How To Clean The Wax Out Of Your Menorah After Hanukkah

After placing your menorah, decorating the table, gathering family, and lighting the candles every evening, you may feel like you've already exhausted all your holiday energy. After Hanukkah is over, sticky wax droplets on your menorah may seem like the last thing you want to deal with. It can be tempting to ignore this mess and quickly put everything away, but you'll regret not cleaning it sooner when you bring the menorah out to use again next year. 

One of the cleverest ways to remove candle wax from your menorah is by taking preventative steps before Hanukkah begins. explains that some people lightly coat their menorah with oil to prevent wax from sticking in the first place. Then, when it's time to clean up, the wax should easily peel away from the slippery areas. If you've forgotten to grease up your menorah this year, don't worry; you can still get the job done by following a few simple steps. Check out our handy tips for removing wax from your menorah – the future you will thank you!

Scrape away large bits

This step may seem like a no-brainer, but the best place to start when cleaning your menorah is by visibly scraping away any visible wax pieces. You should be able to remove most of these with your hands, but some simple household items also make great wax-removal tools. For example, you can use the edge of a credit card, a spatula, or a plastic knife to scrape the sides and frame of your menorah. In addition, corn cob holders or toothpicks are ideal for chipping away wax inside the candle slots. 

According to the Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center, a Hanukkah menorah can be made with any fire-resistant material, but your specific design may influence how you can clean it. As you're removing the wax, you'll need to be careful not to damage your menorah, especially if it is painted or made with an easily scratchable material like metal, stone, or ceramic. Plastic or wooden tools are better because metal utensils are too harsh for many surfaces. Naturally, you'll want to avoid using anything abrasive like steel wool or a scratchy sponge. 

Place it in the freezer

Have you ever wanted to save a beautiful candle container? Lifehacker provides a cool tip for removing wax from candle jars — simply place the candle in the freezer upside-down, and the wax will pop right out! Wax molecules squeeze tightly together when they're cold, causing the whole wax disc to shrink slightly. Any moisture in the wax also freezes to a solid, making it easy to slide out of the candle jar. 

Although menorahs aren't the same as candles, you can still use this freezing technique to remove a majority of messy wax after Hanukkah. Remove the candles from your menorah, then place it in the freezer for about an hour. When you take it out, you'll notice that the wax droplets are much easier to pop right off of the menorah's frame. If you need to, you can also use one of the previously mentioned tools, like a spatula, to scrape off the frozen wax.

Add heat

If you still need to remove stubborn wax pieces or a waxy residue, you'll need to turn up the heat. Candleers Candle Co. states that most candle wax melts at between 75 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit, so hot water can quickly wash away wax. However, you shouldn't just plunge a ceramic or stone menorah into near-boiling water – this could crack it. Instead, you'll need to gradually warm it up in the sink before dousing it with hot water. 

If your menorah is made from a material that can't tolerate hot water, you can try using a heat tool. A heat gun will definitely produce enough heat to melt the wax from your menorah, but you can also use a standard hair dryer if you don't have a heat gun on hand. According to Friday Appliance, most hair dryers blast air that's between 80 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Being careful not to burn yourself or damage your menorah, use the tool to sweep hot air over the remaining wax. Most of the wax should drip right off, allowing you to wipe the residue away with a paper towel.