Most people probably know wax stains from their own experience. However, removing them by heating is not always effective. A solvent for wax would be better. This is important for other do-it-yourselfers anyway, as waxes often have to be loosened for other reasons, for example when producing furniture waxes in-house.
Differentiation of different waxes
Before it comes to suitable solvents for waxes, these must be differentiated. Finally, there are significant differences in the composition and the main components:
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- animal and vegetable waxes
- Earth waxes
- synthetic waxes
The most important waxes are animal waxes (beeswax), vegetable waxes (carnauba wax) and synthetic waxes (paraffin). Depending on the chemical composition of the waxes, various solvents can be used.
Solvent for animal and vegetable waxes
So turpentine is ideally suited to dissolve animal wax such as beeswax. This turpentine is in no way to be equated with turpentine substitute. Nor can it be replaced by white spirit!
Solvent for synthetic waxes
Mineral spirits are conditionally suitable for synthetic wax based on paraffins; xylenes and toluene are better. A look at the chemical composition and structure is of value here, as the same substances can often dissolve the same substances or similar substances. With paraffin, this closeness exists between the solvents mentioned.
It must also be taken into account that not every solvent is equally suitable for all substances. Solvents for adhesives can also vary significantly depending on the adhesive being removed.
Alternatives to loosening wax
When removing wax stains, care must be taken when using the solvent that it does not attack the substance from which the wax is to be removed. If necessary, heating can help here, as waxes usually melt around 40 degrees Celsius.
Take advantage of the low melting point
Then they become very thin and greasy or oily. If a well-absorbent material, for example kitchen paper or toilet paper, is placed underneath, it can absorb the now liquefied wax almost completely. However, waxes do not only have to be dissolved for cleaning purposes.Tips & Tricks There are numerous cabinet makers and do-it-yourselfers who make their own furniture and wood wax. To do this, ten parts of beeswax are first carefully melted with 1 part of carnauba wax. It is important that the heat source is not an open hearth.
Because as soon as the wax has melted and stirred well, 10 parts of turpentine are stirred in again. The more carnauba wax is added, the smoother the later furniture wax will be. This is particularly important when used as parquet or floorboard wax. Caution: the mixture must not be overheated because of the risk of ignition!