A white towel stained with brown wax

How to Remove Wax Stains from Clothes

Wax stain removal can be a bit of a challenge, but it's definitely possible to save your garments from ruin.

When removing wax drippings from your clothes, first things first -step away from the stain! Wax removal is easier once the wax has hardened, so let it dry, instead of working it deeper into the garment's fibers. Once the wax is solid, you can remove the bulk of it easily. Next, you'll want to use the trusty iron and paper towel trick to heat any residue and transfer it to the paper towel. Now, you can pre-treat using Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid and a soft-bristled toothbrush before washing. Read on for Tide’s step-by-step guide to removing wax from clothing and take the hassle out of wax stain removal:

Removing Wax Stains

Step 1

Remove Excess

Allow wax to dry and remove excess by scraping it off or by freezing the garment and snapping off the frozen wax. To remove any remaining wax, place white unpatterned paper towels on either side of the fabric and use an iron on a low, non-steam. Be careful not to leave the iron in one spot for too long.

A person removing excess stain from a piece of white garment with a toothbrush
Step 2


If any oil spots remain from the wax, pre-treat by applying Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid to the spot, work it into the stain by rubbing the garment together gently or by using a soft bristled toothbrush. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Step 3


Use the cap to ensure you use the right amount of detergent, and pour it into the detergent dispenser if you have an HE machine, or directly into the drum before loading the clothes if you have a non-HE machine.

Step 4


Without rinsing off the detergent, place the garment into the washer with other items. Leaving the detergent on the stain will give your wash that extra boost of cleaning power.

A person loading white clothes into the washing machine drum
Step 5


Wash on the usual cycle, on the hottest wash temperature indicated. Always check the instructions on the garment’s care label.

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Select the wash cycle and water temperature on your washing machine
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Step 6


When the cycle is complete, unload the garments immediately.

If the stain persists after washing, repeat the previous steps before tossing in the dryer, as drying will set the stain.

A laundry basket full of neatly folded, colorful gaments