Sticky wax ring residue left behind when installing or removing a toilet can be removed with:
- Lysol wipes
- Specialized plumber’s hand wipes
- Using hot water or a hairdryer to soften the wax before scrubbing
- Scrubbing the wax residue with mineral spirits
- Adhesive remover
These methods work for removing wax ring residue from floors, walls, and the toilet itself. Below, we will discuss the best ways to use each of these methods and any extra precautions you should take in order to protect your floors from damage during the wax removal process.
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5 Ways to Remove Toilet Wax Ring Residue From Your Floor
Wax ring residue left behind during the removal or install of a toilet often becomes a sticky, gluey mess that is hard to remove entirely. Even if you scrape away most of the wax, usually a thin film is left behind. This residue collects dirt and ruins the look of your bathroom. Luckily there are several ways to get rid of wax ring residue easily.
Lysol cleaning products are an excellent choice for removing wax ring residue. Both lysol sprays and wipes are powerful enough to break down wax and remove the stubborn wax. With a little Lysol and some elbow grease, you can get rid of all signs of the old wax ring.
- This Lysol spray is a great choice for removing wax residue fast.
- Lysol spray won’t damage painted walls or flooring.
- After applying Lysol spray, scrub the wax area with disposal rags or paper towels.
Wax will often cling to and clog whatever material is used to clean it. For this reason, a cheap disposable rag, paper towel, or scrubber sponge is the best choice. That way, you can throw away the wax-clogged cleaning tool after use.
Plumber’s Hand Wipes
Specialized hand wipes used to remove paint, epoxy, and grime from your hands work great for busting through any wax left behind on surfaces. Even better, they are the cleaning solution and rag all in one.
- These hand wipes will clean up waxy residue and are not tough on your hands.
- Hand wipes are safe for your bathroom flooring.
Because hand wipes must be gentle enough for use on skin, they’re safe to use on paint, all types of flooring, and your porcelain toilet base.
Hot Water/Blow Dryer
Heat melts wax, making it less sticky and far easier to clean. When scraping up wax, run your scraper or plastic putty knife under a hot tap. For removing wax residue left behind after scraping, use a rag or sponge soaked in hot water. If there is still residue left over, try using a blow dryer on high heat to melt the wax enough that it can easily be wiped up.
- Run hot water over scraping tools before attempting to remove the wax residue.
- Douse cleaning rags in hot water to make scrubbing wax residue easier.
- If necessary, use a blow dryer to heat wax near its melting point, then wipe it up.
- Avoid pouring boiling water directly onto your floor, as this may cause damage.
Do not pour extremely hot or boiling water onto your floor in an effort to melt the wax. This extreme heat can damage flooring, crack tiles, or cause vinyl flooring to bubble.
A rag soaked in mineral spirits will remove toilet wax ring residue quickly. Mineral spirits are an excellent solvent that cut through many types of grime, including wax.
- Apply mineral spirits to the wax residue and scrub with a rag or cloth to remove it.
- Before using mineral spirits on vinyl or laminate flooring, test a small area to make sure it causes no discoloration.
Although mineral spirits are generally safe to use on flooring, including tile and laminate, it’s a good idea to test a small, hidden area before applying it to more of your floor. Perform this spot test and observe to make sure the mineral spirits do not discolor your flooring. If the test turns out well, feel free to use mineral spirits to get rid of your wax ring residue.
Several products on the market are designed to remove tough residue from adhesives and glue. These products are also excellent for cleaning away residue left by a wax ring seal. Simply apply your solution to a cleaning cloth or rag and scrub away that leftover wax.
- This residue remover will bust through wax residue and is safe for most floors.
- As will mineral spirits, test your adhesive remover in a small, out-of-the-way place to make sure it doesn’t discolor your floors.
Although some adhesive removers are safe for all types of floors, some have been known to cause discoloration. To be safe, perform a small spot test on your floor in a hidden area. Make sure the solution won’t damage your floors before you use it to clean up wax.
Is There Something Better Than a Wax Ring for Toilets?
If you’re sick of dealing with leftover wax during toilet installation and removal, you can use a waxless seal. Synthetic seals install in seconds and there’s no hassle of precisely lining up the toilet during installation to avoid creating a waxy mess on the toilet and floor.
- This waxless toilet seal allows you to avoid dealing with any messy wax.
- Unlike wax seals, rubber seals don’t need to be replaced each time the toilet is removed.
Another positive of rubber toilet seals is that they can be re-used. If you are performing a long-term bathroom remodel in several stages, you can leave the rubber seal in place if you need to remove and install a toilet more than once. In comparison, you would be required to replace a wax seal every time.
What is the Best Way to Remove Toilet Wax Ring Residue From the Floor?
When removing or installing a toilet, a wax seal can leave behind a lot of residue on the floor. This is ugly, hard to clean, and the residue collects dirt and dust. To remove wax ring residue, you can spray the area with a Lysol product, then scrub. Alternatively, you can wipe up the wax residue using specialized hand wipes designed to cut through grease. If the wax is stubborn, try partially melting it with hot water or a hairdryer to make it come up easier. If that doesn’t work, mineral spirits or a commercial adhesive remover will get the job done