lit candle dripping wax onto a wood table
Photo: Wendell T. Webber

What You'll Learn

  1. Hard Surfaces
  2. Soft Goods
The glow of lit candles always makes for a festive atmosphere during the holidays, but the drips and pools of wax they can leave behind are no cause for celebration. So here's how to banish the stubborn stuff for good, without scratching up your furniture or staining your walls in the process.

Wood
Harden the wax with an ice cube, 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 wipe away the wax with a dry cloth. Repeat until the wax has been removed, then apply a touch of multipurpose remover, such as Goof Off (about $7, Lowe's) to remove residue.

Carpet
Scrape off excess wax. Lay a damp, lint-free white cloth over the wax and apply medium heat with an iron; the wax will adhere to the cloth. Use rubbing alcohol to remove residue. Or freeze the wax with an ice pack, then shatter the frozen clump with a blunt object, like the handle of a kitchen utensil. Vacuum up the pieces before they soften. Glass
Scrape away excess wax, then 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 and wipe away excess wax as it softens. Remove residue with a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water.
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