How to Remove Wax from Wood


Cynthia asked: How do I remove wax from a wooden deck? We had a citronella candle on our composite deck that melted, and some wax fell onto the deck. What is the best way to remove the wax stain from a composite deck?

Removing wax from any surface can be tricky if there are grooves or pores for the wax to soak into. First, we’ll tackle the wax on the surface and then pull the remaining wax out of the grooves and grains of the wood. The process is simple, but may take a little time and patience.               

You Will Need:

  • Ice cubes
  • Iron
  • Brown paper bags
  • Soft cloths
  • Hair dryer
  • Spoon or dull knife

Steps to Remove the Wax:

  1. If the wax is still soft, place some ice cubes in a plastic bag, and lay it on top of the wax. The harder the wax is, the easier it will be to remove.
  2. Use the spoon or dull knife to scrape the wax off of the surface. Apply the ice again if it begins to soften. Cold, brittle wax is much quicker to release from the surface.
  3. To remove the wax in the grooves, we want the opposite conditions. For removing this wax, it will need to be melted.
  4. Preheat the iron on a low setting with no steam.
  5. Cover the area with a brown paper bag, and set the iron on top for 10 seconds.
  6. Remove the iron. You should see where the wax has transferred to the paper.
  7. Repeat with a clean section of paper bag until the wax is completely removed or no longer transfers to the bag.
  8. If there is wax deeper in the grooves of the wood, repeat the iron steps with a soft cloth.
  9. For the remaining wax, melt it with a hair dryer.
  10. Blot with a clean, soft cloth to soak up the melted wax.
  11. Repeat until all of the wax is removed.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If the wood is a smooth surface with only minor grooves, it may be possible to wipe the wax away with a soft cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol.
  • Avoid allowing the iron to set for too long on the wood or it may leave a burn mark.
  • Avoid setting candles directly on wood surfaces. This is a fire hazard.

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