An image of circular candles in a variety of colours.

How to get candle wax out of clothes – even delicate fabrics

Whether you’re trying to create a magical mood or just trying to get by during a power cut, candlelight is as beautiful as it is useful. But in the bright light of day, the little puddles of wax left on your sleeves, tablecloths, and trousers can be less enchanting. Luckily, wax stain removal can be simple, even if you’re trying to clean up a delicate silk blouse or woolly jumper. Here’s how to get candle wax out of clothes the gentle way.


How to remove wax stains from clothing – delicates included

Ready for some wax stain removal? Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Let it dry. Unlike with many stains, there’s no need to pounce on a splash of candle wax immediately. Put your feet up for a little while instead, and allow the wax to dry – it will be much easier to remove once it has hardened. If you’re impatient to get started, try putting the stained fabric in the freezer or rubbing an ice cube over the area to speed things along. 
  2. Lift the wax away from the fabric. A blunt knife is handy for removing wax stains. Be gentle – you don’t want to pull at the fibres or tear the material. Carefully slip the knife under the edge of the stain and lift away as much wax as possible. 
  3. Sandwich the stain between two sheets of blotting paper. If you can’t find any of this highly absorbent paper, you could also use kitchen paper. Be careful, though: paper towels might stick to fluffy fibres, such as wool.
  4. Apply some gentle heat. Cover the paper-coated stained area with a clean towel, then gently press the towel with an iron on a low setting. The wax should begin to soften and transfer onto the blotting paper.
  5. Repeat step 4. You may need to go over the area of towel covering the stain a few times before the wax is gone completely. Keep at it! 
  6. Wash as usual. If you’ve just been removing wax stains from a delicate fabric, remember to use a detergent specially designed for delicates. If not, any Surf excel detergent is fine.
  7. Leave to dry naturally. Excessive heat is the worst enemy of fabrics like silk, so it’s better to air dry them – if you can, lie them flat on a towel as they dry to maintain the garment’s shape.


Remember: Always check the care label before trying any new stain removal method. If your garment is ‘dry clean only’, consult a professional for advice on wax removal from the fabric.

There you have it – all you need is to gently apply heat and have an absorbent surface on hand to soak up the wax stain. So next time you break out the candles, whatever the reason, you can relax – you know how to remove wax stains from clothing without any fuss!

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