Candlelight is a beautiful way to add ambience and delicate light to your home. But what happens if disaster strikes and you get wax where it’s not supposed to be? Don’t stress, there are four easy methods to fix getting wax off glass surfaces, including candle holders. You may also want to upcycle your jar candle to use for decoration, these solutions are perfect for that too.

Use the links below to skip to whichever technique you need, or keep reading to find the best solution for you. 

The Easiest Method
The Quickest Technique
For Multiple Items
For Difficult & Large Objects
Helpful Tips

Freeze the wax: the easiest method

Freezing the wax is ideal as it requires no heat and no liquid to remove the wax from your favourite glass holder. If you’re also trying to be delicate with a smaller tealight holder without scraping wax out, this technique is perfect. 

Placing the wax into a cold environment causes it to harden and shrink, pulling it away from the glass surface. This method lets you leave the freezer to work its magic:

  1. Wait until your wax has solidified and is cool to touch. If it’s too hot, the drastic change in temperature may cause the holder to crack.
  2. Pop your glass holder into the freezer, letting the wax freeze and contract for at least an hour. 
  3. Remove the glass from the freezer. Try gently prying the wax off with your finger if you can, or tapping the glass into the palm of your hand. The wax should pop right out. If that doesn’t work, use a spoon to gently loosen the edges of the wax until it comes away completely.
  4. Clean up any leftover residue with a cloth or cotton ball dipped in baby oil or water. Then rinse with soapy water.

Melt the wax: the quickest solution 

If you don’t have the freezer space, or you need a more immediate solution. All you need for this method is a spoon, boiling water and a sponge. 

  1. Use a butter knife or spoon to scrape off as much extra wax as you can. Cut slits into the remaining block of wax to break it up into smaller chunks.
  2. Pour boiling water into the glass holder until it’s half full. Make sure that the wax you want to remove is fully submerged. On contact with the water, the wax will start to melt and liquefy.
  3. The melted wax will begin to rise to the top of the water and float on the surface. Wait for around half an hour as the water cools and the wax hardens.
  4. Use your butter knife or spoon to carefully remove the solidified wax from the top of the water. The wax should all peel off in one piece. If residual wax is stuck to the edges of the glass, gently scrape it away and remove that too. The wax will be soft and pliable, making it easy to remove.
  5. You don’t want any wax to cool and harden in your drain. So before you go to pour away the cooled water, catch any residual bits of wax by straining the water through your hand. Catch and dispose of it in the bin.
  6. Finally, clean the glass container with soapy water.
A group of PartyLite Wine Time Candles on a tableA group of PartyLite Wine Time Candles on a table

Use a double boiler: for multiple items

If you have multiple glass candle holders that you need to remove wax from, this method may be ideal. It’s faster than freezing, and much more effective when you only have a thin layer of wax to remove. This quick process will have your glass holders wax free and clean in no time. 

  1. Use a butter knife or spoon to scrape away as much wax as you can.
  2. Place a tea towel on a flat surface and a saucepan or large heat-resistant bowl on top. The tea towel will prevent your container from moving around. Place your candle holders into the pan or bowl.
  3. Fill the container with boiling water, making sure not to get any inside of your candle holder. Continue until the water is high enough to cover all of the wax.
  4. Let the glass sit inside the water until the wax begins to soften. Don’t let the wax melt too much as liquid wax is more difficult to clean up. If you leave the wax for too long, remove the glass from the water and allow it to solidify until it’s soft.
  5. Carefully hold the glass in one hand and use your spoon or knife to loosen the wax until it comes free.
  6. Remove the glass from the pan and tip out the block of softened wax.
  7. Rinse with soapy water.

Scrape the wax: for difficult & large objects

Sometimes wax can get into awkward places that make it hard to remove. Accidents can happen any time, and the next thing you know, you’ve got hardened wax across your glass-topped table. This method is quick and easy for when you need a solution, fast.

  1. Run a damp sponge dipped in warm to hot water over the surface of the wax. This should moisten and loosen the wax. Don’t worry about getting a little excess water on the glass, this will actually help the process.
  2. Using a razor blade, window scraper or sharp knife, very gently remove the wax by scraping under the wax where it meets the glass. Make sure to use short, soft strokes so you don’t scratch the surface of the glass.
  3. The residual water will help to reduce the friction, helping to prevent scratches from your tool. Start at one edge of the wax and begin to work round, carefully loosening the wax as you go. Eventually the wax should slide off completely.
  4. Wipe the area with a damp, warm cloth to remove any wax smudges or remnants.
PartyLite Escential Jars in a groupPartyLite Escential Jars in a group

Helpful Tips

To summarise, the easiest method is to freeze the wax and the quickest technique is to melt it. For multiple items use the double boiler, and for those harder or larger objects, patience is required as you’ll be scraping the wax off. 

If you have a small amount of wax to remove, try using a hairdryer or heat gun  to melt the wax. On a low to medium setting, hover the hairdryer around 30cm away from the wax for a few seconds. The wax should begin to melt and loosen. Use a damp cloth to wipe away the wax.

To avoid having to use these methods in the first place, when burning a candle make sure wax melts evenly. If you don’t burn it for long enough, you may be left with a “tunnel” in the middle of your candle where the wax around the edges remains solid. 

Always avoid burning your candles in a draughty space, especially as this can cause them to flicker. Using a fragrance form built for keeping draughts out will help combat this. 

Avoiding uneven surfaces while you burn your candle should also help prevent getting wax onto any glass holders. To avoid liquid getting on your surfaces, try paper alternatives for fragrance that you can take on the go

Always use an appropriate holder for your candles. Many of our accessories can be used for multiple different fragrance forms like votives, jar candles and tealights, but always double check before you use them.

Got wax stuck on other surfaces in your home? Read how to get wax out of carpets and how to get candle wax out of clothes. Check out our latest selection of candles here.

Josh Millar