Yes, it’s true that the temperatures in Phoenix have been well over 100. On Tuesday, it was 117 degrees here at Bella Terra. Fine week I picked to stay home, schedule as many appointments and meetings possible and do household chores. However, I must admit I do like summer in Phoenix, as long as I can escape occasionally and the air conditioner is working. There is less traffic and an easier pace around town. A good time to buckle down and complete projects that have been unfinished or just left unattended.
Like this one. It’s my own fault. After hastily removing candles from a table, the warm wax spilled all over my tablecloth. This is a special table cloth. It was purchased during our first trip to Italy over 20 years ago and every time I use it, I am transported back to that piazza filled with flowers and peddlers selling their wares.
This table cloth is a combination of linen, cross-stitch and crochet. I use it often because it has sweet memories and feels a bit retro and homespun.
I have tried this wax removal strategy a few times to ensure it works (plus I happen to spill a lot of candle wax) before I decided to share it with you.
All you need is a dull knife, an ironing board, a hot iron and some paper bags.
First scrape off and remove the excess wax. I used a simple bread and butter knife in order to prevent cutting or tearing the fabric.
Having many Trader Joe bags, I cut these into sections to lay flat. Make sure the unprinted side is closest to the fabric.
Sandwich the tablecloth between two sections of the paper bag on the ironing board, making sure you are over the wax area.
With a very hot iron, “press” the bag and “melt” the wax. The paper bag will absorb the remaining wax and draw it away from the fabric.
You can see the wax melting and staining the paper bag. Keep moving to cleaner sections of the bag over the wax, until all the wax is melted and absorbed.
Make sure you do not keep the iron in one place too long. Even though the paper bag acts as a barrier between the iron and the tablecloth, the high heat could scorch the fabric.
After all the wax is removed, I washed the tablecloth in cold water, in a delicate cycle with a non-harsh detergent (Ivory Snow, for example) and then I always line dry my finer linens. The sun acts as a whitener and there is nothing better than the fresh smell of items dried outside in a natural breeze! And this time of year, they dry in no time!
If you don’t have a clothesline, then you can easily lay the tablecloth on the grass to dry.
I also tried this method on an exterior stone slab. Remember when I cleaned up and remodeled my upstairs terrace? See the post here. In adding the two lanterns on the fireplace hearth, I used real wax candles inside. What was I thinking? Yep, the heat melted them and the wax puddled on the slate hearth.
I used the paper bags to soak up what was still in liquid form; used a dull knife to scrape off the rest. Then I dragged my iron outside and used the same technique as stated above. Low and behold, it worked!!!
In my opinion, there is nothing better than candle light to create a certain ambiance. Now, when I sloppily spill candle wax, I am confident I can remedy the situation. Another tablecloth saved!