Removing Beeswax from Fabric

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 25, 2013)

Did you know that beeswax has many uses beyond that of making candles? It is used in the preparation of cosmetics, prescription drugs, and shoe and furniture polishes. Beeswax is also used as an adhesive in the production of accordions, as filler in the assembly of pool tables, a protective coating for aged cheeses, and an ingredient in moustache and dreadlock wax.

By far, however, the largest use of beeswax is for making fine candles. The Roman Catholic Church uses beeswax exclusively for their ceremonial candles, and most Eastern Orthodox religions use beeswax for their church candles primarily because the wax burns more cleanly than does paraffin.

While it is true that beeswax candles burn more efficiently and smoke-free than their paraffin counterparts, and provide a warmer flame glow, it is just as difficult to remove beeswax from clothing and fabrics as it is to remove paraffin wax.

How do you remove beeswax from fabrics? Follow these steps to remove the wax without harming the fabric beneath:

  1. Allow the wax to dry completely before attempting to remove it.
  2. Place the fabric into your freezer for at least an hour.
  3. Remove the fabric from the freezer and gently peel away the wax, without disturbing the fabric fibers. If the wax is imbedded deep into the fibers, crinkle the fabric and try to crack the frozen wax until it falls from the fabric.
  4. Heat your clothing iron to the lowest heat setting.
  5. Using an ironing board or a stiff surface, cover the board or surface with several layers of paper toweling. Place the waxed fabric on top of the paper towels, and then place several more layers of paper toweling on top of the waxed area.
  6. Use the heated iron to melt the remaining wax, moving the iron as you go, allowing the wax to melt into the paper toweling above and below the fabric.

Repeat step 6 until all of the wax has been removed from the fabric. If beeswax has dripped onto fabric furniture, you can remove the cushion cover and place it in your freezer. If you have non-removable cushion covers, use a piece of ice to freeze the wax entirely, peel it away, and then apply heat from your iron to melt the wax from the fabric, using paper toweling as a buffer.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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