How to remove dirt from candles

Written by mary ylisela | 13/05/2017
How to remove dirt from candles
Keep candles clean and dirt-free for a clean burn. (Getty Images)

Like any other decoration or functional item in your home, candles get dirty and dusty, too. You may not think about needing to clean candles, but if you don't burn them everyday they become dirty over time. Cleaning candles requires the use of supplies and techniques that are appropriate for waxy, oil-based items. Left dirty, the dirt and debris will burn along with your candles the next time you light them, which can cause smoke or odours.

Cut an old pair of tights so just the foot and about 20 cm (8 inches) of the leg is left. Discard the rest of the tights. Wipe the surface of your dirty candles to remove dust.

Wet a lint-free cloth with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, squeezing out excess liquid. Wash your candles' surface to remove dirt and stains. If preferred, you can use hand-sanitiser wipes instead, as long as they're not alcohol-free.

Pat your candles dry with another lint-free cloth to remove moisture from the cleaning process. Before using, allow the candles to air dry overnight.


Store unused candles in a plastic bag so they don't become dust collectors.

Since candles are oil-based, water-based products tend to bead up on candles instead of cleaning them. Use an alcohol-based product, instead, to clean candle surfaces.

Cover candles you intend to leave out for a long time with a decorative glass cover. This way the candle is still on display, but doesn't get dusty and dirty.

Things you need

  • Old pair of nylon tights
  • Scissors
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
  • Hand sanitiser wipes (optional)

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