How to Get Wax Out of Candle Holders

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Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan or bowl

  • Stove or microwave

  • Oven mitt or cloth

  • 1 cup water

  • Scrub sponge or terrycloth

  • Teaspoon

An illuminated candle is a classic home decor item. Unfortunately, the lasting result of a lit candle is the pesky candle wax - a residue that can be difficult to remove if it hardens inside the votive. Though it is tempting to scrape the wax out of a holder with a knife, that is a sure-fast way to damaging the surface of the fixture. Depending on the material of the candle holder: crystal, wood or metal, there are a number of techniques for cleaning candle holders without damaging the them.



Step 1

Place one cup of water in a bowl and put it in the microwave. You may add or deduct water depending on the size of the candle holders. If you do not have a microwave, put the water in a saucepan and place on a stove burner.


Step 2

Heat the water until it is hot, but not boiling. If using the microwave, heat the water for about two minutes. If using the stove, place the water on a high setting for about five minutes.

Step 3

Carefully remove the saucepan or bowl from the heat source and place on a trivet or potholder in order to avoid scorching the counter top. Use a towel or oven mitt so that you do not burn your hand.


Wax Removal

Step 1

Hold the candle fixture upside down and immerse the wax-filled end into the hot water. If it is a small votive, let the holder float in the water. If it is a large holder, grasp onto the exposed end and hold the waxy end under the water. Let it sit for several minutes.


Step 2

Check the consistency of the wax using a teaspoon or your fingertip; but be careful not to burn yourself. Keep the holder in the water until the wax becomes soft.

Step 3

Remove any large pieces of wax with a teaspoon. Be careful not to scratch the sides of the holder.


Step 4

Wipe the remaining wax residue with a scrub sponge. If the candle holder is made of a delicate material, such as crystal, use terrycloth instead.

Step 5

Dry the holder with a soft towel before using it again. Your candle holder should now be clean.


If your candle holder is made of crystal, ceraminc, or metal, add a dab of dish soap to the sponge or cloth. Using soap should help break up stubborn pieces of wax.

If the water did not remove all of the wax and you have time to spare, place the candle holder inside your freezer for about 30 to 45 minutes. Any remaining wax should chip off easily. Just be careful not to scratch the surface.

Add a small amount of water to the bottom of the candle holder before putting in a new candle. This will help prevent the wax from sticking to the inside of the holder.


The water container, candle holder, and water will be hot to the touch. Be sure to handle any hot item with an oven mitt or a towel.


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