Floor wax is typically made from animal, mineral or vegetable fats that never really dry. While wax provides protection against moisture, it isn’t a durable finish and has to be reapplied frequently. Over the years, this contributes to a buildup of old wax on your floor that makes refinishing hard, because you cannot apply a more durable finish, like polyurethane, until virtually all traces of wax have been removed. Removing old wax from wood floors is time-consuming, however, it isn’t an impossible task.
Sweep away loose dirt, mud and other debris, and mop the floor using warm water to remove any grime or residues in the wood’s surface.
Pour a small quantity of mineral spirits directly onto a 2-square foot section of floor. Working in small sections makes it easier to make sure that you eliminated the wax. Do not move onto a new section until you’ve eliminated as much as possible from the previous one.
Scrub a clean cloth or rag in half an hour and function the mineral spirits to the wax. Use a circular movement to wash the wax in the floor.
Wipe the floor dry with a second fabric and put on the mineral spirits a second time. Wipe the floor with a fabric. If a yellow deposits still shows on the cloth, this implies there’s still wax present. Scrub the floor again with mineral spirits until no more yellow deposits appears on your fabric.
Keep applying the mineral spirits and scrubbing until you have removed as much of the wax as you can in the timber.
Scrub heavy wax buildup with fine steel wool when the fabric doesn’t remove all residues, and wipe with a clean, dry cloth.
Continue working in 2-foot sections until the whole floor is cleared of wax. Change your cloths often to prevent redepositing wax onto the floor.
Leave the wood to dry thoroughly before applying any finish products. It’s important to be sure all traces of wax are eliminated before employing or sanding finish products to your hardwood because waxy deposits on the surface or at the pores of the timber will interfere with adhesion and will make sanding difficult since it might clog the seams.