A Verie Good Way to Take Forth Waxe or Rosin Dropt on Silke, Wollen, or Linnen. (Tallow & Hot Iron) – 2014

This final recipe is really only for the removal of wax stains.  Like most current recommendations for removing wax, this calls for the application of a hot iron to remove the wax.  But in addition to the application of heat, it also calls for the spot to be treated with tallow first.  This recipe comes from A Profitable Booke.

A verie good way to take forth waxe or rosin dropt on silke, wollen or linen (tallow & hot iron)

A very good way to take forth wax or resin dropped on silk, woolen, or linen.

Whereas you shall have any such occasion to take forth wax or resin dropped on any silks, or other clothes.  First ye shall make a pressing iron hot, or some silver spoon with a coal from the fire therein, take either of them when they be hot, and first where any resin or wax is dropped, you shall first rub on the said drops of wax or resin all over with the end of a tallow candle, then take either your iron or spoon as stated, and hold it thereon, laying a piece of brown paper between your iron and your wax, then after you have a little so touched it with the heat, (the wax and tallow will mingle together, and soak in the the brown paper) then take it off, and anoint it with the said tallow again, and then hold your hot iron, or spoon, as before and thus you must do as often as you shall see cause, until it be all clean forth.  If the wax be dropped through on both sides, use the one side like the other, and so is the spot removed.


  • Hot iron
  • Tallow (or tallow candle)

Rub the wax spot with tallow.  Place a piece of paper (brown grocery bag works well) on top of fabric and use hot iron over the place of the wax stain.  The wax should lift off with the paper. Repeat the process until the wax is gone, if the wax has gone through the fabric do this treatment on both sides of the fabric.

14 - After
Top – No Tallow applied, hot iron only. Bottom – Tallow applied before hot iron


I did two takes on this experiment.  One was just using a hot iron and paper as I see with most modern wax removal instructions.  The other was using the addition of tallow.  I thought it strange that one would add tallow to try to remove a stain but my result from this experiment did show that the application of the tallow did help remove more of the wax from the fabric.  While it is difficult to tell visually from the photos, feeling the two fabric sample you can definitely feel that the sample that did not have tallow applied still has wax embedded in the fibers while the sample with the tallow feels smooth and supple.  One would probably need to follow this treatment with another to help remove the tallow stain from the fabric afterwards.

  • Hot Iron & Paper Only – Mostly gone
  • Tallow, Hot Iron & Paper – Gone
Gone No noticeable trace of stain remaining
Mostly gone The stain has mostly been removed but there is a slight discoloration
OK The stain has been lightened but there is still a noticeable discoloration.
Not Good No change or the stain is still very noticeable.
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