3 Easy Ways to Remove Candle Wax from a Candle Warmer (Explained)

The benefits of a lovely smelling home are numerous. When it comes time to change the wax in your candle warmer, you might find yourself making a mess or unsure of how to clean out your wax warmer.

So, how do you remove candle wax from a candle warmer? Removing the wax is as easy as finding a way to soak it up and wipe it out.

The problem is, cleanup is not always that easy. Sometimes your warmer has brown goo stuck in it. Other times you spill wax as you clean. The good news is there is more than one way to clean the candle wax from a candle warmer.

3 Easy Ways to Remove Candle Wax from a Candle Warmer

1. Scoop It Out

If you are starting with a cold pot of wax, let it warm up for a few minutes. You don’t want to wait too long, though. Give it just enough time to melt the bottom part of the wax.

When you tip the warmer pot over, the wax should slide right out, or you can scoop it out with a paper towel. Grab any residual wax with the paper towel, too.

2. Warm It Up

Some people have a habit of turning on their warmer, intending to scoop it out after it melts just a little, and then walking away and forgetting about it.

When they come back, the wax is fully melted. If this happens to you, don’t worry. There is more than one way to remove candle wax from your candle warmer.

At this point, add a few cotton balls into the liquified wax and let them soak it all up. Now, you can toss the cotton balls and wipe out the reservoir with a paper towel. You are ready for a fresh scent!

For the warming pots that are big enough to fill a large room with scent, you may notice you need several cotton balls. The smaller pots that plug into a socket in a smaller room may only require one or two to absorb the wax fully.

3. Line It

If fussing with melted wax is not on your to-do list, there are other options.

Several manufacturers have created liners for wax warmers. Typically, these are made from silicone, so they are safe in your wax warmer.

There is a company selling these liners on Amazon, and the liners are designed for large pots. You can check them out here if you are interested in a low-fuss way to change out your wax.

If you have any of the smaller pots or the ones that plug directly into a socket, you will need smaller liners. I found these silicone liners for smaller warmers on Amazon, and they come with wax for melting, too.

What Is This Brown Stuff?

If you get to the bottom of your wax pot and you are wiping it out with a paper towel, do not be alarmed if you notice brown residue. This residue tells you the wax has been warmed for too long, and it needs to be changed out more frequently.

To handle the immediate issue with the residue, wash your warmer with a mild household detergent. Let the wax warmer pot dry and reuse as usual.

candle warmer

How Often Should I Change out My Wax in the Warmer?

You wax warmer is safe to be turned on continuously with the same considerations for safety you would give to any small lamp. However, you may find your scent starts to disappear rather quickly if you leave it going all the time.

As soon as you realize you cannot smell your wax melts, it is time to change your melts in any of the ways discussed.

If you feel as though you are going through your scents too fast, you can try to turn your warmer on just long enough to fill your house with the aroma. After the scent is dispersed, shut off the wax warmer. Intermittent use will both scent your home and extend the life of your wax.

Read more: How Often Should You Change Wax Melts

What do I do if I Spill the Wax?

Spills can happen when removing or changing out your wax from your warmer. How you clean up spilled wax depends on where the spill occurred.

Hard Surfaces

If you spill your wax on a hard surface, cleanup is easy. All you have to do is let it harden and gently scrape up with a plastic utensil or edge of a card.


Spills on a rug have a few extra steps.

  1. Get as much of the wax out by hand as you can.
  2. Place a piece of newspaper or other paper over the wax spill.
  3. Use a blow dryer on low heat to warm the wax. The paper absorbs melted wax. You may need more than one section of the paper. Using an iron on low is suitable, as well.
  4. After the wax has been absorbed, treat any remaining stain the way you would any other stain. Rubbing alcohol works well.

What If I Have Dripped Wax Under the Wax Pot?

Sometimes you choose to pour your wax out of the removable dish, and you end up with drips that extend to the underneath of the dish. You may worry that, when placed over the light bulb, the wax will melt and drip onto the bulb.

When this happens, use a paper towel immediately to soak up the spill. If that does not work, soaking in very hot water will soften the wax enough to wipe clean.

Can I Reuse the Wax?

Maybe you have wondered if there is a way to repurpose used wax melts. There are several ideas to choose from if you want a way to reuse.

Light a Fire

Instead of throwing those cotton balls away, consider holding onto them to repurpose as handy fire starters.

You can keep a cardboard egg container and nestle the wax-soaked cotton balls where the eggs used to be. When the egg container is full, cut out each section and store it in a cool area of your home. When you are ready to hang out around a fire, you have a homemade fire starter to get you going.

If you want to be super green and eco-friendly, use dryer lint instead of cotton balls. I recommend stuffing the reservoirs of the egg carton with dryer lint and then pouring the wax over.

You can use the dryer lint just like a cotton ball to soak up wax, but the lint tends to stick to your fingers and the bottom of the warmer, which can create extra clean-up.

Scent Your Drawers

Even if your wax melts lose their ability to scent your home, there is still some life left in them.

You may have noticed the plastic clamshells or containers for the wax can be reused. You can pour the wax directly back into their boxes and allow them to cool enough to harden.

Once the wax has re-hardened, pop them right back out again and wrap in cheesecloth and tuck them into the corners of your drawers. If you opted for the cotton ball soak-up method, you could wrap the hardened waxed cotton ball in cheesecloth to use as well.


Wax warmers are a fun way to fill your home with scents that make you happy. Cleaning the warmer might take some getting used to, but it is easy. Plus, some options make clean up and switching fragrances fuss and mess-free.

Grace Young

I love candles! I have personally tried over 100 brands of candles. The total burn time of these candles is over 5000 hours. I also talk about essential oil diffusers and reed diffusers. Essential oil diffusers and diffusers are also an important part of the scent in my home.

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