How to Remove Candle Wax
Help! There's Candle Wax on My Tablecloth!
Candles are beautiful, relaxing, and instantly set the mood for romance. Unfortunately, they can also be messy! If you've ever had candle wax drip onto your carpet, wood furniture, or fine linen tablecloth, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Fortunately, you can safely remove candle wax from almost any surface, regardless if it's paraffin or soy wax. Removing candle wax from carpets can be as simple as using a soft, slightly damp cloth and an iron.
If you need to remove wax from a wood surface, that's even simpler: You can either heat it up with a hair dryer and rub it off with a cloth, or freeze it with ice and gently scrape the wax off with a credit card.
It's even possible to remove candle wax from painted walls and CDs without damaging them. All it takes is heat and gentle persuasion.
Read on to learn tips on how to remove candle wax from your carpet, tabletops, and wherever else wax happens to drip!
Table of Contents
How to Remove Candle Wax from Carpets
Hot wax dripped on your carpet, you say? Let's go over some tips to remove that stuff.
- Allow the wax to dry. It's easier to remove dry wax without making a mess.
- Freeze it. Put some ice cubes in a plastic bag, then leave it on the area until the wax is as hard as can be.
- Scrape the excess with a spoon or a dull knife. You probably won't get it all, but that's OK. Just get most of it up if you can. By the way, only use a dull knife; a serrated one could damage the fibers.
- Spread a damp white cloth over the wax stain. It's worth noting that most people recommend a brown paper bag, but a damp cloth will be helpful...
- Iron the cloth (or bag). The iron against the damp cloth will produce steam that sucks the wax right up. But a paper bag works fine too.
WARNING! Most modern homes have carpet made from poly-fibers, which will melt at hot temperatures. Keep the iron at a low setting to prevent this from happening.
If the wax is tinted, it may have left an ugly stain on your carpet. If that's the case, try removing it with some rubbing alcohol. If there's still some grease, sprinkle some baking soda on the spot and leave it overnight. Vacuum it up the next morning.
How to Remove Candle Wax from Wood Furniture
Wax dripping over a beautiful wood tabletop is a common problem. There are actually two solutions for removing wax. Let's start with the hot method:
- Warm up the wax with a hairdryer. That's right, get it nice and gooey.
- Start wiping it up with a soft cloth. Preferably a cloth you don't care too much about.
- Clean the remaining residue with a vinegar solution. One part vinegar, one part water.
If that doesn't sound appealing, try the cold method:
- Freeze the wax with ice cubes. Make sure the ice is tightly sealed in a plastic bag. You don't want water dripping on the wood.
- Carefully scrape off with a credit card or a butter knife. Be extremely careful! Chip off little bits at a time. If you're in a hurry, you risk gouging the wood. If possible, try wrapping a paper towel around your tool.
Removing Candle Wax with a Paper Bag and Iron
A demonstration of removing candle wax spills.
The Candle Poll
What's your favorite type of candle?
How to Remove Candle Wax from Cloth
What if candle wax has marred your lovely tablecloth or napkins? And how do you remove candle wax from clothes? Don't worry, there's a solution for that too.
- Scrape the excess. Use a dull knife, preferably a butter knife. You don't want a serrated knife that will snag the fabric.
- Place a flat paper bag or cloth over the stain.
- Iron the stain through the bag. You'll get the wax to stick to the paper.
If there's a stain, pre-treat it with a stain removal solution before tossing it in the wash. If you don't have any stain removal, try rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
How to Remove Wax from Painted Walls
Wax on the walls is unusual, but it happens on occasion. Fortunately, you should be able to remove the wax without damaging the paint.
- Heat the wax with a hairdryer.
- Gently scrape off with a credit card or very dull knife.
If a dark grease spot remains, try rubbing it down with a very mild vinegar solution (more water than vinegar).
How to Remove Candle Wax from Candle Holders
After you've burned down your candle, you'd probably like to reuse the candle holder. So what's the quickest way to get rid of the wax?
Answer: Pop it in the freezer for a few hours. Once the wax is nice and frozen, it should snap out easily. It might need some gentle persuasion with a dull knife, preferably wrapped in a paper towel to prevent scratching.
How to Remove Candle Wax from a CD
How did you get wax on your CD? Oh well, things happen. Here's how you remove candle wax from CDs:
- Run hot water over the CD. This should come straight from the faucet. Don't use boiling water from a tea kettle!
- Gently rub with a soft cloth. Remember, rub from the center out! Don't rub in a circle.
Some people also recommend putting the CD in the freezer for several hours before trying to gently pick the wax off.
How to Prevent Candle Wax Stains
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you'd rather avoid scraping and ironing up wax stains, here are some tips to avoid drippy accidents.
- Avoid burning candles near drafts. Vents can cause your candles to smoke and burn unevenly.
- Use a candle snuffer to put out your candles. If you don't have a snuffer, use a small glass.
- Don't move a candle if the wax hasn't solidified yet. You're inviting disaster if you move a candle when all the wax is still a hot liquid.
- Buy quality candles. Cheaper candles tend to be made from inferior materials that encourage dripping and staining.
Scented Jar Candles
Tease your senses with these candle scents: Banana nut bread, sugar cookies, and apple pie.
Do you have any candle wax horror stories or tips of your own to share?