A white towel stained with brown wax

How to Remove Wax from Clothing

Wax stain removal can be challenging, 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 pretreat 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:

15 minutes to read

How to Get Candle Wax Out of Clothes: Step-by-Step Guide

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, un-patterned 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, pretreat 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 that is safe for the garment. 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 because drying will set the stain.

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Other Tips and Tricks for Removing Candle Wax

Removing candle wax from various fabrics can be challenging because a single approach won’t necessarily work in all situations. The good news is that with a little know-how and some tools you probably have laying around the house, there are some creative yet effective solutions for getting wax out of fabrics.

How to get wax out of carpet

Getting wax out of carpet is tough because you can’t just pull up your carpet or rug and throw it in a washing machine. But with a few simple steps, you should be able to break away and remove wax from carpet. As with most stains, getting to the wax early will make your job a lot easier, but even dried wax can be removed with a little elbow grease. Start by freezing the wax by placing a bag of ice or an ice pack on top of the stain for about 10 minutes. Then, using a plastic knife or other dull, flexible scraper, remove the excess gently, being careful not to damage or tear any of the fibers of your carpet. If any wax remains, heat it until it softens and melts, then press a clean paper towel into the stain to absorb it. Finally, spot clean the area with a carpet cleaner until you’re satisfied with the results.

How to remove wax from clothing without an iron

One of the great things about wax is that unlike gum, paint, or other substances that can solidify on fabrics, wax has a low melting point and can be softened with the air from a hair dryer. With a clean paper towel in hand, heat the wax with the air from your hair dryer until it softens or liquefies, then use the paper towel to absorb the excess. This should remove most of the wax, and the rest can be spot cleaned with a Tide Ultra Stain Release Detergent before throwing in the wash as you normally would. If the wax stain persists after your wash cycle, repeat the process until you’re satisfied with the results.