How to Remove Dried Wax

Dried wax can stick fast to almost any surface, including carpeting, clothing, wood, linoleum and many other items. When wax drips and dries on things, it not only hardens into unsightly globs but can leave a stain if not removed.

A variety of simple remedies can remove dried wax from carpets, cloth, wood and other surfaces.

  1. Remove dried wax from carpet by placing newspaper on top of the affected area. Plug in the hair dryer and turn the setting to a low warm heat. Blow over the newspaper until the wax is reheated and melts into the newspaper. Lift the newspaper as it absorbs some of the wax. Wipe the carpet with an absorbent cloth. Replace the newspaper and continue heating the wax, lifting the newspaper and wiping with an absorbent cloth as more wax melts. Repeat this process until all the dried wax has been removed from the carpet.

  2. Remove dried wax from fabric, such as a shirt or tablecloth, by following the same procedure as in Step 1, except place pieces of newspaper both on top of the fabric and beneath it.

  3. Remove dried wax from wood by using ice cubes to freeze the wax and harden it on the surface. Using an old credit card, scrape gently between the frozen wax and the wood to lift off the wax. Wood may be damaged if you scrape too harshly with the credit card, in which case you will need to buff it out and polish it to restore its appearance.

  4. Remove dried wax from vinyl flooring, linoleum, tiles and grout by gently scraping between the wax and the surface. Clean small, stubborn areas of dried wax by using an absorbent cloth dampened with warm water and a mild detergent. You can also use the hair dryer heating method from Step 1 on these surfaces.

  5. Place candle holders filled with dried wax in a freezer for about an hour. Take them out and pry off the wax with your fingers. If all the dried wax does not come off, put the candle holders back in the freezer for another 30 minutes. Repeat until all of the wax is removed.

  6. Tip

    For carpeting and fabric, wipe the area with a mild detergent and warm water after removing all the dried wax to lift any lingering bits from the fibers.


    Do not use high heat on the hair dryer when removing wax from surfaces, as this can heat the wax too quickly and cause stains.