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Cleaning Wax from Clothing

The dyes and oils from candle wax (or other waxes) can leave stains on your clothing that can be tough to remove. This is a guide about cleaning wax from clothing.

A green candle that is burning.
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August 10, 2016 Flag
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I had my martial arts belt (silk like material) left in the trunk of my car with several candles. The candles melted and my white belt is now purple, can I get it out even if it's been in there for several months. Help me get my white belt white again.

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December 29, 2014 Flag
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Heat an iron. Damp a face cloth. Put the face cloth on the item of clothing with the crayon or wax to be removed. Place the hot iron on the damp face cloth and move around for 30 seconds until wax or crayon is removed.

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January 28, 2012 Flag
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I was having my nails done and the lady spilled wax all over my pants and shirt. How can I remove it without ruining my clothes?

By p

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January 29, 20120 found this helpful

I would try putting it in the freezer and let it freeze. The wax may turn loose so you can shake it off. That's the way I remove candle wax from glass. Not sure if it will work on fabric but I would give it a try.

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January 30, 20120 found this helpful

Yes, try to freeze it and then snap it off. For the remaining wax, iron it with a dry iron and best thing is a brown paper grocery sack or lunch bag. Iron the bag over the wax, and the wax transfers to the bag. Keep doing this with clean waxless spots on the bag until all the wax is completely gone! I've done this several times, it saves your clothes!

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April 6, 20120 found this helpful

If it's dry-cleanable, that will do the trick.

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April 6, 2010 Flag
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I need to know how to get wax off of my dress. I need it for a wedding. It's just a small little bit of wax. Please help.

By Emily from Grindrod, BC

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April 7, 20100 found this helpful

Knowing the type/exact content of the fabric is critical.

Here's why:

In my opinion/ experience, it first takes knowledge of material, ironing, heat. The temperature used depends upon the fabric content, is sometimes, but not often. All that is required, but also often leaves a tiny visible residue you must determine, according to the location on the garment, if you can live with it, cover it up with a jacket, or jewelry/scarf, etc. The entire process is a risk.

*Note: My rule of thumb is "if it's now ruined and unwearable anyway, what do I have to lose by trying to discover the exact heat setting required AFTER knowing the EXACT fabric content, other than a little time and patience?"

If silk, rayon, acetate, satin, or wool, it's almost impossible to remove. If polyester, or nylon, you can use only a slight

amount of heat from a cooler/ lowest heat iron.

If 60% polyester/40% cotton blend, slightly warmer than all poly. If 80% poly/ 20% cotton, less heat than 60/40 blend. If linen, more heat can be used. If linen/ flax blend, a little more heat still. If mostly cotton, NOT knit/pile (corduroy or velveteen, or velvet) you can use still a little more heat than all of the above.

- If exotic recycled or "painted"/ blends of unknown synthetics, or "treated" fabrics, forget it. (This is what I call disposable, not even washable!)

If fabric is heavy cotton or denim, it's MUCH more difficult to remove.

If fabric is thin, gauzy, washable, it requires a MOST delicate touch, little handling/ practically NO rubbing at all.

It requires a skilled hand, no brushes unless a VERY soft toothbrush with a GENTLE and VERY light pressure/ slow motion, "trial and error" on an inconspicuous area of the fabric to:

1) Determine the exact heat setting that MIGHT work on the fabric

2) Heat adjustment to then use on an inconspicuous area, perhaps an inside pocket of same fabric OR deep

hem extra fabric (both with a tiny amount of the same or similar sort of wax applied to the "trial" area to see what temp is required to melt JUST THE WAX through to the folded paper towel on the underside which you have placed there PRIOR to the "trial," (see below*).

Once you have discovered the fabric content/ proper heat setting that will "melt/soften" the wax drip(s), without destroying the fabric, *place a new multi-folded square of paper toweling on the backside of the fabric behind the damaged spot(s) and do the exact same thing/technique on the original damage.

Finally, using still another new folded paper towel, use about a drop of Dawn dish detergent (undiluted) right on any residue/ as long as the fabric is washable, because you will then gently first rub the detergent into the residue with the end of your fingertip. If it does not seem to be removed, gently and slowly use a soft toothbrush until it seems to be gone.

Lastly, wash the garment to see if it is truly all removed, or "acceptably" removed.

WHEW! As you can see, it's a lot of trouble to try. The reason a dry cleaner charges so much AND makes the customer sign a waiver promising not to sue if it ruins a garment? Only YOU can make the decision as to the worth of your time, your garment, any or all of this advice is to you.

I do so hope this helps in some way. From an unprofessional senior, also the grand-daughter of a seamstress/, sewing factory-hard manual labor-working but now deceased grandmother-who truly knew ALL fabrics during the earliest days of VERY few synthetics, passing her knowledge on to me.

She learned all of this when women wore LOTS of layers of fabric of all sorts (often all at the same time), trim, lace, and dressed to the hilt, head to toe, petticoats/underwear to outer garment, fingertip to fingertip, bows and homemade buttons and trimming, making most of their own clothing before/ during and after the last Great Depression. They even made their own underwear, patterns, and learned to cut down old large clothing to fit their children.

They were so talented and skilled that they also made most of their underwear, lovely ball and wedding gowns, draperies, slip covers, linens, gloves, hats, handkerchiefs, scarves, tablecloths, place mats, belts, handbags, pillows/covers, upholstery, lamp shades, most everything EXCEPT nylon stockings, socks, shoes, and swimsuits, which were almost forbidden to wear during those days, considered MOST improper (another story).

Best of luck and God bless and help you. :)

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

Put a piece of brown paper (or a brown envelope) on the wax and iron over the paper - the wax comes away on the paper. It works brilliantly - I've done this many, many times!


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January 8, 2009 Flag
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I splashed hot wax on my North Face fleece. It landed mostly on the nylon part. What do I do?

Audra from Lake City

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January 11, 20090 found this helpful

The best I could help you with is suggesting to use the hair dryer on it first. Hold it and scrape with a non-sharp knife or finger nail.

My daughter in law brought me the baby's fleece blanket I had just made the baby and a candle had tipped over, splashing hot wax all over it. I threw it in the water on hot wash and it came out clean.

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January 12, 20090 found this helpful

I suggest using a paper bag which you would put on the material and then iron over the bag..the wax should come off on the bag and off your fleece; with fleece it might take a couple of bags (use a big bag and move it around as the wax gets on it, then use a clean spot) to do the trick but this works great for most materials. You may end up with a little spot, but if you do get a little cute iron on patch at your dollar store and cover it up; you should be good to go! good luck from Nancy in Prince Edward island Canada!

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January 12, 20090 found this helpful

You can usually get rid of wax by scraping off as much as you can and then using a press cloth of paper towels and iron the residue with a very low iron. In the end you be left with a grease spot which should respond to spot remover for oily stains.

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April 29, 2013 Flag
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How do you remove candle wax from a sweatshirt?

By Debbie

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May 7, 20130 found this helpful

To remove candle wax from carpet, use a paper towel over the wax and a warm iron to melt the wax up into the paper towel. Use a fresh paper towel until the wax is gone. You might try this

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October 26, 2009 Flag
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How do you get a candle wax stain out of clothing?

By Rob F. from Brookfield, WI

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January 1, 20100 found this helpful

I used the iron/towel transfer trick (in the archives below) and it worked well :)

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November 18, 20100 found this helpful

I used the blow dryer, and it burnt my skirt. The wax is still there, and, Now I have a huge hole in my gorgeous skirt. :/

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March 27, 2008 Flag
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The Berghaus jacket is black. It's material : shell is nylon shell 100% with a polyurethane coating. Please help as it cost a lot of money.

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March 29, 20080 found this helpful

If it's an expensive jacket, I would suggest you take it to a professional cleaner. =)

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