How to Remove Sticky Residue from Hardwood Floors

Sticky residue on hardwood floors is a common issue. It isn’t a problem that stems up within a few days. It builds up slowly, after days of uncleaned spills and dirt on the wooden floor. Moreover, it sometimes is your floor cleaner that causes sticky residue on the hardwood floor. Reasons could be any, but cleaning those residues could be a matter of concern because it is real wood we are talking about, which is delicate and pretty sensitive. A sticky residue could be removed only through deep cleaning, not with your regular cleaning tools and products. The good news is as stickiness is caused gradually over months, the once in a few months deep cleaning of the hardwood rule remains intact. Frequent deep cleaning of the hardwood, no matter how filthy or sticky it turns, is never a good idea. So, how to remove sticky residue from hardwood floors, we will talk about that right below.

How to Remove Sticky Residue from Hardwood Floors


Step #1 – Mark The Spots with Sticky Residue

The first step is to inspect the entire room and mark the spots that have a sticky residue. If there are duct tapes, remove those. If you think you can scrape some stuck-on filth, do that. We feel the deep cleaning of the hardwood floor must be one room per day. You should never be harsh on yourself and try to do the entire house floor in one day. It’s a lot of work, that too, tedious. So, now, you know, which spots, corners of the floor have a sticky residue.

Step #2 – Do The Dusting of the Entire Room

After marking the spots and scraping those, you need to dust the entire room thoroughly. You have your broom and dustpan; start with that. You have a vacuum cleaner, even better. Yes, it might not make sense as it is spot cleaning, but no dirt and dust particles must be near the vicinity when you are spot cleaning with liquid solutions. You need a space free of dust particles for your own convenience. Dust particles with the liquid solution will create more sticky residue. And yes, watch your feet, wear dry, clean socks while working.

Step #3 – Rub The Spot with A Soft Cloth

You have done the dusting, and you know which areas require spot cleaning. Now, concentrate on one sticky residue at a time. First, take a clean, dry cloth and sweep the spot thoroughly. Yes, you have done the dusting, but you need to clean the specific spots once more as an extra precaution.

Step #4 – Apply the Cleaning Agent

How to Remove Sticky Residue from Hardwood Floors
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Now, on a loose dust particle-free sticky residue, you will have to apply the cleaning agent. It doesn’t matter which one you are using. We will talk about a few below. If one doesn’t work, the other surely will.

Cleaning Agent #1 – Vinegar and Warm Water

Let’s start with the very familiar vinegar-water solution. Take a spray bottle and fill it with warm water, and then pour vinegar into it. A better option- you will have to mop the entire floor with the same solution, so a gallon of water will require a cup of vinegar. Make that solution before spot cleaning and fill the bottle with the same. Now spray the liquid, and with a nylon bristle brush or soft microfiber cloth, rub the sticky residue until it’s removed and cleaned.

Cleaning Agent #2 – Rubbing Alcohol

Among the five, this one is the best for cleaning sticky residue. The rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol has ethanol in it, which works like magic on sticky residue. You will need to dilute it. So, if you are taking one part of rubbing alcohol, you will require four parts of warm water to deconcentrate it. Damp a cotton ball in the solution and rub it continuously on the sticky residue, and no matter how sticky the residue is, it will be gone in no time. No other solution works faster than rubbing alcohol on sticky residue.

Cleaning Agent #3 – Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits are also great in removing residue but a little harsh. So if the residue is too sticky to remove, just spray the mineral spirits evenly on the hardwood and then rub the sticky residue with a soft microfiber cloth. It will come off with a few rubs. The mineral spirits work the best on unfinished hardwood floors, so if you have sticky residues on your unfinished wooden floor, try it.

Cleaning Agent #4 – WD-40 Solution

Just like the mineral spirits, this one is also for too sticky, too stubborn residue. It works great in cleaning the residue, but one downside of this product is it’s a bit expensive than all the other cleaning agents. So, many might not prefer it. But as it works great and needs a little amount, you can try it even if it costs a bit high. It is a spray can, so spray the solution and rub the sticky residue with cloth, soft scrub pad, or cotton ball, your wish.

Cleaning Agent #5 – Baby Oil

Now not all sticky residues are sticky enough to require a potent cleaner to be removed. Those which are not too sticky but still a nuisance, apply baby oil on those spots with a cotton ball and rub consistently and vigorously. You can also use other oils, but as it’s hardwood, we decided to remain as minimally-harsh as possible. It will remove the sticky filth, and the floor will have a sheen to it too.

Step #5 – Clean The Spots with A Damp Cloth

After you have removed the sticky residue with any of the one cleaning agents, time to sweep clean the spots with a damp cloth. Damp it in warm water for better results. The sweeping will make sure the spots or areas now have no residue or cleaning products left.

Step #6 – Pat Dry the Spot

Hardwood doesn’t tackle moisture well. So when you damp sweep those spots, make sure your dry sweep the areas by patting a dry, clean cloth, too, right after the damp sweeping.

Step #7 – Sweep The Room and Dry

The final step is to mop the entire hardwood floor and complete the deep cleaning of the hardwood. For that, as we mentioned, you have the vinegar and water solution. Damp the stick mop, wring it thoroughly, rigorously sweep the hardwood floor and then attach a dry pad to the stick mop and dry sweep the hardwood floor.

We have discussed several products to remove the sticky residue and revealed which one works the best. We are hopeful you will manage to have an ultra-clean hardwood floor after every deep cleaning session with all these options.

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