How to remove old wax off tile flooring

Updated February 21, 2017

Old wax on tile floors can be a bit tricky to get it off and the longer you leave wax on tiles the harder it gets to remove. Candle wax hardens to a great degree and if you use the wrong tools, you could end up with scratches on your tiles. Wax build-up from waxing floor tiles also occurs as tiles age. This gives a yellowish tint to tiles. There are regular household items you can use to remove old candle wax drippings and old floor wax build-up off tile flooring.

Place your cheek close to the tile floor and look around. You may find that the number of wax drippings is much more than you thought. Use this method to assess how much of a task you have.

Plug in your blow dryer and set it to the highest heat level. Place the blow dryer close to the floor and let the hot air blow over each drop of wax until the wax softens.

Use the edge of the credit card to scoop up the wax. If you find that you can’t scrape up all the wax, it was not heated enough. Heat the wax again with the blow dryer and repeat the process. The wax should not melt completely but it should become pliant.

Use tissue to remove the wax from the credit card before it gets hard. Wrap the wax in the tissue and dispose of it to prevent the hot wax from melting a hole in your trash bag.

Go back to the spot on the floor where the wax was, if there is a shiny mark, wipe it vigorously with tissue until there are no traces of wax left. If necessary, heat the area again with the blow dryer to make it easier to clear up any shiny smudges.

Mix together two gallons of hot water with a cup of dishwasher soap and two cups of ammonia. Mix gently. Dip in your sponge mop and wet an area of your vinyl tiles thoroughly. Once done,use the scrubber portion to scrub the wax build up gently.

Mop up the wet area with the sponge and then repeat the entire process on the next portion of the tiles. Once you have done the entire floor dry it with clean towels or rags.

Rinse out your mop and mop the floor again with warm water, scrub it with the scrubber portion of the mop and then dry the floor with dry towels.

Mix a gallon of white vinegar and a cup of cream of tartar in a mop bucket. Prepare another mop bucket of plain warm water.

Dip a scrub brush in the vinegar solution and scrub a few of the tiles at a time using a circular motion.

Dip a towel in the warm water and thoroughly wipe the few tiles that you just scrubbed.

Repeat process on the entire floor.

Inspect your tile floor by looking at it from different angles, If some areas still have a waxy look, repeat the procedure.


You can also use the method for removing candle wax drippings to remove melted crayon drippings on tile floors from an art project. There are commercial products available to remove both floor wax and candle wax from tile. Scrub a little harder at corners of tiles or on long edges. The wax build up is usually a little stronger in these areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Blow dryer
  • Old credit cards
  • Tissue
  • Sponge mop with scrubber attached
  • Scrub brush
  • Plastic bucket
  • Hot water
  • Ammonia for house use
  • Non-bleach based dish-wash powder
  • Clean towels and rags
  • White vinegar
  • Cream of tartar
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About the Author

Norah Faith was born and raised in Texas and from there she has traveled nationally and internationally. After acquiring her teaching license from New Mexico State University, she found herself teaching ESL around the world. She continues to teach today and finds satisfaction writing for Demand Studios and other sites.