Picture of How To: Remove Wax Easily
Easy steps to help remove candle wax from common items in your home with only a few tools!

Whether you're preparing for a romantic evening, a birthday party, Hanukah, or freshening your home with scented candles, it's likely that you'll end up with some candle wax somewhere.  We've all picked at it with fingernails or butter knifes attempting to scrape what little we can off of the surface, usually at the cost of finger nails and the table. This Instructable will walk you through easy steps to safely and effectively remove wax from the most common items in your household. 
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Step 1: Hard Surfaces

Picture of Hard Surfaces
Candlelit dinners usually lead to some wax dripping and hardening on your nice wooden kitchen table. Luckily it's easy and fast to remove.

  • Ice Cube
  • Plastic Card (i.e. credit card, library card, etc)
  • Ziplock* (optional)
  • Remove the candle from the wax puddle gently with your hands. 
  • Place your ice cube directly on top of your hardened wax. If you are worried about water stains as the ice melts, put your ice cube in a ziplock before placing it on top of the wax.
  • Wait for up to 2 minutes.
  • Remove the ice cube.
  • Take your plastic card, and gently scrape your hardened wax off your wood surface. It should come off within seconds, if it is not replace your ice cube and wait for a longer period of time before trying to scrape up your wax. I use plastic cards so that the risk of scraping your table or surface is minimized.
  • Wash with soapy water. If your hard surface is wood, let it dry and then if necessary, refinish with butchers block wax or another wood product.  

TIP: I've also read that you can cool the wax by blowing compressed air on it. So if you have compressed air for cleaning your keyboard or something else, feel free to try it instead of an ice cube. I have NOT yet tried this method!

How would you get wax off ornate metal (pewter) candlesticks?

Have you tried putting them in the freezer and picking it off ?

kelleymarie (author)  Vampyra651 year ago

I agree with Vampyra65! Try sticking the entire candlestick in the freezer to get the wax to harden. Once it's cold, it should come off fairly easily when picked at.

halciber1 year ago

Nice instructable! Thanks for sharing this with us.

Vampyra651 year ago

Ice can help remove gum from carpet too and then you pull it up with a fork. To remove gum from hair use lots of peanut butter.

edyshor1 year ago

I'm also interested on that (removing wax from a bedroom wall) .. don't ask me how it got there :)

ladybgood1 year ago

instead of putting boiling water in the jar with the wax, put the candle container in a bowl or pot that has boiling water in it. it'll melt the wax no problem and you don't have to avoid boiling water or overflowing wax

kelleymarie (author)  ladybgood1 year ago

Excellent tip ladybgood! Thank you.

AgoVeli1 year ago

I have a question though. How would you get candle wax off a wall?

btw you should include that in your instructable

try to use paper towel and heat blower..

it's work.

bo88y elirazk1 year ago

If the surface is porous, melting the wax with a heat gun will lead to its being soaked in deeper.

elirazk bo88y1 year ago

I didn't think about it. my walls are flat and sealed.

See my post above about Freeze Mist or Component Cooler.

kelleymarie (author)  AgoVeli1 year ago

I'm not sure I've ever had candle wax on a wall! Maybe that would be a good time for the compressed air freezing method? Spray compressed air on the wax till it is frozen. Try to gently scrape off with a plastic card. That would be my first guess at least. I imagine it would also greatly depend on what your wall is made out of and trying to avoid scratching it up.

and7barton1 year ago

What about removing wax from one's ears ?

Try a shovel.

Kaiven1 year ago

By compressed air, I think that means turning the can upside down so that it freezes the wax. Blowing air on it would just spread liquid wax and wouldn't really cool hard wax that much. Upside down compressed air cans tend to spew out liquid nitrogen or something.

PhilKE3FL1 year ago

Freeze Mist would probably work better than compressed air, but compressed air is easier to find since not too many places sell electronic parts and freeze mist. Freeze mist was developed to test solid state electronics, transistors and ICs mostly, that had a thermal run-away problem. Hit it with freeze mist, the temp drops way down, the circuit works, and you've found the bad part. Replace it and all is well. Try Radio Shack. The stuff I have found on the web is by GC Electronics and it is called, "Freeze Mist" Radio Shack calls it, "Component Cooler" for ~ $11 for a 4.5 Oz can.

Component Cooler: Model: 64-4321 | Catalog #: 64-4321

Anyway, unlike compressed air which does cool things a bit if applied at very close range, Freeze Mist & Component Cooler were made to make things cold, very cold, very fast.

gilbysan1 year ago

Thank you very much for this information! I have several locations in our home I can now attack and remove those pesky wax stains!

worldlrnr1 year ago
Great Ible, I put anything thats got wax on it in the freezer and the wax pops right off. I put them in over night just because I dont want to wait after a celebration. Thanks for this because not everything fits in a freezer :-)
Can you check out my step by step things please I just started and I think you will like mines too!
kelleymarie (author)  creativeideas4u1 year ago

Awesome-I will check them out!

Ok thanks!
searchub1 year ago

Great tips and simple explanation!

Your tips are great and I love your pictures :), The candle in the picture enlightened me to follow you :D.

kelleymarie (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya1 year ago

Thanks Tarun!

I honestly thought if you got wax on carpet or fabric there was just nothing you could do. Thanks so much for these tips!

kelleymarie (author)  Penolopy Bulnick1 year ago

You're welcome and thanks for the support Penolopy! There are definitely things you can do, and if all else fails there is always the cleaners (but it's more fun to DIY). The really dark candle waxes are the ones I have the most trouble with in terms of removing, but it just takes patience. Have a great Friday!