Cat said, “Have had candles sitting around my fiberglass tub and they all transferred onto the white ledge. These are not drippings…. just stains from the base of the candles. Any ideas?”
Bathtubs and candles are often thought of as together creating a relaxing atmosphere, that is until you realize that your candles left stains on the tub ledge. Some candles contain dyes, which make them so vibrantly colored, but also allow them to stain surfaces so easily. Thankfully, these stains can usually be removed. Use the steps below to remove the stain, then use the ideas in the Additional Tips section to prevent this dyed disaster from happening again.
Removing the Stain
You Will Need:
- Isopropyl alcohol
- A paper towel
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
- A spray bottle
- Paint thinner
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- First, if there is any solid wax, scrape it off. If the wax is still soft, rubbing it with an ice cube can help it to solidify more quickly so that it is easier to scrape off. Once the wax is removed, use one of the steps below to remove the dye stain that is left. If the step you select does not seem to be working, try a method from a different step.
- To use isopropyl alcohol, soak a paper towel with the alcohol, then wring the paper towel out so it is only damp, not dripping. Lay the wet paper towel over the stain, press it firmly onto the stain, then leave it there for several hours. The stain should transfer to the paper towel. Repeat the process with a new paper towel as many times as needed.
- To use OxyClean, mix some powdered OxyClean with water to make a paste. Scrub the paste onto the stain, then let it sit for about 15 minutes. Wipe off the paste and repeat the process as many times as needed for the stain to be removed completely.
- Combining hydrogen peroxide with baking soda might also be effective to remove the stain. Sprinkle some baking soda over the stain. Put the peroxide in a spray bottle and spray it onto the baking soda. Let the ingredients fizz and sit for 10-15 minutes, then wipe up the area with a damp cloth.¹
- Paint thinner can also be effective on some dye stains. Wipe a small amount on the stain, let it sit for a minute, then use a cloth damp with plain water to wipe the area clean.²
Additional Tips and Advice
- Always use candle holders or place a small dish under a candle to prevent the wax from dripping onto a surface that could stain.
- Avoid petroleum candles if possible; they tend to have strong dyes that are more difficult to remove.
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning by Mary Findley and Linda Formichelli
- Haley’s Hints by Graham and Rosemary Haley