How to get candle wax off the wall

Candles can create a warm, cozy ambience in any room, but the wax they leave behind on walls can be a real pain to remove. Whether you accidentally knocked over a candle or the wax splattered from the wick, dealing with dried candle wax on walls is a common household problem.

Fortunately, there are several effective methods you can try to safely and efficiently remove candle wax from your walls. In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process for getting candle wax off walls using a variety of techniques, from using heat to scraping to chemical solvents. We’ll also share some tips for preventing candle wax messes in the first place, as well as recommendations for wax removal products that can make the job easier.

get candle wax off wall

Why Does Candle Wax Stick to Walls?

Before we dive into the removal methods, it’s helpful to understand why candle wax adheres to walls in the first place. Candle wax, which is typically made from paraffin, soy, or beeswax, has a relatively low melting point. When the flame of a lit candle heats up the wax, it liquefies and can easily splatter or drip onto nearby surfaces, including walls.

As the liquid wax cools, it hardens and forms a solid bond with the wall’s surface. This is why candle wax can be so difficult to remove – it essentially “glues” itself to the wall. The longer the wax is allowed to sit, the more stubborn it becomes, forming an increasingly strong hold.

Additionally, the type of wall material can impact how easily the wax can be removed. Porous surfaces like drywall or plaster tend to absorb the wax more deeply, making it harder to lift out. Smooth, non-porous surfaces like glossy paint or tile are generally easier to clean, as the wax sits more on the surface.

How to Remove Candle Wax from Walls

There are several effective techniques for getting candle wax off walls, and the best approach will depend on the size and severity of the stain, as well as the type of wall material. Here are some of the most common and successful methods:

1. Use Heat to Melt the Wax

One of the most effective ways to remove candle wax from walls is by applying heat to melt and lift the wax. There are a few different ways you can use heat to your advantage:

Iron and Paper Towel Method

  • Lay a paper towel or clean, absorbent cloth over the wax stain.
  • Set a hot iron (on a medium to high setting) on top of the paper towel and let it sit for 10-15 seconds.
  • The heat will melt the wax, causing it to transfer from the wall to the paper towel.
  • Repeat this process, moving the paper towel to a clean area, until the wax is fully removed.

Hair Dryer Method

  • Hold a hair dryer 6-8 inches away from the wax stain and set it to the highest heat setting.
  • Slowly move the dryer back and forth, heating the wax until it begins to melt.
  • Once the wax liquefies, use a clean rag or paper towel to blot and absorb the melted wax.
  • Continue heating and blotting until the stain is gone.

Caution: Be very careful when using heat to remove candle wax, as it can damage some wall surfaces if not done properly. Avoid holding the heat source too close or letting it linger in one spot for too long, as this could potentially scorch or discolour the wall.

2. Scrape Off the Hardened Wax

If the candle wax has already hardened and dried on the wall, you may need to physically scrape it off. Here’s how:

  • Use a plastic putty knife, credit card, or other flat, dull tool to gently scrape at the wax. Avoid anything too sharp that could scratch the wall.
  • Scrape in the direction of the grain of the wall material (horizontally for drywall, vertically for plaster, etc.) to help lift the wax.
  • Be careful not to press too hard, as this could tear or damage the wall surface.
  • After scraping, use a dry, clean cloth to wipe away any remaining wax residue.

3. Use a Chemical Solvent

For tough, stubborn wax stains, you may need to enlist the help of a chemical solvent to dissolve and lift the wax. Some effective options include:

Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol)

  • Soak a clean cloth or paper towel in isopropyl alcohol.
  • Gently dab and rub the alcohol-soaked cloth onto the wax stain.
  • The alcohol will help dissolve and break down the wax, allowing you to wipe it away.

Goo Gone or Other Citrus-Based Cleaners

  • Apply a small amount of Goo Gone or similar citrus-based cleaner directly onto the wax stain.
  • Let it sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the solvent to penetrate the wax.
  • Then use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot and wipe away the dissolved wax.

Mineral Spirits

  • Pour a small amount of mineral spirits onto a clean cloth.
  • Gently rub the cloth onto the wax stain, allowing the solvent to break down the wax.
  • Wipe away the dissolved wax with a dry cloth.

Caution: Always test chemical solvents in an inconspicuous area first to ensure they don’t damage or discolour the wall material. And be sure to work in a well-ventilated area, as these products can emit strong fumes.

4. Try a Natural Wax Removal Method

If you prefer a more natural approach, you can try using common household items to remove candle wax from walls:

Baking Soda and Vinegar

  • Make a paste by mixing equal parts baking soda and white vinegar.
  • Gently rub the paste onto the wax stain using a clean cloth or sponge.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the baking soda and vinegar to break down the wax.
  • Then wipe away the paste and any remaining wax residue with a damp cloth.

Ice Cubes

  • Place an ice cube directly on the wax stain and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
  • The cold temperature will cause the wax to harden, making it easier to scrape off with a dull knife or credit card.
  • Wipe away any remaining wax with a clean cloth.

Depending on the size and severity of the wax stain, you may need to repeat these natural methods a few times to fully remove the wax from the wall.

Wax Removal Products to Consider

In addition to the DIY methods mentioned above, there are also several commercial products designed specifically for removing candle wax from walls and other surfaces. Here are a few top-rated options to consider:

Goo Gone Candle Wax Remover– Formulated to quickly dissolve and lift candle wax
– Safe for use on a variety of surfaces including walls, floors, and countertops
– Leaves behind no sticky residue
Zep Candle Wax Remover– Penetrates and breaks down hardened wax stains
– Can be used on painted walls, wood, and other surfaces
– Comes with a scrub brush for extra cleaning power
The Buckeye Candle Wax Remover– Made with natural, plant-based ingredients
– Effectively removes wax with minimal scrubbing required
– Safe for use on a variety of wall surfaces

Always be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully when using any commercial wax removal product, and test in an inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility with your wall material.

Tips for Preventing Candle Wax Messes

Of course, the best way to deal with candle wax on walls is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to help you avoid those pesky wax stains:

  • Use candles with contained wicks, such as jars or votive candles, rather than open-flame pillars or tapers. The contained wick design helps minimize wax splattering.
  • Trim candle wicks to 1/4 inch before lighting to prevent excessive flickering and wax dripping.
  • Keep candles away from drafty areas that could cause the flame to flare up and splatter wax.
  • Use a candle snuffer or blow out candles gently to avoid wax spattering.
  • Place candles on stable, level surfaces, and keep them away from the edges of tables or shelves where they could be easily knocked over.
  • Consider using LED or electric candles, which eliminate the wax mess.

By following these simple tips, you can greatly reduce the chances of candle wax ending up on your walls in the first place. But if you do find yourself facing a wax stain, don’t worry – with the right removal techniques and products, you can have your walls looking good as new in no time.


Dealing with candle wax on walls can be a real hassle, but with the right approach, it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Whether you use heat, scraping, chemical solvents, natural methods, or a combination of these techniques, there are several effective ways to safely and efficiently remove those pesky wax stains.

The key is to act quickly before the wax has a chance to fully set and harden. The sooner you can address the stain, the easier it will be to lift out. And by taking preventative measures to minimize wax splattering in the first place, you can avoid dealing with those stubborn wax stains altogether.

So the next time you light a candle and end up with wax on your walls, don’t panic. Refer back to this comprehensive guide, and you’ll be well on your way to restoring your walls to their former glory. Happy candle-lit ambiance, mess-free!

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.