Written by Grove Collaborative

Stain Busters: How to get wax out of clothes

Last Updated: January 26, 2021

Removing wax out of clothes can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Learn about the tools & materials needed to do so successfully!

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Spills happen, but Grove Collaborative has you covered with Stain Busters. Each week, we’ll tell you how to tackle a different tough stain around the home or on your clothes. Red wine, grass stains, ink ... no stubborn stain is a match for our grime-busting guides.

Most people love candles. Especially the lovely scents that smell delish. Even the ones that aren’t scented are wonderful, bringing a warm, classic vibe to any environment. Talk about taking the charm and romance of date night to whole new levels!

However, it only takes one misstep for a candle to create a mess, be it on your clothes, your couch, or your expensive carpeting. Removing wax stains can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing and don’t have the proper tools or materials needed to do it successfully. Of course, we are here to the rescue, but you already knew that!

How to remove wax from clothing

This method is gentle enough for nearly all kinds of fabrics, including delicate materials like silk, but it’s efficient enough to completely remove the wax.

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

Step 1:

Let the wax harden completely. Not like kind of hard, but really hard. Working on melted or even just soft wax will likely end up making the situation worse and push the wax deeper into the clothing fibers.

Step 2:

Once the wax has hardened, scrape it off the clothing using a dull knife, a scraper, or even a spoon. Just be very gentle, as delicate fabrics can be damaged from harsh scraping.

Step 3:

Now all you should be left with is the wax that has worked its way into the fabric fibers. To remove that, take a white towel and place it under the cloth, and put a double layer of paper towels on top of the stain. Use an iron set at low to medium heat and press it over the stain for a few seconds. The melted wax should soak into the paper towels. As you work, change the spots of the paper towel set over the stain to prevent over-saturation.

Step 4:

Wash it off — Once the wax is removed, wash the clothing as you usually do and check for any remaining stains before drying.

Step 5:

If the spilled wax was colored, the dye in it will probably leave behind a stain as well. To remove this discoloration, make a solution using oxygen bleach and water. Soak the piece of clothing for a few hours. You could also try applying laundry detergent directly to the stain for spot cleaning light stains.

How to get candle wax out of carpet

How to do it:

Step 1:

Once the wax has hardened, again use a dull knife, spoon, or scraper to loosen the hardened wax from the carpet fibers.

Step 2:

Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the chunks of loose wax in the carpet.

Step 3:

Take a damp white towel and place over the wax. Take an iron heated on high and press it on the towel for a few seconds to melt the wax. The heat will help transfer the remaining wax residue from your carpet to the towel. Repeat this process until all the wax is completely removed from the carpet. Make sure to change the sections of the towel each time you do this, and dampen as needed.

Step 4:

If the wax has left a stain behind, either due to the dyes in it or just wax residue, use a special carpet cleaner to remove it. Spray the cleaner onto the stain and scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush. Once the stain is gone, clean the area with a clean white towel and allow to air dry for best results.

Note: Spot check any chemical-based cleaners that you use on a small area to make sure it doesn’t have any adverse effects before using it.

Grove Tip

Always remember, when trying to remove wax from something, the most important thing you can do is to let the wax harden completely before starting any cleaning process.

Also, for safety’s sake, when using paper towels while melting wax with an iron, be extremely attentive. You don’t want to accidentally burn through the paper towels and damage the fabric. Or worse, start a fire!

How to remove wax from other home spaces or appliances

Candle holders

Candle holders can accumulate a decent amount of melted wax fairly quickly. Fortunately, they are also the easiest to clean.

Step 1:

Start by running the candle holder under hot water to soften and melt the wax inside of it. Then use your finger, a paper towel, or even a knife to scrape out the bulk of it. To get the remaining wax still present, there are a few options you can try:

Option 1:

If your candleholder is dishwasher-safe, put it in the dishwasher and let the machine clean off any leftover wax automatically.

Option 2:

If your candleholder is not dishwasher safe, melt the leftover wax using a hairdryer set to low heat, and peel it off as it softens.

Option 3:

Place the candle holder in a freezer for about 30 minutes to make the remaining wax brittle and hard. Once it’s completely hardened, use a dull knife or your fingernails to chip it off.


Removing wax from wooden furniture can be tricky if you want to prevent scratching the wood.

Step 1:

Once again, start by hardening the wax. As we have said before, trying to clean melted wax is a recipe for disaster. Let it harden naturally, or speed it up using an ice cube.

Step 2:

Using a credit card, a plastic spatula, or even a plastic ruler, scrape at the hardened wax gently to remove it.

Step 3:

Once the wax is removed, use a soft cloth to clean and buff the area. You can also use a wood polishing solution to rub away any residue and give it some extra beauty and shine.

There are a lot of things in life that aren’t always easy. Thankfully, removing wax from clothing — or anything else — isn’t one of them. In fact, it’s fairly simple when you have the tools and the know-how.

Wax-removing products

Looking for more cleaning how-tos and other sustainable swaps you can make at home? Grove has you covered with our buying and cleaning guides. And let us know how if you have any cleaning questions (or share your own tips using #grovehome) by following Grove Collaborative on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you're ready to take on more candle wax stains, shop Grove Collaborative's cleaning essentials for the cleaning tools to tackle the job.

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