How to remove furniture wax from wood?

How to remove furniture wax from wood?


When it comes to caring for wood furniture, applying furniture wax is a common practice to enhance its beauty and protect the surface. However, over time, the wax can build up and create a dull, sticky residue. If you find yourself dealing with furniture wax buildup on your wood surfaces, don’t worry. In this article, we will explore effective methods to remove furniture wax from wood, restoring its natural shine and beauty.

Materials Needed

Before diving into the removal process, gather the following materials:

– Soft, lint-free cloth
– Mild dish soap
– Warm water
– White vinegar
– Mineral spirits
– Fine-grade steel wool (optional)
– Wood polish or conditioner

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Prepare the Surface: Begin by removing any loose debris or dust from the wood surface using a soft, lint-free cloth. This step ensures that the removal process is more effective.

2. Create a Cleaning Solution: In a small bowl, mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water. Stir the solution gently until it becomes soapy.

3. Clean the Surface: Dip the cloth into the soapy solution and wring out any excess liquid. Gently wipe the affected area, applying light pressure to remove the wax buildup. Be careful not to oversaturate the wood with the cleaning solution.

4. Remove Stubborn Wax Residue: If the wax residue persists, dampen a cloth with white vinegar and gently rub the affected area. Vinegar helps break down the wax and remove it from the wood surface. Remember to rinse the area with clean water after using vinegar.

5. Apply Mineral Spirits: If the wax buildup is particularly stubborn, you can use mineral spirits as a stronger solvent. Dampen a cloth with mineral spirits and gently rub the affected area. Ensure proper ventilation and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use.

6. Buff the Surface: After removing the wax residue, use a clean, dry cloth to buff the wood surface gently. This step helps restore the natural shine of the wood.

7. Optional: Use Steel Wool: For more stubborn wax buildup, you can lightly rub the affected area with fine-grade steel wool. Be cautious not to apply too much pressure, as it may scratch the wood surface. Always test in an inconspicuous area first.

8. Apply Wood Polish or Conditioner: Once the wax residue has been completely removed, apply a small amount of wood polish or conditioner to the surface. This step helps protect and nourish the wood, restoring its luster.


Removing furniture wax from wood may seem like a daunting task, but with the right materials and techniques, it can be easily accomplished. Remember to start with mild solutions and gradually progress to stronger solvents if necessary. Always test any cleaning method in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not damage the wood. By following these steps, you can effectively remove furniture wax buildup and restore the natural beauty of your wood furniture.


– Better Homes & Gardens:
– The Spruce:
– Bob Vila: