7 Tips for Removing Wax Stains from Car Interiors

Lead Image
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20
What You'll Need
Small Bag of Ice Blocks
Metal Spatula, Butter Knife or Popsicle Stick
Hot Water
Fuller's Earth
Upholstery Cleaner
Clean Water
Rubbing Alcohol
Clean cloth

Getting any stain out can be a hassle, but removing wax stains from your vehicle interior can often prove to be tricky. Depending on whether your car interior is fabric or leather, there are a number of things you can try. Using these simple tips will help get your seats looking like new again.

1. Remove Excess Wax

Get rid of the bulk of the wax before it becomes a bigger problem. Use a butter knife or popsicle stick to scrape the excess away from the surface, using gentle pressure so you don’t scratch or tear the upholstery. Try to remove excess wax in larger pieces that are easier to pick up and then use a vacuum or pick up scraped wax carefully so you don’t create a new stain with what you’ve removed.

2. Freezing Method (Leather)

Rub the wax stain with a plastic bag of ice cubes, and once it has hardened, scrape it away the same way you did for the excess. Repeat the freezing/scraping process until you can no longer scrape any more wax from the stained area.

3. Fuller’s Earth (Leather)

Mix a thick paste using fuller’s earth, or a similar clay-based cleaning product, with water. Rub the paste into the wax stain and let it sit to dry. Then, brush it away using an old toothbrush before using a vacuum or brush and dustpan to collect the dust.

4. Ironing Method (Fabric)

Place a piece of blotting paper over the wax stain. Old newspaper works best but you can use photocopy paper for lighter colored fabrics. Cover the blotting paper with a tea towel, and press the area with a warm iron, repeating with new sheets of blotting paper until no new wax appears after ironing.

5. Flushing Method (Fabric)

If a noticeable wax stain remains on your car’s upholstery after trying the above tips, you will need to flush it with boiling water. Boil water in a kettle and saturate the stained area only, so the boiling water can carry the wax deeper into the seat. Allow the water to dry completely before repeating the process or sitting on the stained area. Repeat the flushing process several times if necessary.

6. Upholstery Cleaner

For a small stain that only you will notice, try upholstery cleaner to work it out. Apply small amounts of cleaner and scrub the stain gently. Using minimal cleaner will also ensure that you do not remove the fabric color while trying to scrub the stain. It will take a number of applications to completely remove the wax.

7. Vinyl Trim

Removing wax stains on vinyl trim will need a slightly different method. Freeze the wax stain, as you would do on leather, and remove the excess wax by gently scraping with a metal spatula. When you are scraping your car’s trim, be careful not to gouge or scratch. Clean the remaining residue with either a mixture of detergent and water or with rubbing alcohol. Then, wipe the stained area clean and polish with your favorite detailing cloth.