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Cleaning Wax from Clothing

Category 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.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

3 found this helpful
December 29, 2014

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 1, 20170 found this helpful

My hubby put his tracksuit near my air wick candle burner and got wax all over his top I washed it twice now still not gone what can I do please help

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
March 7, 2017

I had a doll's beige sleeve next to a red candle and the sleeve is now pink. Is there any way to remove the absorbed "wax" from the sleeve. This is not really wax, just the red coloring changing the coloring.

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March 7, 20170 found this helpful

Place a dishcloth or a towel under the item of clothing or tablecloth, then put two paper towels over the top of the wax stain. Set an iron at a low to medium heat and iron over the area. The heated wax will melt again, and come away from the fabric, soaking instead into the paper towel.

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March 8, 20171 found this helpful

If you're trying to target the red colouring it left behind, try a sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate cleaner like OxiClean. I've used the knock-offs at the 99c store with good results.

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August 10, 2016

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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February 27, 20170 found this helpful

In order to get the extra wax out, you first scrape off what you can. Then you take an iron at a low setting, put a piece of brown or wax paper between the heated iron and your belt, and that should do it. If you don't have an iron, you can put the belt in the frezer so that the wax becomes brittle, then remove all the wax you can, then put the belt in boiling water to get at the rest.

more tips here: https://newengl  ndle-wax-stains/

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

Freeze it and scrape it off.

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January 28, 20121 found this helpful

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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1 found this helpful
April 6, 2010

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, 20101 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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December 12, 2015

My daughter sat on a wax strip this summer wearing some elastic sport shorts. They got washed and now I have no idea how to remove the wax. I have tried the flat iron technique, but it only got a tiny amount of wax out. Please help!

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0 found this helpful
April 29, 2013

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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0 found this helpful
January 8, 2009

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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December 29, 20140 found this helpful

How do you get red wax out of a cotton blouse?

By Carol A from Cleveland, MS

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November 5, 20140 found this helpful

I got wax on a pair of pants and it dried before I found it. I put stain removal product on it and washed in cold water. After washing it is still there. What do I do? How do I get this out?

By Cindy

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0 found this helpful
October 26, 2009

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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October 19, 20120 found this helpful

Soy candle wax got on my cotton t-shirt, how do I get it out?

By Cassie

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0 found this helpful
March 27, 2008

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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October 15, 20060 found this helpful

How do you remove turtle wax stains from clothing?

Daphne from Toronto, ON

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July 16, 20080 found this helpful

Here at the Turtle Wax help line, we recommend washing the clothes a few times (3 is a good number) to remove as much turtle wax as possible. Then, place rubbing alcohol on the remaining turtle wax and wash the garment again.

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0 found this helpful
October 29, 2010

Hot wax spilled on my favorite black shirt. How do I get it out?

By Jacqui from NJ

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0 found this helpful
October 28, 2008

How do I get red wax out of a white polyester Christmas dress? Last Christmas my daughter twirled her dress and knocked over a wax melt onto her dress. I haven't done anything with it because I believed there was nothing I could do. Could someone please help and give me some suggestions as what I should do to restore this dress to its beautiful state?

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 29, 20100 found this helpful

How do you remove candle wax from a tee shirt?

Thank you.

By Florence Gail from Indianapolis, IN


Removing Candle Wax From Clothing

Pour hot water on places that have wax, from inside out (the back side of the wax stain). (07/29/2010)

By melanie_43000

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July 24, 20100 found this helpful

How do you remove candle wax from a pair of jeans? I scraped what I could off then washed it, but it's still there.

By Cowgirl from Conroe, TX


Removing Candle Wax From Clothing

I have done this with great success:

Place several layers of paper towel over the wax and use a medium iron to melt and remove the wax. The paper towel will draw the wax upward into itself, so make sure you have separated the front from the back of the shirt so you don't spread the melting wax downward. Change the paper towels as needed and make sure your iron is cleaned off when you are done.

I don't know if you are dealing with color issues (i.e. red wax on white), so the wax may come out, but the dye may leave a stain. After the wax is out I would try a trusted non-bleach treatment, but until the wax is out the red will remain. Good luck! (12/31/2009)

By cherbear49908

Removing Candle Wax From Clothing

Try putting an old t-shirt over the wax spot and ironing with a hot dry iron on the shirt. It should pull some of the wax up into the shirt. Repeat. (01/01/2010)


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December 31, 20090 found this helpful

I just splashed candle wax all over my brand new cotton shirt. My shirt has gold hearts and stars on the front, kind of like decals, or whatever they are called. Can someone help me save it without removing the decorative hearts and stars?



Removing Candle Wax From Clothing

Your ice, clean, then paper bag and iron worked great. Thanks to all of you. The paper towel was too thin though. (02/14/2009)

By nanack

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October 26, 20090 found this helpful

How do you get candle wax out of a cotton shirt? I ironed the wax out with a paper bag. It appeared to be out so I washed it. It still appeared to be out so I dried it a little, but took it out after about 5 minutes. It's still there. Have I ruined my shirt?

Rhonda from Edmond, OK


Candle Wax Stains on Clothing

Had blue candle wax spill all over my son's brand new cotton plaid shirt in about 5 different areas. I heard not to use the iron with blue (non-white) wax as it may set the stain. First, I scraped off as much as I could with a knife. Then threw the shirt in the freezer for an hour and scraped more off.

Then I used a blow dryer to heat up and melt the wax, blotting with paper towels. (It's a pain because the paper towels blow away). Then I soaped it up with a Dawn-like soap (we live in Central America and have this soap called Axion which takes grease off) and with a toothbrush and hot water scrubbed and scrubbed. Rinsed, soaped and scrubbed more. Then put whole shirt in warm water with the soap. Just rinsed it out and it looks like it all came out, wax and stains.
The trick is to keep at it. (05/15/2008)

By Margo

Candle Wax Stains on Clothing

(Sent in by Email)
As I was going thru your answers on how to get candle wax out, I happened to remember what I had read in a magazine on the subject.
My wax left a deep red color on a new and expensive tablecloth. I went to my husband's tool closet and got the WD 40 and sprayed it. Some spots required twice, but it disappeared. After washing, it was good as new.

By ThriftyFun

Candle Wax Stains on Clothing

Use a blow dryer it comes right off. (08/12/2008)

By kyyiy

Candle Wax Stains on Clothing

Most of the remedies for wax spills on clothing, carpets, etc. work well, especially using ice paks to harden the wax, then scrapping the wax off. However, I suggest that we all start using Soy candles in the future. They are environmentally pure, safer, and easier to clean up stains. (12/25/2008)

By Lou B.

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September 2, 20080 found this helpful

Candle wax dripped onto my new jeans. How do I remove it?

Michelle from Fergus, ON


Removing Candle Wax From Clothing

I do a bit of all of the above, and then a bit more for really stubborn wax or oil stains.
First, I freeze it and pick off as much as I can (this bit is only for wax and chewing gum).
Second, I place brown paper on either side of the stain and iron one temperature higher than the garment can take, through the paper of course, until the stain is either gone, or as gone as it is going to get with that method.
Third, I squirt a small amount of dish washing liquid on the stain and rub it in, then pop the garment in the washing machine for a normal wash.
I have never had to throw a garment away because of wax, oil, or chewing gum stains using these methods. (07/16/2007)

By dragonsue

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April 7, 20080 found this helpful
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.

July 16, 20070 found this helpful
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.

December 27, 20060 found this helpful
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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