Candle Wax Removal    

Tips for Cleaning up Candle Wax Spills


Dripped candle waxes wreck table tops, and play havoc with your furniture and fabrics. Restore your precious household items to their former glory. Use these inexpensive tricks to clean hardened wax from the following surfaces:
















How to Remove Wax from Candlesticks

Glass candlesticks: place the candlestick in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. The wax chips off easily.

Then wash the candlestick in warm water and clean wax stains with dishwashing liquid. Use a rough sponge or scourer loaded with undiluted dishwashing liquids on any remaining stubborn wax bits.

Metal candle holders: up to an hour in the fridge, and the wax chips off easily. If you're in a tearing 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 is an excellent candle wax remover, and won't rust these metal types. 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. A short submersion in hot water, and a light rub to dry the liquid wax off afterwards, won't do it any harm.

Wrought iron rusts quite easily, so the fridge technique is recommended. Is the candle holder too big for your fridge? Stick these large wrought iron candelabra into the deep freeze, (drying them off well afterwards). Or use the ice-cube-in-plastic-bag method, described under the wood section.

Do not pour molten-wax-and-water mixtures down the kitchen sink or drain! The wax sets, forming a solid mass which blocks pipes. Leave the wax in the water until cool. Lift the wax layer off and discard. You can then safely pour the left-over water away.

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How to Clean a Carpet Stained with Candle Wax

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 spot 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!

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Removing Melted Wax from Fabric

You'll need:

Paper towels
An iron
Dry cleaning fluid

Whether you're cleaning spilt candle wax from linen tablecloths, cotton clothing or denim jeans, you will follow the same basic procedure. If your wax spill is on a couch (or suchlike), with no wall socket nearby, warm the iron up first and move it to the required location. In this case, you can also warm it up on your stove-top.

You need a hot iron. Lukewarm won't do.

Cover the spilled wax with paper towels. For clothes, a tablecloth, etc., sandwich the affected area between paper towels. Iron over the paper towels. As the wax melts, the paper towels soak up and absorb the candle fat.

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

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How to Remove Wax from a Stove Top

A thick, warm, not-yet-set layer of wax should lift off easily with a knife or spatula. A layer of wax containing stearin should chip off easily once it's cold and set.

If all else fails, use the ice-cube-in-plastic-bag method, described under the wood section.

Clean the last remaining stubborn bits of wax off with undiluted dishwashing liquid (or your usual kitchen cleaner). Pour the liquid onto a soft cloth, and with your fingertip in the cloth, firmly rub the wax off.

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How to Remove Candle Wax from 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 wooden item or piece of furniture the way you usually do.

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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. I found an original copy in my local library. Unfortunately, not currently for sale.

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

 

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