Wax is a tricky substance to know how to tackle, but getting wax stains out of clothes isn’t hard with the right process and a little patience. Start by freezing the wax and scraping it off, then soak the item for at least an hour before machine washing it. Keep in mind that this method will take at least three hours, depending on how long you soak. For more detailed instructions, follow the five steps below. The most important thing is to act fast so the stain doesn’t spread or set in further. Before starting to treat the stain, always check your item’s care label for any specific requirements like hot or cold water and dry cleaning. 


Clothes washing in an impeller washer with a candle icon

Step 1: Freeze the wax and gently scrape it off

Do not attempt to remove warm wax as it will spread and smear into fabric. Instead, place the item in a plastic bag and leave it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Ensure that the wax is completely frozen before scraping it off. Once hardened, gently scrape off as much wax as possible using a dull knife or a credit card.

Step 2: Apply dish soap directly to the wax stain

If both sides of the fabric are accessible, apply a small amount of dish soap to the front and back of the wax stain. Don’t combine the soap with water, scrub the stain or rinse. Let the dish soap sit for about 30 minutes.

Hands rinsing item in a washer's built-in water faucet

Step 3: Soak the item for at Least 1 Hour

Mix a soaking solution of a drop of liquid dish soap and a couple cups of hot water in a glass or plastic bowl or bucket. Soak the item. The longer you let the wax stain soak, the better your chances of success: an hour at least but overnight is ideal. 


When done soaking, rinse the item thoroughly under warm running water, removing all dish soap to help prevent excess suds in your washing machine.

Step 4: Machine Wash on a Heavy Soil Setting

Wash your item in the washing machine on a heavy soil setting for best results, like the PowerWash® cycle by Maytag. Select the warmest water recommended on the care tag, and use your regular laundry detergent.  

For white loads, add ½ cup of chlorine bleach to the bleach dispenser. For colored loads, add ½ cup of color-safe oxygenated bleach or baking soda to the washer, as directed in your Use and Care Guide.

Maytag tip icon.

Oxygen Bleach vs. Chlorine Bleach

Oxygen bleach is an alternative to traditional chlorine bleach that is generally safe on colors. It’s colorless, fragrance-free and comes in either a liquid or powder form. Products often begin with “Oxy” and don’t call themselves “bleach” but “stain remover” instead.

Clothes spinning fast to drain water in an impeller washer

Step 5: Line Dry & Repeat if Necessary

Line dry your item: heat from a dryer will set any stain left behind that you can’t see while the fabric is wet. If the stain remains after it dries, repeat the steps as many times as necessary.

Get Help Removing Other Tough Stains

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