How to Get Wax Out of Clothes: A Comprehensive Guide

how to get wax out of clothes

Accidents happen, and sometimes those accidents involve wax dripping onto your clothes. Whether it’s from a spilled candle or a stray drop from a waxing session, getting wax out of clothes can be a daunting task. But fear not! This guide will provide you with all the knowledge and techniques you need to remove wax from your garments effectively and safely.

We’ll cover various types of wax, the impact of fabric type, and a range of removal techniques for different surfaces. We’ll also delve into effective home remedies, commercial products, and when to seek professional cleaning. Additionally, we’ll provide prevention tips and safety precautions to ensure a successful wax removal experience.

Types of Wax


Wax is a general term used to describe a wide range of substances that are typically solid at room temperature and become liquid when heated. In the context of clothing care, the type of wax that has spilled on the garment will affect the removal process.

The most common types of wax used in candles, wax melts, and other household products include:

  • Paraffin wax: A petroleum-based wax that is commonly used in candles. It is relatively easy to remove from clothing.
  • Soy wax: A vegetable-based wax that is made from soybeans. It is also relatively easy to remove from clothing.
  • Beeswax: A natural wax that is produced by bees. It is more difficult to remove from clothing than paraffin or soy wax.

Fabric Considerations

The type of fabric can significantly impact the wax removal method you choose. Delicate fabrics like silk or lace require more gentle approaches, while sturdier fabrics like cotton or denim can withstand more aggressive methods.

It’s crucial to test the fabric’s colorfastness before applying any wax removal technique. Colorfastness refers to the fabric’s ability to retain its color when exposed to chemicals or moisture. To test for colorfastness, apply a small amount of the wax removal solution to an inconspicuous area of the fabric.

Allow it to sit for a few minutes and then blot it with a white cloth. If the cloth shows any signs of color transfer, the fabric is not colorfast and you should choose a different method.

Synthetic Fabrics

  • Synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, and spandex are generally more resistant to wax than natural fibers.
  • However, they can still be damaged by harsh chemicals, so it’s important to use a gentle wax removal solution.
  • Test the colorfastness of the fabric before applying any solution.

Natural Fibers

  • Natural fibers like cotton, linen, and wool are more susceptible to damage from wax.
  • Use a mild wax removal solution and test the colorfastness of the fabric before applying it.
  • Avoid using heat or harsh chemicals on natural fibers, as they can damage the fabric.

Special Considerations

  • For delicate fabrics like silk or lace, it’s best to seek professional cleaning services.
  • Avoid using bleach on any fabric, as it can damage the fibers.
  • If you’re unsure about the type of fabric you have, consult a professional cleaner for guidance.

Removal Techniques for Different Surfaces

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Removing wax from different surfaces requires varying techniques. The type of surface, wax, and available resources influence the most effective approach.

The following table Artikels the recommended removal techniques for various surfaces:

Surface Recommended Removal Techniques
  • Place the garment in the freezer for several hours to harden the wax.
  • Use a dull knife or credit card to scrape off the hardened wax.
  • Apply a solvent like rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to a clean cloth and gently dab at the remaining wax.
  • Cover the wax with a clean cloth and apply heat from an iron on the lowest setting.
  • Absorb the melted wax with the cloth.
  • Repeat steps until all wax is removed.
  • Use a solvent like dry cleaning fluid or rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth.
  • Gently dab at the wax to dissolve it.
  • Blot with a dry cloth to absorb the wax and solvent.

Home Remedies

Home remedies provide cost-effective and eco-friendly solutions for removing wax from clothes. Here are some proven techniques:


Ice is an effective method for solidifying wax, making it easier to remove.

  1. Place ice cubes in a plastic bag and apply it directly to the wax stain.
  2. Allow the ice to sit for several minutes, or until the wax hardens.
  3. Use a dull knife or spoon to scrape away the hardened wax.
  4. If any residue remains, use a clean cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol to blot it away.


Vinegar’s acidic properties can help dissolve wax and make it easier to remove.

  1. Dilute white vinegar with equal parts water.
  2. Apply the solution to the wax stain using a clean cloth.
  3. Allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  4. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub the area.
  5. Rinse the area with cold water and blot dry.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help lift wax from fabrics.

  1. Sprinkle baking soda onto the wax stain.
  2. Use a damp cloth to gently rub the area.
  3. Allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  4. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda and any loosened wax.
  5. If the stain persists, repeat the process.

Commercial Wax Removal Products

how to get wax out of clothes

Commercial wax removal products offer a range of solutions for removing wax from clothes. These products typically contain solvents or enzymes that break down the wax, making it easier to remove.

Here are some of the most popular commercial wax removal products and their advantages and disadvantages:


  • Advantages: Fast-acting, effective on a variety of waxes, easy to use
  • Disadvantages: Can damage some fabrics, may leave a residue

Goo Gone

  • Advantages: Safe for most fabrics, non-toxic, citrus-scented
  • Disadvantages: May not be as effective on all types of wax, can leave a greasy residue


  • Advantages: Effective on a variety of waxes, safe for most fabrics, available in a variety of forms
  • Disadvantages: Can be harsh on some fabrics, may leave a residue


  • Advantages: Penetrates wax easily, effective on a variety of waxes, can be used on most fabrics
  • Disadvantages: Can damage some fabrics, has a strong odor

Denatured Alcohol

  • Advantages: Inexpensive, effective on most waxes, evaporates quickly
  • Disadvantages: Can damage some fabrics, flammable

Professional Cleaning

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When dealing with stubborn wax stains or delicate fabrics, professional cleaning may be the best option. Dry cleaners have specialized equipment and expertise to remove wax effectively without damaging the fabric.

Cost and Availability

The cost of professional wax removal services varies depending on the size and type of garment, the severity of the stain, and the dry cleaner’s location. Generally, expect to pay between $20-$50 for a single garment. Dry cleaning services are widely available, with most cities having multiple dry cleaners to choose from.

Prevention Tips

To prevent wax from getting on clothes, it’s crucial to take precautions. One effective strategy is to create a barrier between the wax and your garments.

Protective Layer

Consider using a protective layer to safeguard your clothes from wax spills. A plastic sheet, drop cloth, or old towel can serve as a shield, placed beneath the area where you’re working with wax. This barrier will catch any dripping or splattering wax, preventing it from reaching your clothes.

Safety Precautions

how to get wax out of clothes

Wax removal can involve potential hazards that need to be addressed to minimize risks. Always prioritize safety when attempting any removal technique.

Protective Gear

Wear appropriate protective gear to prevent burns or chemical exposure. Use gloves, eye protection, and a mask, especially when dealing with hot wax or using harsh chemicals.


Ensure proper ventilation to avoid inhaling harmful fumes. Open windows or use a fan to circulate air, particularly when using commercial wax removal products.

Test on an Inconspicuous Area

Before applying any removal method to the entire garment, test it on an inconspicuous area first. This helps identify any potential damage or colorfastness issues.

Avoid Heat on Delicate Fabrics

High temperatures can damage delicate fabrics. When using heat to remove wax, keep the temperature low and apply it gradually to prevent burning or melting the material.

Handle Chemicals with Care

Commercial wax removal products often contain harsh chemicals. Read and follow the instructions carefully, avoid contact with skin, and rinse the garment thoroughly after use.


Despite following the removal techniques, you may encounter some common problems. Here are some solutions to address these issues:

Stubborn Wax Residue

If wax residue persists after using the removal methods, try applying a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the affected area. Use a clean cloth or cotton ball to gently rub the residue until it dissolves. Rinse the area with cold water and blot it dry.

Scorching or Damage to Fabric

Be cautious when using heat methods, especially on delicate fabrics. If you notice any scorching or damage, stop the process immediately. You can try using a damp cloth to gently remove the wax residue and avoid further damage.

Color Bleeding

Some fabrics may experience color bleeding when using certain removal techniques. To prevent this, test the method on an inconspicuous area of the garment first. If the color remains intact, proceed with the removal process carefully.

Additional Considerations

Certain situations demand tailored approaches for effective wax removal from clothes.

One such instance is when dealing with delicate fabrics like silk, lace, or satin. These materials require utmost care to prevent damage. Opt for gentle methods like freezing the wax and then scraping it off or using a mild solvent like rubbing alcohol.

Always test the solution on an inconspicuous area first.

Stubborn Wax

Stubborn wax stains may require more persistent removal techniques. Consider using a commercial wax remover specifically designed for the fabric type. Alternatively, a mixture of baking soda and water can be applied to the stain, allowed to sit for several hours, and then brushed off.

This method is particularly effective on cotton or linen.


how to get wax out of clothes

With the right approach and a bit of patience, you can restore your clothes to their pristine condition. Remember to test any removal method on an inconspicuous area first, and always follow safety guidelines to avoid any accidents. By understanding the nature of wax and employing the appropriate techniques, you’ll be equipped to tackle any wax-related mishap with confidence.

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