Get Rid of the Stains, Not the Furniture!

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The winter holiday season is filled with the soft glow of candlelight. Which means you may find some wax drippings on any number of surfaces. Try the suggestions below for safely removing wax from many household surfaces without causing damage.

On hard surfaces such as wood, apply an ice pack to the surface to freeze it. Then take a thin object, like a credit card, to gently scrape. Don’t use a knife because it may damage the surface you’re trying to remove wax from.

If any wax residue remains, use a product that cleans finished wood to remove remaining smudges and other soils. A polish or wax may be used if a shine is desired. Buff with a soft cloth. Be sure the wood surface is properly finished. Any substance, even water, used on unfinished or improperly finished wood can damage the surface.

If wax is dripped on carpet or fabric, put a paper bag on top of the wax and then iron over the bag, pressing gently until all of the wax is transferred off the carpet or fabric and onto the bag. (For fabric, put one paper bag underneath and one on top, then iron.)

For fabrics that can be laundered, use a dull knife to scrape off surface wax. Place the stain between paper towels and press with a warm iron, transferring the wax to the towels. Continue, using clean towels, until the wax no longer transfers. Then, place the stain facedown on another clean paper towel and sponge with a prewash stain remover such as “Shout”; blot with paper towels. Let dry, then launder.

On vinyl flooring, soak the area with hot water and then wipe away the wax with a dry cloth. Repeat as necessary and then follow up, if needed, with a bit of multipurpose stain remover, such as “Oops!”.

To remove candlewax from glass, scrape off surface wax with a dull knife or edge of credit card and apply heat with a hair dryer set to medium. Wipe off the wax with a rag as it softens. Wash the area with hot, soapy water to remove residue.

If candlewax mars a painted wall, apply heat with a hair dryer set to medium and wipe away excess wax as it softens. Remove residue with a solution of one part white vinegar and three parts water. On countertops, scrape up the wax when cooled with the edge of credit card. Or heat up the area with a blow dryer and wipe away the rest of the remaining wax with a paper towel.