I waxed my skis, now please un-wax my floors
December 19, 2013 6:12 PM   Subscribe

I offered up my house's basement to apartment-dwelling friends for a ski waxing party, and now walking through my basement with sock feet is potentially lethal. Is there anything I can do to tone down the slippage?

We waxed about fifteen pairs of skis, so there was a LOT of wax. We kept the wax shavings mostly confined to one area, but of course we tracked it all over the place. The floor is painted concrete, and a week post-sweeping it's still slippery as ever. Less-trusted areas of the internet have advised washing wood floors with vinegar if they're too slippery, but I mopped our concrete floor with a fairly dilute vinegar solution and now it seems worse! I am too scared to try a stronger vinegar solution without further assurances.

We've put down some mats so we can safely get to the laundry in sock feet, but I'd like to get the floors un-slippery again. Any advice? Or will my next party be a sock-skating party?
posted by adiabat to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
I don't have experience with ski wax, but I've had excellent results using Goo Gone to remove various offending substances, including candle wax.

You'll need a lot though, and it will involve minor scrubbing on hands and knees. On the plus side it smells delightfully citrus-y!
posted by InsanePenguin at 6:15 PM on December 19, 2013

I think ski wax remover is your best bet (though it is intended for the grippy kind of wax, it still does on OK job on slippy wax). Try a bit on an inconspicuous area first.
posted by ssg at 6:40 PM on December 19, 2013

glad I live in Texas, mineral spirits, wax remover (NOT familiar with ski wax), test it small before Large.....
posted by raildr at 6:48 PM on December 19, 2013

scatter some kitty litter for grip, a towel damp with mineral spirit don't forget to wipe your feet.
posted by hortense at 7:04 PM on December 19, 2013

Does the ski wax bottle list the active ingredients or any ingredients? I would look at that and use an appropriate solvent for clean up. Barring that, I would scrub the area with hot water and plastic scrubbies to get rid of the wax and not damage the paint too much.
posted by Nackt at 7:48 PM on December 19, 2013

I've had success un-slippifying floors by scrubbing vigorously with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser over the affected area. This may be prohibitively labor-intensive if the affected area is large.
posted by Behemoth at 7:55 PM on December 19, 2013

Ammonia and water will strip wax.
posted by bricoleur at 8:01 PM on December 19, 2013

No experience with ski wax, but lots of experience with old-school linoleum. Ammonia+dish soap in hot water will strip floor wax off lino. Try that or a commercial wax remover (in an inconspicuous spot first of course). Make sure you have windows open and/or a fan going.
posted by variella at 9:07 PM on December 19, 2013

Normally I would also suggest mineral spirits or acetone. However, in an enclosed/inside, un-vented-to-outside space, those are dangerous solutions.
posted by k5.user at 7:04 AM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

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