How To Remove Wax

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

It's going to happen, so just be prepared. With all the candles, wax melting cubes and decorative wax candle sculptures populating the home décor trend market, the possibility that droplets of wax will land on that durable microfiber couch or get dribbled and pushed into the pile of your carpet is a foregone conclusion. When wax finds its way into the fibers of your life, don't panic. Keep calm and keep a list of was removal tips close at hand.

How To Remove Wax
Image Credit: Robert Kneschke / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

Hot Tips for Removing Melted Wax

When melted wax finds its way out of its intended container, it can be a travesty. Colored wax, in particular, can leave a hostess gasping and grasping for towels to get the hot liquid off the favored tablecloth or out from between the woven wicker chargers. When it comes to errant wax on surfaces, the key is to not rush. It will just increase the area at issue and cause a much bigger – and more difficult to clean – problem. A spoon or butter knife can be used to pull a bulky wax spill before applying more involved techniques.

Iron Out the Oops

In most cases, a hot iron can pull up puddles of dried wax from fibrous surfaces. Tablecloths, rugs, carpets, shirts and cotton clothing can handle a relatively warm – but not hot – iron to get the waxy residue out of the material. Put the iron on a low setting and make sure the steam option is switched to the "off" position. First, test a small area, if and when possible, before applying the iron to the fabric. Slip a paper towel, doubled over if you are not sure, and gently push the tip of the iron over the edge of the wax area. Slowly circle the entire iron over the wax spot to gently heat the wax. This will help it to transfer from the item to the paper towel. Change out the towel as soon as you see the wax begin to seep into the paper product. Continue until the wax is completely removed. Don't turn the heat up to make the task go faster. It could melt the wax further into the fibers. Never use an iron on silk or delicate materials. That's a whole other ball of wax.

Removing Wax From Delicates

First, remove the silk item from the area and place it on a hard surface. Apply ice until the edges of the wax appear to detach. Put the ice in a paper towel if the direct moisture could damage the silk fabric.

Rubbing alcohol can remove any stain from colored wax. Gently swipe at the stain until the color is lifted. Ensure that the silk item can handle the effects of the rubbing alcohol before applying.


Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at

View Work