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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Removing Dried Wax from Flannel

By Dr. Laundry March 10, 2011

Q: I have to soak my hands in molten wax three times a week as part of a treatment for arthritic hands. Sometimes the wax spills over onto the throw blanket I put under the pot while the wax is cooling. How can I remove these dried wax splotches? I believe the throw is flannel.

A: Wax can be easily removed from many fabrics by slightly heating the wax spot so it will transfer from the fabric and onto a brown paper bag. First you will want to scrape away as much of the wax as possible with a dull knife. Cut open a brown paper bag, but make sure the bag does not already have a wax coating. Next, place the bag over the wax spot and gently press the area with a dry iron on the lowest setting. You should start to see dark brown splotches appear on the bag as it absorbs the warmed wax. Reposition a fresh part of the bag over the wax spot and gently press again with the iron. You will need to repeat this until no more wax absorbs onto the bag.
If any wax remains on the fabric, pre-treat the stained area by apply Clorox2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster directly to the stain. Wait three to five minutes, and then wash the item with detergent and Clorox2® in the hottest water recommended on the care label. Make sure you air dry the item because it is very important to keep wax stains out of the dryer. Once fully dried check for success and repeat if necessary.