How to Remove Candle Wax Stains from Clothes

Candles can add a lovely touch to special occasions, but when wax ends up on your clothes, it can be a real hassle. No need to fret, though – we’ve got some practical tips to help you get rid of that wax stain!

Whether it’s the glow of birthday cake candles or the ambiance of dinner candles, these moments can be memorable. Unfortunately, the wax they leave behind on your clothing is less enjoyable. If you’re wondering how to tackle this issue, here’s a simple, step-by-step guide that’s not only quick and easy to follow but also effective.

Before you begin, always check the care labels on your laundry products and garments to ensure that the method you choose is suitable for your fabric. If you’re uncertain, consult our guide on wash care symbols and stain removal tips for fabric-specific advice on removing candle wax from clothes.

Here’s how to remove candle wax from clothes in five straightforward steps:

Step 1: Allow It to Dry First

While it’s typically advisable to address stains promptly, candle wax requires a different approach. Instead of rushing to clean it up immediately, let the wax dry first. Allowing it to dry naturally or using a few ice cubes can speed up the process. This initial step is crucial for effectively removing wax from clothes.

Step 2: Scrape it Off

Once the wax has dried, you can remove most of it by carefully scraping away from your body to prevent accidents. Take off the top layers of the wax, leaving only the part that has sunk into the fabric.

Choose a scraping tool based on the fabric type. A sharper tool like a knife works well, but be cautious with delicate fabrics to avoid creating holes. For fragile materials like silk, use a spoon and gently skim across the surface instead of digging in.

Step 3: Steam it Out

Now, you’re left with wax clinging to the fabric fibers. How do you coax it out? The trick is to gently heat the wax and encourage it to transfer onto something else, like blotting paper. Paper towels can also work, but be cautious with fluffy fabrics such as fleece, wool, or velvet to avoid bits of tissue getting stuck in the fibers.

Place the blotting paper or paper towels both over and under the waxy residue, then cover with a thin towel and iron through the towel. The heat will melt the wax, and the absorbent paper will attract the remaining stain.

Step 4: Color Removal

This step is only necessary if the wax is colorful, and your clothes are light or white enough for the stain to be noticeable. If the fabric and wax are similar in color, you can skip this step. While most of the wax should be gone by now, the dye might still be visible. To address this, use a good pre-wash stain removal treatment.

You can use Persil Small & Mighty Bio as a pre-treatment. Simply remove the Stain Eraser Ball from the bottle, pour a small amount of the liquid onto the stain, and rub the stain with the dimples on the ball.

Step 5: Wash as Normal

Conclude the cleaning process with a regular washing machine cycle to remove any remaining wax or dye from your clothes. Use the usual setting for the fabric, along with an effective stain-removing detergent like Persil Small & Mighty Bio.

Check the garment when it comes out of the machine to ensure the stain is completely gone before letting it dry. If any stain remains, follow the above instructions, use the Stain Eraser Ball as a pre-treatment, and wash the item again. No need to banish candles from your home – just keep that blotting paper handy! For more stain removal advice, explore our Solve Your Stain section.

Alternative Methods for Wax Removal

Boiling Water Method

To remove wax, dip the affected clothing into a large pot of boiling water with added baking soda. Fill a kettle halfway, bring it to a boil, and dissolve five to six tablespoons of baking soda in a mixing bowl. Gently dip the waxed garment into the boiling water using a stick or rod.

The wax should soften and fall off within a minute or two. Be cautious not to leave delicate fabrics in boiling water for too long to prevent damage. For more delicate clothing like fleece, cover the waxed area with a towel and iron on top to absorb the wax without harming the fabric.

Vegetable Oil or Carpet Cleaner

For minor stains, apply a dollop of vegetable oil to the wax, scrape away the softened wax, and then wash. The same process can be done using a carpet cleaner.

Freezer Method

Place the clothing in the freezer for about an hour. If wax remains, position the waxed area over a large bowl, secure it with elastic bands, pour boiling water over the wax, and wash.

Specific Wax Removal Techniques

Paraffin Candle Wax

Allow the wax to cool and dry, then gently scrape off the excess. Re-melt the wax with gentle heat under an iron and dab the affected area with a paper towel.

Hard Wax

Carefully scrape or peel solid clumps of hard wax from the fabric. Re-melt any remaining wax and wipe the area with a paper towel to remove wax settled within microscopic gaps on textured materials.

Wax Removal Without an Iron

If you lack an iron, use a blow-dryer on a low setting or hang the clothing near a heater to remove wax marks. Ensure you supervise the process to prevent damage or fire concerns.

Removing Colored Candle Stains

Colored candle wax can be removed using the methods mentioned earlier, but it may leave colored stains. Act promptly by washing the item with a suitable detergent, treating it with a white vinegar solution, or using oxygen bleach to remove the stains.

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