How to Remove Candle Wax

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Someone knocked over your three-wick candle? Don't panic, the mess is easier to clean than you might think. Here's how to remove candle wax from every surface in your home.

The soft glow of candlelight makes a room feel comfy-cozy. But what about when you’re faced with spilled wax on the coffee table—or worse, the carpet? A puddle of candle wax in liquid or solid form can feel like a disaster. But living without candles is no way to live (especially scented candles), so instead we’ve gathered up our best wax removal hacks.

Find out how to remove candle wax from every surface with tried-and-true tricks.

Clothing

Allow wax to dry, then remove as much wax as you can by scraping it off with a butter knife or credit card. For the remaining wax, place pieces of paper bag underneath and on top of the section of soiled fabric. Set your iron to medium (use the non-steam setting), and run it over the stain until the wax is removed.

Glass

Burning tea candles in a glass holder, isolated on white. Space for textOlga Shestakova/Getty Images

Scrape away as much wax as you can, then use a hair dryer on low to soften any remaining wax. Wipe off the softened wax with a paper towel, then wash away any residue with a microfiber cloth and hot, soapy water or a squirt of Goo Gone.

You’ll want to use a different method to get wax out of a jar, though.

Upholstered Furniture

Scrape away as much wax as you can. Cover the stain with a paper bag or a folded paper towel, then iron on medium heat. The wax will eventually transfer to the paper; repeat as needed.

Walls

Use a hair dryer on medium to gently heat the wax until it’s soft, almost liquid. Then use a damp cloth to wipe away the wax. Clean up any residue with a mixture of vinegar and water (fill a spray bottle with water and one or two tablespoons of vinegar). The vinegar mixture is effective yet gentle enough for painted walls.

Wood Furniture

Detail view of modern round wood metal coffee table with cappuccino mug, glass candle burning by the side of sofa.Helin Loik-Tomson/Getty Images

Gently scrape away hardened wax—this easy trick should get rid of most of the wax. If there’s any leftover residue, dip a cloth in a water and vinegar mixture and wipe away. Finish with furniture polish or olive oil.

Metal

For a small metal object like a metal candlestick, submerge the object in a pot of boiling water. Let the water cool, then wipe with a cloth. The wax will slide right off! For metal furniture, liquefy the wax with a hair dryer on low. Then wipe away the residue with a damp cloth.

Carpet

To get candle wax out of carpet, fold a damp, white cotton towel in half and place it over the wax. Press an iron set on medium-high over the towel for 10 to 20 seconds. The heat will draw out the wax and make it adhere to the towel instead of the carpet. Repeat until the wax is gone.

Wood Floors

candles on wood flooromersukrugoksu/Getty Images

Scrape away hardened wax. (Use ice if you want to speed up the hardening process.) Then wipe away any remaining stain with a damp cloth. Try Goo Gone for extra stubborn residue.

Stone Floors

Use a credit card or plastic scraper to chip away as much hardened wax as you can. If there’s any wax stuck in the pores of the stone, cover with a white paper towel and use an iron on medium to draw the wax out. Clean residue with a few drops of ammonia and a clean cloth.

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Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.