Bright candles on a birthday cake, sophisticated candles for a family dinner – candles make many occasions even more special! However, dripping wax can transform clean clothing into a waxy mess! If you’re keen to learn how to remove candle wax from clothes, then here’s a step-by-step guide that’s quick, easy to follow, and (most importantly) effective.
Before you start: when removing any stain, it’s important to check the laundry product and garment care labels first to make certain your method is suitable for your fabric. Use our article on interpreting wash care symbols and our stain removal tips to find fabric-specific advice on how to get candle wax out of clothes if you’re unsure.
How to Remove Candle Wax from Clothes in 5 Steps
Step 1: Let It Dry First
With most stains, it’s best to tackle them as soon as possible. Usually, removing substances before they’ve had chance to sink into the material makes removing stains a much easier process – but not with candle wax. While it’s very tempting to head to the sink as soon as the wax hits the fabric, don’t! To understand how to get wax out of clothes properly, let the wax dry before you even begin trying to clean it. Either allow it to dry naturally, or place a few ice cubes on it to speed the process up.
Step 2: Scrape it Off
Once the wax has dried, you should be able to remove most of it, carefully scraping away from your body to avoid accidents. You should be able to take off the top layers of the wax, leaving just the section that has sunk into the fabric itself.
You’ll want to use a different scraping implement depending on the type of fabric you’re dealing with. A sharper implement, such as a good knife, undoubtedly works best, but one wrong move and you could end up making a hole in delicate fabrics. For anything that’s quite fragile, such as silk, use a spoon and gently skim across the surface rather than digging in.
Step 3: Steam it Out
Now you’re just left with the wax that’s attached to the fibres of the clothing. So how do you coax it out of the fabric? The trick is to carefully heat the wax, and encourage it to soak into something else, such as blotting paper. A paper towel can also work well, but it’s better to avoid this if you’re dealing with fluffy fabrics like fleece, wool, or velvet – you don’t want any little bits of tissue getting stuck amongst the fibres.
Place the paper towels or blotting paper both over and under the waxy residue, then place a thin towel on top and iron through the towel. The heat will melt the wax, while the absorbent paper will attract what’s left of the stain.
Step 4: Colour Removal
You’ll only need to complete this step if the wax in question is colourful, and your clothes are pale or white enough for the mark to show up brightly. If the fabric and the wax are relatively similar in colour, you should be able to skip this step without it affecting the outcome. While most of the wax should now be gone, the dye may still be noticeable; all you need is a good pre-wash stain removal treatment.
You can use Persil small & mighty bio as a pre-treatment – just pop the Stain Eraser Ball out of the bottle, pour a small amount of the liquid onto the stain, and give the stain a rub with the dimples on the ball.
Step 5: Wash as Normal
A quick washing machine cycle is all you need to finish off the cleaning process and get any remaining wax or dye out of your clothes. Use the setting you’d normally use for this particular fabric, along with an effective stain removing detergent – Persil small & mighty bio is a good choice.
Give the garment a check when it comes out of the machine, just to make sure the stain is all gone, before you leave it to dry. If any of the stain remains, just follow the instructions above and use the Stain Eraser Ball as a pre-treatment and then wash the item again. So, there’s no need to banish candles from your home – just make sure you keep that blotting paper handy! For more stain removal advice, check out our Solve Your Stain section!