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Video:How to Remove Candle Wax

with Jonathon Stewart

Candles make great decorations and provide good mood lighting, but cleaning up dried wax drippings is never fun. Check out these simple tips for removing candle wax and it'll be history in no time.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Remove Candle Wax

Hey guys - Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. Candles are festive, romantic, and can be a great addition to almost any setting. They can be colorful and even aromatic, but what happens when the party's over and you're left with a bunch of dried wax drippings all over your candle sticks, holders, and other surfaces? Well, to quote a wise old sage: wax on, wax off. Check it out.

Candle Wax Variables

There are two schools of thought on removing candle wax, go hot or go cold. But before you commit to one or the other, consider these variables: is your candle wax colored? Is the thing you're trying to get the wax off of washable? is it fragile or easily damaged?

Cleaning Melted Candle Wax

Generally, the easiest way to remove wax is to heat it up so that it returns to liquid state, and simply wipe it away. This method works great for things like metal or glass candle holders as well as hard durable surfaces.

Try holding a hair dryer next to your wax drippings until it melts, then wipe away the mess with a paper towel. Submerge candlesticks in hot, soapy water for about a minute and watch as the wax disappears with ease. For clothing, fabrics, or carpet, grab your iron and a paper bag or newspaper and run it over the drippings until the paper has absorbed all of the wax. If you can, place a paper bag underneath the drippings as well.

Freezing Candle Wax

If you're dealing with colored wax, and there's a chance of it staining the fabric, you might want to attack it first with an ice cube or ice pack. Not an ice pick. Freezing the wax will cause it to become very brittle, after which it is much easier to break apart and remove or vacuum. Use a non-serrated knife, old credit card, or wooden stick to scrape off any excess wax. If any discoloration persists, treat it just as you would any other stain.

You can also try stowing similar items like votive holders in the freezer for a few hours, then applying the same technique. You might also try leaving a small amount of water at the bottom of your holder beneath the actual candle next time, which should keep wax from sticking in the first place.

You can also try buying no-drip candles, although they don't always work as well as you might think. It's kind of like hoping for no-drip ice cream... Thanks for watching! To learn more, visit us on the web at homegarden.about.com.
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