Removing Surfboard Wax

Hi Guys,

I was just about to do some work on a surfboard and I have to remove all the surfboard wax it has on it. During the summer I can just leave it outside and let the sun do all the work. But its cold in California now and I’ve tried using hot water but that didn’t help. I tried sanding the surface and all it did was gum up my sandpaper. What do you guys recommend for removing wax? Thanks.



Here’s what I do here in washington state…

if its a sanded finish…

1.scrape as much wax off as possible.

2.spray leftovers with a citrus degreaser

  1. scrub with a green pad ( scotch pad )

  2. wipe off wax residue.

repeat as neccesary…

if its a gloss finish, don’t use a green pad, just an old towel.


What I do is first scrape most of the old wax with some kind of plastic squeegee. Then use some solvent to remove the thin layer that’s left.

Thanks for the quick replies.

Citrus degreaser huh. That sounds like a good idea. Yeah I scraped off all that I could. Its just that film layer of wax that I can’t get out.

Balsa, what kind of solvent do you use? acetone? alcohol? thanks.


“Turpentine”? Is that the word you use? (That’s “essence de térébenthine”, in French) I have done it with what we call “white spirit”, too. (used to clean brushes and dilute paints). Just try acetone, I think it works, too. BUT, in any case, wear gloves and a mask, all this stuff is no good.

Howzit Daklaw, Several options for taking off wax, Foam dust, kerosene, charcoal lighter fluid, acetone, gasoline. There are also some products in surf shops that are sold but I'm at a loss for their name.Aloha,Kokua

i just scrape it off as best i can, and then rub the deck with foam dust…takes the wax residue off like nothin’.

Try foam dust inside a pair of panty hose. It works. Remember the panty hose your Mom or gradmother used to wear? My wife is a surgery nurse and they still wear them in the OR. Find an old lady, a middle aged business woman, or a young nurse and tell her it’s urgent that she part with her hose. Fill the foot end with foam dust, tie it off, and rub it on the board after you’ve first scraped off as much wax as possible. Show her how clean your board is or take her surfing to say thanks!


It’s a green bag that looks like a pickle, same concept as what Daklaw just described. Pickle Wax remover.

I srape most off, then use a heat gun and a rag, then wipe it down with mineral spirits or naptha, Ive even used WD 40!

No one seem to care but Corn Meal works great.

all kinds of stuff works i guess ,but i have this stuff that stinks like oranges that whipes it off like nothing ,but id be sure to whipe it with acetone after if i was putting any resin to it,that smell hangs around longer than resin…oranges.

I scrape as much wax as i can off then use sex wax-wax remover just ask the guys at you surfshop if they sell a sort of wax remover they most likely will.

Heat is the best solvent for wax. No need to use chemicals. A hairdryer, or a simple heat gun will serve. A Heat lamp will work in a pinch if your not in too big of a hurry. The best thing I’ve found to scrap the board with is an a old CD disk. Between the nice rounded edge and a moderate amount of heat you can work you way from one end of the board to the other pretty fast. Once you get 90% of the wax off, the next trick is to cut a section of the leg of panty hose off, tie one end off and fill it with foam dust. Once you tie the other end off you have a perfect way to rub the rest of the wax off the board. It’s simple. It works great and costs just about nothing. If you have ding repair you’ll be sanding anyway and the little wax film that’s left will be gone in an instant. I always wipe with styrene for a poly work or with ethanol for epoxy work so residue is gone.

Good Surfin’, Rich

easy…go to the quarter car wash, pop in a buck …hit your board with the high pressure hot water…wax is off in a jiffy…no muss, no fuss…wash your car at the same time.

spam deleted

white spirit ,or US equivalent ,that is used to remove housepaint from brushes. Sold everywhere.



I set the board out in the sun for a while and remove the thick layer with a plastic scraper.Finish off withan old towel and Naptha (it’s sold at Home Depot).  If you are planning on refinishing the board I would scrub with scotch brite and acetone after doing the other steps I described.


After the sun and plastic putty knife trearment, I spread foam dust (don’t we all have a bunch?) on the board and rub it down with an old velcro backed buffing pad and it does the trick to get the rest of the wax - no solvents required and gives it a nice clean finish (aka Hawiian Polish?)


Don’t see the need for paying for a sack filled with foam dust or stealing the wife’s panty hose plus, that method seems to take alot more elbow grease. I keep a small garbage bag in the shaping room that I dump clean dust in periodically and have an old wire basket type kitchen strainer that I dump a handful of dust sweepings into in a pinch and shake out to filter wood shavings out from the dust.


Boy, this is an old post…


I meant, thread…



Use all the above including foam dust but don't forget direct sunlight and WD-40 after you scape off the bulk of the wax....