Here at the little green candle company we are no stranger to occasional mishaps with wax, or 'waxidents' as we like to call them - they are somewhat of an occupational hazard!
And despite taking care with candles, sometimes accidents do happen, so if it does, what's the best way of cleaning up a waxy mess?
Well first of all we should say that if it's one of our candles that's involved you're in luck! Our wax is 100% vegetable based, which means it is water soluble and will wash away with soap and water no problem. Paraffin or paraffin blended candles are a little more tricky but these tips should still help you to clean up any spills in no time.
Clothes or tablecloths
Firstly let the wax harden and carefully scrape off as much of it as you can. If the wax is still soft you could try freezing the item to harden the wax before scraping. If a small amount of wax still remains place clean paper towels on top of and under the stain and press the area with a warm dry iron. The paper towels should absorb any remaining wax. You can then wash your garment as normal.
Carpets and upholstery
As with clothes, allow wax to harden first and then scrape off what you can. To harden the wax you can try freezing it by applying an ice cube wrapped in a small plastic bag. If a large amount of wax still remains or if the wax is paraffin based, cover the area with a clean cloth and press with a warm iron to transfer the wax to the cloth. Repeat, using a clean portion of the cloth until all the wax is transferred from the carpet to the cloth. Finally sponge the area with warm soapy water or upholstery cleaner and allow to dry.
Wooden and other hard surfaces
Something like a credit card is ideal here. Use it to gently scrape away the wax once it has fully hardened. Once you have scraped away as much as possible, wash the area with warm soapy water until all wax residue has gone. Finally, polish or treat the furniture as appropriate. If the surface is particularly delicate, instead of scraping you may be better warming the wax, for example with a hair dryer, until it is softened and then wipe it away with a soft cloth before washing and polishing.
The best way to deal with wax on a wall will really depend on the wall covering and the type of wax. If the wax is a soft vegetable wax and it is on a painted plaster you can gently scrape the wax away with a credit card before wiping with a soft cloth. If necessary, gently soften the wax before scraping, using a hairdryer on a low heat. Again using a warm hairdryer, soften any remaining residue before wiping away. A solution of vinegar and water (with a ratio of 1:3) can help to remove stubborn paraffin residue. Ensure that the wax has been removed properly before repainting the wall.
We love to promote reuse in order to reduce waste, and we are well practised at cleaning out candle containers, which have so many other uses once you've finished your candle - not to mention the possibility of a refill service like the one we offer on our tin candles.
We find the simplest way to clean out leftover wax is to put the container in an oven tray and heat in the oven on a very low heat. Care should be taken to ensure the heat is less than 90 degrees, and also to ensure none of the contents are spilled in your oven! Leave inside until the wax has fully melted and carefully remove using heat proof gloves. When the container is cool enough to hold safely, pour any remaining wax into a paper cup, which you can then dispose of once set. It's important not to pour melted wax down your sink or you could end up with blocked pipes!
Wipe the still warm container with a piece of kitchen roll or a paper towel to remove as much remaining wax residue as possible and then wash the container thoroughly in hot soapy water. It should then be good as new!