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  • Writer's pictureLily Smith

How to remove candle wax from wooden furniture

We've all been there: you just extinguished your candle, then you accidentally knock the container over, spilling hot, liquid wax all over your favourite items of furniture. If you're looking to remove candle wax from wooden furniture - without damaging the surface below - follow these simple steps...

1. Let the wax cool completely

It might be tempting to get to work immediately, but scrubbing or dabbing hot, liquified wax will only make things worse. Not only will you be pushing the wax further into any wooden grain, but you might also transfer any dye in the wax onto your furniture's surface. Yikes!

The first step, therefore, is to leave the room, have a cuppa and relax while the wax cools and resolidifies completely. Only after this point, should you move onto step 2.

2. Use a bag of ice to ensure the wax is hard

Not sure if the wax has completely solidified? Place a bag of ice (or some good old frozen peas) on top of the wax in question.

Not only will this ensure the wax has hardened, but it will also slightly freeze the wax, making it more brittle and flakey (which will come in handy for the next step).

Wait for around 10 minutes. after this point, remove the ice bag and move on to step 3.

3. Gently scrape the candle wax using a plastic putty knife

Next up is the slightly intimidating step: it's time to start scraping. Now, if your wax was still warm or malleable, then scraping would be a bad idea. This is because it can push the wax further into the table, or just smear it around and make an even bigger mess.

Once you're sure the wax has completely hardened (don't go skipping steps 1 or 2!), grab a plastic putty knife. We highly recommend only using a plastic tool (you could even try a credit card!) - using a metal tool, like a butter knife, could seriously damage your table.

Hold the plastic putty knife at a 45 degree angle, and gently push it towards the wax. If your wax is cooled, solidified and brittle, it should flake away easily, at which point you can brush the crumbled wax away.

4. Remove any residue from the candle wax

Some candle waxes can leave a slight greasy residue. If this is the case with the candle wax on your wooden furniture, there are a couple of different methods you can try.

First, try simply buffing the greasy area with a dry paper towel. If this doesn't work, try using a soft cloth dipped in a weak white vinegar and water solution. Polish the area until the residue is gone.

How to remove candle wax from wooden furniture without scraping

Too scared to scrape your beloved antique furniture? We hear you. Thankfully, there is another way.

Some people go the opposite route when removing candle wax from wooden furniture: rather than letting the wax cool and solidify, they re-melt it.

For a scrape-free candle wax removal method, follow these steps...

  1. Grab your hairdryer and put it on a low heat setting

  2. Blast the candle wax until it melts and liquifies completely (not just soft: it needs to be liquid to the point that it is flowing beneath the hair-dryer's airflow.)

  3. When the wax has liquified, use paper towels to quickly mop up the wax pool.

  4. If there is any residue, buff away with a paper tower, or use a weak white vinegar and water solution to polish the residue away.

Let us know if you have any alternative candle wax removal tips!


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