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Cleaning Candle Wax from Wood Furniture

Candle wax dripping down side of container and wood stand

Removing wax from tables, shelves, and bookcases can be difficult and costly, but must be done correctly to avoid damaging wood surfaces. This is a guide about cleaning candle wax from wood furniture.



Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Using An Iron For Candle Wax Cleanup

I always do the same thing no matter where the wax has dripped; once on expensive (not mine) speakers. Let the iron heat up to a medium/light setting and have many paper towels (or paper bags ripped into squares) ready. You put down the paper or paper bag then place the iron on the spot. As soon as you see the paper (bag) getting a wet look to it remove it. Do the same thing over again and again until it's all removed. It works on wood, fabric, even walls (that you can't scrape).

I have only once had a color stain left. That time I used a baking soda mixture to remove the small reddish stain left behind.

Sometimes the easy things seem too simple, but try it. I have never had it fail. Make sure you don't let too much absorb at once, keep replacing the paper towels. The time I didn't have paper towels was when I cut a grocery brown bag up into squares and it worked also. Good luck!

By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

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Here are questions related to Cleaning Candle Wax from Wood Furniture.

Question: Wax Residue Stain on Oak Table

A glass candle holder broke yesterday and the wax spilled out on to the table. I let it dry for a bit and then I removed the wax carefully with a plastic scrapper. It came off, but there is a shiny stain you can see at an angle. When you touch it it feels as it it had been polished.
How can I remove this stain guys? I don't want to make it worse as it is a brand new table.

By Jose

Question: Removing Red Candle Wax from Wood

How do I remove red candle wax from wood?

By Sue from La Porte, TX

Question: Removing Candle Wax from Wood Furniture

How do I remove candle wax from wood furniture?

By Annie from Glencoe

Most Recent Answer

By Pat Phillips01/17/2012

Carefully scrape the wax off with a credit card as a scraper. You can remove most of the wax. Then warm the wax residue that is left with a hair dryer on a low setting, after covering the wax with a paper towel. The wax will melt and the paper towel will absorb the melted wax.

Question: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

I have red cinnamon scented candle wax on an antique piano, but not on keys. It is just on the wood behind the music holder and in the seams. The wood is cherry I believe. The piano is about 75 to 80 years old.
My husband blew out a tea light under a tart warmer on the piano and didn't confess for 2 days. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


By Lisa from Mt. Vernon

Most Recent Answer

By Marsha Fleenor09/22/2011

It's just a piece of furniture and no one can probably even see the wax. Give the man a break. :)

Question: Candle Wax on Wood Furniture

How do you remove candle wax from wood furniture?

By Carolyn from Memphis, TN

Most Recent Answer

By Linda L.09/10/2010

Scrape it off with a an old credit or gift card.

Question: Removing Candle Color Stain from a Wood Table?

We had candle wax go through a red tablecloth onto the oak table top. How do we get the red dye out of the table top finish?

Most Recent Answer

By jeffrey (Guest Post)01/08/2009

Can anyone tell me the full name or manufactuer of the 'magic eraser' referred to ( re removing red dye stain from wood)? I'm in Australia , not sure if it's the 'Chux' one or 'Mr Clean' product.


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Removing Candle Stain on Wood

I blew a red candle out and the wax went on the wood table beneath it. I was able to remove the wax by gently scraping it off, but the wood is now stained red. Any ideas on how to get rid of the red stain?



I spilled light colored wax from a candle on an unfinished pine cabinet. After picking the wax off, I got the stain out using a white staedtler "mars plastic" eraser and rubbing really hard. Seems to have worked! (01/26/2005)

By Jen

Warm Iron

I spilt a large green candle on a handmade wood coffee table. Unfortunately, I tried to scrape off the wax when it was still warm and scratched the table a bit. Once dry I tried the eraser idea with a pink eraser (on the end of a pencil), but it didn't work. I then tried a warm iron on a paper towel and it worked like a charm. Thanx for the ideas! (06/05/2005)

By Carey

RE: Removing Candle Stain on Wood

Peter, The exact thing happened to me the candle wax popped off easily in one piece but there's a big red stain. Did you have any luck getting it out? (07/24/2005)

By Denise


I spilt a red candle on a wooden chest and I tried a few of the other tips I heard; toothpaste just made it alot lighter (everything including the wood). I then tried the warm iron over a paper towel and this got it out a lot better, although not totally. (08/30/2005)

By jeni

Archive: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

I had a Pampered Chef party Friday night and candle wax got spilled on my coffee table. How do I get it off? I used Murphy's Oil Sop and a butter knife to try to release some of the spill but there's still some wax on my coffee table. I would appreciate anyone with a solution.

Thank You,


RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

Thank-you for the hot tip. We had a bit of candle wax on our sofa and i tried the 'freeze it' method which was just a waste of time and ice cubes. I tried the brown paper bag and iron trick and couldn't believe how easy it was!... We needed to sell the furniture and people were coming to look at it that afternoon, thank-goodness the wax came off. We got the price we were asking for. Thank-you once again! (04/28/2007)

By Krystle

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

Be sure not to use a paper towel!! I did this, and the wax came off, but the paper towel stuck to my table. I removed it with warm water, but now the varnish in that spot is rough and unsightly. (05/21/2007)

By Morgan

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

Thank YOU so much for the AMAZING blow dryer trick - it was easy and quick! This was true furniture saver trick! :) (06/02/2007)

By Audrey Ivey

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

Thanks for advice. I used it on an suede ?imitation? sofa, and it worked great! I used an iron on a med - low temp with paper towels. Wax came up quick, but left some dark marks which also came up with a bit more time with the iron. (06/06/2007)

By Pete

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

My husband (aka bull-in-a-china-shop) bumped into our table full of lit candles which unfortunately sits next to our fabric love seat. Wax spilled all down the side. I used an iron on low setting with paper towels to blot up wax. Worked like a charm! I refuse to give up my candles, so I'll know for next time to keep hubby away from them. (06/17/2007)

By melanie

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

Hi Chris. I don't know what your coffee table is made of. But I have many times used a credit card type of card to scrape off whatever I could and then wipe it with some isopropyl alcohol. Even a plastic putty knife would be useful.

There are some pieces of furniture I would use an iron on and some I would not. (07/09/2007)

By Sheraone

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

I thought I had ruined my love seat after I spilled candle wax on it. I tried the iron (low setting) and paper bag tip & it WORKED LIKE MAGIC! (08/27/2007)

By Tina

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

The hair dryer method works great. (09/17/2007)

By troy

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

The hairdryer tip worked brilliantly - thanks so much - just scraped the re heated wax away with a cash card. Saved the day thank you!! (09/17/2007)

By Soozie

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

Medium hot iron and any blotting paper(newspaper) would do great job. It cleaned very well, that I don't have to wipe it again.(09/18/2007)

By Nav

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

I got orange wax on my light wood table. I used the hair dryer trick scraping with a credit card...the excess wax blew around as I scraped. But then, there was an orange stain, and I thought my table was ruined. I used rubbing alcohol on it, and it came out like a miracle. I was shocked at how easy all this was. Thanks for the tips! (10/19/2007)

By Christine

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

Hair dryer was a GREAT IDEA (10/25/2007)


Archive: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

How do I get candle wax off a glass coffee table?


Archive: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

You can remove melted candle wax from a piece of furniture, or sometimes this will even work for carpet, with a piece of brown paper bag and an iron.


Archive: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

How can I remove candle wax from a wooden chest?

Eddie from Panama City, FL

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

I just used my fingernails. (06/04/2008)

By Jason

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

I just used a credit card to scrape off the wax and then I used Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover for cars. It did a great job and leaves a nice protective shine. Deb in VT (08/09/2008)

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

Credit card and Windex took it right off my glass table top. (09/09/2008)

By Kara

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

Use flat surface plastic (credit card, plastic knife) to remove large pieces of wax then use WD-40 to clean residue. (11/28/2008)

By Rob from NYC

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

Rather than using heat I found a cold pack better. It freezes the wax and you can peel or scrape it easily. This is better on carpet and upholstery because it won't melt the wax into the fabric. (12/11/2008)

By Vince from NJ

RE: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

Yep! Iron and paper bag worked like a dream! I had soy wax all over my micro suede couch- pretty much got it all out. This web-site is a blessing of many sorts. Thanks so very much. (01/04/2009)

By Amanda from MN

Archive: Removing Candle Wax From Furniture

I accidentally spilled hot wax (from a candle )on my dresser and wall. How can I clean this up and not leave a mess? Thanks.


Archive: Candle Wax on Wood Furniture

How can I get candle wax off of wood furniture?