How To Remove Candle Wax From Any Surface


January 23, 2014

Ah, the sweet aroma of candles around the house. They may make your place smell good, but what happens if that wax drips on the floor, your clothing, or your furniture? That just plain sucks, right?

It doesn’t have to! I’ve got you covered with some advice on how to remove candle wax from any surface around your house without using any of the toxic chemicals sold at your local grocer. Here’s how:

Remove Candle Wax from Carpets

You don’t need fancy chemicals from the store for this trick, you just need 2 things that are probably already in your house – a newspaper and an iron. Easy peasy, right?

First lay the newspaper down on top of the wax and set the iron to low. Once it has warmed up, start running the iron over the newspaper right on top of the wax. Slowing the wax will start melting and get absorbed into the newspaper, lifting up off the carpet. I had to do this once in my old apartment and it worked like a charm. There was a little residue and color left over, but it was way better than the big hard chunks of wax that were on the floor.

Remove Candle Wax from Fabric Furniture

Cover the wax or stained area with a paper towel followed by a kitchen towel. Place an iron on low to medium heat directly on the kitchen towel, where it will heat up the wax. The paper towel will help to absorb the liquified wax. You can follow this up with a blotting session using water or a 2:1 rubbing alcohol/water mix.

Remove Candle Wax from Washable Clothing

If you get candle wax on cotton, linens, polyesters or other washable fabrics, here’s what you need to do. First, scrape off whatever dried wax you can easily get off. On colorfast fabric, try pouring plain boiling water through the stain and fabric and let it dry. If the wax stain still shows, you can try the boiling water again or blot it with a 2:1 mixture of water and rubbing alcohol. Repeat until the wax and/or stain is gone. On other fabrics, put the piece with the stain on it between two pieces of blotting paper and run a (warm) iron over it. Replace the paper as it absorbs the color. No matter the method, be sure to rinse the fabric afterwards with cold water.

remove candle wax

Remove Candle Wax from Wood and Other Hard Surfaces

There are two ways of doing this. The first one involves making sure the wax has hardened. Then, scrape off the wax, being careful to not scratch the wood too much if possible. You can use a plastic scraper if you have one available, but don’t use sharp objects. Once you have gotten the wax off – if you didn’t scratch the surface – you can buff out any imperfections. If it was a bad was spill, you may have to refinish the wood, and that’s a topic for another article!

The other method involves heating up the wax using a hairdryer and then rubbing it off with a clean cloth. I have had success with both methods, so I can’t recommend one over the other. Use your judgement depending on the surface.

Remove Candle Wax from Inside Glass Jars

If you’re the crafty type, chances are you keep those “finished” candles around in hopes that you can use the glass jars for something. The problem, of course, is that the bottoms are usually full of wax that you just can’t get out. I have a trick for you that only requires boiling water and a knife. First, cut some slits in whatever wax is left at the bottom/on the sides of the inside of the jar. Then pour boiling water inside the jar, letting it sit until it cools. The wax will float to the surface and you can pick it right out! It may require a second time to get it all, but you get the drift.

Remove Candle Wax from Silver Candlesticks

For silver candlesticks – which have the sole job of holding candles – you can stick them in the freezer to make the wax hard and scrape off any remains with a plastic scraper. Alternatively, you can pour boiling water over them. Follow either of these with a good coat of silver polish and they will be good as new.

Generally, removing wax from almost any surface involves either freezing or heating up the wax, and then either scraping it off or “boiling” it away. Be sure you pick the right method for your surface, and remember: be careful with candles! Not only can the wax be a pain in the butt, but they can also be dangerous if left unattended. Oh, and if you buy candles, be sure to buy soy wax ones because they burn much cleaner and aren’t made of petroleum!

Three Candle Sticks On Fingers Buring Face Blow image from BigStock.




  1. Hi, Thanks for the tips! I just wanted to add another method that worked on my carpet like a charm: boiling water. Take a tea kettle of boiling water and slowly pour over the wax. It will melt instantly. Blot with a clean, white, dry towel. You’re good to go (unless maybe it’s red wax on white carpet.. then you might have to try some Oxy Clean spray after melting).

  2. We had a couple of crystal candleholders completely covered in beeswax; put them in a big saucepan with hot tap water and dish washing soap, the wax lifted off like magic in about 10 minutes, I don’t think the crystal had ever been as clean and clear as it was after this ‘treatment’! A pleasant surprise.

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