I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve been starting at a growing collection of dirty candle holders for months now. Most of them were of the cut glass variety with all sorts of nooks and crannies for little wax rivulets to hide out. I tried cleaning one with hot water some time ago, and it was horrible. I would think I’d get all the wax, then I’d let the candle stick dry only to find tons of smears and even trickier smudges left behind. I tried freezing another and popping the wax off, but it wasn’t working very well on anything that you couldn’t work a fingernail under. So I started accumulating the candlesticks.
Today, I’m nearing the end of my summer “clean-a-geddon”, and my assortment of candlesticks was, well, sticking out pretty badly in my otherwise spotless space. I thought about tossing them out–they were just a dollar or so each at the Salvation Army–but that seemed just too wasteful. So I turned to the Internet and discovered a new solution: using a hairdryer to heat the wax, then using a paper towel to wipe it away. I decided that even if it didn’t work, it wouldn’t be much mess, so I tried it.
Holy crap, was that easy! The wax wiped right off. In five minutes, all my candlesticks were gleaming. Heartened, I tried it on a teacup that has had a votive soldered to it for months. Nothing would get this melted votive out of my cup, but thirty seconds blow drying the bottom of the cup, and the wax popped right out! Another few seconds of blowing inside the cup, and the remaining sheen of residue wiped right out of the cup.
I think this method would probably work best for more of the non-porous type of surfaces–though it would probably work pretty well on polished wood, too. I would recommend scraping off scrape-able globs of wax before heating, if only to keep the mess down. Other than that, it should work exceptionally well!