Candles are wonderful. They set the mood at dinner. They provide light when the power goes out. And they even provide aroma. In spite of these attributes, candles can be messy… leaving wax on surfaces. One such surface…a cloth towel.
If you have ever ended up with wax on a towel, you will understand frustration. The wax hardens and stiffens the cloth. It makes it impractical to use the towel for cleaning or drying as you may leave behind a waxy film on a plate if said towel is a dish towel. The wax also reduces the absorbency of the material (in the areas where the wax is located). You may be inspired to simply wash the towel, but please know that regardless of the amount of trips through the washing machine will remove all of the wax.
But before you mutter an oath or decide to toss the towel, take a deep breath. You can salvage that towel. Believe it or not, you can remove the wax readily. All it takes are a few items: an iron, paper bag/towel/napkin, and a smooth surface for ironing. The key is to use paper for this task… an uncoated paper.
To easily remove the wax, select a smooth, solid surface such as an ironing board or a countertop. Place a paper product such as towel, napkin, or bag directly under the wax spot as well as on top of the wax spot. Heat up the iron and then place it on top of the paper product. Move the iron back and forth just as if you are ironing, but keep the iron over the wax area. Now lift the iron and check the surface of the paper. (In this case, a napkin was used). You should see a damp looking spot. This spot is melted wax from the cloth towel that has been absorbed by the paper napkin.
Move both the top and bottom paper napkins so a fresh (non-waxy section) is above and beneath the wax on the towel. Repeat the iron motion. The wax melts and transfers to the paper product.
See? Simple. Now all you have to do is continue through this process until no more wax appears on the napkins. This indicates that you have successfully removed all of the wax from the towel. Please note that it may take several napkins depending on the size of the wax spill on the towel. As you can see in the image below, there is less wax melting from the towel to the paper napkin. This means there is less wax on the towel compared to the start of this project.
At this point, you can launder the towel as normal. No more wax! You have now successfully de-waxed your towel.
So go ahead and make candles and/or burn them. A towel used to clean up melted wax can be brought back to life. Some patience, a good iron, a smooth surface, and some paper napkins are all that is needed to return your towel to its original state. Happy ironing!