Candle Wax Stain Removal
Candle Wax Stain Removal
Spilled candle wax is a common problem. I’ve blown too hard when blowing out a candle and blew melted wax onto a surface. I’ve had candlesticks drip wax onto surfaces. Spilled candle wax, however it happened, is an unfortunate but all too real issue.
There really is no quick and easy way to remove candle wax but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. All you need is a little patience and a good attitude that the outcome is a positive one.
Scrubbing, washing, scratching and scraping doesn’t cut it. But with your sleeves pulled up and a little knowledge, candle wax can be removed!
Removing Candle Wax from Fabric
Before beginning, make sure to read the label. If you don’t think the item you are removing the candle wax from can take the cleaning process, it’s best to bring it to the pros.
For washable fabrics, clothes, cloth napkins, tablecloth, etc. one of these methods will work for you.
The Iron Method
Wait for the wax to dry completely then carefully scrape off the hard wax with a dull butter knife or something similar. This may be all you have to do but, in most cases, you’ll be left with a little oily/greasy residue from the wax.
So now you’ll want to get a brown paper bag, tear a piece larger than the stained area, and place it over the stain. It can’t hurt to place a piece under the stain as well so it doesn’t transfer to a clean piece of fabric. If you don’t have a paper bag, a couple pieces of paper towel (layered together to make it thicker) should work as well.
Get out the clothes iron and turn it to a low heat. When it’s warm, run it over the paper, keep the iron moving, don’t let it sit in one spot. The residue will transfer to the paper. Change paper and repeat as needed. When finished was a usual, if necessary, rub a little liquid laundry detergent or dry-cleaning solvent into any stain that may remain. Let air dry before putting in the dryer to make sure the stain is gone.
If you do notice any dye stain remaining, blot with rubbing alcohol until gone. If the fabric is white you can also try using hydrogen peroxide by pouring a little over the stain and covering with a clean towel, let sit and check after 10 or 15 minutes. Rinse and wash again.
The Freezer Method
Put the item in the freezer for a bit and let the wax harden. When the wax is completely hard, take it out then carefully remove the hardened wax.
Follow the method above using the iron. It’s that simple.
Removing Candle Wax from Carpets
Do not remove wax from carpets until fully hardened. If you try before the wax is hard, you may rub it into the fibers further and create more staining and damage carpet fibers.
Either wait for the wax to harden or put ice cubes in a gallon size baggie and place on the wax. When hardened, carefully lift away from the carpet fibers with a dull edged knife. When you’ve lifted what you can with the knife, try using your fingernails to carefully get more of the bits of wax out.
Vacuum with attachment piece to remove any other bits of wax that remain. If any dye remains, wet a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol and dab, dab, dab until gone.
You can also use the iron method to remove any greasy/oily residue if necessary. Just be careful and be sure you have a piece of paper that extends beyond the size of the iron so you don’t scorch the carpet fibers.
There are commercial products that work well to remove candle wax stains. One is called Un-Du Candle Wax Remover. Just a few drops and it will dissolve wax.
Removing Candle Wax from Leather
Unfortunately, not all leathers will get stain free from candle wax spills. If you have a special handbag, jacket, or other item, it’s best to bring it in to a professional or for larger items call the pro out to the house.
If you happen to get candle wax on leather furniture (not suede) and only some leathers, you can try using a hair dryer and paper towels. There is no guarantee this will completely remove the staining though. I tried this once on a leather sofa and it worked enough to only leave a small stain behind.
Carefully move a hair dryer back and forth to heat the wax. Don’t keep the hair dryer too close to the wax as you don’t want it to blow the melting wax around.
As the wax starts to melt, keep a paper towel close allowing the wax to soak into the paper towel. Start working from the areas that have the least amount of wax working in towards the thicker clumps of wax.
It may help further if you have two people doing this. One to hold the blow dryer and the other soaking up the wax with the paper towel.
Treat with leather cleaner and conditioner when finished.
Removing Candle Wax from Wood
To clean wax from wood, let harden completely. Carefully use a dull edged knife, plastic scrapper or similar and lift the hard wax – with some of the remaining wax the scrapper can’t get, use your fingernail. Avoid scraping into the wood.
Wipe or vacuum up loose bits of wax. For finished surfaces, use a soft cloth and clean with furniture polish. For unfinished surfaces, try the iron method making sure the paper, paper towels extend beyond the surface of the iron.