How To Get Candle Wax Off Wood

How To Get Candle Wax Off Wood

Spilling hot candle wax on your new wooden furniture or sparkling wooden floors can be a heart-stopping moment.

However, there’s no need to panic. There is a range of different things you can do to get candle wax off wood without having to damage the wood or leave behind any long-lasting marks.

This post will teach you how to remove candle wax from wood. We’ll take you through three different methods, showing you exactly what to do for each one.

If you’ve just spilled candle wax on a wooden surface and need a quick fix, be sure to stick around!

Settle And Scrape (Method 1)

The first method we want to take you through is called the “settle and scrape.” It is by far the simplest, quickest, and maybe the easiest way to remove wax from wood. 

Having said that, it is only the best method for smaller messes. If there is a lot of wax to remove, we recommend heading straight to the second method in this post.

What You Need

While it may be the easiest way to remove wax from wood, you still need a few key materials to get the job done. Below you’ll find a list of the materials you require.

  • A strong, plastic spatula. You could also use a plastic spoon or an expired credit card.
  • Some paper. Legal or letter (A5 or A4) will be perfect.
  • Clean lightly colored or white cloths.
  • A protective cloth or hand towel.
  • Furniture polish.

How To Perform The Settle And Scrape Method

1. Using your plastic spatula, remove the cool wax by scraping it gently. Make sure you don’t do this against the wood grain. If the wood has deep cracks, use the pointed edge of your chosen tool to dislodge any hidden wax.

2. When the removed wax fragments start to build up, softly brush them onto the paper like you would with a dustpan and brush.

3. Repeat the process until you’ve successfully removed all the wax. This could take 4 or 5 rounds of gentle scraping and brushing.

4. You can now use your lint-free or lightly colored cloth to clean the wood.

5. Finally, use your furniture polish with a cloth or towel and blend it with the wood until you’re satisfied.

Heat And Wipe (Method 2)


Method Two Heat The Wax 

The next method we want to share with you is called the “heat and wipe” method. This method is better for larger spills requiring more care in ensuring you don’t damage the wood.

This method is better than the first for removing large wax spills because you can’t scrape a large wax spill off without damaging the wood. However, by slowly heating the wax up and wiping it off, you can remove bigger chunks of wax without damaging any surfaces.

The heat and wipe method can be done with an iron or hair dryer, so we’ll take you through both.

What You Need

  • An iron or hair dryer.
  • Lint-free, lightly-colored, clean, or white cloths.
  • Strong paper towels.
  • Washcloths.
  • Furniture polish.

How To Perform The Heat And Wipe Method With A Hairdryer

1. Hold your hairdryer approximately 3 inches (no closer) above the wood.

2. Turn the hairdryer on, keeping it at the lowest setting before pointing it at the wax.

3. When you can see the wax begin to soften, attempt to peel it off with your fingers gently. You should then wipe the area with your lint-free cloths.

4. Repeat the process until all the wax has been completely removed.

5. To finish off, use your cloth to clean the area. You can then buff the wood with the polish.

How To Perform The Heat And Wipe Method With An Iron

1. Turn your iron on. Set it to one of the lower settings.

2. Cover the area where the wax has been spilled on with three or four paper towels. 

3. Put a lint-free, iron-safe cloth on top of your paper towels.

4. Place the iron over the cloth and press down for approximately 5 seconds.

5. Lift the iron and cloth to see if any wax has been absorbed. If it hasn’t, increase the iron’s temperature slightly and try again.

6. Repeat this process until all the wax has been removed. You might need to change the paper towel after a few tries. 

7. Grab your cloth and wipe down the area you’ve just treated/ You can now apply some polish and buff the area. 

Freeze And Scrape (Method 3)

Freeze And Scrape (Method 3)

The final method in this post is the freeze and scrape method. This is one of our favorite methods because it doesn’t require any heating, and can be done relatively quickly.

It’s also a good option if you want to get your children involved with the cleanup, especially if they were the ones that knocked the candle over.

This method involves using ice to freeze the wax, so make sure you have plenty ready to go.

What You Need

  • Sturdy plastic spatula, spoon, or your expired credit card.
  • Ice.
  • Clean, lightly-colored, or white cloths (lint-free).
  • Furniture polish.
  • Plastic bag (zipper-style).

How To Perform The Freeze And Scrape Method

1. Place six or seven ice cubes into your plastic bag. 

2. Lay the bag on top of the wax-covered area for roughly one minute.

3. Use a plastic spatula, credit card, or plastic spoon to remove the wax gently. It should hopefully break off in one chunk, but some small fragments may be left behind.

4. Carefully scrape the rest of the wax off.

5. When all the wax has been removed, use your furniture polish and lint-free cloth to clean and buff the wood.

Final Thoughts

In this post, we have shown you three quick and easy ways to remove wax from wood. You should know exactly what to do in the unfortunate event someone spills candle wax on your wood.

While it can be a painstaking process at times, hopefully, with these methods at your disposal, you’ll be able to quickly remove the wax without causing any damage.

All you have to do now is pick the method you want to use to remove the candle wax from your wood. Be sure to follow our instructions carefully if you want to successfully remove the wax without damaging the wood.

Diarmuid Brock

I'm a carpenter by day and an amateur woodworker by night. I don't believe in limitations, and I love to help others. I'm here to answer your questions and make your life simpler. I craft and create with all-natural, reclaimed, and repurposed materials.

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