How To Remove Wax from Natural Stone
Candle drips, packaging residue, beauty regimens gone awry and spills from canning and other kitchen activities that require wax can all result in unsightly wax residue on the surfaces in your home. The pigments in wax, and its tendency to attract dirt can result in tricky combination stains particularly if not treated promptly. Although heat is one popular method for re-softening and removing wax, this technique may not be appropriate for natural stone countertops. In the case of natural stone countertops like granite, it may actually be more effective to do the opposite and use cold to further harden the wax. Follow the simple directions in this article to use ice to harden and remove wax from natural stone countertops.
Natural stone countertops like granite may be heat resistant, but often the sealants applied to keep them looking glossy and resistant to oil and water are less so. Prolonged exposure to heat can result in dulling and discoloration in a large area. The advantage to a well-sealed countertop is that it provides a smoother surface that's easier to chip the wax away from.
Place one or two ice cubes in a plastic bag. Apply the plastic covered ice directly to a small area of wax at a time - up to the area of a US quarter. Applying ice directly to the wax will help it harden and become brittle, making it easier to chip away. Using a plastic bag helps prevent unnecessary mess and moisture. Depending on what type of wax it is, icing it for 30 seconds to 1 minute should produce adequate results. Once the wax has been iced, use your fingernail or a blunt-edged tool such as a butter knife or putty knife to slide under an exposed edge of the stain. Use a rotating motion to lever the wax away from the countertop and crack as large an area of the wax away as possible. Repeat the technique as needed to remove all of the wax.
Apply a small amount of neutral pH soap like Dove to a clean, soft sponge wet with water. Sponge the affected area to remove stray wax flakes and possible combination stains. Once the entire area has been cleaned, remove the soap residue with a clean soft sponge, free of soap, wet with water. Use a squeegee to wick away extra moisture and avoid over-wetting and pooling that may damage your countertop and encourage build-up.
Familiarize yourself with the materials in and near the area you wish to clean to avoid damaging the material. Keep clean dry paper towels or soft rags at hand to promptly wipe up stray cleaner that has landed on an incompatible material. Natural stone countertops are best cared for with mild pH neutral products, and may periodically benefit from being re-sealed so that they can continue to resist stains and other substances that may corrode the counter's surface.
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.}