How to Remove Wax on a Polyurethane Floor

Wax has been in use by humans since the dawn of time.
It is useful, attractive—and sticky. Wax is harder to clean off of some things than others, so if you have wax on your polyurethane floor, don’t panic. Getting wax off polyurethane is not that difficult. The main thing is to not damage your floor, so try the simplest wax removal methods first. If you are stripping waxed polyurethane rather than spot-cleaning a spill, you are still in luck. As long as you use the proper materials, you’ll have the wax gone in no time.

Step 1

Clean crayon wax off of polyurethane by rubbing a little toothpaste into the mark with a soft brush. Wipe the toothpaste off with a soft sponge, and the crayon mark should come with it.

Step 2

Remove candle wax by using a hard plastic scraper to get as much of the wax off of the floor as you can. Work from the outside edges in, to avoid spreading the stain. Hold a plastic bag full of ice on the wax for two to four minutes, until the wax becomes brittle. Scrape the rest of it off with the plastic scraper.

Step 3

Clean up wax of unknown origin by melting it with a blow dryer, which does not get hot enough to damage polyurethane. Pour a dime-sized amount of mineral spirits onto a clean, absorbent cloth and scrub the melted wax until you have removed it all.

Step 4

Strip floor wax from polyurethane with a chemical stripper designed to be used with a mop. Read the label to find one that is formulated for polyurethane. Usually, you will dilute the mop stripper with equal parts water, and then simply mop it into the floor, wait a few minutes while it dissolves the wax and then mop it up again. Dry the floor immediately, because standing liquid of any kind is not good for polyurethane.

Things You Will Need

  • Toothpaste
  • Soft brush
  • Damp sponge
  • Plastic scraper
  • Plastic bag
  • Ice
  • Blow dryer
  • Mineral spirits
  • Clean, absorbent cloth
  • Mop stripper
  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Clean towels

Tip

  • Sweep or dust-mop you polyurethane floor every day to keep it looking new.

Warning

  • Never use ammonia on a polyurethane-coated floor, or you could damage the finish.

About the Author

Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.