How to remove wax from brass candlesticks

Written by kimberley elliot
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How to remove wax from brass candlesticks
Remove candle wax from brass with care. (candlestick image by Henryk Olszewski from

Less expensive than silver or gold, brass still has a lustre that can beautifully reflect the glow of a candle. Because they are slow to tarnish, brass candle holders have been a favourite of households for centuries. But no matter how carefully you watch them, candle wax may drip down onto the holder. Whether your brass candlesticks are a treasured antique or a more recent acquisition, you can remove the wax without harming them.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Magnet
  • Refrigerator
  • Plastic trash bag
  • Ice cubes
  • Pot
  • Cloth
  • Cotton swab
  • Petroleum jelly

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  1. 1

    Test to see whether your candlestick is solid brass. Put a small magnet on your candlestick. If it falls off, your piece is solid brass. If it sticks, the candlestick is actually steel with a coating of brass. Be careful not to chip the coating off when trying to remove the wax.

  2. 2

    Put your brass candlestick in the fridge for at least an hour. Remove the candlestick and carefully chip away the wax. If time is too short to wait that long, try putting it in the freezer for a couple of minutes.

  3. 3

    If your brass piece is an elaborate candelabra too large to fit in your fridge, fill a plastic trash bag with ice cubes, and pop the piece into the bag. Leave it there for a couple of minutes, then pull it out. Chip off the hardened wax with your fingernail.

  4. 4

    Dip the candlestick in hot water for a couple of minutes if freezing the wax doesn't work. Remove the brass candlestick and use a paper towel to clean off the melted candle wax.

  5. 5

    Dry your piece thoroughly after removing the wax. Polish the piece with a small cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • To prevent wax from hardening in the future, dip a cotton swab in petroleum jelly. Coat the brass piece and the bottom of the candle. When the wax drips onto the candlestick, it will slide off without hardening in place.

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