5 Tips for How to Get Wax Out of Clothing - Public Goods

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5 Tips for How to Get Wax Out of Clothing

Who doesn’t love a candle moment? Flickering candle wicks have the uncanny ability to set the mood, whether they’re providing soft lighting at a dinner party or treat-yourself vibes during a chill evening of R&R.

three lit candles from public goods
Shop: Lavender & Vanilla Candle ($5.95), Black Currant Candle ($5.95), Cedar & Suede Candle ($5.95)

That is, until the wax from your scented candle starts dripping on your tablecloth or you accidentally blow the melted bits all over when dimming out the flame. It can be a devastating scene: watching the piping hot (read: untouchable) liquid drip from your candle quickly and harden as you try to simultaneously process the fact that your favorite shirt or fluffy fabric might be ruined forever. Watching your clothes get trampled by a waxy flood is not a good feeling.

Nonetheless, not all is lost. We’re going to share some stain removal tips on how to get wax out of clothing, and — great news! — it’s not as hard as you think. Keep reading, take action with our step-by-step guide, then rejoice.

How to Remove Wax From Clothing: Scraping Method

three lit candles from public goods, credit card, scraper tool

There are various effective techniques you can use when removing wax from fabric. One of them involves good old fashioned scraping.

But before taking any sort of action, let the candle wax dry and harden completely. This is the one type of stain where waiting is critical. You want it to be as solid as possible before you attack.

Now here are the steps for removing candle wax from your clothes using the scraping method:

  1. Once the candle wax has dried and is completely stiff, snap off the big chunk it became to get rid of it. This will leave you with only some residue.
  2. Grab an object with a hard edge, like the edge of a credit card or a dull knife.
  3. Gently but firmly scrape whatever is left of the wax stain. To avoid damaging the clothes or fabric, don’t press down too hard to, especially if you’re dealing with a more delicate material.

If there is any residual wax stain, move on to the next technique.

How to Remove Wax From Clothing: Hot Iron

three candles, hairdryer, clothing iron

It’s possible that some stubborn residue will remain once you’ve scraped off most of the wax from your clothes.

Do not despair. Instead, think hot! Yes, getting candle wax out of clothing can also be done with heat through a simple process.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s how to get candle wax out of clothes using an iron:

  1. Set your clothing iron on low and allow it to heat up. If you don’t have one or are working with super delicate clothes or other fabrics, grab your hairdryer instead.
  2. Place your garment or tablecloth between two absorbent paper towels or brown paper bags. If your fabric is very delicate (like silk or wool), place a cloth over the paper on the side you’ll be ironing (no need to do this if you’re using a hair dryer).
  3. Press down gently onto the paper towel or paper bag for the wax stain to transfer onto it, or blow hot air directly on the area. Rub the paper towel around after each absorption until there is no wax left to transfer.
  4. There might be some remaining oil on your clothes or fabric. In this case, grab your stain remover and douse the area with it to treat.
  5. Launder your item with your regular detergent.

two rolls of paper towels, clothing iron, laundry detergent pods, hairdryer

3 Alternative Ways to Get Wax Out of Clothes

If you still have wax residue after trying the other two stain removal methods or if you’re unable to use the heat process, there are alternative ways to get the remainder out of fabric. Let’s go through three of them.

1. Vegetable Oil

First, get rid of the big wax chunk if there is one. Then, carefully drench the stain with vegetable oil. Pat the stain with a paper towel, then launder with your regular detergent.

2. Rinse with Boiling Water

Again, get rid of the big chunk of candle wax on your fabric before you start.

Then, lay your garment or tablecloth over a big mixing bowl, ensuring the stained area is directly above the bowl. Fasten the cloth with a tight rubber band. Gently pour boiling water to soak the stain and watch it melt away.

Repeat until the wax is completely gone and then launder as usual.

3. Carpet Cleaner

After getting rid of the excess candle wax, carefully pour some carpet cleaner on the stain and scrub with a toothbrush. Blot the excess with paper towels and launder as usual.

bamboo toothbrush, two rolls of paper towels, laundry detergent pods, can of Woolite carpet cleaner
Shop: Bamboo Toothbrush ($4.00), Paper Towels ($6.25), Laundry Detergent Pods ($6.95)

Wax On, Wax Off

Watching hot wax from a candle spill over onto your table or your favorite garment can be a really disheartening scene, but the removal methods we’ve outlined here should make your fabrics appear as good as new. Start with scraping and move on to heat if the stain persists.

If all else fails, try the alternative methods listed. And should you happen to get wax on your rug, using a blow dryer works best to heat the stain, then blot the wax with a paper towel.

Remember to always be mindful of the material you’re dealing with. Try gentler methods for more delicate fabrics, like silk or wool, and go for a zinger with the robust ones, like denim. You got this!

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