May 30, 2014

How to Remove Wax from Fabric

Last weekend, my husband marched into the kitchen with an annoyed expression. I laughed when I saw him, because his shirt was covered with wax. When I asked what happened, he said something about sniffing a Citronella candle and somehow tipping it over, making wax run down his shirt front. He wasn't hurt, so I laughed again. "Well, this shirt is ruined!" he said, kind of upset because it was a favorite. (Yes, the secret is out. My husband loves Duck Dynasty.) "Oh, no it's not!" I said. "I can fix that!" He was highly skeptical, but I did manage to keep him from throwing the shirt away. The next evening, when he came home from work, he was astonished. His shirt was as good as new! And that fact is, it was an easy fix.

You may not have as much wax to clean up as I did, but if you ever get wax on fabric, here's an easy way to remove it.

You Will Need:

Butter knife (non-serrated)
Iron
Paper towels
Oxi-Clean (optional)

How to Remove Wax from Fabric:

1. Allow the wax to cool completely. This is important! Trying to remove the wax while it's still hot or warm can actually ruin the fabric.
Wax covered shirt.
2. Use a dull butter knife to scrape off as much of the wax as possible. (In my case, I was a wee bit worried the knife might scrape off the lettering on my husband's T-shirt, but that wasn't a problem at all.) I kept a bowl nearby to put all the little pieces of wax, but unless you have a big job like this one, that's probably not necessary. Alternative: Pop the fabric in the freezer until quite hard. When removed, the wax should pop right off.
Scraping wax off the shirt.
3. Remove all the scraped-off pieces of wax. In my case, I carefully took the shirt outside and shook it. If you're working on something you can't easily move (like the fabric of a couch), just brush the area well to remove the scraped-off wax.
What the shirt looked like after scraping.
4. Put two layers of paper towels down on an ironing board or other hard surface. (These will protect the surface from wax.) Lay the fabric down flat on the paper towels and cover with another paper towel (which will protect the iron from wax). If you're dealing with furniture, just place a paper towel over the affected area.
Pressing the wax away.
5. Warm the iron to medium heat, then press the affected areas. Repeat until all remaining traces of wax are gone.
The shirt after pressing.
6. Wash the fabric. If the wax has left behind a colored stain, wash the fabric with Oxi-Clean.

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