How to Remove Wax Buildup from Vinyl or Linoleum Floors

What is the best way to remove wax buildup from a vinyl or linoleum floor? -Priscilla

Hi Priscilla,

Diluted household ammonia works great for removing wax buildup, as well as dirt and grime, on vinyl or linoleum floors. Mix from 1/2 to 2 cups of ammonia to one gallon of warm water. Have plenty of ventilation, and test it first on a small, out of the way spot to be sure the ammonia won’t damage the floor.

Apply the ammonia to the floor with a sponge mop and allow it to work for a couple of minutes. Scrub the floor to remove the softened layers of wax, then rinse with clean water.

Also, NEVER under any circumstances mix ammonia with bleach or any cleaning product that contains bleach, as the combination of bleach and ammonia can produce poisonous chlorine gas.

Good luck with your project,


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8 Comments on “How to Remove Wax Buildup from Vinyl or Linoleum Floors”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    January 9th, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Hi, Diane!
    What a great question! We recommend submitting questions about unique situations like yours to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.
    Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly:
    Take care!

  • Diane Woolums Says:
    January 8th, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    I believe I have dog urine stains on a vinyl/linoleum wood floor on a house I just bought-any suggestion on getting them out? They look like water stains?

  • Paulette MacLeod Says:
    August 12th, 2017 at 11:41 am

    We purchased a house 3 years ago (a bungalow) that has 20 year old laminate that was glued down one stripe at a time. It is very light in colour and hard to keep clean . What can I do with it??

  • Cathy Pickett Says:
    July 23rd, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    My husband gets great ideas but procrastinates, not allowing enough time to finish project, properly.
    The before a ’11 H.S. graduation party, he decided to strip & wax our kitchen/hearth/bathroom/laundry rooms, a high trafficked area, everyday but especially during big gathering times. We all had to stay outside while he applied wax. No time was allowed for 2nd coat but I’m CERTAIN too much was was applied. After the party, we were all spent & sitting & relaxing in hearth I noticed my bare feet were leaving gray spots on floor, chairs were sticking, etc. After 5 years & many times complaining of the dirt sticking to it & my hubs never correcting his error, I got on hands & knees with soap/water & spent hours try to get it off floor in the worst areas. I left this past April to go to HI before my daughter had her 3rd baby. 3 weeks later right before returning, my husband surprised me with a newly waxed floor! AHHHH! He says it’s acrylic. Same problem… too much! There’s dog hair stuck in it. I think I need to spot clean & get down & wipe with paper towel before I realize, it does NOT clean! It’s there! Spots like this everywhere! So nasty! I could have killed him! Tell me the easiest way to use household cleaners to remove buildup, so I can do it, correctly! I’m NOT above getting dirty & doing hard work! Thank you , in advance, for any & all your help! It’s sincerely appreciated!

  • Darcia Smith Says:
    July 10th, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Had to learn the hard way back when I was 21. I mixed bleach and ammonia and my house filled with the dangerous fumes. I was so sick. My sister told me the rule the next day when I told what happened. I was so sick. Please heed my warning. Never ever mix bleach and ammonia!!

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 18th, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Your question about removing the dull look on exterior vinyl was answered in the second hour of our June 16, 2012, Homefront radio show. You can listen to the answer on our website at

  • Ms. Felice Says:
    February 5th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Dear Danny,

    My house was built in the 1980’s and is very drafty in the winter, needless, to say I lose a lot of energy and money during the winter months as a result.
    Can you please help me fix the drafty areas in my home if I list them below?

    Thank you very much
    Raleigh, NC

    The floors that aren’t carpeted are very cold: (I don’t think they’re insulated properly.)

    Air ducts: (I don’t use my central heating unit because it makes my electric bills are so high, I tape the ducts up instead.)

    Fireplace (I keep it taped up during the winter because there’s a draft that escapes down the chimney in the house.)

  • danny caudill Says:
    November 16th, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    how?do you get the dull look off of outside vinyl.thank you

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How to Remove Wax Buildup from Vinyl or Linoleum Floors