How to Remove Stubborn Wax From Your Menorah

Future-you will be thankful you cleaned it before putting it back away.

December  7, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten

Menorahs, beautiful as they are, have a tendency to get covered in dripping wax over the course of eight nights. Luckily, cleaning them is no different than getting wax off of any other candle holder or jar, and it’s easy to do. Plus, if you save the extra wax that comes off, you can melt it back down to make new candles.

Before you try any of the below methods, you should try to break off any large chunks of wax from the menorah with something non-abrasive, like a plastic credit card, your fingers, or a spatula, and you can get into the little wells where the candles sit with a chopstick. Be mindful during this step, as most menorahs are made from metal, ceramic, or stone, and can easily get scratched.

You might be surprised how much can come off with a bit of patience, but for any remaining stubborn bits, give one of these tricks a try.

1. Freeze It

You actually don’t always need to melt wax in order to remove it. Freezing it has a similar effect, as the wax shrinks and crumbles off of the vessel it’s in or on. This is an especially great method if your menorah still has large chunks of wax leftover. All you need to do is put your menorah in the freezer overnight, and in the morning, use a credit card or small spatula to remove the wax. Sometimes, this method leaves a bit of residue leftover, so you might want to proceed with the hot water process afterward.

2. Use Hot Water

Just like removing wax from your favorite candle jar, surrounding the menorah with hot water will melt and loosen the wax enough to remove it. Before submerging the menorah in super hot or boiling water though, you’ll want to gradually bring it to temperature under the sink to prevent cracking (with stone) or warping (with metal).

Place the menorah in a large pot in the sink, and fill it up with water until fully submerged. Then, bring it to the stove and let the water come to a boil. Turn off the heat and watch as the wax floats to the surface, and as the water cools, hardens back up to be skimmed from the top. Repeat this process as many times as necessary, and wipe the menorah off with a soft cloth when you’re finished.

Alternatively, you can also boil a kettle of water on the stove and pour the hot water over the menorah in the sink, melting and dislodging the wax with the running water.

3. Break Out the Hair Dryer

Last up: the trusty hair dryer. Sure, a heat gun works better for this, but not everyone has one lying around the house. Similarly to the hot water method, a hair dryer will gently melt the wax off the menorah, which you can then scrape or wipe off with a soft cloth. Be careful not to get too close with the dryer, though, as the concentrated heat can leave burn marks on some materials.

Did we miss any trusted wax-removal methods? Tell us your favorite below!

Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
View Maker
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker

Choose your holiday adventure! Our Automagic Menu Maker is here to help.

View Maker

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

When I'm not writing & editing for Home52, I'm likely to be found DIY-ing a new piece of furniture (or restoring an old one), hanging things on the wall in my apartment, or watching hours of vintage RHONY.

1 Comment

louisez December 9, 2021
For metal menorahs, I put in foil-lined pan in low oven to melt wax. Wipe clean