If you regularly use wax on your hardwood floors, you may notice a build up over time that obscures the natural appearance of the wood. If the wax is properly removed, then wax can be reapplied to the floor, leaving your hardwood floors looking like new.
If you are properly waxing your floors, buildup should not be a problem for many years. However, you should pay attention to the color and condition of your flooring and use that as a guide for cleaning off the excess wax.
Step 1: Remove any baseboards or other obstructions to the floor. This will ensure that you will be able to remove any wax that has migrated underneath the trim. Label the back of each piece of baseboard sequentially with a pencil. Install them once more after you have removed the wax from the hardwood.
Step 2: Remove as much of the wax as you can with mineral spirits and very fine steel wool. For small floor spaces with little wax build-up, this step can be completed by hand. If you prefer, however, you can rent a floor buffer and equip it with a steel wool pad. The steel wool pad on the bottom of the floor buffer can then be saturated with mineral oil and used on the floor.
TIP: The length of time and materials required to complete this step will vary depending on the thickness of the wax buildup and the overall square footage of your hardwood floor.
Step 3: Look for wax that has fallen into crevices or scratches on the floor. Remove this wax with a plastic hand scraper. Then remove any residual wax using mineral spirits and a small piece of steel wool.
Step 4: Sand away any scratches and complete any work that needs to be done on the hardwood floor before continuing. Allow any wood putty you use to dry completely before proceeding.
Step 5: Use a clean rag to apply a coat of mineral oil to the floor to remove any remaining wax. Do this step twice to ensure a perfectly clean floor.
Step 6: Seal the floor. With the wax removed, you can reseal the floor using polyurethane, varnish, or shellac. Or you can simply reapply new wax to the floor.