy buildup takes nothing more than a soft cloth and a lot of elbow grease. If your furniture has a thick layer of wax, you'll have to remove it with a commercial wood cleaner.

Wax buildup will make your beautiful furniture look dull and drab.


To avoid a waxy buildup, always buff well when applying furniture wax.

  1. Using a clean, dry, lint-free cloth, wipe away any surface dust or dirt. Old cloth diapers are perfect dusting and polishing cloths, as are worn out T-shirts.

  2. Buff the wood with a dry cloth using a circular motion and plenty of elbow grease. This isn't complicated, but it is a lot of hard work. Really put your muscle into it. In most cases, this is all you need to do to get rid of excess wax that has built up on your furniture.

  3. If the waxy buildup is stubborn, pour wood furniture cleaner to a clean cloth, either straight from the bottle or diluted with hot water. Rub onto the furniture, following the wood grain. Allow to sit for a few minutes to loosen old wax, and wipe clean. Work in small sections over the entire wood surface until the dull wax buildup is removed.

  4. Finish by applying a thin coat of beeswax or caranuba wax to the newly revived wood, or refinish with furniture paste wax.