How to Get Old Wax Off Wood Floors

Wax on wood floors eventually dulls and yellows.

Determine the Type of Wax Used on Your Floor

Remove old wax to renew the beauty of your wood floors.Remove old wax to renew the beauty of your wood floors.
You will want to remove any old wax to renew the beauty of your wood floors and before applying a fresh coat of wax. Your floor may have been coated with a water-based acrylic wax or with a paste wax. Paste wax was more commonly used before 1930. The method used to remove the wax depends on the type of wax used on your floor.

Ensure your floor is clean of dirt and dust.

Wet a small piece of extra fine steel wool with a little water. Rub it on an unnoticeable area of your floor.

Look at the steel wool. If you notice a light gray smudge, use the Paste Wax instructions. If you don’t see a gray smudge, use the Acrylic Wax instructions.

Paste Wax

Wet a floor cleaning pad with mineral spirits and wipe the floor to dissolve the old wax.

Wipe up the solution with clean rags while the floor is still wet.

Allow to dry completely before use.

Acrylic Wax

Place mop stripper in a bucket and mix according to instructions.

Mop the solution onto the floor for about 5 minutes without allowing the floor to dry.

Vacuum up the solution with a wet vacuum and rinse with clear water and a mop.

Allow to dry thoroughly before use.

Things You Will Need

  • Steel wool
  • Floor cleaning pad
  • Mineral spirits
  • Rags
  • Mop stripper
  • Mop
  • Wet vacuum

About the Author

Willa Dunn has been writing since 1970. She has written website content as well as technical documentation, poetry and fiction. She specializes in gardening and technology-related articles. Dunn attended Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois, studying photography and computer science. She enjoys home gardening.