Candle Wax-idents Happen!
Almost everyone loves the ambiance created by the glow of candlelight. However, when it comes to cleanup, candle wax can present you with one of life’s great quandaries – how to remove it without wrecking your stuff!
Candle wax mishaps can occur a number of ways. I have had to clean up melted wax after accidentally knocking over a lit candle, when candle wax dripped over the edge of its holder onto the table, and even when blowing out a candle a little too vigorously.
Once the wax-ident occurs, how you clean it up can sometimes make the difference between saving your grandmother’s antique lace tablecloth and donating that expensive piece of clothing to Goodwill.
On a Hard, Smooth Surface
If you end up with a blob of wax on a hard, smooth surface such as a laminate countertop or glass table, leave it alone. Wait until the wax blob cools completely all the way through. If possible, wait until the next day. Once the wax has cooled and hardened, simple apply a slight bit of pressure near the bottom edge and it should pop right off completely intact.
If the wax is not a nice, neat blob, though, you may have to scrape it off. Us a straight-edged non-metal tool to scrape off the wax. No knives or screwdrivers! The edge of a credit card or a plastic putty knife will work best.
Finish your clean-up with any household surface cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water.
The Hairdryer Method
If the offending wax is on a hard porous surface such as wood, a textured countertop, linoleum or tile, a painted wall, or if the above method left a residue on a glassy surface, a hair dryer is your best bet. Heat the wax up with a hairdryer set to its hottest temperature. Once the wax is melted or very soft, wipe with a rag of paper towel. This can, however, cause the wax to smear. My personal method involves placing the rag or paper towel over the wax, then heating it up. As the wax melts, the rag or paper will automatically begin to soak it up right away, without smearing it. Be sure not to use a good towel, as the wax may stain and end up ruining something after all.
The Iron Method
Wax on a fabric surface is the worst! A chair, your favorite blouse, or Grandma’s heirloom tablecloth, can cause you the most trouble. An iron allows you to heat up the wax very quickly making it easier to soak up quickly. Scrape any large chunks of wax from the surface of the fabric before using the iron method.
Heat the iron to the desired setting for the fabric. Delicate fabrics will, of course, require a lower setting. Place a soft cloth rag or a paper towel over the offended area, and apply the iron. If the wax stain is large or thick, you may have to apply the iron several times with a clean area of the towel. Blot – do not wipe – the wax from the fabric. Do not leave the paper towel or the cloth on the wax for any length of time after the iron has been removed or the wax will cool and you’ll have both wax and towel stuck to your fabric creating an even bigger mess!