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How to Remove Candle Wax from Objects and Fabrics

Spilt candle wax ruins table linen, carpets, wooden furniture and clothing. How do you restore your precious household surfaces and things to their former glory? Use the tips and home remedies below, and learn how to get rid of hardened wax from:



How to Remove Wax from Candlesticks

Glass candlesticks: place the candlestick in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Chip the wax off gently with a knife. Wash the candlestick in a solution of warm water and dish wash. Use a rough sponge or scourer loaded with undiluted dishwashing liquid to take off the last stubborn wax bits.

Metal candle holders: up to an hour in the fridge, and the wax should loosen easily. In a hurry? 2-3 minutes in the freezer should do the trick.

Are your candle sticks made of Sterling silver, gold, copper, or brass? Hot water gets wax off these rust-proof metal types, without harming them. Hold the candlestick in hot water for 1-2 minutes. Wipe the melted wax off with a paper towel. Polish.

Stainless steel doesn't rust easily, under normal conditions. Submerge the piece in hot water; rub off the liquid wax with a paper towel; wash with dishwashing liquid; dry the candlestick.

Wrought iron rusts, so rather use the fridge technique. What about extra-large candle holders? Fill a plastic bag with ice cubes, and tie it around the candelabra. Complete the cleaning process, as described under the wood section.

Can I pour hot candle wax down the sink? No! It will cost you a fortune in plumbing repairs! What happens if you pour melted wax down pipes? The wax rapidly sets into a solid mass, causing blocked drains and clogged sinks. Leave the sink plugged, until the water's cool. Clean smaller items in a dish of boiling water, and leave till cold. Lift the wax layer off with a spatula, or sieve the water, to retrieve small pieces of wax. You can then safely dispose of the left-over water.

How to Take Candle Wax off a Carpet

Dripped candle wax on a carpet?

You'll need:

Ice cubes
Paper towels
An iron
Powdered starch, cornflour or talcum powder
Dry cleaning fluid

Remove as much of the dried wax as possible. Chill the area first. Place ice-cubes in a plastic bag. Leave it on the area stained with the candlewax for a few minutes. Scrape off the wax drippings.

Place paper towels onto the wax residue. Heat your iron up to a moderately hot temperature. Iron over the paper towels. You might have to repeat this with mutiple paper towels.

Coloured candle drips leave stains. Mix a paste of talcum powder, cornflour or powdered starch, and dry cleaning fluid. Work this into the pile. A thick paste of borax and water has a similar effect. Vacuum the carpet. This home remedy leaves any mat as good as new!

Removing Melted Wax from Fabric

You'll need:

Paper towels
An iron
Dry cleaning fluid

Whether you're cleaning splattered paraffin wax from linen cloths, table runners, denim jeans, etc., this easy home remedy takes that wax off. If your wax splash is on a couch (or suchlike), with no wall socket nearby, warm the iron up first, and then move it to the sofa. You can also warm it up on your stove-top.

Cover the spilled wax with paper towels. For clothes and cloths, sandwich the affected piece of material between paper towels. Iron over the tissue paper, with the hot iron. As the wax melts, the paper towels soak up and absorb the candle fat.

Repeat until the area comes clean. This method removes the dropped wax, but leaves you with an unsightly fatty stain. Use dry cleaning fluid to get rid of the grease. Wash your fabric item normally.

How to Remove Wax from a Stove Top

A thick, warm, partially-set layer of wax lifts off easily with a knife or spatula. Layers of stearin wax should chip off easily once they're cold and set.

If all other ways fail, use the ice-cubes-in-a-plastic-bag method, described under the wood section.

Clean the last stubborn bits of wax off with your usual kitchen cleaner. Pour the liquid onto a soft cloth, and with your fingertip in the cloth, firmly rub the wax away.

How to Get Candle Wax off Natural Wood

You'll need:

Ice cubes
A blunt knife

Chill the wax to make it brittle: wrap an icecube tray in plastic (or a few loose ice cubes for awkward or rounded shapes). Place this on the wax. Leave for a few minutes.

Cover the point of a blunt knife with a soft cloth or an old pair of pantyhose. Scrape the wax bits off carefully. Use a damp cloth and a tiny bit of soap to rub the marks. Wipe with a clean cloth.

Polish your wood table, floor, or other piece of furniture, the way you usually do. This also works for tiles.


Reference materials:

The tips for cleaning wax off carpets and wood came from the following source:
Take a Hint. A household encyclopedia, by Jean Cooper, published in 1979. Currently out of print.

Candlemaking: Creative Designs and Techniques, by David Constable. Contains a number of useful wax removal tips.