Hairspray is supposed to hold your hairstyle together throughout the day.
What hairspray is not supposed to do is to create a mess in your bathroom. And yet it does.
Each spritz of your hairspray can leave a waxy residue on the bathroom floor, leaving a sticky buildup that dust and dirt can easily cling to, resulting in an even more unsightly bathroom mess.
Thankfully, there are a few methods you can use to clean hairspray buildup in your bathroom.
Why Is There Hairspray Buildup in the Bathroom?
Most of the hairsprays you use today contain polymers. These polymers are chain-like molecules that remain on your hair and on the bathroom floor long after the solvent evaporates.
When you regularly use hairspray, the sticky wax layer can quickly accumulate on the bathroom floor.
Eventually, it’s not just hairspray residue that builds up on your bathroom floor. Since the hairspray residue is a sticky layer of wax, it also attracts dirt and debris, which leaves your bathroom even messier.
How to Clean Hairspray Buildup from Bathroom Floor
The following solutions can dissolve hairspray and clean your bathroom floor of any hairspray buildup. The most common bathroom floor type are tiles, but if you have a wood or vinyl bathroom floor, we provide specific tips for other floor types in the next section.
1. Use Your Shampoo
You use shampoo to remove hairspray from your hair, so there’s no reason why you can’t use the same product to clean hairspray buildup on the bathroom floor.
But don’t simply slather shampoo on the tile floor like you would on your hair. Instead, combine shampoo with warm water inside a spray bottle. Spray that mixture on the bathroom floor and clean the surface in a gentle, circular motion using a rag. Repeat until you remove all the traces of hairspray residue on the floor, then wipe it down with a damp cloth.
2. Get a Fabric Softener
Another product that you can quickly get your hands on in the bathroom is a fabric softener, and it works wonders in cleaning hairspray from a tiled bathroom floor. Fabric softener contains surfactants that can dissolve hairspray residue.
To use a fabric softener for cleaning hairspray on the floor, combine one part of the product with two parts of water in a spray bottle. Shake the solution and spray it on the affected surface, then wipe it away to disintegrate the hairspray buildup. And don’t forget to give the floor one last wipe with a damp cloth to avoid an accidental slipping hazard.
3. Rub It with Alcohol-Soap Solution
If you need a stronger cleaning solution for cleaning hairspray buildup, try mixing equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol and add a squirt of shampoo or liquid soap. Anything from body soap to dish soap should work fine.
Rubbing alcohol is often the primary solvent used in making hairsprays. Using alcohol for soaking hardened hairspray residue should work for softening it, so it’s easier to wash off. In general, alcohol is safe to use on bathroom tiles, but to be cautious, always wipe the surface with a damp cloth after cleaning the residue.
4. Clean with White Vinegar
Vinegar may be pungent, but it packs some serious power when it comes to cleaning all sorts of residue and buildup in the bathroom, including hairspray. White vinegar, or if you have it, apple cider vinegar, makes a quick and effective all-around bathroom cleaner.
To use white vinegar for cleaning hairspray buildup on bathroom floors, pour equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. You can add a drop or two of liquid soap, but that’s optional. Give it a good shake to mix the ingredients and spray the solution on the affected bathroom tiles.
If you’re concerned with the smell, be sure to mop the bathroom floor afterward with plain water or run a fan inside the bathroom while you’re cleaning. Wearing a mask while using vinegar to clean the bathroom also helps, although the pungent odor should go away on its own after a couple of minutes.
5. Use Dish Soap
Dish soap effectively cuts through any sticky grease and grime in your kitchen, so it’s worth using to clean up after the sticky hairspray residue on the bathroom floor.
But just like when you’re using the shampoo method, don’t simply squirt dish soap on the tiled floor. Mix it with water first and use that solution as a cleaner that can dissolve hairspray buildup, so it’s easier to wipe off with a cloth or sponge.
You can also try adding rubbing alcohol to the mixture for extra cleaning power.
6. Make a Baking Soda Paste
Like vinegar, baking soda is an all-around household cleaner. You probably already have a box of soda in your house, or you can buy one for a reasonable price.
Mixing one part of water into three parts of baking soda creates a light, white paste that you can apply to that dirty hairspray buildup on the floor. It will loosen and dissolve the hairspray residue so you can wipe the floor clean with a damp cloth.
But be careful when using baking soda since it’s abrasive. You don’t want to damage the shiny coating of your bathroom tiles, so wipe as gently but thoroughly as you can.
How to Clean Hairspray Buildup On Different Bathroom Floors and Surfaces
The most effective cleaning method for getting rid of hairspray buildup without damaging the bathroom floor depends on the type of bathroom floor you have. Some cleaning solutions are safe for use on tiled bathroom floors but can damage other surfaces.
Here are some hairspray cleaning tips depending on the type of surfaces in your bathroom.
How to Remove Hairspray Buildup From Bathroom Wood Floors
You’ll need a gentler cleaning solution to remove hairspray without causing damage to a wood floor. Dish soap mixed with water is typically safe but remember to wipe it off thoroughly with a damp sponge or cloth after you’re done cleaning.
How to Remove Hairspray Buildup From a Vinyl Bathroom Floor
Avoid using abrasive products like baking soda when cleaning hairspray off of vinyl floors, or you risk damaging its protective coating. Instead, use water and vinegar or the dish soap method for vinyl and laminate bathroom flooring.
How to Remove Hairspray Residue From Faucets and Fixtures
Ideal cleaners for faucets and fixtures depend on their finishes. But the safest option to remove hairspray buildup from faucets and other bathroom fixtures is alcohol.
How to Get Rid of Hairspray Buildup on Mirrors
Rubbing alcohol is also the safest route to clean sticky hairspray residue on mirrors. But remember to use a clean microfiber cloth when wiping the hairspray off to prevent streaking and accidentally scratching the mirror.
How to Remove Hairspray Buildup on Painted Walls
If you need to clean hairspray buildup on painted bathroom walls, use a solution made from vinegar and water. It will dissolve the residue without damaging the paint, but you should rinse the surface with clean water afterward.