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.
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?
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!
If it's dry-cleanable, that will do the trick.
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.
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
Knowing the type/exact content of the fabric is critical.
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. :)
How do you remove candle wax from a sweatshirt?
I splashed hot wax on my North Face fleece. It landed mostly on the nylon part. What do I do?
Audra from Lake City
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!
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.
How do you get a candle wax stain out of clothing?
By Rob F. from Brookfield, WI
I used the iron/towel transfer trick (in the archives below) and it worked well :)
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.
How do you remove turtle wax stains from clothing?
Daphne from Toronto, ON
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.
How do you remove candle wax from a tee shirt?
By Florence Gail from Indianapolis, IN
Pour hot water on places that have wax, from inside out (the back side of the wax stain). (07/29/2010)
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
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)
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)
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?
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)
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
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)
(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.
Use a blow dryer it comes right off. (08/12/2008)
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.