How to Remove Candle Wax Stains


Flickering candles set a lovely mood, but don't let wax stains ruin your evening.
Flickering candles set a lovely mood, but don't let wax stains ruin your evening.
Publications International, Ltd.

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Candlelight sets a romantic mood. A sip of wine. Soft music. Then, whoops! Candle wax suddenly drips on your valuable silver, your wood dining table, or your sleeve as you reach for your date's hand. You need to quickly get rid of the wax stain so you can get the mood back on track.

The first step in removing candle wax stains is to identify the stained material. Then, follow up with the appropriate steps as soon as possible. Here's how to remove stains from:­

  • Non-washable fibers such as Acetate, Burlap, Fiberglass, Rayon, Rope, Silk, Triacetate or non-washable Wool
  • Washable fibers such as Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester, Spandex or washable Wool
  • Most surfaces, such as Acrylic Plastic, Alabaster, Aluminum, Asphalt, Bamboo, Bluestone, Brass, Bronze, Cane, Ceramic Glass/Tile, Concrete, Copper, Cork, Enamel, Flagstone, Glass, Gold, Granite, Grout, lron, Ivory, Jade, Limestone, Linoleum, Marble, Paint/Flat, Paint/Gloss, Pewter, Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Porcelain, Sandstone, Slate, Stainless, Steel, Terrazzo, Tin, Vinyl Clothing or Vinyl Tile
  • Carpet
  • Felt
  • Leather or suede
  • Silver
  • Wood

Removing Wax from Non-washable Fibers

­Follow these steps to remove candle wax stains from Acetate, Burlap, Fiberglass, Rayon, Rope, Silk, Triacetate, Wool/nonwashable:

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  • Freeze (apply ice against the stain to make it easier to remove) to harden the wax.
  • Carefully scrape the excess, then place an absorbent pad under the stain and flush with a stain remover such as Afta Cleaning Fluid.
  • Allow to dry.
  • Repeat if necessary.

Removing Wax from Washable Fibers

­Follow these steps to remove candle was stains from Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester, Spandex or Wool/washable:

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  • Scrape to remove excess.
  • Place the stained area between two pieces of white blotting paper and press with a warm iron.
  • Change the paper as it absorbs the stain. This stain can easily spread, so use care while pressing.
  • On colorfast fabrics, white cotton, or linen, try pouring boiling water through the stain.
  • After using either method, allow to dry.
  • If any trace remains, flush with a stain-removing agent, such as Afta Cleaning Fluid.
  • If any dye remains, sponge it with 1 part rubbing alcohol (do not use on acrylic or modacrylic fabric) mixed with 2 parts water.
  • Rinse well with clear water and dry.

Removing Wax from Surfaces

­Follow these steps to remove candle wax stains from Acrylic Plastic, Alabaster, Aluminum, Bamboo, Bluestone, Brass, Bronze, Cane, Ceramic Glass/Tile, Concrete, Copper, Enamel, Flagstone, Glass, Gold, Granite, Grout, lron, Ivory, Jade, Limestone, Marble, Paint/Flat, Paint/Gloss, Pewter, Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Porcelain, Sandstone, Slate, Stainless, Steel, Terrazzo, Tin, or Vinyl Clothing:

  • ­Freeze to harden the wax, then gently scrape the residue from the surface. Take care not to scratch the surface.
  • Wipe with a sponge dipped in a solution of washing soda or detergent and water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.

Follow these steps to remove wax stains from Asphalt, Cork, Linoleum, or Vinyl Tile:

  • Freeze to harden the wax.
  • Gently scrape it off with a metal spatula, taking care not to gouge the stained surface.
  • Dip a corner of a clean cloth into rubbing alcohol and wipe stain.
  • Wash and wipe dry.
  • Polish or wax as usual.

Removing Wax from Carpet

­Follow these steps to remove candle wax from your synthetic or wool carpet:

  • ­Freeze to harden the wax.
  • Gently scrape to remove excess from the surface.
  • To prevent damage to the backing, add a small amount of Afta Cleaning Fluid or K2r Spot Lifter.
  • Blot with an absorbent pad.
  • Continue until no more stain is removed.
  • If a dye remains, dilute one part rubbing alcohol with two parts water and apply it to the stain in small amounts, blotting well after each application.
  • Allow to dry.

Removing Wax from Felt

­­Follow these steps to remove candle wax stains from felt:

  • Freeze to harden the wax.
  • Very carefully scrape the residue, taking care not to shred the felt fibers.
  • If any residue remains, try brushing gently with a stiff-bristled brush.
  • In extreme cases, use a razor blade to gently scrape the excess. Use this as a last resort as it will damage some of the fibers.

Removing Wax from Leather or Suede

Follow these steps to remove candle wax stains from Leather or Suede:

  • Freeze with ice cubes in a plastic bag to harden the wax.
  • Gently scrape the wax.
  • If any stain remains, mix a thick paste of fuller's earth with water and apply it to the stain. Allow the paste to dry, then carefully brush it off with a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush.
  • Repeat if necessary.
  • When the stain has been removed, apply a leather conditioner (on leather only).

Removing Wax from Silver

Follow these steps to remove candle wax stains from silver:

  • Freeze to harden the wax.
  • Carefully scrape with a plastic spatula until no more wax can be removed.
  • Wash the silver in hot soapy water.
  • Rinse in hot water and wipe dry immediately to prevent tarnish.

Removing Wax from Wood

Follow these steps to remove wax stains from wood:

  • Freeze to harden the wax.
  • Gently scrape it up to avoid gouging the wood.
  • When all wax has been removed, buff the wood with a chamois cloth.

Got more pesky stains? See all our stain removal articles.

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