How To Use Ice To Clean Dripping Wax Off Your Table

You've looked forward to hosting your sweetheart for dinner at your place all week, and now the night is finally here. The table is set, the main course is resting in the oven, and all that's left to do is light a few elegant candles and open a bottle of chilled wine. But as you're rushing around your kitchen, you accidentally bump the wobbly candlesticks, splattering hot wax across the table! You might want to rush for a paper towel and start wiping it up, but trying to remove the wax while it's still warm will only smudge it around more. You also don't want to let the wax sit too long, as the wax dyes could stain your table. Instead, open up the freezer and fill a plastic bag with ice. Lay the frozen bag across the wax drips, wait for it to harden, then easily scrape it up for mess-free cleaning.

No matter how it got there, cleaning candle wax off of surfaces is never fun, but this ice hack can help you keep your cool in a messy situation. Learn more about how to use an ice pack — or anything frozen, for that matter — to remove spilled wax with ease.

Use an ice pack to chill and chip

It's best to wait for candle wax to harden before removing it, but you can speed up the process. To quickly remove wax from your tabletop, fill a resealable plastic storage bag with ice cubes. If you don't have ice or plastic bags, you can also try using a bag of frozen food, like peas or blueberries. Lay your cold bag across the wax and let it rest for 1 minute. However, depending on the extent of your wax mess, it could take up to 10 minutes for the wax to freeze. Once frozen, you may see cracks already forming through the wax and can likely use your fingers to peel up some of it. 

The best option, however, is to follow up with a thin, straight-edge tool, like a windshield ice scraper, a plastic putty knife, or an old credit card. Even an upside-down drinking glass can work in a pinch! Shove the tool up against the edge of the wax at a 45-degree angle, chipping away at it until all of the pieces are dislodged. You can then brush the frozen wax off of the table and throw it away in the trash. Finally, rub away any leftover wax residue with a clean paper towel.

Set the mood without the mess

We love this idea for cleaning candle wax off of any hard surface, from tables and countertops to wood flooring and bathtub ledges. In general, you wouldn't want to use an ice cube directly on wood surfaces because the melting liquid can damage them, but keeping ice in a plastic bag controls the condensation. For extra moisture protection, you could even wrap the ice bag in a thin dishcloth. Best of all, this ice pack hack is cheap, doesn't require any special tools or cleaning solutions, and is fast-acting so you can have wax drips cleaned up well before any special guests arrive. 

The only downside to this hack is that it may not be the best way to get candle wax out of certain carpets or clothes, where it tends to seep into the fibers before it hardens. However, the same "freeze and release" idea also works for removing wax from candle jars so that you can reuse them! Just pop your old candles into the freezer and turn them upside down if you can. Leave them to chill for a few hours, and when you come back, the wax puck should easily slide out.