Wax off my couch?
May 3, 2006 9:44 AM   Subscribe

HELP ME WITH WAX ON MY COUCH. A few days ago some candles leaked from their rightful place resting on a shelf above my couch. A very good amount of wax melted onto the cotton based covers of this couch before the candle was blown out. I've managed to peel off some of the bigger spots of the cooled and now hardened wax. Please help me with any tricks to get the rest off. How does one go about getting wax splatters and hardened wax spots off the material??
posted by sandrapbrady to Home & Garden (18 answers total)
Martha Stewart claims that using an iron on low heat with a piece of paper towel between the iron and the wax can remove a lot of it. YMMV, I've never tried it.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:46 AM on May 3, 2006

To remove hardened, tenacious wax from, say, candleholers, you can put them in the freezer to make the wax brittle and loosen it's grip. I wonder if the same thing might work with your covers?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:52 AM on May 3, 2006

I believe I have heard the same thing, but using blotting paper (more absorbent?).
posted by ClarissaWAM at 9:53 AM on May 3, 2006

(the same thing as dipsomaniac obviously, not as ZenMasterThis)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 9:54 AM on May 3, 2006

The iron trick does work, but I used a brown paper bag instead of a paper towel. It would be best if you could some how slide some paper underneath the cover (is this a slip cover?), so you can have paper on both sides of the wax stain. As you heat the spot, the brown paper will turn darker as it absorbs the melted wax. Keep moving the paper to a "dry" spot to get the most wax out. And start the iron on the lowest temperature just to be safe.
posted by kimdog at 9:55 AM on May 3, 2006

This may be a very bad idea, but as a last resort you could try WD-40. I spilled wax all over a sweater and WD-40 was the only thing that got it off without hurting the fabric. I'm not a laundry expert, though, so be careful!
posted by lemuria at 9:57 AM on May 3, 2006

My mother used to use an iron and brown wrapping paper (same as in brown paper bags I think) to get wax off my surplice when I was a kid and it was pretty effective.
posted by biffa at 9:58 AM on May 3, 2006

Thirding or fourthing the brown paper grocery bag, has worked perfectly for me.
posted by nicwolff at 10:10 AM on May 3, 2006

Another vote for ironing brown paper, it works.
posted by fire&wings at 10:33 AM on May 3, 2006

Agreeing with all the brown paper bag and low-heat iron users - it's worked for me, too. Just be sure to have more on the bottom so it doesn't melt through to the ironing board (voice of experience here).
posted by Lynsey at 10:35 AM on May 3, 2006

I have used old towels or other rags when I've spilled wax instea of using brown paper. This has allowed me to get wax out of carpet in addition to table cloths. If you have to get it out of carpet, be very careful because the iron can melt the cheaper, synthetic carpet.
posted by onhazier at 11:00 AM on May 3, 2006

I have actually used paper towels with the iron-- low heat and constantly (but slowly) move your paper around, so that you're constantly giving the wax a fresh thing to absorb into. For all I know a brown paper bag works better.
posted by BT at 11:26 AM on May 3, 2006


I've done the iron and paper towel trick on carpet and walls before, with good results. My one addition would be to make sure you scrape as much wax as you can off of the fabric first. The point is to liquefy the wax so that the paper can absorb it. Every bit of extra wax makes that more difficult, and any thick spots will require repeated applications. If the fabric isn't delicate, try dragging a stiff bristled brush across the wax a few times to break it up and brush it away.
posted by team lowkey at 12:01 PM on May 3, 2006

On pale carpet, I used the brown paper bag/iron trick until I absolutely could not get anymore wax up, then I used a few paper towels to get a little more out. Pink wax on beige carpet - gone.
posted by peep at 12:02 PM on May 3, 2006

as a last resort you could try WD-40

Yes, this will work well for stubborn residue from synthetic (paraffin) candles. Not so sure about beeswax.

Test first on some non-obvious area to make sure it won't make the fabric run. Then alternate between WD40 and bicycle-chain degreaser (or other grease-cutting detergent) until it's gone.
posted by randomstriker at 12:25 PM on May 3, 2006

I've been using the iron and paper towel (or borwn bag) method for years. Is good.

Note of caution--if you are really late for a party and have wax on your skirt and don't want to wait for the iron to heat up, so you just put a soup spoon in the flame of your gas stove... well, that also works with a paper towel. Just don't brush the back of your hand with it! (healing nicely, thanks...)
posted by Squid Voltaire at 12:33 PM on May 3, 2006

I got candle wax all over my favorite wool blanket. I was able to get it all out (as far as I could tell) by blowing a hair dryer on high through the blanket. Don't do this indoors. If you can't get access to the underside of the fabric, this obviously won't work as well, but you might want, as a last resort, to try to to pull the cover away from the padding and blow the wax into the body of the couch or cushion.

Good luck!
posted by jamjam at 2:13 PM on May 3, 2006

I'm a big fan of Goof-Off: The Ultimate Remover. It's a solvent, so of course you'll want to make sure it doesn't eat your couch first on an inconspicuous area. But I've used it on clothes, carpet, furniture etc. to get oil, wax, gum and other nasty things out.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:18 PM on May 3, 2006

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