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How To Clean Wax from Wood

Removing a wax spill, like those from a dripping candle, can seem like a daunting task, particularly when they adhere cleanly to a wood surface. Actually, for many everyday wood surfaces in the home, removal will be quite simple. Keep in mind that wood types and surface finishes can vary widely so even the simplest methods should be tested prior to use in a wider area.

For hard finishes and untreated surfaces, lubricating the stain with the commercial product Goo Gone, and using a worn quarter as a scraping tool has shown to be highly effective. The Goo Gone and dislodged wax residue should then be removed with the everyday cleaning method appropriate for the finish of that surface.

The application of heat can also be a good way to soften and remove the wax, but caution should be used as prolonged heat may cause damage to the wood surface  or finish. Pre-heat an iron, starting  with  lower settings first. Place a thick piece of brown craft paper or white cloth over the stain. Make sure the piece of paper or cloth is large enough that the iron can be kept moving, to help avoid heat damage. Apply the iron over the paper, moving constantly and cautiously increasing the temperature if need be. When the wax sticks to the paper or cloth, peel away with a  wicking motion. Move to a clean piece of paper or cloth and repeat the process as  needed, provided that the application of heat using the iron does not appear to be causing any disfigurement or damage. Follow wax removal with a light overall cleansing using a soft cloth, and whichever wax, polishing compound or everyday cleaning solution is the appropriate and usual choice for your finish type.

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.

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