How to Remove Wax from Fabrics: a Practical Guide

Hot and cold methods to solve a rather common problem

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By Alex

How to Remove Wax from Fabrics

Candles are a much-loved item, often adorning spaces with their vibrant colors and delightful scents. Serving as both a simple decor piece and an air freshener, candles add charm to various settings. They’re especially ideal as romantic dinner table centerpieces, setting the perfect ambiance. Despite their beauty, candles possess a significant drawback: the potential to stain fabrics like tablecloths when melted wax leaks.

Fear not, as damage can be rectified with the right wax removal methods. Let’s explore some effective techniques to remove wax stains without resorting to harsh measures that might harm the fabric.

Removing Wax from Cotton Fabrics

Candle wax drips easily onto cotton tablecloths. Panicking or attempting an immediate removal with water can worsen the situation. Instead, allow the wax to cool and solidify, forming a hard crust.

Then, carefully scrape off the hardened wax using a spatula or a rounded-tip knife, avoiding fabric tears. To expedite solidification, place the stained item in the freezer for about half an hour before scraping off the wax.

This freezer technique is suitable for resilient fabrics like cotton.

Wax Removal with an Iron

For an efficient wax removal method, place a towel under the stained fabric. Over the wax stain, position kitchen paper or paper towels. Using a medium-low temperature, iron the stained area. The heat causes the wax to melt and adhere to the absorbent paper. Repeat as necessary, replacing the paper until all waxy residues are gone.

The same approach can be applied using tissue paper and a hairdryer, albeit requiring more time.

Removing Wax from Synthetic Fabrics

Immerse the fabric in boiling water, causing the wax to rise and break off. Once finished, use a hairdryer at low temperature for drying.

Wax Removal with Alcohol

In urgent cases, try denatured alcohol. Spray a small amount on an old toothbrush and rub it onto the stain until completely removed. Note: Use this technique only for extreme emergencies, and avoid it on delicate items!

how to remove wax from fabrics
Now, fear not! While wax stains pose challenges, they are certainly manageable.

Post-Wax Stain Treatment

After using these wax removal methods, you might be left with lingering stains, especially if the wax was colored. To address this, soak the garment in a solution of half a liter of water and two tablespoons of bicarbonate or oxygen-based stain remover. Optionally, add two tablespoons of white vinegar.

Let it soak for several hours or overnight before rinsing. Alternatively, apply liquid detergent directly onto the stain (test it on a hidden fabric corner first). Subsequently, proceed with normal hand or machine washing.

For wax stains on delicate fabrics like wool and silk, it’s advisable to seek professional dry cleaning assistance.

More tips for cleaning your clothes

Beyond battling wax stains, fabrics can face ruin through various means. In our guide to eco-friendly cleaning, you’ll discover numerous tricks and time-tested remedies from grandmothers to tackle everyday household tasks.

Learn how to craft natural cleaners, reaping significant benefits for both your wallet and the environment.