With their warm glow and pleasant scents, candles add beauty to your home’s decor. But over time, candles can grow dusty and sooty, and their wax can make a mess of otherwise attractive candlesticks and containers. Here’s how to clean candles and their holders.
Removing dirt from candles
To clean away dust and soot that accumulates atop a candle, use a clean piece of nylon, such as old pantyhose or tights. Alternatively, you can clean a candle with a microfiber cloth dampened with a little water. Wipe with short strokes going in one direction, not back and forth.
Alcohol is sometimes suggested as a candle cleaner, but because it’s a flammable liquid, it can create a fire risk.
You can help keep candles clean by storing them in a cool, dry place away from bright lights or sunshine that might cause the candles to melt. Cover candle containers with lids if available. And clean candles that stay on display every few weeks to avoid a messy buildup.
Cleaning candle holders
If soot collects inside a glass candle container, wipe it away with a dampened cloth.
To remove built-up wax on a glass candlestick, in a votive candle holder or in a glass or ceramic container, stick the piece in your freezer. After an hour or so, remove the container and gently chip away at the wax with a spoon or butter knife. It should break away easily, but if not, return the container to the freezer a while longer and repeat the process. To eliminate any remaining wax residue or to clean a metal holder, place the piece in a container of very hot water. Leave it for a few minutes to melt the wax. Hot water and a bit of dish soap should remove any remaining wax residue. Be careful not to let water into which wax has melted go down the drain.
Reusing candle containers
Today’s decorative candles often come in attractive glass or ceramic containers. By following the steps above, these pieces can be reused for storage in the kitchen or bathroom or converted into vases.
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