How to Remove Wax Buildup on a Wood Table

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Wax build-up on a wood table makes the surface look dull. Dust frequently settles on a table, but airborne particles can become trapped in the furniture wax while you're applying it. The combination of wax and trapped dust are undermining the beauty of the wood. Cleaning off the old wax and trapped grime is easy and you can restore the wood's natural look in seconds.

Things You'll Need

  • Furniture cleaner
  • Soft, lint-free cloth
  • Paint brush, 1 inch wide
  • Tooth brush, soft bristled
  • 1/4 inch diameter dowel
  • Furniture wax

Apply furniture cleaner on a soft cloth and begin rubbing it on to the tabletop in a circular motion. If the table is large, work in small sections until you've finished the top.

Examine the wood to find the wood fibers that are aligned in an identifiable direction. This is the grain of the wood. Finish the application of the furniture cleaner by rubbing toward the grain. The look of the wood should change dramatically as the old wax is rubbed away. It will become noticeably brighter.

Load a brush with the furniture cleaner and work it into crevices where old wax remains. Remove the softened wax out of the crevices with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

For deeper crevices, use a wood dowel that's been sharpened on one end and gently probe into the recessed area.

Finish the table with a fresh coat of furniture polish that is made with either carnuba oil or bee's wax. Apply the paste wax with a clean, soft cloth, first using a circular motion and then rubbing it with the grain.

Buff the table to a rich, lustrous sheen.

Tips & Warnings

  • A good brand of furniture cleaner is stocked at Ace Hardware stores called Vernax. A biodegradable brand is called Rosini's Red 1.
  • Sharpen one end of the dowel in a pencil sharpener so it's pointed. This will become one of your most useful tools for cleaning out built up furniture wax in recesses of furniture. As the point becomes dulled, resharpen it.

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