How do I remove Feed n wax/

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by FenderBender82, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. A few years back I took apart two of my natural finished basses that had been in storage to remove a funky smell that they developed. I used advice from this forum and scrubbed them all over with a product that was recommended to me here but I forgot the name (not lemon oil) using 0000 steel wool. after I wiped them clean and let them dry they looked beautiful and my p-bass lytes mahogany glowed. then using more advice from this forum I used Howard feed n wax, this made my alder p-bass come to life but had the opposite effect on my mahogany lyte. The mahogany appeared faded and all the golden luster of the grain was gone no matter how much I buffed it. Discouraged I put them back together and have been playing them ever since. I am planning to go through the lyte to replace the pups, pre-amp and hardware. While its apart I want to clean it to remove any remnants of the feed n wax and start over, I may even spray a gloss clear on it. I have no idea what to use that wont further tarnish the wood. Any advice would be helpful.
  2. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    ask Howard what they recommend to remove it.
  3. Weird.

    I hope you get it resolved, and I also hope that my thread praising the wonders of Howard F&W wasn't what inspired you to use it And ultimately screw up the P-Lyte. Maybe it was previously treated or finished with something that reacted strangely with the F&W?

    Good luck and if you could, update this thread after you get it fingered out.
  4. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore? Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
    Just throwing this out there but would alcohol work?
  5. Awesome Sauce

    Awesome Sauce Already tired tomorrow

    Dec 21, 2011
    NW Chicago 'burbs
    Wax cleans up (read: dissolves) w/ mineral spirits. It won't harm the wood, but since it's mahogany, I recommend using a medium to stiff toothbrush at the end to ensure all of the dissolved wax is out of the pores. Any wax still on the wood will prevent a finish from being applied.

    megafiddle and jchrisk1 like this.
  6. I'm worried that alcohol is too harsh. If I can get it clean I think I'll use a tung oil or a tinted poly. Both of my basses are raw but my guitars are glossy and I find great pride in the shine I can get from them after my rainy day cleaning rituals. The basses just get lemon oil rubbed on and they look good until they dry.
  7. Raf Seibert

    Raf Seibert

    Dec 16, 2013
    This is a list of solvents that will dissolve wax. BUT, I would still ask Howard what they recommend first!


    Goof Off

    Goo Gone

    Mineral Spirits

    Ronsonol (Lighter Fluid/Butane)



  8. Thanks, I was thinking mineral spirits would work.
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    Set it on fire. It may be a bit drastic but it will get rid of the wax.

    Seriously, any number of wax removers will do the job. The ones mentioned here are fine, but I would use mineral spirits. Alcohol will be less effective. Ammonia water is used to strip wax from hardwood floors before refinishing, but beware that it can have some unwanted effects on the wood - like discolouration and raising of the grain.
    megafiddle and Lownote38 like this.
  10. I just tried rubbing with olive oil and it removed all wax from the pores instantly. Miraculous!

    Olive oil removes wax FOR CERTAIN. Let everyone hear. I'll never do the mistake of using Planet Waves PROTECT with Carnauba Wax on open pore finishes.
  11. briandavismurph


    Jul 1, 2013
    simple green removes wax very effectively
  12. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Olive oil can go rancid and stink. There is a reason not to use raw vegetable oils.
    gebass6, megafiddle and mech like this.
  13. Perhaps removing excess olive oil by wiping with a dry cloth afterwards will prevent going rancid. I used very small amounts already. We'll see.
  14. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    If the olive oil removes the wax, you can then use soap and water to remove the olive oil. Another solution that can be used is white vinegar mixed 50/50 with water to remove the wax.
    megafiddle and 96tbird like this.
  15. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    If you leave enough vegetable oil on the wood that it can go rancid, you're not wiping it off enough. I have put olive oil on several pieces of maple I have for over thirty years - Rubbed it on, then rubbed it with a clean rag until I have largely gotten it off. Leaves a nice colour and sheen. And after 30 years of such treatment at least once annually, there is not the merest hint of rancidity.
    SherpaKahn and generalduncan like this.
  16. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Great anecdote. Erring on the side of caution and taking expert advice from wood working forums is another angle. The last paragraph says it all: Re: Olive Oil? Rancid?
    megafiddle likes this.
  17. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    Spray paint over it
  18. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    Or just kill two birds with one stone, and use Italian salad dressing.

    sissy kathy and 96tbird like this.
  19. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    Are you sure it removed it, and didn't just render the wax invisible (transparent)?

  20. Now you asked it I got suspicious. Nevertheless, I am sure it removes wax ONLY IF it penetrates into the pore cavity thoroughly. If it stays on the surface and does not penetrate, it is pretty ineffective that's for sure. Here's the pic: DSC_0580.JPG

    This was much worse before.

    How can we check if it is effective then? After a while, it is true that oil gets penetrated into the wood and any wax that has not been dissolved and removed becomes visible again within the pores. It's much less a terrible sight than how it was at the beginning but it at least is a sign that some of the wax has been removed. You can actually look and see the inside of the pores.

    I re-applied oil a week later, this time rubbing and cleaning more thoroughly wtih the microfibre cloth, trying to reach inside all the remaining pores. Hopefully it will gradually get better this time.

    Edit: This is how it looks after oiling DSC_0584.JPG
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
    megafiddle likes this.

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