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.
By Cynthia 1
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?
By guest (Guest Post) Flag
January 8, 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.
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
By lisa 1
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
December 18, 2010
Use your hair dryer on high, then use toothpicks with cotton swabbed on them, thinner than Q-tips.
By Carolyn 1
How do you remove candle wax from wood furniture?
By Carolyn from Memphis, TN
September 10, 2010
Scrape it off with a an old credit or gift card.
How do I remove candle wax from wood furniture?
By Annie from Glencoe
January 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.
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.
How do I remove red candle wax from wood?
By Sue from La Porte, TX
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 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)
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)
Thank YOU so much for the AMAZING blow dryer trick - it was easy and quick! This was true furniture saver trick! :)
By Audrey Ivey
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)
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)
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)
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)
The hair dryer method works great. (09/17/2007)
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)
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)
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)
Hair dryer was a GREAT IDEA (10/25/2007)
How do I get candle wax off a glass coffee table?
Shirl from Palm Desert, CA
Shirl, I once had candle wax on my oak dresser. I used a hairdryer to melt the wax and it worked very well.
By Dan -Syracuse, NY
Razor blade or scraper.(b)(/b) (11/21/2007)
I had a purchased a Broyhill black coffee table. That night, I had company and lit the decorative candles on tiered candle holders. A few hours later, I realized that the candles had melted all over my coffee table and ruining the runner I had placed on the table to protect it! My son showed me how to wait for the wax to harden and remove it with a credit card. Marks from the wax still existed on the table and I was sick about it because the cleaning instructions forbid using anything harsh to clean the table because the finish it would ruin the finish.
With a prayer, and after reading the label, I used "Counter Magic" that cleans as it shines. I use it to clean and polish my corian counters, but it stated that it can be used on other solid surfaces. To my amazement, this product removed the marks left from the wax and it looks just like new! (11/22/2007)
By Carol from Florida
I just tried the credit card trick to take a very big dried candle wax mess off the top of my very expensive Oak Dining Room table, and it worked! The wax had already hardened and it took a bit of elbow grease but all of it came off and then I wiped the whole table down with a soft rag that I wet with Isopropyl Alcohol (good old fashioned Rubbing Alcohol) and it is all nice & clean and back to normal now! Thanks for the information. You saved my gorgeous Dining Room table! - 12/27/07 (12/27/2007)
We left a candle burn overnight by accident, and it puddled and splattered wax all over an end table. After picking off the biggest chunks, I easily got rid of all the smears and spatters by using paint thinner on a soft cloth. Paint thinner is not a very powerful solvent, but it will easily dissolve candle wax. It did not harm the varnished surface at all--I had tested it on a small area first to be sure. (12/27/2007)
Heavily recommend the low setting for the iron method. I completely ruined a couch arm with the brown paper bag & iron method. It melted the material in a matter of seconds! (12/30/2007)
Hair dryer to heat, paper towel between a plastic putty knife and surface---buff with mixture of pledge and nu-car polish (orange container). (01/03/2008)
Thanks for the post By Ed (Guest Post) (12/27/2007. This method has just worked brilliantly for me on some mahogany furniture. (01/06/2008)
Credit card tip is so effective and so simple. Used it to remove candle wax from the surface of my pine dresser and also from a laminate dining table and it worked brilliantly. (01/22/2008)
I blew out a candle & wax got all over top of a walnut dresser. I tried the scrap with credit card technique. It took 5 min. and the dresser is PERFECT! Thank you, thank you! (02/03/2008)
I had allowed a red candle to spill over while burning, and upon removing the wax with a credit card a red stain was left on my light oak dresser. I used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (dampened) and it removed all of the stain. I hope this helps. (02/15/2008)
I tried the paper bag iron bit on my carpet on a low setting and it melted the paper bag to the carpet and melted the carpet as well. Not good. (03/11/2008)
By still upset
Thanks I spilled wax from candle on my DAUGHTERS coffee table! I used the credit card and it all came off. Now to try the Mr. Clean or alcohol ,wish me luck (03/12/2008)
Wow. I just removed wax that spilled onto a mahogany table with the credit card scraping technique and it removed it all without damaging the top. Thanks to whomever first posted this technique and to all who continue doing so! (03/18/2008)
By Stuart Friedman
I cannot believe how using the low setting of a hair dryer and paper towels removed a huge candle wax mess from my rosewood, hand carved Asian coffee table. I was so upset because this table was quite expensive and is now a family heirloom. Thank you, thank you, thank you whomever it was who offered this suggestion. You have definitely earned yourself a higher place in heaven! (04/05/2008)
By Jeanne Marie
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. Just place a piece of bag (folded) over the melted wax area and place a hot iron, on a low setting, on top of the paper for 5 to 10 seconds, lift up iron and paper. The wax should have soaked up into the paper and removed it from the furniture. This might need to be repeated a few times.
I recently bought a bottle of "Goo Gone" from a Home Improvement Store. Goo Gone claims to remove candle wax from furniture without damaging it. Well, Beware! It does damage your furniture!! (06/24/2004)
I just tried the brown paper bag and the iron thing. It worked like a charm! I am so glad I found this site because I just sold my house and I thought I was going to have to pay for new carpets. (07/20/2004)
My problem was on my carpet - caused by a scented candle blow-out. I didn't have a brown paper bag so I used paper towels instead. The result was nothing short of incredible. I just put the paper towels (three or four thicknesses) on the wax, left the iron on it for a couple of minutes, and presto, change, the wax was gone! Somehow, it was absorbed by the paper towels! I don't think I've ever had a cleanup job that was easier. I sure wish I would have seen the posts before I had spayed a ton of stain remover and scrubbed part of the carpet away. (08/28/2004)
You can also use a hair dryer instead of an iron. I did this with my sofa and it worked great! (08/30/2004)
Be sure not to do this method if you have Berber carpet. I tried it after a candle spilled and it melted my fibers together. It was too late and then I found out that a carpet cleaning company could have removed it if I hadn't had "melted" my carpet first. (08/31/2004)
I have a large candle with four wicks on an oak dresser and I attempted to blow out all of them on one huff/puff. Guess where the hot red wax went? Anyway, I used a hairdryer to re-melt the wax and rubbed it off with a very soft cloth. It worked great. I then put some furniture spray on the oak dresser and it looked like new. Try using the low setting on the dryer first and if not, go with the high setting carefully.
By Dan from NY (12/09/2004)
We have just tried the hairdryer on some spilled wax on dresser. I can not believe how easy the wax came off. It works incredibly well on the carpet to. Thank you on this web site. It was a great help (01/30/2005)
To get wax drippings off of nearly everything. Take your iron and put it on a medium to low setting. Place a paper towel or clean rag and iron over the wax and up it will come. You will never know it had been there.
By Teri Hanmore
I didn't think the answer would be here....but the hair dryer worked wonderful on my 1938 table. (07/04/2005)
By teresa from texas
I poured some potpourri oil in with a wax tart in my tart burner. After about ten minutes I heard something bubbling. The oil and wax were boiling and splashing out all over my entertainment center and carpet. I am so glad I found this site because my fingernails were getting really sore from trying to scrape all the wax off. Thanks for the pointers. (09/27/2005)
Thank you so much for the blow-dryer idea of removing wax from furniture! I hardly ever burn candles on my antique dining room set but I was tonight and I accidentally bumped one. I was nearly in tears because I didn't have the first idea of what to do about it. Bless you all for your suggestions. (10/31/2005)
1) spilled candle wax all over antique french lacquered dining room table
2) got hair dryer, 2 paper towels
3) wax was gone in about 90 seconds
Thanks everyone!! (11/01/2005)
By Sarah R
I tried the iron to remove wax from my couch and it works perfectly. Whoever was the original person to post this, I thank you very much. This really works. Thats for saving my furniture. And my son thanks you for keeping him from punishment.
We had carpet in our previous house and a candle dripped onto it. I laid down wax paper and ran a hot iron over it. This melted the wax and it worked very well. You just have to change out your paper because the waxy side picks up the candle wax. This is the best method I have ever heard of. (01/20/2006)
Thank you! You saved my expensive coffee table. (02/09/2006)
Great idea, but I couldn't get the stain off my suede couch. (02/18/2006)
My kids just blew out multi-wicked candle on cherry dining table and wax sprayed all over one side of top. We had already gotten credit card out before I checked this site - afraid of scratching. Thanks so much for the hair dryer tip! It worked perfectly and effortlessly. Thanks! (08/08/2006)
Saved my restoration hardware dining room buffet. The simplest ideas are often the best ideas. (09/24/2006)
I just tried this using yellow pages from phone book. Spilled wax all over my glass coffee table. Worked great. Thanks (09/29/2006)
I tried this and now I have newsprint heated into the top of my dresser. I wish you would advise people to use a brown paper bag instead of newspaper. (10/09/2006)
I did the white paper towel and dryer on my dresser and it made a bubble. I'm so upset. (11/13/2006)
I used a hair dryer and rag to get red candle wax off a beige suede couch. Then used oxi-clean to get rid of the dark grease stains. A life saver! (03/06/2007)
By John from Michigan
How can I remove candle wax from a wooden chest?
Eddie from Panama City, FL
I just used my fingernails. (06/04/2008)
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)
Credit card and Windex took it right off my glass table top. (09/09/2008)
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
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
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
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.
By CNL from New Creek, WV
Yes, I've used a brown paper bag and an iron. You may have to do it a few times to get it all up. (04/19/2009)
How can I get candle wax off of wood furniture?
Susan from Danville. KY
Melt it carefully. In the old days, they let the furniture sit outside in the sun. That would probably do the trick.
My stain was a red/purple candle dye on a light oak table and I tried several things that didn't work before this did:
Take clear rubbing alcohol, use it to wet a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser instead of water. Rub the spot thoroughly. It took a few minutes to get up, and at first I didn't think it would work, but I got the entire stain up perfectly. (08/23/2007)
I have had good luck with this "trick" removing candle wax from carpet and wooden furniture. Take plain brown wrapping paper like the kind used for wrapping packages for shipping. Can be bought at Walmart, mail packaging services, Target, etc.
Place several layers of paper over wax. Take a low iron and slowly iron over the paper where the wax is. You will see that the wax is absorbed into the paper. Keep moving the paper around as it gets saturated with the melted wax, replacing the paper when needed, until the wax is gone from the carpet or wood. It worked for me and I hope you have good luck too.
I spilled red candle wax all over a wood table. I ironed over a paper towel and it come out. I had to repeat this a few times, but it works. (04/30/2008)
Using a blow drier with a plastic card worked great for me. (05/26/2008)
Since it wasn't wax that needed to come off, but the stain it left behind the suggestion about the Magic Eraser and alcohol worked. Thank you so much. Be ready for the finish to come off as well though. Clear varnish helped us to fix that problem. (12/29/2008)
I spilled candle wax (a lot) on an attic buffet. How can I get this off? What a mess.
By Ann from Tipp City, OH
Since you say it's a lot of wax I would start with gently scraping with a plastic scraper to get the majority of it off and then there are also lots of good advice beyond doing that in the ThriftyFun archives below. (12/08/2009)
I did this last night when a candle burned and over flowed onto my wife's new black end table (man she was pissed at me). Anyway, we gently scraped away the loose wax first. Next she came here for ideas and discussed the ideas with me; however, I had another idea. Knowing a little about waxes and oils and knowing that Vaseline is wax melted in mineral oil, I took out the Squibb Mineral Oil (you can find this in Walmart or CVS).
We put the mineral oil on an old rag and rubbed. A little elbow grease and in 15 minutes no more candle wax on her new black end table. Needless to say, she's still a little made at me, but she said "You saved the day". And the best part about this removal method is no heating, no scraping/scratching, etc. The mineral oil dissolves away the candle wax. Hope this helps someone out. (01/12/2010)
I blew out a candle and wax got on my furniture (wood) and my TV speakers. How can I get it out and off the surfaces?
By Marcia from Klamath Falls, OR
How do you remove candle wax from wood furniture?
First use a plastic light-switch plate, and after that, use an old credit card to scrape the rest of the wax off. The credit card and the plastic light-switch plate won't harm or scratch you wood. Just keep them flat and don't use their corners.
If you have extra wax left over after the credit card, simply warm the left-over wax up a tiny bit with your blow-dryer, "just" until the wax melts a bit and while it's melted, wipe the melted wax with a paper towel. Lastly, buff the wood with a soft cloth. (03/17/2010)
I know an hot iron with newsprint or tissue works to absorb the wax. This works to remove from cloths this may be the answer. Lay the tissue on the wax, hot iron on top to melt and absorb. Have lots of tissue, so as not to spread it, would be my suggestion. (03/20/2010)
By mx5 girl
I don't think I would want to use a hot iron on my wood furniture as that may damage it even more than the candle wax problem. Just MHO. (03/21/2010)