Russ asked: How do you remove melted candle wax from a silk tie? My four-year-old likes dipping things into hot candle wax. No matter where we put the candle, he finds a way to reach it. Today, he dipped his brother’s tie into the melted wax. We no longer use candles to aromatize our home!
How’d that happen? You look down and there are little splatters of wax on your beautiful clothes. Candles are wonderful to use as decorations or for birthday celebrations but oddly enough, the wax ends up on our clothing. Acting quickly is important to remove the wax along with any dyes before they leave a permanent mark.
You Will Need:
- Spoon or butter knife
- Brown paper bags
- Rubbing alcohol or dry cleaning fluid
- Clean white cloth
Steps to Remove the Wax/Stain:
The following method is safe for all fabric types.
- Gently scrape hardened wax with the spoon or butter knife to remove as much as possible. If wax is still soft, place the garment in the refrigerator or cover with an ice cube for a few minutes to harden the wax and then scrape it away.
- Preheat iron to lowest setting with NO STEAM.
- Place a brown paper bag on your ironing board. Be sure not to use brown paper bags with words printed on them as they will transfer to your waxy garment leaving you with another, more difficult stain to remove.
- Place the waxy area of the clothing on top of the brown paper bag.
- Top the waxy area with another brown paper bag, avoiding any printed words that may be on the bag.
- Gently move the warm iron over the waxy area until it melts and adheres to the paper bag. Keep the iron moving in circular motions to keep from scorching the area.
- When you see a dark spot forming on the bag (this is the wax being absorbed), move both bags – underneath and on top of the clothing – to a clean spot and iron again.
- Repeat as necessary, until no wax remains.
- If dye from the wax remains in your clothing, you will need to tackle that stain next.
- Place a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the spot. Be sure to test a small inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn’t damage the fabric. For silks, remove any remaining stains by dabbing of good amount of dry-cleaning solvent, such as Afta Cleaning Fluid and blot with a clean cloth to remove. Allow the piece to dry completely.
- Blot with a clean white cloth to remove. Repeat until the dye no longer appears on your clothing or shows on the cloth when blotted.
- Sponge with water to rinse the area.
- Wash the clothing as per the instructions on the care tag.
- You may want to air-dry the clothing to be sure the stain is not noticeable when it’s dry. If you place it in the dryer and it’s not completely gone, it will be set from the heat and impossible to remove.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- Be careful not to let the iron set in one spot too long or it may scorch the fabric.
- If you don’t have an iron, a hair dryer can be used instead. Hold it a few inches away from the bag and move it over the area until the wax melts and soaks into the bag.
- Prevent more wax spills by buying quality candles. Petroleum candles tend to drop more and contain dyes that are difficult to remove.
- Silks and delicate fabrics should be cleaned with caution. If you are trying to remove the stain from an expensive or irreplaceable piece of clothing, you may want to have a professional remove the stain.