How to Remove Candle Wax From Vinyl Flooring

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Wait until a candle cools before moving it to help prevent drips on the floor.
Wait until a candle cools before moving it to help prevent drips on the floor. (Image: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Candle wax dripped on a vinyl floor creates an unslightly mess that may get worse if left untreated. The wax attracts dust and dirt, so the spot may become more obvious over time. Clean up that wax spill using only the gentlest methods, such as scraping with a fingernail, to prevent scratching or discoloring your floor.

Catching It Quickly

If the candle wax on the vinyl is still wet, quickly blot it with a white paper towel or absorbent white cloth to soak up a good deal of the substance. Do not rub or wipe the spot, because this may spread a thin layer of wax that may be more difficult to remove completely than a thick pool of hardened wax. Continue dabbing with a fresh area of the paper towel or cloth until you've removed most or all of the wax.

Chilled Wax

Removing hard wax from vinyl is sometimes as simple as picking at it with your fingernail. If the wax is somewhat soft to the touch, place a few ice cubes in a zippered sandwich bag and seal the bag. Place the bag of ice over the wax for at least five minutes, and then remove the bag and pick at the wax with your fingers. If you can't remove the wax easily, try to slice underneath it with the edge of a piece of cardstock, such as a greeting card or index card. Use the bowl of a plastic spoon to scrape up any stubborn wax. Keep a piece of scrap paper handy to deposit wax bits and shavings on before carting them to the trash.

Liquid Wax Wipe

Isopropyl alcohol -- regular rubbing alcohol -- removes candle-wax residue from vinyl flooring. Pour some rubbing alcohol onto a soft white cloth, and then blot the spot with the cloth. If blotting doesn't work, wipe the spot. Wipe the vinyl again with a damp white cloth afterward, using water in place of alcohol.

Citrus-Based Solution

If you still see a bit of waxy residue when viewing the floor from different angles, squirt a small amount of a citrus sticker-residue remover directly on the waxy areas. Allow the citrus liquid to sit for several minutes. Then gently blot and wipe the residue away with a soft white cloth. Squirt a little more of the solution onto the cloth and dab it over the wax if some remains on the floor, and then wipe it away with a dry white cloth. Wipe the cleaned area with a damp white cloth to remove the rest of the cleaning solution.

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