Unlike hardwood floors, laminate floors and wax do not go well together. If you or a caretaker has accidentally used wax to shine the laminate flooring, the floors may have some wax residue. Not to forget, laminate floor cleaners often contain wax that builds wax residue if they stay on the floor for longer. Also, they create a dull film over the laminate. Hence, stop using a laminate floor cleaner that contains wax.
Removing the wax asap is recommended as wax on the laminate makes it slippery, and accidents can happen.
To remove buildup wax from laminate floors, I’ve shared 9 easy cleaning methods in this article.
Soften the Wax and Scrap them
First things first, clean the area with a vacuum cleaner to remove surface dirt. Avoid using rough bristles or any adjustment that could result in scratches on the laminate floor. You can use any vacuum cleaner suitable for laminate floors.
Any upright vacuum or canister vacuum will work in this case. Don’t use any floor scrubbers or jet mops.
When vacuuming before cleaning the wax off, use the hard floor attachment instead of the beater bar is meant for carpeting and can damage the laminate floor by scratching the finish.
Now, let the floor wait to become dry and cool. Remember, the cleaning process is also applicable to all the below methods.
This scrapping method is low-risk in removing wax buildup from laminate floors. It is pretty simple to execute as most of the materials required are already available to the general household.
Next, we need to soften the wax so it will be easier to scrape them off.
Set the hairdryer on a medium setting and gently warm up the wax residue. Once the residue has warmed enough, try scraping off one end with your fingernails or a plastic drywall scraper. Otherwise, wipe the melted wax using a soft cloth or paper towel.
At this stage, you’ll be able to remove a handsome proportion of wax from the laminate floor.
Water + Vinegar
If you do not wish to purchase any product, you can go for a homemade solution that works very well against the wax residue. This solution is easy to create and is very safe for laminate floors.
- Mix a cup of vinegar in a gallon of hot water. The hot water will mix well with the vinegar and boost its antimicrobial properties.
- Dip a clean cloth in the solution, wring it and wipe the wax in one direction.
- Try to wipe off the wax as you do so, and repeat the steps above till it starts to leave.
- You can also pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray on the sections that need spot cleaning.
If the vinegar and water combo didn’t bring the expected results, you could use a more potent chemical solution, i.e., ammonia, to remove the wax.
Mix one cup of ammonia and a half cup of dishwashing soap with one gallon of water. Now sprinkle the cleaning solution over the laminate floor. This will dissolve the wax; later, you can wipe the wax on the floor using a sponge mop. You can scrub the floor using a brush if there is a thick layer of build-up wax.
Not to forget, while this is a popular method, use it with caution as it may strip off the protective layer of laminate flooring.
One precaution if you still want to use this method – don’t let the solution sit on the floor for longer. Also, Try this solution only when other solutions don’t work.
Mineral spirits or paint thinners can work significantly to remove buildup wax. Take a cotton and soak it with mineral spirit. Spead the mineral wax on the laminate floor using that damp cotton. Leave the floor for 3-5 mins so that the spirit penetrates the wax. This will weaken the residue, making it easier to scrape them off.
Wipe the wax from the surface using another dry cotton cloth. Repeat the process till you completely remove the wax from the floor.
Divide the floor into small sections and remove the wax from each section at a time. Otherwise, spirits will be vaporized till you navigate from one section to another.
Zep Floor Stripper
Zep Floor Stripper is a product that can be found at a home depot. If nothing works, this method is sure to help get rid of the unsightly wax residue.
- Read the instructions of the floor stripper and check the recommended amount that needs to be mixed in a bucket of water.
- Add a little more than the recommended amount of zep floor stripper in the bucket and mix it with water.
- Wear gloves and use a rag to soak the mixture.
- Apply the rag in a small 4×4 area and let it sit for a few minutes on the residue.
- Use the plastic scraper to scrape off the weakened residue.
Trewax Instant wax Remover
The Trewax Instant wax Remover works like a charm in removing wax build-up. Mix an equal amount of Trewax with water. Soak a sponge in this solution. Then, spread the remover solution over the laminate floor. Within minutes, you’ll see a wax buildup will list, and then you can scrape it with a plastic scraper.
However, the process is time-consuming. You need to get on your hands and knees. You’ll need 1 gallon of Trewax for the 150 sq feet floor.
Always test these storebought solutions in a small area before applying them throughout the floor.
Paint Thinner/Acetone /Nail Polish Remover
Dampen a cotton rag in paint thinner, acetone, or nail polish remover. Gently rub the cotton rag over the wax buildup to remove them. Wipe the wax residue with a clean microfiber cloth.
Floor Stripping Machine
You can use a propane stripping machine for large areas and run it over wax buildups on the laminate floor. Alternatively, you can use an automatic floor scrubber equipped with stripping pads.
Here are some additional tips to help you wipe away the residue.
✔️Other than the homemade solution, you can also remove wax from laminate floors with the help of rubbing alcohol. Apply it to a cloth and use it to clean the residue. Ensure the area has been scraped before doing so.
✔️There are many commercial floor strippers available in the market to get rid of all the wax residue. Trewax Instant remover is one similar product that can eliminate wax marks, bad odors, and unsightly footprints. Always ensure that the product you go for is ammonia-free.
✔️Always test these solutions in a small area first. If any solution appears to be too strong for your laminate, avoid using that.
✔️Never wash the clothes used for wiping wax in the washing machine. The wax may build up inside the washing machine.
✔️Never spray cleaning products directly onto the floor. Always use a cloth or paper towel soaked with a cleaning product to wipe out the wax.
✔️Buff the floor after cleaning the wax. Get another bucket filled with warm water and use the sponge to buff the area up. Once done, mop the laminate flooring to bring back the luster of the laminate floor.
✔️Avoid sanding to remove wax buildup. The sander may grind some wax into the laminate, which makes it tough to refinish.
✔️If the shininess of the laminate floor has been damaged while removing wax buildups, use a polymer blend finish to regain the shine.
Laminate Care Tips
Here are some helpful tips for maintaining your laminate floor and keeping them shiny and nice.
Better Cleaning Products
I always prefer good brands of cleaning products. When in confusion, consult with the manufacturer. Moreover, you can choose cleaners that are safe for the environment. You can search the product name in the EPA database to know whether it’s EPA approved.
If you cannot afford to clean your laminate floors daily, come up with a schedule. Regular cleaning will prevent wax buildup on laminate floors. However, don’t wet mop. Skip any laminate floor cleaner that contains wax.