How To Get Surfboard Wax Off Car Seats


We have all done it. You come out of the water after a quality session, and you are late for dinner. 

You quickly whip out the towel to cover up and do a shuffle to get out of your wetsuit. Then, throw the (still damp) wetsuit in the boot and jam the surfboard wax side down, because how else will the fins fit!?

Over time those rear headrests start to look a little worse for wear from all the surfboard wax rubbed against them from this repeated process.

And if you are now wondering how to get surfboard wax off car seats, you are in the right place.

In the article, we are going to dispel the myths from the facts and give you the tools to (finally) get that manky wax out of:

  • your car seats
  • your clothes
  • your wetsuit

So let’s start with a method to get that Mrs Palmers off your car seats.

How to get surfboard wax off car seats

Assuming that you don’t have leather seats in your vehicle, you will need a few items to remove the surf wax from your upholstery seats.

  • A tablespoon or butter knife
  • Paper towel
  • An iron

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to note what type of surf wax was on the board (cold, cool, warm or tropical). This will affect the temperature setting of the iron.

Step 1: Begin by flaking off the excess wax with the tablespoon or butter knife. It’s essential not to push the wax too hard to be forced deeper into the fabric. Cooling the wax with an ice bag can make it easier to flake off if the wax is too soft.

Step 2: Place the paper towel over the wax area. Now gently iron the stain, changing the paper towel as the wax transfers onto the paper.

*Pro Tip* set the iron’s temperature according to what type of wax is on the board. For example, tropical wax can take a slightly warmer iron than cold wax and vice versa.

Step 3: Blot the area with rubbing alcohol so that any residue is removed. Repeat step 2 if the wax is still there.

And there it is. The recipe to get that darn wax out of your seats and headrests. But is the process the same for other garments? Keep reading to find out.

How to get surfboard wax off clothes

This can happen from either leaning on your board as you are waxing it or leaving your board on top of your clothes instead of your car seats.

Removing the surf wax from clothing is similar to car upholstery but with an extra step to perform. Use the same items as before, but you’ll need some oxygen-based stain remover too.

Step 1: Scrape off any excess wax with the tablespoon or butterknife.

Step 2: Treat the area with rubbing alcohol and wash the garment in the washing machine as per the label instructions.

Depending on the severity of the stain after the first wash, you may need to perform step 3. If the stain is faint after the first wash, you can skip straight to step 4

Step 3: Take the paper towel and place it over the stain. Set the iron to low heat and gently iron over the paper towel so that the wax transfers onto it.

Step 4: Soak the whole garment in an oxygen-based stain remover overnight. Then wash again on the hottest setting permitted by the instruction label.

How to get surfboard wax off wetsuits

All the best wetsuit brands incorporate PVC chest and/or knees guards that can help protect against surf wax in their top tier products.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get wax on other parts of your favourite wetsuit. So knowing how to get surfboard wax off wetsuits is different from washing a wetsuit.

However, the process is more straightforward than the previous two we talked about earlier in this article. All you will need is an iron (with a no steam setting) and a tea towel.

Step 1: Test a small inconspicuous area of neoprene to make sure it won’t burn

Step 2: Lay the tea towel over the wax area and gently iron over (remember no steam) until the wax is transferred to the tea towel. Repeat this process until the wax is removed from the wetsuit.

*Pro Tip* wetsuits with rubber seals, liquid taping, inner warmth linings, and PVC knee/chest areas can all melt under too much heat. Iron with caution.

Final Thoughts

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge to get surf wax out of car seats, clothing and wetsuits. It’s time to learn how to remove it from your surfboard. Click this link to start learning now.

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