How to Clean Up Spilled Candle Wax

Spilled wax? We’ve got you covered. Believe us, at 1502 Candle Co., we’re no strangers to spilled wax–lots and lots of it. Cleaning up candle wax can sound intimidating but over the years, we’ve put together a few tips to combat a tipped, dropped, or bumped candle.

Before You Get Started

Fortunately, wax can be cleaned up with simple household cleaners and other items you likely already have around the house. Depending on the surface, you’ll need:

  • Hot water
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels
  • An iron
  • Brown paper bags
  • Goo Gone
  • Glass cleaner

Remember: soy wax is an oil so use the same approach to cleaning it up as you would any other type of oil.

Is It Better to Clean Wax Melted or Hard?

Whenever possible, soak up large spills when the wax is still liquid, especially on fabrics. Once the wax has hardened, you can scrape it off. Just remember not to get so carried away that you end up scratching the surface, like a wooden coffee table. 

Treating Wax Mishaps on Various Surfaces

Whether your dinner party got a little wild or you just tipped a votive while you were studying, check out these simple instructions to get it all cleaned up quickly...

Whenever possible, soak up large spills when the wax is still liquid, especially on fabrics.

Table or desk

If the surface is wood, soften the wax with a blow dryer. You can use a soft cloth to wipe it up once it’s melted. If you can still see oily puddles, gently wash the area with a mild dish soap and warm water.


Carpet might seem like an impossible surface to clean, but an iron and classic brown paper bags are your secret weapons. Place the bag (a surprisingly absorbent material) over the offending spot, then iron on the lowest setting. Take care to keep the iron moving and use additional bags, if needed, until all the wax has been soaked up.

Clothing or Other Cloth

If the wax is still melted, sop up as much as you can with paper towels. Place the item in the freezer for about a half hour, scrape off the hardened wax, then use the trusted iron-and-brown-bag approach. If a stubborn stain persists, try stain-remover or a dab of laundry detergent before you launder it.


Splatters have a way of making their way everywhere, including walls. You can use an iron set to the lowest setting and similar to the brown bag method, sandwich paper towels in between the wax and iron.

Tubs and Sinks

We know a relaxing soak isn’t complete without your favorite soothing candles but if you got a little too zenned out, wax can be scraped off of bathtub ledges (and sinks and other hard surfaces, like glass) with a credit card or other hard plastic edge. If it really won’t budge, douse the area in boiling water first.


If your computer or TV took a hit, run an ice cube over the wax to harden it. This usually allows you to simply pop it off. Goo Gone can help remove residue.

Candle Holders

Candle holders and other small items can be especially tedious to clean. Freeze the wax for easy cleanup–after a half hour or so in the freezer, you can usually tap or snap it off.

What if My Wick Is Nowhere to Be Found?

In some cases, the wick might have been buried beneath hardened wax–especially if you take good care of your candles and remember to keep your wicks trimmed! (Didn’t know this was recommended? Check out our candle care tips and see our favorite wick trimmer.) 

Once the wax is hard, use a spoon to gently remove wax around the wick until you have ¼ inch showing. Take care not to simply dig a hole around it–you want the surface to be level in order to “reset” it for the next burn sesh.

If the sides of the candle have melted wax or soot on them, use warm water to soften the wax, then use a paper towel or rag with some glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol to restore a sparkling clean look.

Contact 1502 Candle Co.

Be sure of follow us on Instagram for more tips and check out our Facebook and Pinterest. And stay tuned for our seasonal favorites as the days grow shorter and the weather gets cooler!

September 28, 2020 — Emily Tongg


terry said:

We spilled a candle onto tile floor, wooden table and other items. Your blow dryer and paper towels worked amazing!! Thanks for your help with that mess! Amazing!!!

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