3 Easy Ways to Remove Candle Wax From a Metal Candle Holder

Candles provide a romantic ambiance to a special dinner or occasion, casting a beautiful glow on a room. But it’s not always romantic to clean the spilled wax from your metal candlestick holders the next day, especially when you don’t want to scratch your candleholder surface. However, there are some tricks to cleaning your metal candle holders without much fuss.

Here’s how to remove candle wax from a metal candle holder:

  • Freeze your metal candle holder.
  • Use a hairdryer to melt the wax off your candle holder.
  • Place your candle holder in a pot of boiling water.

Depending on the size of your candle holder, these three ways will clear your holder of wax without scratching the holder’s metal surface. Here are the three easiest and most effective ways to rid your holders of spilled wax explained.

Removing candle wax from metal.

1. Freeze Your Metal Candle Holder

The freezing temperature of your icebox shrinks and hardens the spilled wax that accumulates on your metal holder. The cold solidifies the wax and makes it less brittle, allowing you to pry off the wax more easily.

You should follow this simple process:

  1. Place your candlestick in your freezer for a couple of hours until the candlestick stick is adequately frozen.
  2. To prevent potential scratches, you should use a plastic putty knife or even the edge of a credit card to gently and firmly leverage out the lumps of hardened wax.
  3. If your metal holder still has traces of wax, you may follow this method with method number two below.

2. Use a Hairdryer to Melt the Wax off Your Candle Holder

A hairdryer is a great way to melt spilled wax off your metal holder, especially if your holder is ornate and has lots of crevices that hold the melted wax deposits. Make sure that you lay down a protective cloth that you don’t need to reuse to catch the spills when using this easy method.

  1. Place your candlestick on a level surface with an electric output nearby for your hairdryer.
  2. Place a protective cloth underneath the holder on an even surface.
  3. Put your hairdryer on its highest setting and place it over the areas the wax has accumulated on the holder.
  4. After a minute or two, you will see the wax begin to loosen and run off the holder onto the protective cloth.
  5. Once the heat has melted the wax, use dry and clean paper towels to wipe off the last wax remnants gently.
  6. If your candle holder is large, you may loosen and clean the wax section by section until it is clear.
  7. Wash the candlestick with dishwashing liquid and dry thoroughly.

3. Place Your Candle Holder in a Pot of Boiling Water

Measure the length of your candle holder and find an appropriate pan that easily fits its dimensions. Keep a pair of forceps handy to remove your candlestick to prevent yourself from any water burns.

Create a space near your sink or stove with a protective cloth and holder such as a cookie sheet to ensure you don’t damage the surfaces around your stove.

It is essential that you prepare your sink correctly and close the drain when conducting this exercise. Melted wax may cause havoc with your plumbing once it hardens in your pipes. Allow the wax to cool in your container and strain the wax before you empty the water into your sink.

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil in your chosen pot that fits the dimensions of your metal candle holder.
  2. Once the water boils, turn off your heat and allow the water to move down from a vigorous boil to prevent burns.
  3. With oven mitts to protect your hands, gently lower your holder into the pot of water and allow it to rest for several minutes in the hot water.
  4. The wax will melt and rise to the surface of your water. Remove the holder carefully with forceps and place it on your prepared cloth nearby, ensuring you do not scald yourself with the heated water.
  5. Wipe the still warm holder with a cloth to remove any wax residue while it is still warm.
  6. Wash the candlestick with dishwashing liquid and dry thoroughly.

Removing Wax From a Metal Candle Holder FAQs

Can I Use Vinegar to Loosen Wax From a Metal Candlestick?

You can use vinegar to loosen wax from a metal candlestick. However, vinegar contains acetic acid which can cause corrosion and rusting in metals. Metal oxidation requires oxygen water and an electrolyte to create corrosion. Acetic acid provides the electrolyte needed in metal oxidation.

What Candles Are Drip Proof?

Although a truly 100% dripless candle does not exist, certain candles can be virtually dripless if properly maintained.

Beeswax candles have a higher melting point and are relatively drip-free if properly trimmed (0.5”) and that you palace them in a draft-free environment.

What Makes a Candle Drip Faster?

Your candle may drip faster and cause more wax buildup on your candle holder if you use cheaper paraffin-based candles with a lower melting point, did not align your candle vertically in its holder, place your candle in a direct draft, and if the wick is too long.

  • The cheaper paraffin-based candles have a lower melting point and tend to drip more than soy or beeswax candles with a higher melting point.
  • You did not align your candle vertically in its holder. If you don’t properly straighten your candle, it burns unevenly, and the wax on the hotter side runs down to the holder before it hardens.
  • If you place your candle in a direct draft, the candle will also burn on one side more intensely, leading to an excess of dripping wax.
  • If your wick is too long, you may find your candles drip more. A wick length of half an inch (1.27 cm) is ideal for a standard candlestick.


Cleaning your metal candle holder need not be a chore, and there are easy ways to get your holder clean and shiny again. If you use candles frequently, consider investing in some drip-proof candles and ensure you set your candles in a draft-free position.

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