Lit candles do not just brighten the home at night, they also add to the overall beauty of your home. Dating back to antiquity, candles add to the romantic feel and touch of a date — their scent and overall look help one feel at ease.
Although capable of giving your home a new feel, candles have one major disadvantage, they drip wax — in the process leaving ugly looking blotches over your expensive wooden furniture.
While melted wax does not usually damage your furniture, it is capable of leaving stains that do not only ruin the finish but also make your home look unkempt. You definitely wouldn’t want your home looking like that, would you? Certainly not.
Is there anything you can do to get stubborn candle wax off your wooden surfaces?
Contrary to what you’ve heard most people say, there’s actually a way for you to conveniently get candle wax off any wooden surface. Sounds interesting, right? Follow as we dive into how to get wax off wood.
How to Get Wax Off Wood
Getting wax off any wooden surface is important if you want your wooden furniture and objects to look new. To help you out, we’d share some of the various methods you can implore to completely carry out this task. In addition to this, we’ll also share some of the tools you’d be needing to complete the task.
Settle and Scrape
Arguably the easiest method here, the settle and scrape wax removal method has been designed to remove minor wax spills on your wooden surface.
The settle, and scrape method requires carefulness and patience. If you’re not patient enough to get to the end of this method, you may consider skipping it.
For this method, there are a couple of materials or items you will need to get the job done. The materials are:
- First, you will need a piece of paper.
- You also need to have either of these: a plastic spoon, plastic spatula, credit card (ideally, the card you decide to make use of should be an expired one so that you do not have to worry about keeping it from being damaged).
- Clean, light, and soft washcloths will also be needed.
- For your protection, you may decide to put on protective gear (though this is not typically a dangerous task).
- Furniture polish or wax (not the candle kind!) may also be needed during the course of carrying out this task.
Assuming you’ve gathered the items mentioned here, these are the steps you should follow:
- Using either your debit or credit card, or firm plastic spoon or spatula, begin to gently scrape the wax off the wooden surface. This should be done in the direction of the grain and not against it. If there are cracks on the wooden surface, use the round part of the credit card or the tip of the plastic spatula to carefully dislodge wax stuck inside the wooden surface.
- Once you’ve done that, fragments of wax may begin to accumulate. With the help of the credit card or spatula, carefully and gently push the fragments onto the piece of paper and dispose of properly.
- If there is still wax on the surface, repeat the process again. This time, be more careful to prevent damage to the finishing of the wood.
- Assuming you’ve dislodged the wax completely from the wood, use the light and soft washcloth to buff the area you worked on.
- Using the furniture polish and washcloth, clean the surface until you are satisfied with how it’s looking.
If you’re not sure of what furniture polish to make use of, I’d advise you to use an alcohol-free wood polish option.
As mentioned earlier, this method is ideal for minor wax build-up. Efficiently applying this method requires patience, as patience is vital if the wax spill just happened a couple of minutes ago.
Instead of scraping immediately, it is advised that you let it dry completely before working on it. Why? If you immediately begin to scrape without letting the wax spill dry off completely, you may burn yourself or cause serious damage to the wood finishing.
Albeit easy, this method has its downside, which is that you may end up scratching the wood surface. Use caution or skip to one of the methods below.
Lastly, prevent wax fragments from getting onto other clean surfaces to make your job easier.
Heat and Wipe
Considered to be the best wax removal method for major blobs of wax, the heat and wipe method does not require you to scrape, thus, reducing your chances of scratching the surface of the wood.
The heat and wipe method has proven to be a wonder-working method, especially for major wax blobs. Generally, the idea behind this method is to warm the overall wax blob, in the process making its composition softer and easier to get rid of.
Once the wax has been warmed to the right degree, you simply need to use a rag to wipe off wax fragments without having to scratch the surface.
Generally, this method has two separate ways to go about it but first, let’s make a list of the materials you need to complete this task. They are:
- You need soft and light washcloths for this task.
- You will need a heat source, it could either be a hair dryer or an iron (be careful with this option).
- Paper towels may also be needed.
- Like before, a furniture polish cream may help restore the surface to its former glory.
Assuming you decide to use a hairdryer as your heat source, these are the steps you ought to follow;
- First, you need to hold the dryer at least three inches away from the wax blob.
- Tune the dryer to the Lowest Setting, then point it towards the direction of the candle wax.
- As the wax begins to soften, use your hands to peel off as many fragments as you can peel off. Using a lint-free washcloth, wipe the fragments off the surface without letting it pour onto the unaffected surfaces.
- If there are wax blobs on the surface, repeat this process again until every single wax piece is removed.
- Apply the furniture polish.
If you do not own a hairdryer, you can also use iron as a heat source. Here’s how you can use this method to get wax off the wood.
- First, place your iron close to the wax. It should be on its lowest setting and the steam should be turned off.
- Using paper towels, cover the affected area. It is important that you use three different paper towel layers to cover the entire wax blob.
- Once that is done, you’d have to place an iron-safe lint-free cloth over the paper towel, then place the iron over the cloth for about five seconds.
- Now, pull off the cloth to see if the wax has absorbed completely into the paper towel. If not, then it is only right that you pull the cloth over and heat for an additional couple of seconds.
- If there is still wax on the wood, repeat the process until everything is removed. Bear in mind that you may need to replace the paper towels if you are to repeat the process.
- Assuming you’ve removed the wax from the wood completely, apply furniture polish and wipe with a clean and light washcloth.
Interestingly, you can use these two methods together. For example, if you’ve removed the majority of the wax with a hairdryer, you may decide to use an iron to remove the other smaller fragments.
While using iron as a heat source may be quite time consuming, since you have to apply the iron to the cloth for only a couple of seconds, it has been identified as the best method. If you notice that the wax is deeply embedded in the wood, then using iron as a heat source is the best option for you.
If you decide to use the iron method, I’d advise that you start with the lowest setting, then increase the temperature if you notice that the wax isn’t coming off or melting. Ideally, the iron should be pretty warm.
Also, endeavor to use enough paper towels. It is advised that you use three different layers to prevent wax from absorbing into your cloth instead of the paper towel (this also protects the wood from excess heat).
This is another way to get wax off wood. Although not common, it has proven to be as efficient as any of the methods mentioned here.
If you do not want to heat wax blobs with a dryer or iron, it is an ideal wax removal method that even your kids can try out.
These are some of the items you will be needing for this method:
- A credit card, spatula, or plastic spoon
- A lint-free light washcloth will also be needed for this task
- Ice cubes will also be needed
- A plastic bag ( ideally a zipper-styled one)
- Furniture polish or wax cream
Assuming you’ve gathered these materials beforehand, these are the steps you have to follow to get wax off wood with this method.
- You will need to first harden wax by placing the ice cubes over the affected part of the wood.
- Using either a credit card or spatula, scrape off wax as soon as it gets hard. To do this efficiently, you will need to start from one side of the wood before moving to the other affected parts.
- Using a washcloth, wipe off wax fragments after you’re done scraping.
- Apply furniture polish accordingly, then wipe off until you are satisfied.
These methods discussed here are easy DIY methods that anyone can conveniently do to get wax off wood. As mentioned, it is important to get all the required materials available first before getting started. This helps save you time.
What You Should Avoid when Getting Wax Off Wood
While we have shared the various methods that can be implored to conveniently get wax off wood, there are a couple of things you need to avoid when applying any of the methods.
- First, don’t be in a hurry. Having wax on any wooden surface is not a sight you want to behold but rushing may cause more damage than harm. You could either burn your fingers or damage the wood surface. Let the wax dry completely, then using any of the methods above, get it off.
- Secondly, do not scrape aggressively. We agree that there are certain stubborn wax blobs that may refuse to get off after scraping for a long time. That should not make you lose your cool or turn aggressive. Continue to scrape gently and it will eventually come off. Scraping aggressively may scratch the wood surface, and you don’t want that.
- Lastly, choose the best method for you. The trick to getting wax off wood is choosing the best method to use depending on the volume of wax to be removed. If it is an enormous wax blob, you may have to opt for the heat and wipe method but for smaller wax blobs, the settle and scrape method will suffice.
Getting wax off wood has proven to be easier than most people thought. While many people opt for chemical solutions to get wax off, we have shared three easy and chemical-free methods that can be used to remove wax conveniently.
As mentioned earlier, the trick lies in choosing the best method for you but getting the required materials beforehand is important as well.