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How Do I Remove Wax from My...?

Containers: Since beeswax contracts in cold temperatures, our favorite method of removing leftover wax from a container is to put it into a freezer. After the container has had a chance to cool, use a butter knife to pop out the wax, and the container will be ready for reuse! Another technique is to warm the container in an oven on low heat just until the wax begins to melt. Then pour out and wipe off the wax residue with a paper towel. Use care, as the container can get very hot from the oven.

Carpet and Upholstery: First pull off as much wax as possible. Place a white paper towel or newspaper over the wax and apply a warm iron to the area, moving the paper towel as it picks up the wax. Be aware that the heat may damage some fabrics, so when in doubt spot test a section or consult a professional cleaner.

Clothing: Place several sheets of white paper towels between the stain and the ironing board and the stain and the iron. Then press the affected area with a warm iron.  As the paper towels soak up the wax, move a clean part of the towel over the stain and continue with clean towels as necessary. When the towels not longer take up wax, launder washable fabrics using a pre-wash stain remover as needed. Send non-washables to an eco-friendly dry cleaner, and be sure to indicate the stained area.

Wood: For hard surfaces such as wood there are two approaches:
  • The hot treatment: Peel off as much of the cooled wax as possible. Heat the area with a hair dryer on the low setting. As the wax softens, wipe the area with a soft cloth.
  • The cold treatment: Peel off as much cooled wax as possible. Place ice cubes in a plastic bag and apply the bag to the area to further harden the wax. Carefully push the wax off with a plastic kitchen spatula, a credit card, or a fingernail file wrapped in a paper towel. There’s the danger of damaging finish, so test a small area first.
Candleholders: Place candleholders in a freezer or freezing weather for about a half-hour. The wax should then pull off easily. Finish the process by washing china and crystal candlesticks in warm, soapy water. Wipe metal candlesticks with a damp cloth and polish if necessary. Don’t immerse weighted or hollow candlesticks in hot water.