How to get wax out of clothes

Candles smell and look great but cleaning up spilt candle wax can be tough! Read on for simple steps on how to easily get wax out of clothes.

24 June 2019

How to get wax out of clothes
Laundry

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. Follow the simple steps below which show how to remove candle wax from clothes or tablecloths.

Always check the wash care label on the item of clothing before attempting to remove the spilt wax. Some fabrics may need specialist care whilst others can be tackled with household solutions. 

Five Steps to Remove Candle 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

Next step is to remove 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. 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 wax.

3 – Re-melt the wax

This may appear to contradict the first step above, but the next move 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 directly to the stain as a stain remover. Always test on an inconspicuous area first before widespread use.

5 – Give it a wash

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

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.