It is important to know how to remove candle wax whether you burn candles because you like them, make candles for a hobby or for sale.  Chances are wax will eventually end up where you do not want it.

Burning candles is a great way to create ambiance, provide a pleasant scent in a room or provide a decorative look without even burning.  Any way you look at them, candle are certainly more than a way to provide light.


Unfortunately, candles can also be somewhat messy.  The wax, when melted, turns into a liquid and given the chance, cools quickly and solidifies as quickly.  Those who have struggled to remove wax from most anything know the struggle is real.  If you need to learn how to remove wax, please keep reading.


Wax in the carpet


Wax hitting a carpet is often the worst.  When you see wax on the carpet, most immediately think the worst and start thinking of how to cut the carpet out just to get the wax up.  The following two techniques will work equally well on your upholstery if wax happens to fall there as well.


Fortunately, this is not the least bit necessary.  All that you need to get wax out of carpet is a few minutes, a butter knife, damp towel, an iron and some regular carpet cleaner.  Here are the steps you need to take.


  1. Scrape up as much wax as you can with the butter knife – This may take you a few minutes, but it is easier in the long run to do this.  Your goal is not to get 100 percent of the wax up but enough to make the next step easier.  Now is a good time to vacuum up some of the loose wax if you wish.
  2. Fold the damp towel in half, and set the iron to high – Once your iron is good and hot, put the damp towel down onto the wax.  Put the iron on top of the damp cloth, and press for 10 seconds to start.  Check.  The wax will melt and draw into the cloth.  Repeat; holding the iron longer if necessary.
  3. Clean your carpet with the carpet cleaner – Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to do so. Your carpet will look as new in no time with this simple technique.


No iron – solution


If you do not have an iron or do not want to use one to get the wax out of the carpet, there is a solution.  Here is what you do.


  1. Get a zip top bag of ice – Place the bag of ice on the wax, and let sit.  You may want to put a weight on the bag to hold it down.
  2. Use a spoon – Scrape the frozen wax with the spoon.  You may have to repeat step one a few times before all of the wax comes up.
  3. Vacuum – Finish up while the wax is still cold.


Wax in clothes


The only thing worse than wax on the carpet or upholstery is wax on clothes.  Before you relegate your favorite shirt, pants or other piece of clothing to the trash or for working outside, try the following to get the wax out of your clothes.


  1. Let the wax dry – Sit tight, grab a favorite beverage and let the wax solidify.  You may want to put the clothes in the freezer to harden the wax even more.
  2. Scrape the wax gently – Use a spoon or butter knife, and gently scrape the wax off.  This will leave some residual wax behind.  This is step three.
  3. Put a piece of paper towel on either side of the wax – Put a damp towel on top of the paper towel on the top.
  4. Iron the clothes – Keep the iron on LOW, and move constantly.  No more than about 10 seconds time.  Repeat once.
  5. Move the paper towels – Readjust the paper towels after second pass to collect more wax. Repeat until wax is removed.
  6. Wash your clothes – Follow directions as you would normally wash.


This technique on how to remove candle wax from your clothing will also work equally well with other fabrics and your tablecloths as well.  Just remember to use low heat, take your time and keep the iron moving.


Wax from wood floors and furniture


Getting wax off of wood is not as difficult as you may think.  Start with a zip top bag of ice, and place on the wax until it hardens.  Scrape the hardened wax with a debit or credit card.  Clean any residue with your normal furniture wax according to the manufacturer’s instruction.


Clean candle jars


If you have a candle in a jar, one of the most common ways you can find candles today, cleaning the jar for a new candle or repurposing the jar is not difficult.  There are a few ways you can do this, so select the easiest way for you and your needs.


Always start scraping as much wax as you can with a butter knife before trying to remove the wax from the jar.  When you get the wax out of the jar, clean the jars as you normally would by hand or in the dishwasher.


  1. Freeze the jar – Put the jar into the freezer for several hours or overnight.  Gently remove the wax with a butter knife.  The wax should pop out easily.
  2. Boiling water – Boil enough water to cover the wax in the jar.  Pour the wax into the jar, and the wax will melt, floating to the surface.  Allow the water to clear, and remove the wax.  Do not put the wax in the sink, but throw away in the garbage.
  3. The oven – If you are removing wax from more than one jar, this is the best technique. Pre-heat the oven to 180 – 200 degrees.  Line a baking pan with tin foil or a silicone baking sheet.  Put the jars upside down onto the pan, and place into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove.  Using an oven Vacuum – mitt, clean the last little bit of wax from inside the jar with a paper towel.
  4. Double boiler – You do not have to use a double boiler system to do this like you would to melt wax to make candles.  Instead, boil water as you normally would.  Remove from heat, and put the jar into the water.  (You may want to put a cloth towel down before placing the jar on top.)  Allow wax to melt.  Remove jar from the water, and clean out the jar.


Candle wax from glass


If your glass is an even surface, removing the wax will not be difficult at all.  It is in the case of the glass having shapes that will cause some issue.  Here are three ways to remove wax from glass.  As before, scrape as much as possible from the surface with a butter knife.


  1. Use a blow dryer – Turn on a blow dryer to high.  Blow on the wax as you would your hair, moving the blow dryer across the surface of the wax.  As the wax melts, clean with a paper towel. Wrapping the paper towel around a knife may be necessary for some cracks and crevices.
  2. Razor or scraper – This works well on flat glass or a glass table.  Scrape the glass gently with short strokes to lift the wax up.  Clean with a standard glass cleaner afterwards by the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Sponge – Soak a sponge in very hot to boiling water.  Rub the wax with the sponge until soft. Clean up wax with a paper towel.


Wax out of hair


Children can get almost anything in their hair, and wax is certainly possible.  It is not always children who will get wax in their hair, but they are the most likely to have it happen.  Here are our suggestions on how to get wax out of hair.


Start by combing, not brushing, the hair with a fine tooth comb.  Start as close as possible at the root, and work down.  Go slowly.  Always wash and condition hair well when done.


  1. Hair dryer – Wrap the hair in a paper towel.  Set the hair dryer on high, and work up and down the hair where the wax is.  Pull the paper towel off when wax melts.  Repeat as necessary.
  2. Ice – Putting ice on the hair will harden the wax enough to break or be combed out of the hair.
  3. Dip hair in hot water –  If the hair is long enough and wax close enough to the ends, dipping in hot water will loosen the wax and into the water.
  4. Oil or petroleum jelly – Olive and mineral oils work best.  Coat wax with a thin layer.  Let sit for 15 – 20 minutes.  Wash as normal.  Petroleum jelly works in the same way.
  5. Wash and condition – This is not highly recommended, because the wax can go down the drain and clog the pipes.


Wax off a wall


Remember what we said at the beginning, wax can get anywhere in a home.  Small children and crayons are often common culprits for wax on the walls.  Removing the wax is not that too terribly difficult.


  1. Heat wax with a hair dryer – Use low to medium heat.  As wax begins to melt, wipe away with a paper towel.
  2. Clean residue – Use a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water in a spray bottle to clean up the remaining wax.


If you need to know how to remove candle soot from the walls, use the vinegar and water solution with a sponge.  Do not saturate the wall, but go gently and sparingly.


Wax From candlesticks


You can use pretty much the same methods for removing wax from any metal or crystal candlesticks.  Select the method that works best for you and your candlesticks.


  1. Water – Very hot or boiling water will do the trick.  As previously, remove the water from the heat source and put the part of the candlestick that has the wax on it into the water.  Let water cool, and remove the wax.
  2. Hair dryer – Set hair dryer to medium or high.  As the wax softens, wipe with a paper towel.
  3. Freezer – Freezing the candlesticks will allow you to chip or flax the wax off of the candlestick.


Dispose of candle wax

The number one thing to remember about disposing of candle wax is: Do not put wax in any drains or toilets.  The wax can solidify in the pipes and require a plumber, plus considerable service and labor fees, to remove the wax.


The best thing to do with old wax is throw into the garbage.


If you are going to start or already make candles, you can easily recycle old wax.  Just have somewhere to keep it until you have enough for new candles.


Wax From tile


There are two ways to remove ice from tile.


  1. Ice – The ice and scraper or dull knife works wonders.
  2. Iron – Use an iron and damp paper towel.  If you choose this method, be careful you do not set the paper towel on fire.


Dissolve candle wax


It depends.


There are a few different kinds of wax used to make candles, so the type of wax used to make the candle will determine what, if any, solvents will dissolve wax.  Be careful, as some solvents can dissolve carpet fibers and stain.


  1. Acetone – Or nail polish remover will work on petroleum based waxes like paraffin.
  2. Isopropyl alcohol – Or rubbing alcohol will also work on paraffin.
  3. Vinegar – Plain white vinegar will remove any wax from paraffin to beeswax.


Final Thoughts

Chances are you have heard of a home remedy to get wax out of something around the home, similar to using peanut butter to get gum out of hair, or hairspray to get ink off of furniture.  Regardless, what are some home remedies you may know?  Sourcing Nova is curious.  Drop us a comment below!