Foolproof Tricks to Remove Candle Wax from Clothes, Floors and Furniture
Removing candle wax when it’s dry is essential to prevent stains and product residue. Although the material often seems to melt into surfaces, there are a few simple tricks to implement.
But why make such a big deal about melted wax? Generally, it’s usually due to how unsightly an object impregnated with wax looks and little is said about the reactions that contact with this element could cause to health.
Yes, candles look beautiful, decorative, and many smell delicious. However, we must be cautious with them, even after use. Let’s learn how to clean up the remains.
What is candle wax?
Wax is a solid, easily melted substance of vegetable, animal, or mineral origin. Wax is malleable and not soluble in water. It has multiple uses; one of the most common is the manufacture of candles.
Admitting a diversity of forms, colors, and scents, candles consist of a wick and a fuel, which in this case is wax, although it can also be grease or kerosene. The latter is the most common, due to its similarity to the synthetic secretion produced by bees.
According to the National Candle Association, quality candle waxes offer a clean and safe burn, thanks to the blends chosen by the manufacturers. However, one of the consequences of burning is what spills out.
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Why is it important to remove candle wax from surfaces?
Apart from how unpleasant a textile, floor, or furniture looks bathed with melted candle pieces, it’s essential to remove the leftover to avoid health-related situations.
As it melts and sticks to surfaces, a person is prone to touch the wax. And if someone is allergic to the ingredients or color, they may experience a reaction just from touching the material, as reviewed by Medline Plus.
Effects include symptoms such as the following:
- Blisters or rashes
If you suffer from these allergies, it’s necessary to remove the wax with gloves.
Tips for removing candle wax from clothing, floors, and furniture
Especially at Christmas time, candles tend to be used as part of the decorations. They are placed near the furniture, on shelves, or in places where they complement the decorations. In all cases, the safety measures recommended by the Latin American Association of Candle Manufacturers are essential.
While these elements are lit, it’s almost inevitable that the wax stains the area where you placed the candle or that, when moving it, a drop falls on your clothes, on the carpet, or on a piece of furniture.
If the match remains on any of these objects, the key is to check the manufacturer’s instructions before trying any method to clean it. It’s likely that there will be some specific advice. If there are no instructions, it’s feasible to perform the following tricks.
Never touch wax if it’s is hot! The basic tip for removal is to wait until it cools.
Scraping with the edge of a plastic card or with a spreader knife works if the wax is on clothing or furniture. Try not to rub against the fibers, as this hinders the process.
Mineral spirits or turpentine is a solvent formulation often used in the paint and dry cleaning industry, as noted by the National Fuels, Alcohol, and Portland Administration. It can be used to clean candle wax on vinyl floors by wiping it with a cloth just dipped in the substance.
Since this is a potent chemical, don’t forget to protect your hands and wear a mask. The Archivos Argentinos de Dermatología points out that dermatitis caused by this substance is infrequent, but it doesn’t reduce the probability of suffering the affection, through direct contact or through its derivatives.
Subject it to heat
Heat is the appropriate resource to remove the melted wax from the floor. One of the ways is to wet it with a bit of hot water to dissolve the wax and bring it to the surface. Then, you clean it with soap and water.
Another system is to run a hair dryer over it. Turn on the highest heat setting on the appliance and let the air blow directly onto the stained floor until the wax becomes liquid. While it transforms, wipe it with a cloth.
The iron also helps to remove the candle film on clothes, tablecloths, and cloth napkins. The procedure consists of covering the wax with absorbent paper towels and ironing at medium heat, changing the papers as they soak in.
Do not use towels with colored figures, because the high temperatures will cause them to transfer to the fabric.
Take advantage of the cold
Freezing candle wax stands out among the strategies to remove it, because the cold hardens it and simplifies cleaning. However, if the wax fell on a small piece of fabric or a moderately sized object, you could take it to the freezer for a while, wait for it to freeze, and then scrape it off.
When the remains are on a piece of furniture, the suggestion is to take ice cubes wrapped in an absorbent cloth and put them on the wax. After an hour, you should be able to peel it off without any problems. If there are still chunks, resort to scraping.
Putting the ice in plastic bags and rubbing the wax stuck on the carpets is a step before shampooing, drying them in the sun, and vacuuming them to get them totally clean.
Wash with special detergents
Detergents help remove candle wax from brick, cement, and tile floors. The first thing you have to do is scrape and, in the end, wash with a mixture of water and detergent.
Likewise, washing wax-stained clothes in a washing machine is a foolproof trick for removing the residues, after filing or freezing the wax.
Use special cleaners
Multi-purpose cleaning sprays or upholstery cleaning fluids are ideal for this purpose. Simply spray the cleaner on the wax and wipe with a sponge or microfiber cloth dampened with water.
Vinegar or alcohol
Both liquids are effective when the wax to be removed is quite old. White vinegar and water, in equal parts, are useful on vinyl and wood floors because they clean and do not fade. Wipe with a cloth until there are no traces of the candle.
Alcohol removes stubborn wax on fabrics. The recipe includes two parts isopropyl alcohol to two parts water, rub with a towel, and rinse with cold water. The procedure is repeated until the garment is completely clean.
Like this article? You may also like to read: How to Remove Resin Stains from Your Clothes Without Damaging Them
A bonus tip: Recycle the candle wax you manage to remove
The candle wax that results from scraping is useful in crafts or DIY. Collect the product in a glass jar and have it available when you need it.
The way you recycle the wax is by melting it again and incorporating a wick to make another candle. It’s also an effective resource when waxing hinges and doors or as a vintage stamp for letters.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Aguarrás mineral. Administración Nacional de Combustibles, Alcohol y Portland. Uruguay; 2020. https://www.ancap.com.uy/innovaportal/file/1685/1/aguarras-mineral—ult.-revision-15_07_2020.pdf
- Intoxicación con candelas (velas, espermas). Medline Plus. Biblioteca Nacional de Medicina. Estados Unidos; 2021. https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/article/002766.htm
- Preguntas sobre la seguridad de las velas. Asociación Nacional de Velas. Estados Unidos. https://candles.org/faqs/
- Russo JP. Dermatitis por contacto a trementina. Archivos Argentinos de Dermatología. Vol. 65. Núm. 3. pp. 81-85. Argentina; 2015. http://www.archivosdermato.org.ar/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/81Russo-Dermatitis-de-contacto-por-trementina.pdf
- Seguridad en el quemado. Asociación Latinoamericana de Fabricantes de Velas. Estados Unidos. https://alafave.org/nosotros/186-2/?lang=es/