Cleaning Up After Replacing the Toilet’s Wax Ring

Dear Home-Ec 101,

I have an odd problem, but you seem to be pretty good at those. I recently had my bathroom flooring replaced (it’s vinyl)and in the process, the toilet’s wax ring was also replaced. There is waxy residue where the ring squished out the sides.. I’ve cleaned up the bulk of the wax, but the sticky film remains. Thoughts?

Sticky in Waxahachie

Heather says:

The toilet wax ring or donut is made of some awesomely sticky wax, I can see how this would be a pain to remove. In your case, mineral spirits will probably be your best bet for removing that funky layer of sticky wax. If you haven’t already, try using a plastic putty knife to scrape up as much as you can without damaging your new flooring. Apply the mineral spirits with a rag and scrub gently to remove the wax residue.

Always use care with mineral spirits as it is flammable.

If you don’t have mineral spirits on hand, check in your garage for a bug and tar remover or Goof Off Heavy Duty. (The regular version of Goof Off is not safe for some synthetic surfaces, be sure to test it in an inconspicuous location if you are willing to take this chance). The use of bug and tar remover is going to depend on the brand, read the label or check the manufacturer’s FAQ to be sure it’s safe for your flooring material.

Good luck!

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  1. John Wood says

    Brilliant! Worked like a charm. (the residue was on tile) I would add that latex gloves may be a wise precaution as mineral spirits can be absorbed through the skin; and since that is avoidable…..
    Now tot he more gruesome task of cleaning up the base of the old toilet which is to be re-used in a second bathroom. Gloves absolutely for that one!

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