Posted by Joe Polka on 7/17/2014 to Candle Tip
DEALING WITH CANDLE WAX SPILLS EFFECTIVELY
Candles are a nice presence in any room in your house, but sometimes candlelit ambiance results in a mess. If you have unsightly dried candle wax on your tablecloth, clothing, or candlestick that you can't seem to remove, relax... with the right approach, cleaning candle wax spills isn't difficult.
GET OUT YOUR BLOW DRYER
In this method, a blow dryer set on high heat is used to reheat and melt the candle wax so that it can be easily wiped up. This is a great method for hard surfaces like tabletops and candlesticks. It's not quite as good of a choice for fabrics, especially if the wax is colored, as melting the wax without immediately soaking it up can cause the stain to spread.
• Blow dry the wax until it melts. Set your blow dryer to the hottest setting and use it to heat up the wax. As you do so, try not blow the wax around. Wax is easier to wipe up if it's all in one puddle, rather than spread out.
• Wipe it away. Use a cheap cloth, paper or paper towel to wipe away the melted wax. Wax can be difficult to get out of the cloth or towel you use to wipe up the mess, so be sure not to use your "nice" towels. An old rag or a disposable paper towel will do the trick.
• Get rid of leftover residue. If there's a film of wax left over, get rid of it with a little spray cleaner and a damp rag or sponge. All-purpose cleaning fluid works fine. If you're working on a fragile surface like a fine wooden tabletop, be sure not to damage your surface with an abrasive rag or sponge.
• Repeat as necessary. If any bits of wax remain, try melting them again with the blow dryer and wiping them up, then using spray cleaner again. Repeat until completely clean.
USE A HOT IRON
• Set an iron to medium heat. This method is similar to the blow dryer method in that it removes dried candle wax by melting it. However, this method differs in that it allows you to soak up wax as it melts, rather than wipe it up when it's all melted. Because of this, it's a great choice for wax that's stuck to fabric or clothing.
• Layer paper towels or paper grocery bags over the wax. As your iron heats, put the paper on top of the troublesome wax, making sure that they are larger than the iron. Cover the layer of paper towels with a fabric kitchen towel.
• Place the iron on the kitchen towel. Gently rub the iron back and forth as you would if you were ironing clothes. This will gradually heat and melt the wax, which will be absorbed by the layer of paper towels or paper as it melts. Keeping the iron in constant, gentle motion prevents it from burning your towel.
• Replace the wax-absorbing paper as necessary.Periodically remove the iron and towels to check your progress. If your paper towels start to appear saturated with liquid wax, discard them and replace them with new paper towels. Repeat until the wax is fully absorbed.
◦ Replacing saturated paper towels is important. Don’t allow your paper to become completely soaked with wax and continue working. You will only spread hot wax around the fabric, rather than soaking it up. This will spread the wax further.
• Turn off the iron. When you’re not making any more progress on the candle wax, turn off your iron and discard the used paper towels. When you've soaked up all the wax you can, if anything remains, it should only be a slight discoloration in the fabric, and only if the candle wax was colored.
• Remove any remaining color using carpet cleaner. To get any lingering discoloration out of your fabric, switch to a carpet or fabric cleaner. Use one that won't damage your fabric, and scrub gently with a wet rag after allowing the cleaner to soak in.