[Tips-n-Bits]: Cleaning of Wax left-overs & Oil Stains post Diwali Celebrations & Festivities

Indians, South-East Asians and others all around the world celebrated the festival of lights- 'Deepawali' (also called 'Diwali') that represents victory of good over evil yesterday, i.e., 26 October 2011.

On occasion of Diwali-- which is an official national holiday in many a countries like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji-- people light up 'diyaas' (earthen or metallic eye-shaped oil-filled lamps), candles and electric lights primarily to mark the significance of triumph of good over evil following the mythological epic 'The Ramayana'.
Oil-filled Earthern Clay Lamps called 'DIYAAS'
However the day after the celebrations and festivities are over, the household cleaning process starts again. Removal of candle-wax-burns, diya oil-spills, etc. from the walls, floors, window sills, etc. becomes a priority as the stains that are resulted could very well damage the painted surfaces of the walls and the likes.

We provide our readers two quick tips for cleaning the wax spill-overs/ left-overs and diya oil stains from the floors, parapets and especially from the painted surfaces:

Cleaning of Candle Wax spill-overs/ left-overs

The wax or paraffin based products like the candles are usually lighted up and stuck with its own molten wax onto any kind of horizontal surface-- be it the floor, or the parapet top, or the window sill, etc. etc. While the candle burns, some of the molten wax, especially that at the bottom, remains there firmly stuck to the surface.If not removed sooner, they leave stains behind. Here are a few simple tips to remove such wax / paraffin based left-overs and stains:
  • Remove excess of the wax left-over surface slowly by any sharp edged tool, like- spatula/ knife/ painter's sheet, trowel, or any similar tool that has a sharp end surface. Inclined slow sweeps onto the wax left-over may help in loosening the otherwise hardened patch.

  • Once the excess of wax left-over been swiped-off, removal of the stubborn wax-stain becomes the next step. For this, take hold of a longish tool of iron/ steel/ alloy tool (especially having flatter end on one side and something to hold on on the other side) and heat its flatter/broader end on low temperature.

  • Once the iron tool becomes reasonably hotter, place an absorbing tissue paper or piece of thin absorbing cloth on the hot part of the tool and then slowly but steadily press the same against the wax end-patch.

  • This will help in melting of the wax end patch by the hotter tool, and thereafter absorbance of the inherent paraffin oil into the tissue. Repeat this step numerous times till the entire end deposit of wax/paraffin is melted and absorbed by the tissue paper.
Cleaning of Oil spill-overs from the Earthen Lamps (Diyaas)

    Diyaas are usually lighted after filling them up with mustard oil and using a cotton based 'batti' (a twisted longish cotton wick). While the diyaas are providing flame-based lighting, the oil used as fuel usually drips down the diya surface in tiny droplets by a combination of capillary/ osmotic action (school science terms).

    This results in leaving behind oil stains on the horizontal surfaces where the diyaas were placed. The stains if not removed/ wiped-off quickly may damage the painted surfaces. A few steps that could help removing such leftover oil stains are:
    • Wipe-off excess of the oil with a tissue paper or thick absorbing piece of cloth. The best practice could be to place a thick tissue paper swab over the oil spill-pool after removing the diyaas, and allow the tissue to absorb the excess of oil.
    • Put over a little pinch of talc/ cornstarch/ mild detergent powder and leave it there for about 5-10 minutes.
    • Use a mild liquid soap or floor cleaning liquid detergent and make a little soapy solution. Wipe off the oil-stained surfaces with gentle swipes & tabs while avoiding damage to the painted surface beneath.
    • In case the oil stain has gone deep inside the painted surface and spread across as a blotted patch, repeat the above step a few more times ensuring that the receiving surface has dried before applying a second application.
    • However, in case nothing works significantly, the only option left with you is to pledge that you shall place the diyaas over small plates or tiny tin sheet pieces the next Diwali, and source small quantity of matching paint to do a paint patch job.
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