Do you like lighting candles on any occasion? Even when you’re relaxing in your living room alone or when you’re throwing a dinner party? Candles can create a cosy and intimate atmosphere, whether they’re scented or not.
They’re also a great way to decorate your living room or any other room in your home, including your bathroom. But unfortunately, if an accident happens while they’re lit, they can create a tough stain to clean. When melted wax drips, you might think your favourite shirt or tablecloth is ruined once and for all. Fortunately, you can save and clean any cloth stained from candle wax. Just read our step-by-step guide on how to get wax out of clothes without the help of experts.
Table of Contents
Before you begin
Before you begin to get wax out of any fabric, including your favourite T-shirt, trousers or linen tablecloth, you need to allow the wax to cool down and harden first. If you are in a rush, you can help the wax dry faster. How?
- Put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and place them on top of the waxy area.
- To lessen the hassle, fold the fabric with the stain exposed and throw it in the freezer for a while.
Once the wax has hardened, you should remove it from the fabric before treating the stain. There are two methods to remove the candle wax.
Method 1: Scraping
Scraping the wax off the fabric is the first and simple method. Here’s what you need to do:
Get a dull knife (like a butter knife) or use the edge of a credit card and start scraping off the wax. You need to be careful, though, not to tear the fabric or pull any thread while scraping.
Extra tip: A dull knife works well to scrape wax for linen, cotton, leather. For more delicate fabrics, like silk and wool, better use a spoon for scraping.
Method 2: Use the iron
If you can’t scrape any small wax pieces or find it hard to scrape wax, there’s another effective method to remove it from any fabric. You can simply iron it. Let’s see how to do it:
You need a towel and paper towels(instead, you can use brown paper bags, sheets of baking paper or blotting paper). Place a towel under your clothes or tablecloth and two paper towels over the remaining wax. Set your iron at a low heat and press the warm iron over the excess wax. Wax will start to melt. If the paper towels get soaked with melted wax, replace them with new ones and keep ironing until there’s no sign of the stain left.
How to remove small wax stains from your clothes
Since you have managed to remove wax, you should see an oil stain. That’s because most waxes are made from petroleum products, whilst others are oil-based. In any case, you need to first pre-treat the area that’s stained and then wash as usual either in the washing machine or by hand.
There are many ways to treat the remaining stain. The process is the same in all ways, though. You need to soak the item in water for a few hours first. Depending on the type and the colour of the fabric, you can add, along with water:
- An oxygen-based stain remover
- Liquid detergent
- Oxygen –bleach
- Rubbing alcohol
If you choose one of the three first products, then do as follows:
- Fill a bowl with water and add either an oxygen-based stain remover/a detergent/oxygen bleach.
- Put the stained item in the bowl and let it soak for a few hours.
- Launder your clothing as usual.
If you’re fighting a rather tough stain, you can apply them directly onto the stain and rub it.
In case you want to apply rubber alcohol, the process is different:
- Mix in a spray bottle a cup of water and ½ cup the alcohol and spray the stain directly.
- Get a clean sponge and start scrubbing the stain from the outside of the stain towards the centre.
- Now and then, squeeze the sponge and keep scrubbing.
Once you have pretreated your item, you can now wash it in the washer with laundry detergent, as you always do. Any stain leftovers will completely disappear now.
How to remove large wax stains from your clothes
There might be a large stain you may need to deal with in many cases. How can you get candle wax off? Worry no more! The stain removal process is the same as already mentioned. You need to:
- Let the wax dry.
- Next, scrape the excess wax with a knife/credit card.
- Iron the remaining wax.
- Pre-treat the remaining stain with an oxygen-based stain remover/ liquid detergent/oxygen bleach/ rubbing alcohol.
- And finally, launder as usual.
If you’re a huge fan of candles, you may need, at some point, to get candle wax off a carpet as well. And it’s impossible to address carpet cleaning companies any time your carpet gets dirty. Depending on the stain that occurred, there are ways to clean your carpets on your own. You may use a steam cleaner or carpet cleaner machine to regularly clean and refresh them, but things are entirely different when dealing with these stains.
Cleaning a wax stain off your carpet, you need to follow almost the same cleaning procedure as already mentioned before. But with some slight differences. Let’s see what needs to be done. First, you need the below tools:
- A white towel
- An iron
- A carpet cleaner
- A vacuum cleaner
- A dull knife
- A soft bristle brush
And here’s how you can successfully clean your carpet off wax:
- Let the wax cool down and harden.
- Once it has dried, get a knife and scrape the hardened wax from the carpet.
- Vacuum the loosened wax pieces from the carpet.
- Next, place a damp white towel over the wax and iron with a high temperature the towel until the wax melts. Keep ironing until the melted wax is transferred from the carpet to the towel.
- The wax will probably leave an oil stain on the carpet. Hence, use a carpet cleaner to clean it. Spray the cleaner on the stained area and scrub it with the brush.
- Finally, get a second white towel and clean the area and let the carpet air dry.
Using alternative ways to remove wax
There are a few more alternatives that can help you get rid of that pesky stain.
To melt the wax you can pour some boiling water over it. How? Once the wax has hardened and you have scraped off the excess wax, you can just place the stained area over a bowl and pour some boiling water over it. You may need to repeat the process several times until all of it melts. When all wax residues have been removed, you can wash the item in hot water. This way is also effective if you want to clean your candle jars.
In case you have a delicate fabric or one that you can’t iron, you can use a hairdryer to get rid of the wax. Again, you need to remove as much wax as possible. Instead of using an iron, place two kitchen papers over under the item and turn your hairdryer on to the hot setting. Move it slowly over the stain and get another paper towel to blot the stain. Repeat until all the wax is gone.
The last way you can apply to get rid of the stains is to use vegetable oil, especially if there’s a small wax spot. Once again, the first step is to remove the candle wax from your fabric. Then wet the stain with vegetable oil and pat it with some kitchen papers. Then, wash as usual with the laundry detergent.
Important: Always check the care label on the fabric first before using any product or washing it.
From now on, you don’t have to worry about your favourite clothes every time you light up your candles. You can keep them clean and with no wax stains just by following some easy steps. If the wax removal methods fail, you can then try one of the alternative ones. We promise your fabrics will look as good as new!
Wondering how to get rid of the wax of your favourite T-shirt? We have all the answers. Check our guide and find homemade treatments and become an expert!