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Wax and Paint Stripping

Wax and Paint Stripping

I have two big, heavy-duty cleaning jobs to do. One is to remove wax from a floor, and the other is to strip paint. What do you suggest I use that is nontoxic?

The material to use for both jobs is washing soda, available in the laundry section of most supermarkets.

Removing Wax
Make a thick, damp, paste of washing soda, and wearing gloves spread the paste over the floor. (Test this first in an inconspicuous place on the floor to make sure that it doesn’t cause any damage.) Let set for a number of hours, overnight is preferred, keeping the paste as damp as possible. While you rinse the washing soda, the wax should peel off. ,p>
Washing Soda as a Paint Stripper
The least toxic paint stripper is a thick, wet, washing soda paste. Leave the paste on the wood for a number of hours, keeping it damp. The paint should peel off. Repeat as necessary.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
9:11AM PST on Nov 17, 2012

good to know

7:27AM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

Thanks for the info.

10:30AM PDT on Oct 25, 2011


10:30AM PDT on Oct 25, 2011


4:39PM PDT on Sep 12, 2011


7:57AM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

Thank you

5:53AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

Thanks for the article.

4:38PM PST on Dec 2, 2010

Will wet soda really work on thick, old paint?

6:13AM PST on Nov 18, 2010


This is a very very late reply to Steffen.

I don't know how to get the stains off your painted walls. I do know that flat finish paint shouldn't be used in baths and kitchens for this very reason. Flat finish paints aren't washable. Check with your paint store, but egg-shell or satin finish should be used at minimum. When you re-paint, you will have to use a primer to cover the spots or they are likely to "bleed" through. You might be able to match the paint color and repaint the one wall. Most paints fade over time, so this is tricky and not always successful.

Before repainting, it might be worth trying a de-greaser product. Something you might use in a kitchen or for laundry. With flat paint, you run the risk of removing paint as well as the stain.

12:26PM PDT on Jun 26, 2008

Will this work on metal?

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