Cleaning Wax Spills

by Bonnie Roberts
(last updated April 5, 2021)

You've tried cleaning up spilled wax with cleaning products, but that hasn't worked. Why? Because candle wax is not water soluble. Don't worry; with a little know-how, it's really a piece of cake to clean it up. The tips below are organized into four different kinds of surfaces that you may need to remove wax from.

  • Carpet and rugs: If the spilled wax is still hot, quickly wick up as much as you can with a paper towel. If it has hardened, break up and remove any bulky pieces of wax. Fold up a piece of paper towel or cloth and place it over the wax spill. Apply an iron set on low heat to the paper towel. Allow the paper towel to wick up the wax as it melts. Get new paper towels or move to a different area of cloth so that you'll always have a clean wicking surface. Continue in this manner until all the wax has been wicked up.
  • Glass and painted surfaces: Let wax harden, then put 2 ice cubes in a plastic bag and apply them to one small area of spilled wax. Use a blunt edge, such as your fingernail, a butter knife, or a putty knife to remove the cold wax. It will become brittle and flake off easily. Dispose of the wax pieces. Clean the surface with rubbing alcohol to remove any residue.
  • Wood and floors: Soften the spilled wax with a hairdryer on medium heat. Use a cloth to wipe off the melting wax. Then wipe and polish the area with vinegar diluted with water to remove any residue.
  • Upholstery and fabric: Scrape away as much as the hardened wax as you can with a blunt instrument. Put some brown paper over the affected area. Place the tip of a warm iron on the paper and pull the paper up as the wax melts and sticks to it. Keep moving the paper around and using the iron until all the wax is wicked up. If there's a stain from wax dyes, clean it with a sponge, denatured alcohol and water.

Using heat or cold should remove wax every time. To avoid spills in the first place, use a snuffer to put out a candle instead of blowing it out. Don't move a candle while the wax is still hot. Use candle holders that are large enough to catch any spills or drips.

Author Bio

Bonnie Roberts

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