Originally Posted by M.D.
I have a pair of shoes which are full of candle wax. What is the best way to remove this?
I don't really like the thought of putting a hair dryer next to them, afraid of cracking the leather. However, the layer of candle wax is quite thick, imagine walking in a big candle and letting them dry for a couple of weeks.... Does anyone have some ideas?
From what I understand, the wax is on the uppers, not inside the shoe, correct? If I'm wrong, I too would be curious to know how that got inside... If the wax is on the uppers, something similar happened to me, and I managed to get it all out There were some candles lining a walkway (who thought of this?) and the bloke in front of me knocked a ton of wax all over my shoes and suit.
But I agree with PatrickBooth, do try to pick out as much as you can first. If the wax is not already coming off easily, I recommend *not* flexing to see if it comes off, as in my experience this can make the wax simply crack into several smaller pieces that are then more difficult to remove, especially in creases. If you are scared to scratch the leather using a fingernail, try some thin non-corrugated cardboard (as in the backing of a steno pad). Then try matching the curvature of the shoe with the cardboard and come at the edge of the wax at a slight angle to the horizontal surface of the shoe, maybe 10 degrees. Be very patient and work in a continuous direction in a methodical manner, and it should mostly come off. It helps to take out the shoe trees and hold the leather from the inside, so you can add some extra pressure to gently flex the leather away from the wax as you scrape. I managed to get out all of mine this way, except for a little around the welt.
I hope your leather is not a matte finish as mine was, but it should still work if it is. If at the end you still have stubborn spots, I would try dampening a soft cloth with very warm water trying to soften the wax to get it out; you can wrap a finger in the warm, dampened cloth and use your covered fingernail to push the wax out. Then you can repeat using the technique above.
If the wax is inside the shoe, I am less confident this technique would prove fruitful.