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Remove Candle Wax From Surfaces

In addition to smelling great, candles add a nice, cozy glow to your living or dining room and can easily up the ambiance in your home. However, spilled wax that sticks on your tabletop is probably not the look you’re going for, especially once that wax starts to collect pet hair and dust.

Don’t be known as the friend or family member with the tables covered in candle gunk. Learn how to clean candle wax from several different surfaces.

How to Immediately Clean Spilled Wax

Many candles are dyed, and these colors can stain wooden tabletops or stone counters if they’re left too long. Therefore, the best time to clean candle wax is right after it has hit the surface in question. If you catch the spill or drip when it happens, simply wipe the wax with a dry microfiber cloth and make sure you’ve removed it all. Otherwise, you can use the following sets of tips for cleaning various surfaces.

How to Remove Dried Wax from Wood

The key to removing melted wax from wooden tabletops is to not damage the finish or the actual wood.

You’ll need:
  • A plastic bag
  • Ice
  • An old credit card or plastic putty knife
  • Microfiber cloths
  • A hair dryer
  1. Fill the plastic bag with ice and set that on the waxy area.
  2. Let the ice sit until the wax is brittle enough to crumble off. Don’t leave it longer than a minute or two or you could end up with water stains in your wood.
  3. Use the side of your credit card or plastic putty knife to gently remove any remaining wax. Note: Do not use metal on your wooden surfaces as you could scratch the finish or the wood itself.
  4. Wipe the area dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
  5. When removing melted wax from grooves or engravings on your wood table, you’ll need to apply heat. Set your hair dryer to medium and aim the heat at the wax until it begins to melt.
  6. Wipe away the softened wax with a clean and dry microfiber cloth.
  7. Repeat these steps as necessary until the wax has been removed.

How to Remove Dried Wax from Glass or Mirrors

When you’re cleaning candle drippings from glass tabletops or mirrors, you need to make sure you’re not scratching the glass itself.

You’ll need:
  1. Set the hair dryer to medium and aim it at the wax.
  2. Wait until the wax softens.
  3. Once the wax has softened enough, wipe it away with a clean microfiber cloth.
  4. Repeat until you’ve finished removing the wax.
  5. Remove any remaining residue or streaks with your window cleaner and a fresh cloth.

How to Clean Spilled Wax from Stone

While stone is pretty resistant to heat, the sealants used on your marble or granite countertops are not. Because of this, a hair dryer isn’t your best bet here.

You’ll need:
  • A plastic bag
  • Ice
  • A butter knife
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Gentle dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  1. Put the ice in the plastic bag, and place that on the area where wax has been spilled.
  2. Let this sit for a minute or two until the wax hardens.
  3. Slide the edge of the butter knife under the wax to work it loose, trying to unstick as large a portion of wax as you can at once.
  4. Continue with this until there is no longer any wax on the countertops.
  5. Mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid with warm water.
  6. Dampen your microfiber cloth with soapy water and gently clean the area where the wax sat to remove any leftover residue.
  7. Use a dry microfiber cloth to absorb the remaining liquid and buff any streaks.

How to Clean Wax from Porcelain or Ceramic

If you have wax in your sink, you can use either the freezing method or a heating method to remove it. For heating, you can try hot water instead of a blow dryer if it is easier. If you choose a heating method, be careful not to let any wax go down the sink; otherwise, it can solidify and contribute to future clogs. If you decide to freeze the wax with ice in a plastic bag, be sure to use a plastic scraping tool afterward so that you do not scratch or damage any surfaces. For smaller porcelain or ceramic objects, you may be able to simply put them in your freezer and break off the wax after it has frozen.

How to Get Candle Wax Out of Dog Hair

If you notice that your dog has somehow ended up with candle wax on their fur, removing it can be a difficult and time-consuming task. 

You'll need: 

  • Mineral Oil or Baby Oil (Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, or other natural cooking oils may work as well). 
  • Cotton Balls 
  • Dog Comb (or Dog Brush) 
  • Dog Shampoo 
  1. Get your dog comfortable with a chew toy or treat.
  2. Apply oil all over the fur where wax is located.
  3. Massage the oil into the hair and the wax. Avoid massaging the oil into the skin. 
  4. Once the wax has softened significantly, begin to comb or brush it out. Be careful not to cause pain by pulling too hard or pulling out hair. 
  5. Give your dog a break halfway through if they need it. But be careful to watch your dog to prevent them from licking and ingesting the oil or the wax.
  6. After the wax has been removed, give your dog a bath with shampoo to capture the oil and remaining bits of wax. 

If your dog has made contact with scalding hot wax, immediately pour cold water over the area to cool the wax and prevent burns. Get your vet's advice on what to do next after the wax has been cooled.  

Fortunately, removing candle wax is fairly easy and doesn’t take much time. And if you're looking for a simple technique to use on other areas of your home, check out this post on how to remove candle wax from floors.

Keeping your entire home clean is another matter though. If you’re having trouble staying on top of a daily housekeeping routine, don’t be afraid to call for help. Your local Merry Maids can take care of the cleaning, so you can spend time doing the things you truly enjoy.