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How to Remove Candle Wax From Hardwood Floors

Burned down candle

Candles are relaxing and therapeutic. Until, that is, you get candle wax on another surface in the home. However, if it gets on your hardwood floor, don't flip your lid. There are some sure-fire, do-it-yourself ways to get that wax off your floor easily.

It's All About Heat

Candle wax melts, which is why it dripped on your floor in the first place. Sometimes candles tip or get knocked over, no matter how careful you try to be. However, candle wax removal is pretty simple, especially on wood floors.

Getting the Right Supplies

For the heating removal method, you are going to need a few different things:

  • Iron
  • Paper bag or towel (This is going to soak up wax, so use a paper towel or old towel/rag you can afford to throw away).
  • Plastic spatula, scraper, or something similar

Step 1: Scrape Off Wax

Using the plastic spatula, lightly scrape off the surface wax.

  • You don't want to pick at the wax since this can damage your floor. Instead, you want to try to evenly scrape off as much of the top wax as you can to get to what is sticking to your floor.

Step 2: Cover

Lay the bag or towel over the wax.

Step 3: Apply Heat

Use the iron to apply heat to the area (use a low to medium setting with no steam). You want to make gentle passes over the area, not letting the iron sit in one area too long. Think of it like you are ironing the towel or bag that you laid over the waxy area.

  • It is very important to keep the iron moving. Letting it sit in one area too long could scorch your floor.
  • If you don't have an iron, you can use a hair dry to melt the wax as well. You are just trying to get the wax into a liquid form so that you can soak it up.

Step 4: Remove Towel

Remove the bag or towel once all or most of the wax has been removed. If any wax is still on the floor, repeat step 3.

Step 5: Remove Any Remaining Residue

Use furniture wax to buff out any additional residue.

  • The heat method is particularly good for any candles that might have had oils in the wax since this method will help the towel or bag absorb the oils.
  • While Goo Gone or a similar product might seem like a great choice to remove additional residue, some people do caution against it because it could damage a polyurethane finish on the floor.
  • If you have a polyurethane finish on the floor, you can also use olive oil or baby oil to remove additional residue. However, if you don't know, just stick with furniture wax.

Chill Out

If you don't have an iron or hair dryer, hope isn't lost. Candle wax has two forms. If you can't make it liquid, make it solid.

What You Need

If you are using the chilling method, you need:

  • Ice in a plastic bag or ice pack
  • Plastic spatula or scraper (make sure this is plastic because metal will scratch the floor)
  • Furniture wax

Step 1: Place Ice

Lay the ice on the wax. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. You really want the wax to get nice and solid.

Step 2: Scrape Wax

Once the wax is nice and firm, take the scraper or spatula and gently pry the wax off the floor. You want to be gentle and smooth on this step. Continue smoothly scraping the wax until it is all gone.

Step 3: Remove Residue or Stains

Use the furniture wax to buff out any remaining residue.

  • If there is a stain from any scented oils in the candle wax, try using the towel and iron method to pull this out.

Clean a Waxy Mess With Ease

While candles might smell nice and provide great ambiance, they can be a mess if you aren't prepared for the dripping wax. However, if you drop some on your beautiful hardwood floors, it's okay. These easy removal methods just take a little heat or a bit of ice.

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How to Remove Candle Wax From Hardwood Floors