How To Remove Wax From ANY Surface Without Damage

The smell and glow of candles can be relaxing and romantic. While we love lighting candles for various reasons, the cleanup can leave something to be desired. If you’re not careful, candle wax can land on the surface where you’ve placed the item, causing unsightly wax marks on glass, wood, plastic, and other materials. Thankfully, learning how to remove wax from any surface without causing damage is rather simple. We’ve compiled a list of suggested fixes, based on popular surfaces.

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How To Get Wax Off Wood

wax spilled on wood surface
Photo Credit: Nick Fitzsimons / Flickr

For this project, you’ll need the following materials:

  • blow dryer
  • vinegar
  • furniture polish
  • water
  • soft to medium-soft cloth

Start by softening the wax with a blow dryer. You don’t want to heat the wood and cause damage, start with the blow dryer approximately 6-inches away from the wax. If the material doesn’t begin to soften after 30 seconds to one minute, move the dryer within 3 to 4 inches from the surface.

Once the wax is softened, clean up any liquid wax using a soft cloth.

Next, mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with one cup of water. This mixture will help us clean up any wax that still remains. Before you use the vinegar solution on the top of your wooden surface, test the solution in an inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause damage to your wood. After testing, dip your cloth in the mixture and gently wipe up any remaining wax.

You may notice that the area where the wax had dripped is missing its former shine. You can fix this issue by simply applying furniture polish. Make sure the polish you choose is meant for your color of wood, they are available in dark and light wood finishes.

How To Get Wax Out Of Carpet

To get wax out of a carpet you’ll need the following materials:

  • butter knife
  • scissors
  • clothes iron
  • cloth (big enough to run the iron over)
  • heavy-duty carpet stain remover

Start by using the butter knife to gently scrape at the top layer of wax. The goal here isn’t to remove all of the wax attached to the carpet, instead, you want to remove the top layer. Be careful with Berber floors which have a tendency to come unlooped when pulled on.

Once you have removed most of the wax from the top layer, you can place a pair of scissors along the floor line and snip any little pieces of fuzz that have resulted from removing the top layer of wax.

Next, we want to create enough heat to loosen the remaining away. This can be accomplished by placing a cloth over the surface and using an iron to heat through the cloth into the carpet. Do not attempt to heat the wax directly which may ruin your iron and cause the carpet to burn. Once the wax is sufficiently heated, use the same cloth to blot up the remaining wax.

Finally, you may notice that the wax has caused some discoloration. You can remove the wax stain by applying a heavy-duty carpet stain remover. There are a ton of excellent carpet stain removers. We’re big fans of Shout Carpet and the Arm & Hammer Carpet Cleaner with Oxiclean.

Important note about carpet stain removers: Please test the product in an inconspicuous area to ensure it works as directed without causing damage to your carpet.

How To Remove Wax From Vinyl Flooring

What you’ll need to remove wax:

  • hot water
  • dry cloth
  • Goof Off residue remover
  • ice cubes
  • plastic sandwich bag

When removing candle wax from vinyl flooring there are a few options. We like to start with the easiest option. Place several ice cubes inside a sandwich bag and place the bag on top of the wax. Let the bag of ice sit on the wax for at least five minutes.

Remove the plastic bag after five to ten minutes and scrape the wax with your fingernail. If you can’t scrape with your fingernail, use a piece of cardstock or even a plastic spoon. We’ve also used a credit card to scrape away the top layer of wax.

If the bag of ice method fails, you can also use hot water. Soak the spot in hot water and simply wipe away the wax with a dry cloth. You will likely need to repeat this process several times. Some residue will likely remain on the surface. You can remove residue with a dab of Goof Off or other residue remover which you can find at your local DIY store.

If hot water isn’t removing the wax stain, isopropyl alcohol is our final solution, dab the alcohol onto the wax and attempt to wipe up the wax, once finished, remove any remaining alcohol by watering down the area and wiping it up with a cloth of your choice.

How To Remove Wax From Linen And Fabric Furniture

Supplies you’ll need for this quick project:

  • butter knife
  • two plain paper bags
  • clothes iron
  • denatured alcohol (which may not be needed)

Transferring wax to a different surface is a tried and true method for getting the substance out of linen and fabric. We’re focused on furniture but this remains true for clothing and other fabric-based materials.

Start by trying to remove the top layer of wax with a butter knife. Just like our tips on carpet removal, start with only a small part of the top surface and move slowly down until you’ve scraped as much material off the top as possible.

Next, place the linen or other fabric material between two paper bags. This process allows for an even distribution of heat, ensuring a smaller chance of fabric damage.

Finally, iron the top paper bag using medium heat. This process will transfer the wax to the bag.

Editor’s note: You may need to repeat this process several times depending on how long the wax has remained in place and the type of fabric it has adhered to. If all of the wax is not removed on the first try, repeat the process with new paper bags. It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, paper can catch on fire so please be careful and don’t allow the iron to remain in one place while moving back and forth over the top paper bag.

Much like our carpet fabrics, you may notice some color stains caused by the wax. You can use denatured alcohol to treat those wax stains, testing first in a small area that will go unnoticed if damage were to occur.

Tide offers a simple process that doesn’t require much effort.

How To Remove Wax From Clothing

wax spilled on fabric
Photo Credit: Tide

Tide offers a simple process that doesn’t require much effort for removing wax from clothing. You’ll need:

  • a freezer
  • paper towels
  • Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid
  • soft-bristle toothbrush
  • clothes iron

Start by placing the garment in the freezer for 30 minutes to freeze the wax. Remove the clothing and snap off the frozen wax. The remaining wax can be removed by placing white unpatterned paper towels on either side of the fabric. Turn your iron on low and make sure the steam setting is turned off. Move the iron over the paper towel, moving swiftly over the fabric while not staying in one place for too long. The paper towel should pick up any remaining wax.

After completing this process, an oil spot may remain where the wax was removed. Pre-treat your clothing with Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid. Rub the liquid into the garage gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Allow the liquid to sit for five minutes. Clean the garment with other fabrics in a normal load using hot water.

How To Remove Wax From Granite Countertops

wax spilled on granite
Photo Credit: David Gallagher / Flickr

You can remove spilled wax from granite countertops in a three-step process that requires:

  • plastic scraper
  • ice cubes
  • paper towels
  • cloth
  • a commercial-grade granite cleaner solution

First, start by placing an ice cube on top of the granite to freeze the melted wax, allow the ice cube to remain in place for several minutes. Next, attempt to chip off the wax using your plastic scraper. You may notice that the wax is coming off in small layers, if that’s the case, re-apply the ice cube and repeat the process until a majority of the wax has been removed.

Next, lightly brush away the loose flakes with a paper towel. Make sure you are using light strokes. You don’t want to accidentally rub the wax into the countertop since granite is porous.

Finally, apply a commercial granite cleaner. These cleaners help keep your countertops looking fresh. The products also ensure that any oily residue that is left behind is promptly removed. Being prompt with this cleaning process is very important. Failure to remove wax immediately can result in a stained countertop due to the porous nature of granite. When using a commercial-grade cleaner, you want to wipe in a circular motion. Once the product is removed from the granite countertop, buff the surface back to its original shine.

How To Remove Wax From Leather

wax spilled on leather boots
Photo Credit: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images

Removing wax from leather requires the following supplies:

  • ice cubes
  • plastic bag
  • fuller’s earth
  • water
  • leather conditioner

Start by placing several ice cubes inside of a plastic bag. Place the ice bags on top of the wax. Leave the ice cubes in place for approximately 5 minutes. This process will harden the wax and make it easier to remove.

Remove the bag after 5 minutes and gently scrape away the top layer of wax. Most of the wax could pull up during this phase of the process.

If the melted wax wasn’t immediately removed, there is likely going to be a stain that remains following the wax removal phase. Apply fuller’ earth with water directly over the stain and gently wipe away the stain.

After the wax is removed and any stains are gone, apply a leather conditioner to bring the original luster of your leather back into place.