How to clean a wax candle the right way.


Wax can be a pain to remove from any surface. It’s not that it’s an impossible task, but it may take some skill and a lot of elbow grease. Also, in some cases, using the wrong method can actually make it worse.

There are several ways to clean candle wax. You can use the hot method, which consists of boiling water, the oven, a hairdryer, or a double boiler, which makes it easy to wipe off wax. Or the cold method, which consists of using ice cubes, the freezer, which makes it easy to scrape off wax from any surface.

Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t really know how to get wax off any surface correctly. Some use ice water while others use hot water, and both methods have their merits. But these are not the only methods out there. We’ll go through the most commonly known methods, and hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll be a pro at removing wax from any surface!

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Which household items can be used to remove wax?

Luckily, with simple household cleaners and items, wax can be removed pretty easily. But this is highly dependent on the type of surface you wish to get wax off. During this article, we’ll go through all of them one by one. 

Here is a short list:

Credit card

Dish soap

Sheet of tin foil or parchment paper

Hot (or boiling) water

Blow dryer

Butter knife

Goo Gone

Glass cleaner

Paper towels or cloth

An Iron

Brown paper bags

Should You Clean Wax Melted or Hard?

Before we go on, here is a tip I would like to share. If your wax is still liquid form and you’ve spilled some. You can already soak spills before it gets tricky. Once hardened, you can scrape it away. However, it would be best to do this with caution, especially when you have wax on wood. You might end up scratching the surface if you get carried away. This is why immediately cleaning up spilled wax is probably the best thing one could do. 

16 Easy Ways To Remove Wax

Let’s start with the most common methods, boiling water and ice-cold water. There is a debate whether Hot water is a better method than using cold or ice water. Both have their merits. It all comes down to what method suits you best. Throughout this article, we’ll discuss both methods, and while reading, you’ll probably be able to decide which method suits you best. 

Use Boiling Water

Hot water can be used to remove wax even though it will cause the wax to melt and spread all over your surface instead of coming off in one piece. But there’s a way to do it. You simply have to put the candle on a surface protected with some paper towels or newspaper.

Then use either a butter knife or spoon to scrape as much of it off before pouring boiling water into your container just enough so that there is room for more at the top. (If you’re using candles made out of soft beeswax like soy candles, then go ahead and pour hot but not actually boiling water.) 

Reacting to the hot water, the wax that will melt will float to the top. Then it’s just a matter of letting the water cool down and removing the wax. For smaller small wax bits, you can scrape away the remaining wax using hot soapy water with some sort of scrubber such as dishcloths, sponges, etc.

Use The Oven

If several containers need to be cleaned at once, this method will do the trick. Using an oven is a great way to get rid of wax very quickly. Place a sheet of tin foil or parchment paper on the oven rack and place your candles upside down. Heat them for about 15 minutes to an hour for the wax to melt, and voila! As always, you can use soap and water to clean out the containers once you’ve removed the remaining wax. 

Create a Double Boiler

Dip a knife into some cold water and then gently scrape it along the candle to remove stubborn excess wax. Once done, use a large metal bowl where you can put your candle jar. Then gently and slowly pour boiling water, making sure that it does not contact the wax.

After a while, it’ll start to soften. This is when you’ll begin loosening the wax using a butter knife. Then once you’re ready, remove the jar, and you can start removing the wax. As usual, finish off with some soap and water to clean out your jar. 

Wax That’s Stuck Inside a Candleholder

This is probably the most common problem most people encounter that use a candleholder. But luckily, there is an easy and fast way to get the wax out. 

The only thing you need is your tap water, to be exact steaming hot tap water. By running over tap water over the candle holder, whatever is inside will start to soften. Then you just use your fingers or a paper towel to remove what’s inside. 

You can use a dishwasher to get the rest out. If your candle holder is not dishwasher-safe, there are other ways to get this done. Put your candle holder in the freezer for about 40 to 45 minutes. The wax will harden and will make it easy to get out with a (dull) knife or, if you are able, with your fingernail. 

An alternative way is to use a hairdryer and warm up the leftover wax, which will make them pliable and easy to peel off. 

From Small items

Smaller items can sometimes take much more time in comparison to a bigger surface. But there is an easy way to remove wax from smaller items. You only need to put your small items in the freezer till they’re cold enough, and once ready, remove them and tap off the frozen(cold) wax. 

Wood (cold method)

The method for removing wax from wood is relatively straightforward. First, you’ll need to harden the wax by using an ice cube, making it easier to scrape off with a credit card or plastic ruler without damaging the surface of your furniture piece. Once all traces have been removed, rub away any residue left behind on your beautiful wooden pieces with some cream furniture polish!

Vinyl Flooring

Suppose your vinyl flooring needs some serious cleanup. Hot water mixed with a dry cloth will do the trick, but only if you’re willing to spend hours on your hands and knees scrubbing away residue from even the smallest wax spill. If that sounds like too much work for what might be just one or two spots, head over to Home Depot instead – they have an entire aisle devoted entirely to removing all traces of any type of adhesive!

Carpet

There are many ways to get wax off of your carpet flooring. One way is by scraping the excess wax and putting a damp cloth with some heat on it overtop, which will cause the pieces of wax to stick onto the fabric instead. If you don’t want all that hard work or if there’s just too much for one person, then the freeze-the-wax method may be right up your alley! First, put an ice pack down where you want what remains removed from melted away (after 10 minutes).

Take care not to touch anything else in case something spills out when melting. Before freezing again, this would ruin whatever was near it – carefully use a blunt object-like knife handle against frozen clump until soft enough toughly vacuum breaking apart.

Walls

Wax on walls can be a real pain to clean up, but they don’t have to be. The key? Patience and an iron set. Set your iron to the lowest setting and use sandwich paper towels (similar to the brown bag method) between the wax and iron. 

Glass

If you’re having trouble getting that stubborn wax off the glass, try this trick. First, scrape away the excess, then apply heat with a blow dryer set to MEDIUM and clean it as it softens up. Finally, wash the area down with hot soapy water for good measure!

Painted Wall

It’s actually quite easy to remove wax from painted walls. You only need a blow dryer on medium heat, and the excess wax will start to soften, and you can simply wipe it away. You can remove residue afterward by using a solution of 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar, and that’s it! 

Linens and Fabric Furniture

Removing wax from a surface is not as difficult of a task. All you need to do is sandwich the linen between two plain paper bags and use an iron on medium heat until the wax transfers to the bag. Repeat this process if necessary, pressing down firmly for the best results!

You can also simply top any furniture you’re working on with a sheet or blanket and secure it in place using tape so that no lint from your clothes gets onto your project! Once there are no more stains left over, blot them out gently (and carefully) by applying denatured alcohol around those spots where they occurred – should get rid of most residue without damaging anything too badly!

Leather Furniture

As previously, a blow dryer is your friend here. With leather furniture, you can remove the wax by quickly moving over with a blow dryer over the surface. Then use a clean cloth to remove the softened wax, wash away residue and keep your surfaces from drying out. 

Bricks

It is highly recommended not to rub it in; it will only spread it around even more. Instead, freeze the wax (using an ice cube, for example), and with a butter knife, you’ll easily be able to scrape it away. Afterward, scrub off any remaining residue using a little Goo Gone. Finally, wash the brick down with warm soapy water for good measure!

From Bathtub/Sink

Probably the easiest surface to remove wax from. Use a credit card or plastic scraper and remove as much as you can. If you’re having difficulties removing the wax, you can use boiling water to soften it up. 

TV/Computer Screen

The best thing you can do with TV or Computer screens is keeping all candles far away from them. However, if you manage to have wax on your screen, it’s not the end; you can remove the wax by freezing it. You can do this using the ice cube method (as explained previously). Quick note: it may be possible that this method might not be enough; in that case, you can try using mineral spirits or Goo Gone. 

Conclusion

Removing wax is actually really easy. The only thing you need to look out for is what surface I need to remove wax from and simply use the fitting method.

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