7 Effective Ways to Remove Candle Wax from Surfaces

How to remove wax from surfaces?
  • Author: Ivy Smith
  • Posted On: June 21, 2023
  • Updated On: July 20, 2023

When people buy candles, they rarely think about the aftermath – the candle wax melting on top of their beloved furnishings.When this happens, wax drippings get solidified and adhere to the surface in no time. The hardened wax patches require instant clearing and cleaning. 

When candles are placed on countertops, study tables, side tables, etc. for a warm and cozy effect, wax spillage on the surface becomes unavoidable if a suitable candle holder such as sconces, lanterns, etc. is not used. However, if the wax spills on the surface, we have got you covered with cleaning methods classified based on the type of surface where the wax drips. 

This article will cover certain techniques to remove candle wax from surfaces such as wood, metal, glass, wall, carpet and clothes. 

How to Remove Wax from Metal?

Metallic surfaces, such as trays or plates, are smooth, so you will not have to toil a great deal to remove wax off of them. The remedy to remove candle wax from metal surface is to use a scraper,heat gun or a hair dryer. 

Follow the steps below for cleaning wax from the surface;

Step 1: Let the Wax Harden

If the spilled wax on the metallic surface is still molten, wait for it to harden. Once cooled down, the scraping becomes easier. 

Step 2: Scrape the Wax Using a Scraper

Gently scrap as much wax from the metal surface as possible. You may use a plastic or rubber scraper depending upon the availability at your place. 

Step 3: Remove Residual Wax Using a Heat Gun

If you still see some stubborn residue clinging hard onto the metal surface, apply heat using a heat gun or hairdryer on a low setting to reheat the wax enough to soften it.

Make sure you keep the heat source at a distance from the metal surface to avoid any damage. Once softened, use a towel to clean the surface.

Step 4: Clean the Surface With a Mild Cleaning Solution

For final cleaning, prepare a solution of 1 teaspoon mild detergent and 1 cup of warm water. Dip a sponge in the cleaning solution and wipe all the wax marks and streaks from the metal surface by gently navigating it over the area. 

How to Get Wax Off Wood?

For wooden surfaces, like table tops, scraping can be damaging for the surface finish. Therefore, it is advisable to not use a scraper or any other abrasive technique for wooden surfaces. Be cautious in treating wooden surfaces.

The following two methods are recommended if wax spills on a wooden surface. 

First Method: Use a Hair Dryer

A safer option to get candle wax off wood is to let it become soft. This can be achieved using a hairdryer or any heat source, but remember to keep it at a distance from the surface. As you continue to blow heat, the wax will soften. You may place a paper towel or cloth to remove the wax by gently rubbing it off the wooden surface.

Second Method: Use Vinegar Solution

Vinegar in water is another great solution to soften wax and remove stains from the surface of wood. Prepare a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Moisten a cloth or towel with the prepped solution and gently rub the affected area in circular motion. Scrub wax directly from the surface of wood without damaging the finish.

How to Get Wax Off Glass?

Glass surfaces are hard and brittle in nature. Removing wax from a candle jar made out of glass or any other material will require the melting technique However, when it comes to leveled glass surfaces, all you would need is a scraper (preferably a plastic one).

The following steps will serve a sequential guide for the removal process;

Step 1: Scrape the Wax Using a Scraper

Scrap the wax gently from the surface of glass without applying too much force as to avoid scratches on the surface. Scraping the wax off may leave some residue or smudged wax behind. 

Step 2: Use Ice Cubes to Remove Residual Wax

Using ice cubes, you can remove the remaining stubborn wax.. Place them on the affected area and allow the remaining wax to further harden.Once wax hardens, scrape it off using the scraper. 

Step 3: Clean the Surface with Vinegar Solution

Prepare a cleaning solution of equal parts vinegar and water to clean the rubbing or scraping marks and wax streaks. Dip a towel or cloth into the solution and gently wipe the glass surface with it.

How to Remove Wax from Wall?

How to Remove Wax from Wall

Some candle holders (sconces) can be attached to walls as fixtures and it is possible that the wax may drip, making its way from the sconce drip onto the wall. In order to remove wax from the wall, you can use a scraper. Follow the steps below for wax removal and surface cleanup;

Step 1: Scrape Wax Using a Scraper

Gently scrap the accumulated hardened wax using a scraper (a plastic one preferably to avoid damaging the wall paint). When wax drips on a wall surface, scraping it off will usually not suffice and you will be left with some residue.

Step 2: Use a Hair Dryer to Remove Wax Residue

Use a heat source such as a dryer and allow the wax to soften a little by keeping the dryer at a distance and at a low setting. Use the scraper to gently remove the residual wax from the wall. 

Step 3: Remove the Scraping Marks

Once all the wax is removed, clean the scrapping marks and stains from the wall surface. If your wall has a painted surface, use a soapy solution made from a teaspoon of mild detergent mixed in a cup of water. Dip a sponge in the solution and gently rub the area and finally wipe it off with a dry towel.

How to Remove Candle Wax from Floor?

How to Remove Candle Wax from Floor

Wall sconces are decorative fixtures and it is advisable to use those that prevent candle wax drippings on the floor such as those that are electric or LED-based. However, traditional wall sconces use candle wax and this can lead to drippings on the floor. 

Follow the steps below for the complete removal process;

Step 1: Scrape the Wax Using a Scraper

In case of cleaning candle wax off floors, a general approach to cleaning large chunks of hardened wax would be to go for a plastic scraper. Get rid of the accumulated wax by gently scraping it off the floor. Remove as much wax as possible.

Step 2: Use a Heat Gun to Remove Residual Wax 

Use a heat gun to soften the remaining wax so that it also comes off easily using the scraper.

Step 3: Clean the Surface with a Cleaning Solution

When it comes to cleaning off the residual stains and marks, preferably use specialized cleaners depending upon your floor type such as hardwood floors, laminate floors, tile or vinyl floors, etc. A teaspoon of a mild detergent mixed in a cup of water is usually effective for cleaning in general. However, test a patch first and if it works, you are good to go with this cleaning solution.

How to Remove Wax from Clothes?

Wax dripping on clothes is usually accidental. If that happens, the candle wax is removable with the following steps;

Step 1: Harden the Wax in a Freezer

Place the cloth or garment in a freezer for an ample time to let the wax harden.

Step 2: Scrape the Wax Off

Gently scrape the wax from the cloth using a blunt knife. Make sure you do not damage the cloth fibers while doing so. Remove as much wax as possible from the cloth. 

Step 3: Remove Wax Residue Using a Paper Towel and Iron

In order to remove the wax residue, place a paper towel on top of the stained area of cloth. Place a warm iron on top and let wax residue melt. Do this a couple of times to get rid of the remaining wax on the cloth. 

Step 4: Wash the Cloth

Wash the cloth in the washing machine using a detergent suitable for the cloth fabric. 

How to Remove Wax Off Carpet?

If you have a carpeted floor, wax drippings from wall sconces will usually end up on the carpet. 

Follow these steps to remove wax from carpet;

Step 1: Harden the Wax Using Ice Cubes

Take a bag of crushed ice or ice cubes and place it over the carpet area where you see wax patches and drippings. This will cause the wax to harden. 

Step 2: Scrape the Wax Using a Butter Knife

Take a butter knife or any other blunt-end utensil and gently scrape the hardened wax from the carpet. Make sure the carpet fibers remain intact and you do not damage them while scraping. Scrape off as much wax from the surface as possible.  

Step 3: Remove Residual Wax Using an Iron and Paper Towel

To remove the remaining wax, place a paper towel on the residual wax area. Place warm iron over the towel and let it melt the excess wax. Repeat this process to remove all the remaining wax. 

Step 4: Clean the Carpet with a Custom Cleaner

Carpet fibers are usually sensitive to harsh chemicals as they can damage the carpet texture. Therefore, it is recommended to use custom cleaners to clean the wax stains. Prepare a cleaning solution by following the instructions given on the packaging and use a sponge to dab the area gently. Repeat the process until all the stains get removed and let the carpet dry. 


Removing candle wax is tricky but with these easy cleaning techniques, it is easier to restore the cleanliness and beauty of just about any surface. Go on and follow the steps to tackle stubborn wax residues head on!

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Author: Ivy Smith

Ivy is a professional civil engineer and also provides her consultancy at ConstructionHow from the technical aspect. Her expertise entails home improvements and real estate. But the primary strength pins down to the construction sector. She began her career with a property management company cultivating more than 20 construction and real estate projects. She also contributes as a contractor to local and international commercial and domestic individuals.