Melting wax to make candles is only one part of the project. If you ever plan to make more candles or to reuse the melting pot, getting the old wax out first is a must. Sharp tools or abrasive scrub pads aren't really an option if you plan to keep the pot in good shape. Instead, wipe away the wax while it's still soft and warm after first pouring out the excess wax to save for another time.
Preventing Wax Waste
Once you've wrapped up your candle-making project -- or another wax craft -- there's a good chance the melting pot has plenty of wax left in it. Leaving it in the pot to harden makes it far more difficult to remove, which could be a problem if you wish to use a different scent, color or type of wax the next time around. Pour the leftover liquid wax into paper cups, allowing them to harden completely. To reuse the wax later, just tear the paper away and place the wax chunks back in the melting pot. If you wish to discard the wax instead, pour it into a paper cup or an empty non-recyclable container such as a milk carton. Once the wax hardens, it may be discarded.
Removing Excess Wax
Even after you've poured out the leftover wax, the melting pot may still have a thin pool of wax in the bottom or on its inside walls. Once the wax cools slightly but is still in liquid form, wad up a paper towel and wipe down the inside of the pot with it, replacing the paper towel as it becomes saturated with wax. Wear a heavy leather glove to protect your hand from heat while wiping out the wax. If the wax becomes a bit too hard to wipe up with a paper towel, reheat the melting pot as you heated it up to make candles -- in a pot of water if it melts the wax double-boiler style, or by plugging in the melting pot if it is electric. Once the wax liquefies, remove the pot from the heat source or unplug it; then wipe away the liquid wax with paper towels.
If any remaining wax residue remains, wipe down the inside of the melting pot with rubbing alcohol once the pot cools. Alcohol may also help remove stubborn dye residue if you've used colored wax in the melting pot.
If the pot still smells like an added fragrance you've used in the last batch of candles, freshen it up by sprinkling the inside of the pot with baking soda. Wet a scrubby sponge; then scrub the inside gently with the sponge. Leave the wet baking soda residue in the pot for 30 minutes or so. Rinse it out again and dry it with paper towels.
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