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How to remove wax from clothes, including delicates

Candles bring a little something extra to any evening, whether you’re lighting up paper lanterns with the kids or sitting down to a cosy dinner with your partner. But let them burn down a little too long, or tip them at just the wrong angle, and that extra something can come at a cost, since candles also have a special talent for leaving wax in unexpected places … like your woollen jumper or silk blouse.

Luckily, a little wax on your sleeve doesn’t have to ruin your night. Knowing how to get wax out of clothing is half the battle – then it’s just a case of following the simple steps below. Here’s how to remove candle wax from delicate clothes!

How to remove wax from clothes – even delicates

These tips on how to get candle wax out of clothes aren’t just for spills on wool, silk and other delicate fabrics. Even though the method is gentle, it removes candle wax from almost all clothes. Just remember to check the care label before you start. If it reads ‘dry clean only’, your stain may need to be dealt with by a professional.

Here’s how to get wax off clothes:

  1. Let the wax dry. Time to twiddle your thumbs for a bit. Trying to remove the wax while it’s wet will spread the stain out over a larger area, so resist the temptation to get started right away and let it harden. If you’re in a hurry, you can shorten your waiting time by rubbing an ice cube over the stain.
  2. Lift off the wax with a blunt knife. Gently use the knife to remove as much wax as you can lift off easily. Avoid tearing the fabric or pulling any threads by very carefully gliding the knife over the surface, rather than scraping vigorously.
  3. Place the stained fabric between two sheets of blotting paper. This highly absorbent type of paper will, along with some heat, help draw out the remaining stain. If you can’t find any, a regular paper towel can work well, too; just be careful with fabrics like wool, as the paper can get stuck to the fluffier fibres.
  4. Iron the wax stain through a clean towel. Cover the blotting paper with a towel, then go over the towel with an iron, making sure that it’s on a low heat setting. Very lightly press down on the iron while moving it carefully over the towel.
  5. Repeat until the stain is gone. After a while, the remaining wax should soften and transfer from the fabric onto the blotting paper.
  6. Wash according to the instructions on the care label. As delicate fabrics aren’t likely to respond well to enzymes, we recommend you use a non-biological detergent that’s designed for delicates.
  7. Let the fabric dry. You could use a tumble dryer for this, but in general we’d recommend air drying naturally where possible – especially when it comes to delicates. The heat of a dryer can cause damage to fabrics like silk and wool, so laying them flat on a dry, clean towel is a better option.

That’s the trick – heat and a little absorbent paper. Simple, right? Now you know how to get candle wax out of clothes, you can relax and enjoy your candlelit evening.

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