Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How to Remove Hairspray Residue from Floor

How do I remove the hairspray buildup from my bathroom floor? It's a question many of us have asked ourselves. We may have even heard varying answers. Today I'm sharing the best way to clean hairspray off the floor. How do I know? Well, I experimented with all the things and I'm sharing the results with you. 

Update 04-16-2019:  This post was originally shared on 04-11-2013. Six years later and I still get  comments about how this helped people. I hope it will help you too!

I'm going to share something very unflattering in this post. You will see me {or rather my bathroom floor} at it's worst.

Here's the before and after of my bathroom floor.

how to remove hairspray from bathroom floor

Since I found a great solution, I thought there might be others who would benefit. Even if it is embarrassing to show you.

How to Remove Hairspray Residue from Floor

We have lived in our house for over 10 years now. The main bathroom is the one that we all use. We all fix our hair in there. As a result, over the years the hairspray buildup had gotten ridiculous. Myself or the kids mop it regularly, but it just wouldn't come up with our regular floor cleaner. The before picture above was taken right after mopping.

Best way to remove hairspray residue from bathroom floor

So I decided to do a little experiment. {And I wish I would have thought about this a few months ago when my daughter had to do a science experiment for school.} I scoured the internet for solutions. I found tons of advice for different products to use, which were all household items. I gathered everything up in the bathroom. I had several bowls and spoons to stir up the different ingredients.

products I tried to remove hairspray buildup on floor

In each square of the floor I tried a different concoction. I scrubbed each section with an old toothbrush for one minute to see which would work best.

Best way to get hairspray off of bathroom floor

{Scroll down to see the results picture}

Following are the products I used:

1 - Shampoo 

This was recommended because it gets hairspray build up out of your hair. It did NOT work. Not even a little bit.

2 - Vinegar and baking soda with a splash of lemon juice 

I made it into a paste. This was also a failed attempt.

3 - Baking Soda and Water Paste 

This worked fairly well. When I started scrubbing it, I noticed that it had started working a bit where it had been sitting.

4 - Rubbing Alcohol 

This worked ok - but it was messy and smelly. {As a side note, I used rubbing alcohol to get some hairspray buildup off of the door - be careful with it, it got off the hairspray, but it also got some of the paint too.}

5 - Baking Soda and Lemon Juice Paste 

I thought this would work better than #3, because of the lemon juice, but it didn't work as well.

6 - Mr. Clean Magic Erasers 

I actually used the generic version erasers. It kind of worked, but after only a minute my arm was tired. I couldn't imagine trying to do the whole floor that way.

7 - Borax and Water Paste 

This was hands down the best cleaner. There was a huge difference where the borax had been sitting and you can see in the picture below that I got a lot more of the square cleaned in one minute.

8 - Rubbing Alcohol and Baking Soda Paste 

This was an after thought. I thought that if the rubbing alcohol was mixed with something to make it less messy and give it something abrasive to scrub with, it would work better. And it did work better than plain rubbing alcohol, but it was too smelly to try to clean my whole floor that way.

how to clean hairspray from floor

Three other ideas that I did not try:


 This was recommended with the caution that it might discolor your floor. I decided not to try it.

Shaving Cream

 I didn't have any, so I didn't try this.

Fabric Softener

This is something I learned after the fact from a reader. Use one part fabric softener to two parts water. Let it sit for 5 minutes and wipe it up. I have not tried this method either.

So what is the best way to clean hairspray off floors?

The verdict is Borax and Water! (see instructions below)

I cleaned the whole floor with it. I used a toothbrush to scrub, until my husband reminded me of a little scrub brush we had. Then it went a lot faster although it still was not a speedy process.

Steps to Clean Hairspray Buildup off of Bathroom Floor

  • Step 1 - Add borax to warm water to make a paste.
  • Step 2 - Using a scrub brush (an old toothbrush works well), scrub the floor with the paste
  • Step 3 - Clean up the paste with a wet rag

I will continue mopping as before each week. But once a month I will be making some borax mop water by adding some borax to hot water. I'm hoping that this will keep the hairspray residue from building up so badly.


Will this get the hairspray off on my ceramic tile floor? 

Yes, a borax and water mix will work for all types of flooring. Vinyl, Linoleum, laminate, wood floors, and tile. It will work well to remove the residue from tile grout too.

Will borax clean hairspray from my wall?

Yes, it will work for walls, countertops, doors and even glass. 

You may also like:
How to Clean Your Curling Iron
Clean Your House in 10 Minutes a Day - Kitchen
Clean Your House in 10 Minutes a Day - Bathroom
Clean Your House in 10 Minutes a Day - Living Room 


  1. Wow, what an experiment! I was sure the magic eraser was going to do better. That's what got my linoleum floors clean after a summer of stir frying; that's the only explanation I've got for how dirty and uncleanable they were. Might try this one though, I've already got some Borax, maybe it can get them cleaner! Thanks for experimenting!

  2. Great information, thanks! Everyone always raves about the magic eraser, but I am not that thrilled with it. I have some Borax in the laundry room, will give this a try next time I clean my floors.

  3. Aaah, men will never get this, but thank you, genius!

  4. Thanks for the tip! I'll give it a try. Pinning.

  5. Oh. My. Goodness. I uses hair spray a few times a week and never even though of the build up on the floor. I'm so glad you got such great results; I'll have to try this in my bathroom.

  6. Thank you so much for this post. I have some hairspray on my eyeglasses and can't get it off. I have tried a few things but have to be careful not the ruin them. Do you think the Borax and water paste would work on glass or would it be too abrasive?


  7. Putting borax on my marketing list. Thanks for the research.

  8. Good to know! Thanks! Your floors look amazingly clean!
    Selene @ Restoration Beauty

  9. What a great tutorial! I love that you tried so many different cleaning options. Best news, I already have a box of Borax.



  10. Wow, great experiment. I have this same issue, but I wonder if/how it would work on a wall.. I get hair spray on the wall and you can see dots and residue...

    1. I bet it would work on the wall too. It might get a little messy - the borax paste would probably fall off a little as you scrub. Good luck! Let me know if it works.

  11. Thanks for posting this - we have the issue at our house, and I can't wait to finally get our bathroom floor clean! Quick question, though, what is "water paste"? Thanks!

    1. Basically what I meant was to make a paste out of borax and water. Pour some borax into a bowl and add enough water to make a paste.

    2. I think I was having a blonde moment - it dawned on my a few hours later that! I bought the Borax and am ready to clean my linoleum! Thank you!

  12. This was very helpful for me! I instantly tried the number 7 (Borax and water). I'm not a mom or anything, it's just my fiancé and I in our 1 bedroom apartment so I had to go buy some Borax. Which didn't matter to me it's really cheap and I really wanted to see how well this would work! I love to use hairspray all the time and do my makeup in the bathroom, after about 3 years it was getting a little ridiculous. With a scrub brush we already had and the Borax/water paste the hairspray and all other residue came right off the hardwood, it looks beautiful and brand spanking new. Thank you for the helpful hint!

  13. I have a pergo floor and used many cleaners, all with some success and hard rubbing seemed to be a major factor. Then I used a single edge razor blade and it really did the job. Not many talking about the razor blade method. You get a lot of residue that you can actually pick up with a damp cloth. On tile it may not work as well but it may be worth a try.

  14. Maybe you could put a rug down too as that would get allot of the buildup and then just throw it in the washing machine. That's what I do, saves on scrubbing lol.

  15. Enjoying exploring your site for the first time. I'm getting Borax for my floor; but do you have a solution for hairspray on the bathroom door ? I've tried to sandpaper it off after a few years. I have given up....help !

    1. I would try the borax and water paste on the door too. I haven't done it, but I would guess that it would work for the door too. One thing I tried and want to warn you against is rubbing alcohol. It worked a little too well - It started to take off the paint along with the hairspray buildup.

  16. Bon Ami dissolves hairspray. I sprinkle some on the floor and then splash a little hot water on top, take an old towel and wipe it up and then rinse. You won't have to scrub. I even used the towel to clean the base boards and a textured wall paper that is in my bathroom.

  17. Wow! Thanks for doing all of the hard work on this!! Planning on giving this a try very soon in my bathroom, just need to go find a scrub brush bigger than an old toothbrush ;)

  18. Hello, I would like to put in my two cents, as I think it might save a few elbows. :)
    First cent - Hair spray dissolves hair spray - (BUT, you must work quickly, because hair spray also DRIES quickly!) So, if you only have a small area, or paint, lacquer, or other wood finish, try hair spray!

    Second cent - This is, truly,a spray-and-wipe method.

    Zep Citrus Degreaser

    There is the possibility that a 10-year build-up of aerosol hair spray may require two applications. However, a ten-year build-up of non-aerosol hair spray, may dissolve, on the first try.

    I buy it, by the gallon, from Home Depot, and pour it, straight, into a spray bottle. It is also sold in spray bottles.
    I use it straight - NOT diluted - as a house cleaner, I don't have time to wait. :)
    CAUTION - as with alcohol, citrus oil is detrimental to paint, lacquer, and wood finishes. Use sparingly, and do NOT allow any time to elapse, between the spray and the wipe, on such surfaces. :)
    Please, test, first, as glossy surfaces will never be the same, again. :/

    I use it on ranges, fridges, bathrooms - sticky, greasy messes yield, quickly, to its greatness!
    For stickers, alcohol and Goo Gone are better. I don't remember having tried it on gum, although I most likely have. Gum usually puts up its hands and runs, at the sight of a razor...

  19. I heard that Clorox/Lysol toilet bowl cleaner would work on the grout in the bathroom so I tried a tiles worth - bonus was I got a clean tile too!!!! Borax would end up being a lot less expensive so I will give it a try. My husband uses hairspray every day and everything is coated in the stuff - heading out now to buy some Borax - bye ........

  20. Thank you! I love in NYC so I have a tiny bedroom, I get ready a foot from my flat screen tv every day and it has a lot of build up on it. Ill try one of your top solutions here (on a small part at first of course.)

  21. Wow amazing! Thanks so much for doing all the research for me. Last night I searched pinterest to find a way to clean my bathroom tiled floor and came across the diluted shampoo idea which I thought would be easy to try. Then I came across your pin and thought why try anything else if you've already ruled out what does and doesn't work. So this morning I bought some borax and just tried it and it worked like magic! Thanks so much, I will definitely be following you from now on. :-)

    1. I'm so glad it worked for you! Welcome to my blog!

  22. A million thanks! I tried it immediately after reading and it worked amazingly! I've been battling the same problem for years & tried almost all the things you tried. Your post may be a few years old but the advice is timeless!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment! I'm so glad the borax worked for you. It's about time for me to scrub down my floors again :)

  23. Just tried Borax paste on bathroom counter where old hairspray had leaked and left a crusty mess. It worked! Thank you so much for your experiments with the cleaners.(Sounds like something I would do, too. Love it!)

  24. Thank you, thank you!! I have been trying for years to remove the hairspray from my bathroom floor and some things worked ok but nothing worked like Borax and water. So simple, yet I never even thought of it. Thank you!!!!!

  25. I "accidentally" ran across something else that works really well this evening....nail polish remover pads. I cleaned up a tiny spill and had glowing tile underneath! I'm going to experiment with this and see what happens.

  26. Thank you for this! I have white vinyl floors and the hairspray build up is just getting disgusting. I had no idea what would clean it up. Definitely trying this, thanks!!!

  27. Thank you! This was a life saver! I was so discouraged after scrubbing & scrubbing my floor. I decided after reading this to use some hot Borax mop water and it worked great!I will still have to attack the corners and hard to reach places, but will use Borax mop water from now on regularly! Woohoo!

  28. Thank you. My bathroom floor was awful. Have tried scrubbing, etc. so I got some Borax, added a few drops of dawn. Mixed it with hot water poured it on my linoleum floor and let it sit a minute. It was like wow. It's clean and I will use the Borax and dawn all the time.

  29. something else that works remarkably well (just did it this weekend!) is mix one part fabric softener and 2 parts water. Let it sit for 5 minutes and scrub with scrub brush or abrasive side of kitchen sponge. Comes right off and smells amazing!! I did follow up with some diluted vinegar to get the residue, but the great smell lingered for quite a while.

  30. I just want to say that your Borax solution is awesome. I hadn't been able to clean the hairspray residue on our master bathroom floor and it looked awful. I googled how to clean hairspray residue on floor and came across your site. It worked so well. I used a non-scratch scouring pad and barely had to scrub. Thanks for sharing. Borax is my new go-to cleaning agent.

  31. Thank you for posting this. The hairspray residue in my master bathroom was horrible. I had tried a variety of things with no luck. I used the Borax paste today (actually just sprinkled Borax on floor and went over with wet non-scratch scouring pad). I barely had to scrub. I can't believe how good the floor looks. Borax is my new go-to cleaning product.

  32. Thanks for the hard work! I have a hint to combine to yours. Now that you have your layer up treat yourself and splurge on a steam mop. I have an H2O mop (there are many different kinds) and they aren't very expensive. I use it on my bathroom floor. I use sticky industrial strength hairspray and the steam mop which only uses water cuts right through it. I can do the whole floor in about 3-5 minutes. Do it monthly or so and you'll never have to work so hard again. I've been using in on my floors for years and wouldn't go back to anything else. Happy Cleaning!!!

  33. I just tried the fabric softener and water on 10 year caked on hairspray at my parents house. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and used a scrub brush on stone tile and it looks like a brand new floor

  34. The borax paste works beautifully!! Thank you so much! I was ready to replace our floor the build-up was so bad!!

  35. My Mom's floor had years of hairspray on the it. The borax paste did the trick with little elbow grease. Would highly recommend!

  36. thank you thank you thank you! I have tried SOOOOO many thing! I literally had about 4 of the things you tested ready to go try them when I found your post. Thank you for saving my Saturday... and my bathroom floor!!!! I use Borax for tons of things.... don't know why I never tried if on that!