What should I use to clean our floorboards in-between the first and second...

Asked November 16, 2017, 12:57 AM EST

What should I use to clean our floorboards in-between the first and second floors of our home where a large beehive with lots of honey and wax has been removed! We realize we must get the wax smell out of the floor. The bees left about 2 months ago. Incredible sight when we opened up the floorboards and found honeycomb!

Hamilton County Ohio

1 Response

Dear friend of Extension,

Since I am not an expert on bees, I sent your question to our ANR educator and her response is below:

This is a hard one... I am sitting with two engineers that said freezing (cooling) it first would be good and then chip it off. The left over residue could be heated (blow dryer/iron) but use a paper towel or paper bag to mop it up. Make sure that you use an iron put the paper towel or paper bag in between the wood and iron.

A couple of items to read:
This Old House website states “Harden the wax with an ice cube, then carefully scrape it off with an expired credit card or a plastic ruler. Rub away residue with cream furniture wax.”

Another website:
“Cleaning up Spilled Candle Wax from Wood

Hopefully wax spills are noticed at the time of the accident and can be cleaned up immediately. You want to get to it and remove the wax while it's warm enough to be pliable but not hot enough to burn you.

If you don't catch the spill right away, removing candle wax from wood is a little more difficult, because you need to be careful not to scratch the wood finish and can't use a knife or any other utensil that will scratch the wood.

If the stain won't come up, some sanding, refinishing, and re-staining may be required. If you are hesitant at all, contact a professional.

Freeze and Scrape Gently:

Great Tip: I have used a playing card to get up all the wax I possibly can before moving on.

  1. Place ice cubes in a zip-lock lunch bag.
  2. Place the ice on the wax so it becomes hard and brittle.
  3. Use a playing card or something similar to scrape away and lift the wax.

Heating with a Hairdryer:

  1. Use a hairdryer on low to medium heat; keep it moving around the remaining wax.
  2. Keep the area around the wax covered with rags or paper towels so the force of the air coming from the hairdryer won’t splatter or spread the wax on unexposed wood.
  3. If the wax is coming out repeat the process until all remaining wax is removed.
  4. If some wax remains and the wood can handle it, you can try some of the Un-Du candle wax remover I mention above.”

Here is an additional article to read:


Hopefully this information will assist in the clean up! If you need additional assistance feel free to check back.