Whether you're preparing for a romantic evening, a birthday party, Hanukah, or freshening your home with scented candles, it's likely that you'll end up with some candle wax somewhere. We've all picked at it with fingernails or butter knifes attempting to scrape what little we can off of the surface, usually at the cost of finger nails and the table. This Instructable will walk you through easy steps to safely and effectively remove wax from the most common items in your household.
Step 1: Hard Surfaces
- Ice Cube
- Plastic Card (i.e. credit card, library card, etc)
- Ziplock* (optional)
- Remove the candle from the wax puddle gently with your hands.
- Place your ice cube directly on top of your hardened wax. If you are worried about water stains as the ice melts, put your ice cube in a ziplock before placing it on top of the wax.
- Wait for up to 2 minutes.
- Remove the ice cube.
- Take your plastic card, and gently scrape your hardened wax off your wood surface. It should come off within seconds, if it is not replace your ice cube and wait for a longer period of time before trying to scrape up your wax. I use plastic cards so that the risk of scraping your table or surface is minimized.
- Wash with soapy water. If your hard surface is wood, let it dry and then if necessary, refinish with butchers block wax or another wood product.
TIP: I've also read that you can cool the wax by blowing compressed air on it. So if you have compressed air for cleaning your keyboard or something else, feel free to try it instead of an ice cube. I have NOT yet tried this method!
Step 2: Carpet
- Paper Towels
- Old Dish Towel
- Place a folded paper towel on top of your hardened candle wax.
- Place an old dish towel on top of the paper towel. This will prevent wax from absorbing through the paper towel and on to your iron.
- Heat your iron to the appropriate temperature for your dish cloth and carpet.
- Run your iron over your dish towel using gentle sweeping motions to avoid burning the towel and carpet.
- Replace the paper towels as they absorb melted wax. A fresh paper towel will continue to absorb wax. If you leave the same paper towel, the wax will continue to melt from the paper towel and spread.
- Once all of the wax has been melted and reabsorbed into your paper towels, you're done!
- If a stain persists after the wax is gone, use your favorite, appropriate carpet cleaner and blot till stain is removed.
Step 3: Fabric
- Ice Cube
- Plastic Card or A Dull Butter Knife
- Paper towels
- Old Dish Towel
- Place an ice cube on top of your wax stain and leave for several minutes. *You could also put the entire fabric item in the freezer, if it is a large stain.
- Scrape the wax with either a plastic card at a 45 degree angle or the back side of the blade of a dull butter knife while pulling the fabric taut. Remove as much of the wax as possible.
- Place a paper towel folded in half on top of and below your wax stain.
- Place your old dish towel on top of the paper towel that is currently on top. This will prevent wax from getting on your iron.
- With a hot iron (temperature set for your particular fabric), make sweeping motions on top of your dish towel. Keep the iron moving so that it doesn't burn your towel.
- Replace paper towels as it absorbs wax. A fresh paper towel will continue to absorb wax. If you leave the same paper towel, the wax will continue to melt from the paper towel and spread.
- Let your fabric dry and send it through the wash!
- If a wax stain persists, or if it was colored wax, use your favorite stain remover appropriate for you fabric and wash again.
NOTE: For this step, washable fibers include the following: cotton, linen, modacrylic, nylon, polyester, spandex, and washable wool.
NOTE #2: Darker candles (dark purples, blues, reds, greens, etc) will leave longer lasting and harder to remove stains. At the very least you should be able to lighten it significantly with this method if not get rid of it all together.
Step 4: Candle Jars
- Tea Pot/Boiling Water
- Paper Towel
- Boil water in your tea pot or in a pot. I prefer in a tea pot so that it is easy to pour once the water has boiled.
- Place a paper towel under your candle jar. This will catch any overflowing wax or water if you accidentally pour too much into your jar in the next step.
- Pour the boiling water into your candle jar. You will begin to see the candle wax melt and float to the surface.
- Wait for the wax at the surface of the water to cool as well as for the water itself to cool. Then simply remove the wax from the water's surface with your finger (DO NOT DO THIS WHILE THE WATER IS HOT).
- If necessary, repeat this process until all of the wax has been melted and removed.
- You can scrape out any remaining small fragments of wax with a paper towel.
Step 5: Final Tip
A quick tip to help prevent future wax stains. Fill a glass or bowl or other appropriate candle holder with enough water to surround the candle. If the wax melts and spills over, it will spill into the water where it will cool and harden at the surface. A little water goes a long way!