How to Remove Sticky Residue from Hardwood Floors

Sticky residue on a hardwood floor can be unsightly and frustrating, but it’s possible to fix. With our useful guide on how to remove sticky residue from a hardwood floor, your floorboards will look their best again in next to no time.

Don’t worry about harmful toxins, hazardous fumes, or unpleasant odors. We’ve gathered all the best tips and tricks for cleaning sticky residue from your floors, with harmless products you already have in the home. 

We also recommend the best products for maintaining your newly cleaned hardwood floor afterward. With our help, your floors will once again sparkle and shine.

How To Clean Sticky Hardwood Floors

how to clean sticky wood floors

You don’t need to expose yourself to harsh chemicals to clean sticky wood floors. Home remedies can be just as effective, and easier on the pocket, too. Because dark spots on wood floors are usually just a build-up of sticky grime, you can also use these methods to remove black spots from wood floors.

Here are the top 3 home remedies for removing sticky residue from wood floors. While other home remedies exist, these have proven to be the least abrasive and most user-friendly methods.

Dish Soap Solution

The best way to clean sticky hardwood floors with everyday household products is with a warm water/dish soap solution. That’s because it employs the two best methods for goopy residue removal - heat and detergent. So you can clean most wood floor stains with this simple solution. 

Step 1:

Add a tablespoon of dish soap to a bowl of warm water. Dish soap has grease-busting properties, and is a gentle alternative to harsh chemicals for removing grease from wood floors

Step 2:

Moisten a cloth with the soapy solution, then wipe down the area of the floor that is sticky. You may need to rub the area to remove very built-up stickiness. 

how to remove sticky residue from wood floor

Step 3:

Go over the floor again with a mop and warm water to remove all traces of dish soap. Take care to leave the floor only slightly damp, as excess water is not advisable on wood floors. Open the windows and leave the floor to dry naturally. 

Mayonnaise Remedy

Want to know how to clean sticky wood floors without using a detergent? A great trick to get rid of sticky hardwood floors without detergent is to use mayonnaise. It's an ideal hack for smaller sticky sections of floors and works like a charm.

Step 1:

Simply spread a layer of mayonnaise over the sticky spots and leave it for 5 minutes. For more stubborn sticky spots you may have to leave it twice as long. 

Step 2:

Wipe it all up with an old towel, rubbing as you go to remove every trace of sticky residue.  You may want to go over the area with a damp cloth afterward too, just to be sure no traces of sticky residue or mayonnaise remain.

Steamer Trick 

how to clean wood floors that are sticky

You can also clean a sticky hardwood floor with a handheld steamer. If you don’t have this, a hairdryer will work too. But a portable garment steamer works a treat if you have one, or can hire one. Fill the tank with water and wait for steam to be produced. 

Step 1:

Direct the steam at the sticky residue and it will quickly soften and loosen. But don’t hold it there too long or too close, to avoid moisture damage.

Heat is one of the best ways to cut through stickiness, no matter the cause (for example spilled glue, a build-up of grease, or old carpet adhesive). That makes this the perfect solution for how to clean the subfloor after removing a carpet.

Step 2:

Then wipe the loosened stickiness away with an old rag or towel. If necessary, mop the area down afterward. But take note of the following. Excess heat and water can damage a wood floor surface, especially if there’s any type of finishing product on the wood. 

how to clean sticky stuff off hardwood floors

If you need to remove flooring adhesive from hardwood floors take note of the following tips:

  • Don’t get too close to the wood. Excess heat can cause warping and buckling of floor finishes.
  • Keep moving the heat source around, to avoid concentrating heat in one spot for too long.
  • Stay a few inches from the surface and don’t concentrate on any area for more than 2 minutes at a time. Bev careful when using a steamer, don’t burn yourself by getting too close to the steam.
  • When you’ve used a steamer unit to clean your wood floors, some of the moisture can penetrate the surface if it isn’t sealed. So keep the area well-ventilated until the floor dries.

How To Maintain The Appearance Of Hardwood Floors

Once you’ve removed the sticky residue from your hardwood floors, what’s next? Top-quality equipment that keeps your floors smooth, clean, and beautiful! And we have the ideal floor machine for all floor surfaces. So your whole home can always be tidy, fresh, and clean. 

The Orbot vibe floor machine with orbital pad, tank, and sprayer has been certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) as an effective and reliable deep cleaning system. It’s not just safe for use on carpets. It’s an all-in-one floor care machine that offers great versatility in one affordable package. 

how to clean sticky residue off hardwood floors

You’ll clean, scrub, and polish hardwood floors like a professional. Clean hardwood floors, stone or tiled floors, and even carpets or linoleum. The Orbot Vibe even grinds and strips uneven floor surfaces. Best of all it can clean and buff your wood floors without chemicals. That’s eco-friendly and budget-friendly, too! 


Keeping hardwood floors clean can be a pain when you don’t have the right equipment. But with our selection of floor cleaning and polishing equipment, your floors will remain clean and smooth. 

And you won’t even have to use any harsh chemicals. That’s good news for the environment, and also if you have children or pets in the home. So browse our range of innovative floor cleaning solutions today.

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