Candles are beautiful, romantic, and they smell great, but they can also be dangerous if they’re not properly cared for. While flickering candlelight looks stunning against a freshly laid hardwood floor restoration, you may want to take some precautions to ensure safety around your home.
If a candle is knocked over or burned too long, the wax will begin to drip down onto your hardwood flooring, causing more damage or potential stains that you want to avoid.
Now that it’s there, you need to know how to safely remove it without damaging your floors. Luckily, this isn’t as difficult as it sounds. In fact, there are many ways to do so as long as you exercise a bit of patience.
The most important thing is to remove the candle from your floor and ensure there is no potential fire threat. Once you have that under control, you can use any of these methods to safely remove the wax from your hardwood flooring.
1 – Gently Scrape Cooled Wax
This involves scraping off excess wax with a putty knife or other flat tool. Even an old credit card can work in the right situation, but first, you need to let the wax completely cool. We suggest using a thin microfiber cloth wrapped over a spoon to scrape off the cooled wax from the floor. This will help avoid any scratches.
Once you are done, use a gentle wood polish to buff up the spot so that there isn’t any staining or spot damage. Be sure you have plenty of light as you work so you can see if any residue is left behind.
2 – Heating Up the Wax
We already know wax becomes a liquid when heated, so why not use that to our advantage to keep your hardwood floor refinishing in good condition?
First, use a blow dryer on high heat to melt the wax into a somewhat liquid form. Then grab a damp cloth and wipe away the softened wax until you have removed all traces of it. A second wet cloth should then be used to wipe away any remaining residue.
Next, move on to vacuuming up all that nasty goo with your trusty old vacuum cleaner. Finally (and most importantly), take out your scraper and scrape off whatever is left behind—you won’t want anyone tripping over chunks of hardened wax when they walk across your sparkling-clean floors tomorrow morning.
Some online suggestions about using an iron to heat up the wax. That will work but is a bit riskier for damaging your hardwood floors. We suggest avoiding placing a hot iron near your hardwood floors.
3 – The Freezing Solution
This is similar to the scraping method, but first, you take a plastic bag full of ice and place it on the wax to freeze the material. This will force the wax to solidify and become a bit more brittle, making it easier to break apart and remove.
You may want to have a vacuum cleaner on hand, as the wax can break apart into a fine dust that you do not want to leave on your hardwood floors.
Once the wax is frozen, use the scraping method in our first suggestion to clean everything up, and then try a polish to buff out the space when you are done.
4 – Specialty Products
Wax-removing products are the most effective way to remove wax from your hardwood floors. However, you’ll have to ensure that the product you choose is safe for the environment, pets, and the people using it. In addition, make sure it’s appropriate for your floor type.
You may want to double-check the product by using a light cloth and rubbing a spot the size of a quarter in a place where no one will look first. Let it sit for a minute or two and see if it stains before applying it to where your wax fell.
What about Unfinished Wood?
Unfinished hardwood flooring can be trickier because it hasn’t been treated with a sealant or sanded down to a fine surface yet. That means the wax can get in between the natural cracks and spaces of the material and into the wood itself.
We have found the heating method to work best in this case because it will naturally draw the wax upward. This is where you would use an iron with damp paper clothes between the bottom of the iron and the unfinished wood floor. We cannot caution you enough to be careful as the hot iron can damage your floor’s surface if not gently applied. Try the blow dryer first before moving to the iron.
Getting Expert Help for Your Hardwood Floors
At Hatcher’s Floors, we understand how beautiful your natural hardwood floors can look with candles. As a leading flooring company in Virginia, we frequently receive calls about maintaining hardwood floors, and that means dealing with the occasional candle spill.
The good news is hardwood floors are pretty resilient, making it easy and safe to remove wax. While the better alternative is to use electric candles or maybe a diffuser to get the scents you want, if you do use candles, try any of these methods above, and you should be good to go.
If you would like more help keeping your wonderful hardwood floors in excellent condition, call us. Our professional hardwood flooring company in Virginia is ready to answer your questions and make suggestions for treating, refinishing, and installing stunning hardwood floors.