How to Remove Candle Wax Stains from Clothes and Tablecloths

How to Remove Candle Wax Stains from Clothes and Tablecloths

There’s nothing like candles to set a vibe – just ask the Danes. A whopping 13 pounds of wax is melted each year, per person, according to The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well. While Danes incorporate luminescence into everyday living without occasion, North Americans tend to use candles to burn birthday celebrations and holiday traditions into memory. However, a quick slip of the grip when handling a freshly extinguished flame or too intense a breath when blowing one out can create quite the mess. Here’s how to remove wax from clothes and tablecloths – before it becomes a forever stain.

Does candle wax stain?

Modern candles are made of paraffin wax (a product of hydrocarbon and petroleum) or organic materials like beeswax and soy. Depending on the type, once the hardened wax has been removed from a textile, it may leave behind a stain or oily residue. Additionally, if the candle is a coloured one, traces of the pigment or anilines (an oily, synthetic chemical substrate) used to dye it may still linger.

How to remove wax from clothing in six easy steps

Step 1: Allow the wax to harden, either by air drying or placing in a freezer. The harder the wax, the easier it will be to remove from the textile.

Step 2: Use a dull tool, like a butter knife, to flake the wax off of the garment. Take care not to scrape, which can deposit wax deeper into the fibre.

Step 3: If any residue remains, heat an iron on a non-steam setting, appropriate to the fabric type. (Check the garment care label symbols first!) Place a sheet of paper towel atop the lingering wax. Press the iron over the waxy residue until it melts; the absorbency of the towel should draw the wax off the textile and onto the paper towel.

Step 4: Inspect the item to see if any mark remains, whether an oily residue from the wax or traces of dye. If so, apply a high-performance stain remover, gently agitating it into the blemish with your fingers. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes.

How to create a concentrated stain remover with Tru Earth eco-laundry strips: First, tear a strip into small pieces and place in a shallow bowl. Add one tablespoon (15ml) of tap-hot water to begin dissolving it. Stir with a spoon to form a paste, adding small volumes of water as needed. Smear the concentrate atop the stain, gently pressing the mixture into it to allow the surfactant to get to work, releasing the residues from the fabric.

Step 5: Toss the item in the washer alongside a Tru Earth laundry eco-strip and select the item’s typical setting; then hang dry. For hand-wash-only items, tear the strip into pieces, place the bits in a sink or basin, and fill with tap-hot water. Allow it to soak, then agitate the article, rinse and hang dry.

*Do not resume machine-drying a stained item until you are finished treating it. Heat will only serve to set a stain deeper into the fabric.

Step 6: Inspect the blemish. If needed, return to step four and then launder again. If the stain persists, bring to a dry cleaner.

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