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How to remove wax from clothes in 5 steps

There’s no need to fret if you’ve spilled wax on your clothes, as these stains can usually be removed. You’ll want to quickly pretreat the stain to remove the wax from the fabric before machine-washing your clothing item. Keep in mind that it’s important to consult your care label for specific wash instructions. Read on for a step-by-step process on how to remove wax from clothes including pretreating, washing and drying your item along with other tips to help you remove the stain.

Can wax be washed out of clothes? 

Wax can usually be washed out of clothes, but it helps if you act quickly to stop the spread and keep the wax from setting into the fabric. It’s important to pretreat the area by removing as much wax as possible before washing the clothing item. This process can take up to 3 hours to complete.

How to get wax stains out of clothes 

You can follow these steps for general instructions on pretreating, washing and drying a clothing item with a wax stain. It’s recommended that you first check your clothing care label for specific wash instructions, as they may vary depending on the type of fabric.

  • Paper towels

  • Stain treatment or detergent

  • Hot water

  • Oxygen bleach (optional)

  • Spoon or butter knife

  • Iron

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Step 1: Pretreat fabric

Scrape off as much wax as you can with a butter knife or spoon when it’s dry. You can also freeze the clothing item to harden the wax. Be sure not to try to remove the wax when it’s still warm, as this may cause it to spread into the fabric.

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Step 2: Iron wax stain

Place your garment, stain side down, on a paper towel. Put another paper towel on top. Using an iron on a low-setting, press the paper towel to pull as much wax out of the fabric as possible. Replace the waxy paper towels with a clean batch, and repeat the process until the wax no longer transfers onto the paper towels.

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Step 3: Soak

Pretreat the wax stain with a stain treatment or detergent. Check your clothing’s care label for wash instructions, specifically for water temperature. Fill a sink or basin with about 2 cups of the hottest water that’s safe for the fabric. Soak your clothing for at least 1 hour. Rinse the item thoroughly, making sure there are no excess suds before putting it in your washer.


Select Whirlpool® top load washers have a Pretreat Station so you can soak, scrub and wash right in the washer with a built-in dual temperature faucet and pretreat brush.

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Step 4: Machine wash

Add your clothing to your washer and select a heavy soil setting. Use regular detergent and choose your wash setting according to the water temperature recommended on the clothing care label.  

Consider using a small amount of oxygen bleach in the wash load if you find any residual color from the wax on the fabric. Unlike chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach is generally color-safe.

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Step 5: Hang dry

Hang up the garment so that it fully dries. When the fabric is wet, you may not notice the stain. If the stain remains in the fabric after the item is dry, wash it as many times as necessary to remove it.

A person putting clothes into a Whirlpool® dryer A person putting clothes into a Whirlpool® dryer

How do you get wax out of clothes with a hair dryer? 

To remove wax from clothing without an iron, you can heat it with a hair dryer and blot the excess with a white paper towel. Turn on your hair dryer, starting with the lowest heat setting, to melt the wax and dab the stain until you’ve removed as much wax as possible.  

Can dry cleaners get wax out of clothes? 

If you’re concerned about properly cleaning your wax stain or your methods haven’t removed a stubborn stain, check with your local dry cleaner. Professional dry cleaners can typically remove wax stains from clothing.

Explore Whirlpool® washing machines

Whirlpool® washing machines can help make laundry day run more smoothly, even when you’re battling stubborn stains. With the help of innovative features like the built-in water faucet on select Whirlpool brand washers, you can rinse and family’s garments with ease.

Discover more stain removal laundry tips from Whirlpool brand

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