Wax on, wax off, getting wax out of fabric has never been easier. From candle wax to car wax, accidents sometimes happen. Whether melted wax has spilled onto your favorite clothing or furniture, the solution is simple. By using a few household items and a little elbow grease, you can have your fabric looking brand new in no time. Read along as we discuss all of the different ways to get wax out of fabric.
What Is Wax?
Wax is a fatty substance that at room temperature is solid and pliable, but can also be melted at relatively low temperatures. This material has many applications. Wax is commonly found in items like candles, cosmetics, polishes, and sealants.
One characteristic that makes wax unique is its ability to be insoluble in water. While this may be a desirable trait when protecting cars and furniture, this means that cleaning wax off of fabric is nearly impossible when using traditional washing methods. That being said, removing wax from fabric is an easy task that is quick and requires only a few materials. Some of the items needed to remove wax from fabric clothes and furniture include a knife, a clothes iron, pre-treatment stain remover, a brush, detergent, and a washing machine.
How To Get Wax Out Of Fabric
Because it is an oily substance, wax may be difficult to remove without the correct know-how. Depending on the supplies you have, try following these instructions to remove wax from your fabric clothes or furniture.
1. Scrape Off Any Wax.
With a sharp blade or utility knife, carefully scrape away any raised portions of the wax, away from the fabric. It may be easier and more helpful to freeze the fabric first. When wax is frozen it gets stiffer, and you may even find that it will snap or peel off of the fabric. Try to keep the blade away from the fabric, it’s alright if you don’t remove all the wax as it will be taken care of in the next few steps.
2. Iron The Wax.
More of the leftover wax can be removed with a clothes iron. Place a generous amount of layered paper towel under the garment on an iron-safe surface. Place the fabric, stained side down, on the paper towels so that the wax is touching the paper towels. For extra protection place an iron safe piece of fabric on top of the stained fabric to prevent ruining the garment or furniture with the hot iron. Starting at a low temperature setting, move the clothes iron around the stained area so the wax will melt onto the paper towels. Adjust the hot iron temperature setting as needed, ensuring not to damage the fabric, and also replace the paper towels if applicable. Additionally, do not leave a hot clothes iron in one place on the fabric for too long or it will damage it.
3. Pre-Treat The Stain.
Once most of the wax is removed, you may notice an oily residue has been left behind on the fabric. Have no fear, this can be removed with a little prep work. Pick up a bottle of your favorite stain remover and apply it to the wax stained fabric. All stain removers are different, so it is advised to familiarize yourself with the instructions before using them. That being said, generally speaking you will want to apply a conservative amount of the chemical onto the fabric by brushing it on. After allowing it to settle for a period of time, the fabric is ready to be washed. Alternatively, if you do not have a chemical stain remover, you can try a mild dish soap.
4. Wash The Fabric.
The final step to restoring your wax stained fabric is to simply wash the fabric. A washing machine is recommended, but you can also complete this step in a sink or bucket. Based on the instructions on the bottle, add the recommended amount of detergent to your washing machine. Follow the care instructions for the fabric clothing or furniture, and wash the fabric on an appropriate setting. Generally speaking, 100% cotton textiles, like Muslin fabric, can be washed regularly on a high temperature setting. On the other hand, synthetic fabrics made from polyester or nylon should be washed with cold water. Thin and fragile materials should be delicately washed in a machine or by hand, as well as with cold water. If you do not know the care instructions for the stained fabric, try using a delicate and cold temperature setting on your machine.
At this point, your fabric should look clean and smell fresh. If for whatever reason a small amount of wax remains, or the stain persists, try pre-treating and washing the wax stain again.
In conclusion, stains are an inevitable experience in life. Whether you are lighting candles, making furniture, or taking care of your car, there is always a possibility of spilling wax on furniture and clothing. While it is true that wax can’t be dissolved in water, by following the few and simple steps listed above, wax can easily be removed from fabric.
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