Knowing how to remove wax buildup from furniture is an essential part of preparing a piece for painting. It’s also an excellent way to keep your natural-look wood furnishings in gorgeous condition.
Why furniture wax gets sticky
We all love the look of lovely wood furniture polished until it gleams, but after years of using commercial furniture polish, it’s vital to remove wax buildup from furniture. Doing so will reveal its original beauty and eliminate grungy smudges. Removing wax buildup can also make a piece of furniture feel brand new.
Why? Because the silicon in commercial polish builds up with each application, often trapping humidity or moisture between layers that eventually makes the surface feel sticky.
This is not your grandma’s wax-remover
If the process of removing wax buildup from furniture conjures images of a grandmother scrubbing furniture maniacally, it needn’t. These days, few people use the heavy wood furniture wax favored by past generations.
That’s one thing about modern commercial furniture polish: it may attract dust, and it may turn your furniture cloudy and sticky, but at least it’s easy to remove.
• Dust furniture before attempting to remove wax buildup.
• To remove buildup in crevices, dip a soft brush (i.e., a baby toothbrush) in the vinegar-water solution and scrub, rinse immediately and buff dry.
• In humid areas, or if you have several layers of wax buildup, you may need to repeat the process a couple of times. You’ll know you’ve removed all of the wax build-up when you can slide your hand against the grain of the wood and feel the wood’s grain, not the wax.
• Treat scratches before polishing using this method to fix scratches in wood furniture.
How To Remove Wax Buildup From Furniture
Here are two ways to quickly and inexpensively remove the sticky wax buildup from wood furniture. Use caution and test the solution in an inconspicuous spot first. For antiques, it’s best to see a professional.
Wax Build-Up Remover For Light Wood
Combine 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a shallow bowl. Spray or apply with cloth in the direction of the wood grain.
Using a clean cloth dampened with this mixture, gently rub against the grain to lift wax buildup. Rotate your material often, so you’re always working with a clean spot. Follow with another clean cloth dampened with plain water to remove the remaining residue then follow with homemade furniture polish to shine.
Wax Build-Up Remover For Dark Wood
Steep three black tea bags in 1 cup hot water for ten minutes. Remove bags and allow the liquid to cool. Use a clean, lint-free cloth to apply to furniture following the grain of the wood. Wipe off with a damp cloth and buff dry. Restore shine using a homemade furniture polish and buff to a cloud-free shine.