How to remove candle wax from a tablecloth

Updated February 21, 2017

Candles on the table offer the perfect complement to a beautiful place setting, especially during the holidays. However, once the food has been cleared and the dishes taken care of, you may find that some of the wax from your candles has dripped onto your tablecloth. Wax stains can be especially hard to remove because as the wax "sets," it can bond with the fabric in your tablecloth. By taking some practical steps to "unstick" the wax, you can get rid of these stains and have a clean tablecloth to use at your next dinner party.

Fold the tablecloth and put it in the freezer for 1 to 2 days. The cold temperature helps break the wax bonds as the material expands, and it will make the stains easier to wash out.

Heat an iron up to its warmest setting (one that is safe for your tablecloth) and remove the tablecloth from the freezer. Pull off any wax that you can while the wax is cold.

Place some napkins (or newspaper) on top and below the stained areas on the tablecloth. Immediately press down on the stained areas with the iron to melt the wax stain. Because the frozen wax is in a weakened state, it should come off the tablecloth easily and transfer to the paper material.

Pour a small amount of liquid washing powder on the stained area and put the tablecloth into the washing machine. Make sure your water temperature is on the highest possible setting. Even if you don't see the stain any more, it is important to perform this step as there still could be small bits of wax in the fabric that you won't be able to see right away.


If your tablecloth is not washing machine-safe, you may hand wash with hot water instead of putting it in the washing machine for comparable results.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron
  • Detergent
  • Napkins or newspaper
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author