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How to Get Wax Out of Clothes

Candle wax can easily drip onto clothes – discover how you can remove it quickly & efficiently with our top tips! Read on to find out more.


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wax on clothes

Whether it’s a children’s birthday party or a dinner party with friends, celebrations often mean candles, and as accidents can easily happen – candle wax can get spilt. Read the simple steps below to find out how to remove candle wax from clothes or tablecloths.

Always check the wash care label on the clothing before attempting to remove the spilt wax. Some fabrics may need specialist care, while others can be tackled with a laundry detergent like Omo Ultimate Powder, which is specially formulated to lift 48-hour stains.

Five Steps for Removing Wax from Clothes

1 – Do nothing

The first step is to do nothing – at least until the wax is dry, in any case. Attempting to remove hot wax before it has set is likely to exacerbate the problem, spreading the stain and possibly even burning you. So let the wax set before taking any action.

2 – Give the stain a scrape

The next step when removing wax from clothes is to scrape off as much of the hardened wax as possible. Take a knife which is sharp enough to do some damage to the wax, but not so sharp that it risks damaging the item of clothing, by carefully making holes. Take care when handling the knife; always use strokes going away from your body to avoid any accidents. Work on the wax to remove as much of the hardened matter as possible, leaving behind just the most embedded of the wax.

3 – Re-melt the wax

When it comes to knowing how to remove candle wax from clothes, this next move is often overlooked. It may appear to contradict the first step, but it is to reheat the wax. Place a dishcloth or a towel under the item of clothing or tablecloth, then put two paper towels over the top of the wax stain. Set an iron at a low to medium heat and iron over the area. The heated wax will melt again, and come away from the fabric, soaking instead into the paper towel. If you find that the paper towel is becoming saturated with the wax, move the towel along to start again on a new spot, or replace it with a new sheet. If you have any blotting paper to hand, this will work just as well, if not better, than paper towels. Always be careful when using an iron.

4 – Leave to soak

By this stage, all of the wax should have been removed from the fabric. However, if the wax was coloured, there is almost certainly going to be a stain remaining on the clothing or tablecloth. If that is the case, prepare a bowl with a solution of water and an oxygen-based stain remover and leave the stain soaking in the bowl for a few hours. This should effectively remove the last remaining stains from the fabric. You could also try applying a small amount of liquid detergent, such as Omo Ultimate Powder, directly to the stain as a pre-treatment. Always test on an inconspicuous area first before widespread use.

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5 – Give it a wash

Finally, give the clothing or the tablecloth a wash in the usual way, with a quality detergent like Omo – either a machine wash or by hand if that is more appropriate. And any remnants of the wax spillage should now be gone!

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Now you know how to get wax out of clothes, there’ll be no need to worry if you spill a little on your favourite shirt. If the affected item is of an item of clothing of a particularly sensitive material, you may wish to refer to an expert cleaner with specialist experience in how to remove wax from clothing.

Frequently asked questions on wax

How do I remove candle wax from carpet or upholstery?

To remove candle wax from carpet or upholstery, first scrape off any excess wax with a plastic scraper. Then place a brown paper bag or paper towel over the wax and iron over it on a low heat setting. The wax will melt and be absorbed by the paper. Repeat until all the wax is removed.

How do I remove wax from hardwood floors?

To remove wax from hardwood floors, first scrape off any excess wax with a plastic scraper. Then use a soft cloth dampened with warm water and a mild detergent to gently scrub the affected area. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers as they can damage the hardwood surface.

How do I remove wax from a glass surface?

To remove wax from a glass surface, first scrape off any excess wax with a plastic scraper. Then use a mixture of warm water and white vinegar to soak the affected area. After a few minutes, use a soft cloth to gently scrub the area until the wax is removed. Alternatively, you can also use a commercial glass cleaner designed to remove wax.

Originally published