How to Remove Sticky Residue From Hardwood Floors

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Hardwood floors are amazing, aren’t they? Known for their gorgeous elegance, these type of wood flooring will add instant value and beauty to any home. But one thing that can bring your hardwood flooring done is sticky, tacky residue and marks. Maybe some tape got laid down and it left kind of gross-looking ‘stains’.

Whatever the case, you shouldn’t have to put up with ugly, unsightly markings on your hardwood floors. In this tutorial, we’ll look at several different ways to get that tacky stuff off your hardwood flooring so that it can return to its previous glory.

Here are six scientific techniques on how to remove sticky residue from hardwood floors:

1. Remove sticky residue with dry ice

Dry ice is pretty potent stuff, so you need to make sure that you’ve taken adequate safety precautions before using it. For starters, you’ll need some good quality rubber gloves to protect your hands during the process. (Goggles are also probably a good idea.) In fact, gloves and goggles are an excellent idea for a couple of the other items on this list as well (heat gun and chemical product). You can never be too careful!

Once you’re properly protected, take a cube of dry ice and place it inside a metal cookie tray or pan. It’s a good idea that the chunk of dry ice you use be large enough to cover the whole sticky area, but if you don’t have anything that size, repeated applications to eventually cover all the stickiness can still work. Once you have the dry ice situated on the metal sheet or in the metal pan, place the ice (still protected by metal) over the sticky area.

Let it sit for a minute or so and then remove. You then should be able to remove the residue with a scraper (be super careful though, as you don’t want to scrape the hardwood flooring itself). Once the residue has come up, gently wipe the floor down with a damp cloth.

2. Remove sticky residue with vinegar

Vinegar is an amazing household cleaning product that will help to remove sticky residue from hardwood floors. If you’d like to try it out on your hardwood floors, first mix one cup of vinegar with about a gallon of water (if this solution doesn’t work, try lessening the amount of water to increase the vinegar’s kick).

Then spray the solution on the sticky spot and leave it there for about ten minutes. After that, wipe down the area with a cloth dipped in hot water (maybe using a bit of elbow grease). Hopefully, the residue will be gone (or mostly gone).

3. Remove sticky residue with a chemical product

Don’t mind using chemicals instead of something natural? Or are the natural solutions just not doing the trick? Well, then you could definitely try a chemical, commercial product. (Please be sure to use goggles and gloves, as the chemicals can be quite nasty.) Before taking the product to your hardwood floors, do a little experiment with a less important area of hardwood flooring to make sure that the product doesn’t adversely affect your flooring (by discoloring it and so on). (This is actually a good step to follow before applying all of these potential solutions.)

Once you’ve been assured that it won’t harm your gorgeous hardwood, follow the instructions on the product container to get the residue removed!

4. Remove sticky residue with a baking soda mixture

Along with vinegar, baking soda is a great, natural household cleaner. Take your baking soda and some water and mix them together (adding more baking soda or water as necessary) until you get a thick baking soda paste that’s not too watery. Basically, you want the paste to stay in place when you apply it to your hardwood flooring (instead of it running off everywhere).

Once you’ve achieved a good, thick consistency, apply the baking soda paste to the sticky area of your hardwood flooring. Let it sit there for a good ten minutes or so, and then wipe away with a cloth dipped in warm water and wrung out. You can also sweep up the baking soda mixture.

5. Remove sticky residue with a heat gun

Melt away the tacky residue with a heat gun. As we’ve mentioned before, you should probably apply the heat gun to a different hardwood surface to make sure that it won’t discolor or otherwise damage the wood. Once you’ve got that cleared up, turn the heat gun on and direct it at the sticky spot (don’t touch the heat gun to the flooring and make sure that you take appropriate safety measures to avoid hurting yourself with the heat). After the residue has softened and/or melted, wipe it away with a damp cloth.

6. Remove sticky residue with hot water

Sweep your hardwood floor so that it’s as clean as possible before you start mopping. Boil a pot- or kettleful of water and then pour it into the mop bucket. Make sure that you wring as much water out of the mop as possible, as excess water can damage your hardwood floors. Mop the residue away, then rinse the area by mopping again with fresh water. Dry the floor off with a microfiber cloth…and enjoy your clean hardwood once again!

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