How to Remove Paste Wax from Furniture: Methods & Safety Precautions

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Trying to get rid of the rubbish paste wax on your wooden furniture, dining room table, and flooring? Well, here are our experts’ best methods on how to remove paste wax from furniture surfaces. 

So, at the end of this article, you can make the wood surface clean without professional service!

Why Should You Get Rid of Paste Wax on Your Furniture?

When you’re getting rid of paste wax, you can achieve the following:

dining furniture made of hard maple

So how will you remove paste wax? Just simply prepare the tools and materials and follow the methods we have listed here:

Removing Paste Wax From Your Furniture: 11 Methods

Tools & Materials You'll Need

Method #1: Mineral Spirits

You can use mineral spirits or white spirits in removing paste furniture wax and it will not harm cured polyurethane varnish. Using a cotton dry cloth soaked in mineral spirits, you can wipe the paste wax away. The cloth will quickly turn brown as paste wax is piled up into it. 

can of mineral spirits

Method #2: Wax

You can only use this if the furniture wax has not dried yet. Also, this method is more effective if applied alongside tea.

Wax with Tea

  1. Prepare the clean and lint-free cloth with a thin layer of wax. 
  2. Then, start rubbing the surface to soften the existing wax on it. 
  3. For the second cloth, you have to soak it in a hot water with the tea and continue to rub the surface. 

Method #3: Naphtha

Unlike mineral spirits, naphtha has a strong odor and is highly flammable. We do not advise using it on polyurethane varnish. 


To use it, dampen the cotton cloth with naphtha and gently rub the wood surface to remove the paste wax. You can continue using a paper towel to avoid spreading the removed wax.

Method #4: Acetone

To remove wax using acetone, all you need to do is let it stay on the affected area. If the paste wax is bigger, you need to set the acetone on the area for 5 minutes to penetrate the furniture wax. 

Then get the steel wool or bristled brush to remove the furniture wax from the wood. Make sure it has softened so you can gently brush or scraped it. 

Method #5: Denatured Alcohol

Denatured alcohol or methylated spirits is not similar to mineral spirits because it has a stronger solvent than acetone. Pour the right amount of alcohol on the furniture then grab some paper towel to rub on it. You can opt for a scrubbing pad to remove wax. 

denatured alcohol

Method #6: Cream of Tartar/Vinegar

According to studies, these condiments have acidic components which make them natural abrasive cleaners [1]. The ratio for the solution is 1:1 – one cup of white vinegar and one tablespoon of tartar cream. 

Method #7: Turpentine

You can also use the mineral turpentine, an industrial solvent, to remove as much wax as possible. This is different from the lacquer thinner.

Soak a clean cloth in turpentine then gently rub the waxed furniture surface. For a quicker removal of old wax, you can use a scrubbing pad or steel wool.  

Method #8: Hairdryer

In removing wax, you can also use hairdryer by itself. You can switch it on to medium heat and heat the old wax. Once it has melted, you can wipe away the accumulated furniture wax using a cloth or paper towel. 

hairdryer to remove stain on wood

Method #9: Spatula

If furniture wax is thicker than normal, you need a spatula or scraper to remove the entire piece. However, you have to be gentle so you will not remove all the wax and damage the surface. 

Method #10: Soda

To remove paste wax using baking soda solution, here’s what you need to do:

Another option when using soda is to prepare a solution. Mix a cupful of soda and hot water and pour the solution on the waxed surface. Then start removing the paste wax using a steel brush. 

Method #11: Dishwashing Soap

Get a fair amount of dishwashing soap and pour it on the paste wax. Add some water but make sure the wood furniture wax will not get too wet. Then you can scrub it with a spatula to remove it. 

More For You: 

dishwashing soap

Safety Precautions & Warnings

You need to wear gloves, masks, and goggles to protect you from chemical-based cleaners. You can use a respirator to keep your breathing regular if your workspace is not well-ventilated. 

Make sure you have no igniter in your workspace because these solvents are highly combustible. Also, you have to make sure that the wood grain of the furniture surface will not be damaged.


How do you get dried wax off of the furniture?

You can get dried furniture wax off of the furniture by using an ice bag. The latter will keep the wax dry if placed over it after 10 minutes.

What dissolves hardened paste wax?

Solvents can dissolve hardened paste wax faster than natural wood cleaners. Some solvents that you can use are naphtha, denatured alcohol, turpentine, and acetone among others. 


So, there you have it. Now that you know how to remove paste wax from furniture, you’re guaranteed not to damage any surface. 

From here on, you can restore the natural appearance of wood furniture wax and floorings without needing a professional service. If the wax accumulates, make sure to rid of the stains as soon as possible. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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