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How to remove candle wax from painted walls

Candles add light and a warm ambience to any room in your home, but they can leave a mess behind that's hard to clean up. It is possible to remove spilt, dripped or hardened candle wax off your painted walls without damaging the surface or removing paint. You can find most of the needed supplies in your home or at the supermarket to restore your painted walls to an unstained condition.

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  1. Hold or tape a rolled towel to the wall directly beneath the wax stain to help catch the wax as it softens.

  2. Direct your hair dryer at the dried wax on your painted wall. Keep the setting on low or medium. Avoid using the high setting as this will cause the wax to splatter when it liquefies. Heat the wax until it melts completely.

  3. Wipe the melted wax with clean towels. Fold your towel over to a clean spot to avoid spreading the wax around. Repeat this process until all that's left is a waxy residue or shine. Be careful when you remove the towel taped to the wall; soak up any extra wax so it doesn't drip when you remove the towel.

  4. Buff the wall where the wax was with a used tumbler dryer fabric softener sheet to lift any waxy residue remaining.

  5. Fold a paper towel to a size big enough to cover the stained area if the wax has left a stain on your wall. Mix 50 ml (1/4 cup) of white vinegar with 100 ml (1/2 cup) of water in a bowl. Pour enough diluted vinegar solution onto your paper towel to make it wet but not dripping.

  6. Apply the vinegar solution-soaked paper towel over the stain. Place a layer of cling film on top of it, and tape down the edges with masking tape, which will not lift off the paint on the wall like normal tape will. Leave it in place for about an hour or two, depending upon the severity of the stain. Lift the corner of the paper towel and cling film after one hour to check progress.

  7. Remove the cling film and paper towel, and wipe the area with a clean towel and warm water. Dry with another clean towel.

  8. Tip

    If you have a second person to hold the rags for the dripping wax, you'll have a free hand to wipe while heating the wax.


    Keep lit candles out of reach of children and pets.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hair dryer
  • Clean rags or towels
  • Used tumble dryer sheet
  • Bowl
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) measure
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) measure
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Cling film
  • Masking tape

About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

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