As we all know, candle wax will always burn! The trick is figuring out how to get rid of that burnt down mess. Luckily, there are many ways to do this. Some work better than others depending on what type of candle you use and what kind of shirt you are trying to wash.
We will go over some easy tips here so that you can quickly and efficiently remove your t-shirt’s coverup. These tips apply not only to natural cotton shirts but also synthetic ones as well.
Removing candle wax from a white or light colored t-shirt may be slightly different than doing it for a darker color one. That is because candles come in various shades, and some burn brighter than others. We will discuss those differences below.
Once everything has been done, make sure to thoroughly rinse your garment to avoid having leftover wax residue on it. This includes rinsing under running water and using a soap solution to completely cleanse the item.
Use a mixture of soap and water
As you can probably tell, candle wax will not just disappear! If left alone, the wax will eventually dry up and drop off, but that may take hours or even days depending on the length of time the candle was burning.
Instead of waiting for it to melt down, we suggest using a solution of hot water and regular dishwashing liquid (like Dawn) in a pot to remove the rest of the wax. Mix them together in an appropriate amount of time and apply the solution to the affected area. Let sit for several minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
We recommend doing this with either a hairdryer set at low heat or use of a hand spray bottle to avoid spreading any additional wax onto your new t-shirt. Repeat if necessary until no more wet spots appear.
Use a mixture of lemon and water
The easiest way to remove candle wax from a t-shirt is by using a mix of milk and water. If needed, you can also use a slightly heavier liquid (like water with cream or milk in it) as a wash powder to help soak up any leftover pieces.
Simply put your washed shirt into the washing machine along with some of the mentioned liquid. Using a hand towel, dry the t-shirthands completely before putting it away!
Make sure to check out our other tips here for more tricks to keep your clothes clean.
Use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water
Many people have success using baking soda and warm water to remove candle wax from clothing. While this works, it is not the best way to do so as both contain hydrogen ions.
Hydrogen ions are what neutralize chemical compounds in things like acid or burnt substances. By removing these acids, the chemicals will keep sticking around and forming another compound, which makes cleaning more difficult.
Using ACV instead removes the acids content in the liquid and replaces them with CO2, making the molecules less stable and eventually breaking down into carbon dioxide and water.
For people who are having trouble removing candle wax from a cotton t-shirt, our solution is to use alcohol! Alcohol removes most substances, so try rubbing some alcohol onto the affected area or under running water if you cannot get access to that area.
Once it has been absorbed, rinse off the shirt in fresh water and let it air dry.
Heat the shirt with a dry iron
When your candle burns down, you will usually get some leftover wax. This can easily be removed by either heating up an old, still working tshirt in a hot bath of water or using a fabric softener/dye removal method like our recipe here!
If the dried up wax has broken down into small pieces then boiling the shirt is your best bet. If it’s more solidified then trying one of the other methods mentioned first is ideal. Once it’s cool, pick off any excess melted wax and rinse under cold running water. The rest should come out naturally.
Use a candle removal spray
Many people have trouble removing candle wax from their clothes due to there not being any good solutions available. Luckily, these days you can find candle removal sprays that work very well!
Most of them contain alcohol or isopropyl alcohol which helps break down most types of oils including olive oil so it works as a cleaner for melted candles. Some even include buffing agents such as microfiber cloths to help smooth out your clothing.
The best way to use this product is by spraying directly onto the wax and rubbing with a dry microfiber towel or brush. Make sure to wash the spray off first and then apply another layer if needed. You may also need to repeat this process several times until all the wax has been removed.
Rub the wax with a salt mixture
If you are having trouble getting rid of all the candle wax, try rubbing it against a source of chloride or sodium. These include dried seaweed, baking soda, plain white vinegar, and table salts such as sea salt or kosher salt.
Using a piece of soft, porous cloth, add one teaspoon of the salt solution to each cup of warm water. Mix well and apply this liquid onto the surface of the candle wax. Let sit for several minutes until most of the wax has dissolved in the liquid.
Once it does, rinse off the t-shirt in lukewarm water and dry thoroughly.
Use a baking soda and water paste
If you are trying to remove candle wax from a cotton t-shirt, there is an easy solution that does not require using chemicals or expensive supplies.
Instead, use a mixing bowl and a spoon to mix together equal parts of regular baking soda and water in order to make a smooth paste.
Now, apply this mixture directly onto the affected area of the shirt and let it sit for several minutes until it has dried. Then rinse off the washing machine or put your dryer on warm setting to quickly heat up and dry the garment.
By doing so, the wax will melt and run down the fabric, removing most of the residue.