Waxidents How to Clean Up (Almost) Any Wax Spill

Waxidents. If you fiddle around with wax long enough, they are bound to happen. Like that time when you were rushing around changing out melters and your hand touched a really (previously unknown) hot part of the melter which caused you to jump and spill hot pink wax all over your clothes, your hands, your new white ceramic melter, and your wood floor. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

As much as I love my scented wax, I loathe cleaning up wax spills. They’re messy. They’re annoying. And what’s more, they are taking time away that I could be enjoying my smellies! At Candlefind, we’ve had more waxidents than we care to admit, but we’re here to share our knowledge from lessons learned. Consider this your go-to guide on how to clean up wax spills.

How To Clean Wax Off Tile

If you’ve accidentally spilled wax onto a tile surface, you’re in luck. This is one of the easiest surfaces to clean up after a waxident.

  • Gently scrape as much of the wax that you can with a stiff item like an old credit card. Do not be aggressive here. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to get the wax up!
  • Place an ice cube over large pieces of the remaining wax. Allow it to sit a few minutes then use your stiff item to scrape up additional wax.
  • If there is additional wax remaining, place a brown paper bag down over the spill and heat up an iron (low heat). You will rub the iron gently over the paper bag, allowing the bag to absorb the wax as it warms. Alternatively, you can use paper towels but I have found those easier to burn with my iron.
  • For wax on tiled walls, break out your hair dryer! Turn it on a low heat setting and blow the heat over small sections of wax at a time. As the wax melts, wipe it clean with a paper towel.
  • If your grout is stained, use some baking soda mixed with a little bit of water and gently scrub with a toothbrush. I’ve also found that Magic Eraser works well for this.
Wax spill down a candle stick

How To Clean Wax Off Wood Floors

  • For wood floors, I recommend going straight for the ice cubes. Instead of setting the ice directly on the wood, place the cubes in a plastic bag and set that on top of the largest areas of the wax spill. Allow the wax to get very hard and brittle (1-2 minutes) so that you can scrape up the larger pieces rather easily. Use a dull knife or credit card, being careful to angle your instrument so not to damage your wood floors.
  • Only use the above for large clumps of wax. Your goal is to debulk the wax spill and make the remainder of clean up easier.
  • Break out the handy dandy hair dryer and use low heat over small sections of the wax. Begin wiping up as the wax melts, using a microfiber cloth. Repeat as needed.
  • Follow by cleaning your wood floors with your normal cleaning method.

How To Clean Wax Off Wood Furniture

The process for wood furniture is pretty much the same as for wood floors, as outlined above. However, depending on the size of the furniture (and just where the wax is located), it may be easier to focus on just the hair dryer instead of using the ice cubes, too.

Wax spill on wooden candlesticks

How To Clean Wax Off Glass Surfaces

  • If there are large peices of wax that are easily removed, gently scrape those off with a plastic knife or old credit card.
  • Using a blow dryer, heat up the wax and wipe up the melting wax with a lint-free cloth as you go.
  • Wash the surface with warm, soapy water afterwards to remove any remaining residue.
  • Follow with a glass cleaner to get back your regular shine!

How To Clean Wax Off Painted Walls

  • Use a hairdryer on the lowest warm setting. Working in small sections, heat the wax and immediately wipe the melting wax with a paper towel.
  • Depending on the type of wax, you may need to increase the heat temperature a little. Always start on the lowest setting and go from there.
  • If you don’t have access to a hair dryer, you can also use an iron on low heat. Place your paper towel over the area and gently run the iron over the paper towel. Work in small sections so that you don’t burn your towel or damage your wall.
  • If your paint finish allows, use warm, soapy water to remove further wax residue.

How To Clean Wax Off Clothing

  • Is the item washable and did the wax offense just happen? Consider laundering that bad boy in hot water. Just pull off the largest pieces before laundering and then wash away. Avoid the dryer, however, as you don’t want to seal in any stains or dyes – just in case there is some wax residue left.
  • For items that can’t be thrown into the washing machine, use an iron on low heat and a brown paper bag (or paper towel). Place the bag over the wax and then pass the iron back and forth gently over the bag.
  • If heat should not be applied to the material, try placing it in the freezer or set an ice bag on top of it for a few minutes. Once the wax has become brittle, pop it off carefully.
  • Remove residual stains with rubbing alcohol.
Wax spill down candlestick

How To Clean Wax Off Fabric Furniture

  • If the fabric is washable and you can remove it, do so and follow the above tips for clothing.
  • If treating in place, use a bag of ice and place it on the area for a few minutes, careful not to get your fabric wet. Once the wax is hard and brittle, pop it off with a dull knife or use a credit card.
  • Follow with a damp cloth to remove residual pieces and any residue.
  • Spot treat with rubbing alcohol if there are stains.

How To Clean Wax Off Carpet

  • If there are large pieces of wax that can be easily picked up, remove those pieces first. Try to avoid pulling too much on the carpet fibers.
  • Wet a small white washcloth and wring it out until it’s just damp. Place the washcloth over a small area of the wax.
  • Using an iron on low heat, run the iron over the washcloth. As the wax warms, you should be able to soak it up with the damp washcloth. Keep the washcloth damp (rewet it as needed).
  • Depending on the thickness of your washcloth and the type of carpet fibers, you may need to increase the heat of the iron. However, start on the lowest setting first and increase it only as needed.
  • Once you have removed as much of the wax as possible, run the vacuum to try to get up remaining pieces.

How To Clean Wax Off Brick

  • Use a dull knife or old credit card to scrape up the largest portions of wax first.
  • Ice down the smaller areas, one section at a time, for approximately 1-2 minutes. This will make the wax more brittle and easier to chip away. Use your dull knife or credit card again to remove more wax.
  • Once you have removed the majority of the wax that you can, wash the area down with gentle soap and water to get the remaining residue off.

How To Clean Wax Off Vinyl

  • Use a hairdryer on the lowest warm setting. Working in small sections, heat the wax and immediately wipe the melting wax with a paper towel.
  • Depending on the type of wax, you may need to increase the heat temperature a little. Always start on the lowest setting and go from there.
  • Consider the ice trick here! You can leave the bag of ice cubes in place a little longer than you can on a wood floor. Once the wax has become cold and brittle, gently scrape it up with a dull knife or the edge of a credit card.

A Case Study

Ok, ok…so in case you didn’t realize, the waxident referred to at the very beginning of this article belonged to yours truly. I wanted to show you some pictures of how bleak things looked right after my waxident and how things shaped up after a few nifty tricks:

how to clean up wax spill on wax melter

While carrying my new (pure white) wax melter around, my hand touched the very bottom which was HOT. I jerked and well…you can see what happened. Of course, the wax was pink! You can see how wax went all down the sides of this warmer and was also down in the area with the warming plate.

First step was to knock off the larger pieces with my fingers. I then used a hair dryer and warmed the wax, working on one small area at a time. As the wax warmed, I used my paper towel to mop up the wax. I then followed with a damp, lint-free cloth. You can see the warmer is almost back to normal (middle picture).

To get the wax from the warmer plate area, I turned on the warmer and then turned it upside down. As the wax warmed, it ran out onto the paper towel. To make sure I was capturing all the wax underneath, I tilted the warmer in various directions and allowed the wax to just trickle on out. Finally you can see the warmer was back in pristine condition, ready to get back to work!

Products To Help Clean Wax Spills

Sometimes even using the above doesn’t get rid of all your wax woes. Here are some products that we’ve found useful to get you back to pre-waxident state:

  • Goo Gone: This stuff is fantastic and we keep at least one bottle around our office. They offer a number of different products, including wipes!
  • This adhesive remover from Duck Products is also a work horse. We love carrying this portable little buddy around because you never know when you might need it.
  • Microfiber cleaning cloths: Look for lint free microfiber cleaning cloths to make your clean-ups lint and streak free.
  • Scrigit Scraper makes your scraping chores easy peasy and cuts down on the chances you will scratch your surfaces.
  • Can we all just agree Magic Eraser is a miracle worker? Just buy the case of these and use them over and over again to help clean up dye stains left behind from your wax.

Hopefully we’ve steered you in the right direction to clean up that nasty little wax spill. Grab yourself a glass of wine and dig in…you’ll be back to your regular scheduled wax programming in no time.

Do you have any tips for cleaning up wax spills? Tell us below!

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