How do you remove candle wax from clothes? There's a method that works like magic, according to cleaning experts

Don't throw out your dress just yet — here's how to remove candle wax from clothes

A woman with long hair, whose face you can't see, in a white sweater with black nail polish lighting a candle with a lighter
(Image credit: Getty Images/szakalikus)

We asked cleaning experts, "How do you remove candle wax from clothes," and thankfully, their expertise means your favorite garments aren't goners if you have a waxy mishap.

With a little patience and some TLC, removing candle residue left behind from our favorite signature fragrances is entirely possible with our simple four-step guide, even if does feel a little tedious. 

If some of the best candles did your textiles dirty, quite literally, don't worry. We're here to help restore your sweaters, skirts, dresses, and beyond back to pristine condition.  

How do you remove candle wax from clothes?

1. Freeze the piece of clothing

As much as we love burning the best home fragrances out there, our candles do run the risk of dripping wax, in turn messing up our clothes. But cleaning experts unanimously agree that the best way to remove candle wax from your favorite outfits is by freezing the article in question.

"Place the garment in the freezer to harden the wax, then gently scrape it off with a dull knife, which helps prevent the wax from spreading," says Daniel Feliciano, co-founder and CEO of Clotheslyne

Friendly reminder: don't attempt this first step until the wax has cooled, as scraping warm wax can cause it to spread and make the problem worse. 

2. Iron the stain

It may seem unusual, but the next step in the process is grabbing your steam iron. (And making sure your iron is clean.) 

"Grab a clean cloth, lay it over the stain, and apply a warm iron," says Hyacinth Tucker, founder of The Laundry Basket, LLC. "The heat will melt the wax, which the cloth will absorb. Repeat until the wax is history." 

But Daniel suggests approaching this part of the process with baby steps, and not hovering over one spot in particular for too long. 

"It's always a good idea to test any method on a small fabric area and address the issue immediately," he says. "Consider hiring a professional cleaner to avoid damaging delicate fabrics or fabrics you're unsure about."

3. Wash the item as usual

Once the freezing and scraping are set, grab the best laundry detergent from your laundry room and let your washing machines do the rest. 

"Wash as usual to get rid of any oily residue," Hyacinth adds. 

If you don't feel quite ready to toss it in the rinse cycle and believe there's still more work to do, Maytag suggests treating the items with the appropriate stain treatment and allowing it soak for about an hour before letting your washing machine take over.

4. Keep the fabric in mind

Not all fabrics are created equal, and for some, this process is a bit intense.

"Fabrics like silk, satin, and velvet can be real drama queens when it comes to candle wax," Hyacinth adds. "They're sensitive souls, easily damaged by heat or pressure. So, take it easy. Be gentle when scraping off wax, and keep the iron on a low heat setting. And remember, patience is key." 

If in doubt, send the clothing over to the professionals. 

Meet our experts

Daniel Feliciano
Daniel Feliciano

Daniel is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Clotheslyne — "Your laundry. Done, folded, delivered."

Hyacinth Tucker
Hyacinth Tucker

Hyacinth Tucker, affectionately known as the Laundry Lady, has a motto: "No laundry left behind." She's the founder of The Laundry Basket, LLC, where she brings her unique flair and expertise to the world of laundry care. With a knack for making laundry entertaining and informative, Hyacinth is on a mission to revolutionize how we approach washing and drying our clothes. Hyacinth has shared her laundry wisdom in various publications, including Martha Stewart, Business Insider, Simplemost, Daily Express, and others. 

FAQs

Will candle wax come out in the wash?

Candle wax will likely come out in the wash provided you take the proper steps first, which includes freezing the wax piece, scrapping it off with a dull knife, soaking the item in a stain treatment, if necessary, and then putting it in the wash. 

Does soap remove candle wax?

Soap on its own will not remove candle wax from your clothing. The piece in question needs to be hardened then treated with the proper solution (if necessary).


Learn how to clean wax from upholstery. While we're on the topic of cleaning, you'll want to master the art of  how to do laundry — candle wax or no candle wax — to ensure your garments are getting the best care possible.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.

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