Remove Candle Wax from Any Surface

Dani Caruso
By Dani Caruso

A burning candle creates the coziest ambience with it’s warm glow and delicious scent. Candles promote an inviting atmosphere when entertaining and a relaxing one when you just want to unwind. But it can be hard to stay zen if melted wax drips onto your leather couch or new carpet. Don’t fret if you’ve found your belongings in a waxy mess—just use our tips below.

*This post contains affiliate links


When removing wax from wood, first harden the wax with an ice cube, and then carefully scrape it off with an expired credit card or a plastic ruler. Rub away residue with cream furniture wax.

Vinyl Flooring

Soak the spot with hot water, and then wipe away the wax with a dry cloth. Repeat until the wax has been removed, and then apply a touch of multipurpose remover, such as Goof Off, to remove residue.


Scrape off excess wax. Lay a damp, lint-free white cloth over the wax. Apply medium heat with an iron; the wax will adhere to the cloth. Use rubbing alcohol to remove residue. Alternatively, freeze the wax with an ice pack, and then shatter the frozen clump with a blunt object, like the handle of a kitchen utensil. Vacuum up the pieces before they soften.


To remove wax from glass, first scrape away the excess.  Apply heat with a blow dryer set to medium, wiping off the wax with a rag as it softens. Wash the area with hot, soapy water to remove residue.

Painted Wall

Apply medium heat with a blow dryer. Wipe away excess wax as it softens. Remove residue with a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water.


Linens & Fabric Furniture

Remove as much wax as possible with a thin butter knife. Sandwich the linen between two plain paper bags. If you’re working on a piece of furniture, simply top the area with a bag. Iron with medium heat until the wax transfers to the bag. Repeat with more (clean) bags as needed. Blot leftover color stains with denatured alcohol.

Leather furniture

Move a blow dryer quickly over the surface to warm the wax but not burn the leather. Remove the wax with a clean cloth. Use either a polish designed for leather furniture or a damp cloth with mild soap to remove residue and keep the leather from drying out.


(This article originally appeared in This Old House magazine. Author // Jenn Largesse.)

Dani Caruso
By Dani Caruso
Dani is House One’s assistant editor. As a Norwalk, CT native, Dani graduated from UConn with a BA in Digital Media and Design. This millennial longs for the days of All That, Tamagotchis, and Dunkaroos. When she’s not working, she’s hanging outdoors, playing with her dogs, or watching makeup tutorials on YouTube.

More to love