The BEST Way to Remove Candle Wax

I love candles. I find them relaxing and light one almost every night. I have a small collection of candle holders and votives many of which, have wax stuck to the sides and bottom from previous candles. I usually end up putting a new candle over the wax remains or another tea light on top of the old one that is stuck in a votive. Not an ideal option as adding a new candle on top of old wax can cause the new candle to burn unevenly, burn out quickly and makes the candle holders look dirty. This year, instead of packing my festive holders up in the attic, wax remains and all, I decided to try to clean out the wax.

I searched Pinterest and found two methods for removing wax, freezing the candles and pouring boiling water over the wax you want removed. The freezing method is one that a friend had also mentioned to me so I tried that one first. I simply placed a couple of candles in the freezer, waited a few hours and tried to knock the wax loose. I tried this method with 4 candles (holders, jars and votives). None of the frozen wax came out of the holders. I hacked and scraped (with a dull butter knife) for a while with only small pieces coming loose. Onto to the second method, pouring boiling water over the wax. This method worked and it worked quickly!  Check out the easy steps below for removing old candle wax and having your holders once again, look like new.

STEP 1: Boil water on the stove (I’m sure you could use a microwave as well. I tested on the stove with a tea kettle)


STEP 2: Pour enough boiling water to leave a half inch to an inch sitting on top of the wax.

STEP 3: Let the candles sit while the boiling water softens the wax for about 2-5 minutes. 

A bonus to this method is that if you have fragrant candles the boiling water will give off the candle smell. My house smelled like a Christmas tree again!

STEP 4: Use an old dull butter knife (one you won’t miss as it will most likely be ruined from the wax) to loosen the wax from the sides and bottom of the holders. If you are using a votive and need to remove old tea lights they too should come out easily with a knife.

STEP 5: Remove the wax. You don’t want to put the wax down the sink as it will most likely cause a clog. I lined a Tupperware bowl with a plastic bag and put all the wax remains and waxy water in the plastic bag.


If large portions of wax still remain in your holders, repeat the steps again. Some of my candles needed two treatments of boiling water before all the wax was removed.

STEP 6: Once all the large portions of wax are removed, you can further clean the sides and bottom of the holder with a dish cloth using soap and water. If needed, pour a little more boiling water in the holder to further loosen the wax that may be clinging to the sides.

In about 15 minutes seven of my holders were free of wax and ready to be used again like new!






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