How to Get Wax Off a Countertop

FTC and Amazon Associates Disclaimer: We earn commissions (at no additional cost to you) if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Last updated: April 7, 2023

There are many how-to solutions to remove the scratch and dent imperfections from counters on the web. There are also many ways to remove spills like food, water, and grease off countertops, and what barely gets a mention is how to remove wax off a countertop.  

From my perspective, I think wax dripping from a melted candle onto the worktop is not easy to pry. It’s waxy and sticky, and it is immovable when it hardens. Most experts mention wax removal from flooring, walls, vinyl, leather, and clothing, but not a countertop. 

Therefore, I plan on answering this question using the experts that mention it and place that information on one page. I also answer the most common question about candle wax removal. After this comprehensive review, your countertops will return to their pristine look. 

Table of Contents

How to get wax off a countertop

My best way to remove wax is to wipe it up with a dry cloth immediately after spilling it and before it sets. Should it dry, it hardens and sticks tight to the outer seal of the countertop. Removing the wax without damaging the surface will take liquid steps, but the silver lining is that you won’t have to spend cash on a professional. 

Still, this is not a one-size-fits-all or a one-size-fits-most solution. The removal method for wood countertops differs from glass counters, and those vary for stone and solid countertops. Here are the combinations to use and the surface to use it on. 

Wood and laminate countersA plastic bag filled with a few ice cubes and a plastic putty knife
Wood grooves and engravingsA hairdryer set to low or medium and a putty knife
Metal, granite, marble, stone and quartzA plastic bag with a few ice cubs and a plastic butter knife
Glass countertopsA hairdryer set to low or medium
Metal countertopsA blowdryer set to low or medium and a butter knife


An alternate way to remove wax is to place something over the wax before adding a heat source on top of it. Cover the wax with a paper towel, paper bag, newspaper, or fabric. The heat source is an iron set to low heat, a hot plate, or a hot pot. 

There are lesser-known solutions for removing wax from kitchen surfaces, and I will only try these suggestions if nothing else in this article works out. 

When the wax is softA vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment
When the wax hardensA steam cleaner

How do you remove dried candle wax

Before attempting to remove dried wax, I would examine what type of countertop surface I have. The wrong solution on the surface will cause irreversible marks and stains.  

A recurring theme among all countertops is to soften the wax with something hot or cold with a plastic bag, paper bag, fabric, towel, or newspaper separating the two. For a minute or less, sit the hot or cold item on the separator, so only the heat or cool air touches the wax. Once the wax loosens, grab a putty or butter plastic knife and carefully scrape off as much as possible.  

If you don’t have a butter or putty knife, choose something plastic or wooden around the home to scrape the surface. Examples are a spatula, plastic ruler, Popsicle sticks, chopsticks, wooden craft sticks, playing cards, and an old/unused credit card. Avoid metal materials like dull knife as it scratches the worktop.  

Scrape the wax going away from you (not toward you) in layers from the top and work your way down to the surface. I usually use a dry microfiber cloth to remove the chunks of wax and use the dry cloth again after removing lingering wax spots. 

Use a grit cleaner and a scrubbing brush to eliminate lingering residue on wood and laminate surfaces. Use a degreasing cleaner or soap water for granite, marble, quartz, and stone countertops. For glass countertops, use a window cleaner to break down residue.  

closeup shot of woman wipin surface of counter with rag and detergent

What is the easiest way to remove hardened wax from countertops

Solvents are liquid solutions that can turn into a solid or gas based on temperature. I would try solvents because they’re items many of us have around the house, and it saves me from spending money. I use goggles and gloves before using a solvent to protect my hands and eyes. 

Rub the solvent on the wax surface in a back-and-forth motion for one minute and wipe it off with a cloth. If that fails, add more solutions and let it sit for half a minute. Use a soft cloth to remove the hardened wax stain. 

You should try the following solvents: nail polish remover, vegetable oil, paint thinner, mineral spirits, turpentine, and petroleum jelly. Alternate choices are olive oil and mineral oil. However, avoid nail polish remover on metal, granite, quartz, marble, or stone countertop. 

What cleaner dissolves wax

While no cleaner can remove wax in liquid or solid form, some cleaners can remove stains a plastic or wood object cannot scrape off. Use a multi-purpose cleaner like Fantastik or an all-purpose cleaner like Formula 409. Both degreasers work on almost all surface types, including white countertops.  

Avoid abrasive cleaners for wax removal; they may be too rough on your countertops and too rough on your skin. Alkaline cleaners may fare better in wax removal if mixed with Fuller’s Earth powder.  

Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol mixed with soapy water is an effective cleaner for granite, marble, stone, metal, and expensive quartz countertops. However, the cleaner is more effective in preserving the surface after wax removal. Granite lovers can also invest in a commercial granite cleaner to remove troublesome areas. 

Does vinegar take wax off

Cleaning wax from countertops with vinegar will not work by itself, and I would mix baking soda or soapy water with vinegar before it can remove the wax. Let the mixture sit on the wax for a minute or less, and wipe it off with a rag. 

Vinegar is one of many natural acidic cleaners available, and the acidity may be too harsh for some surfaces. Based on my research, I advise people to only use vinegar on wood, laminate, tile, and glass countertops. Vinegar dulls, corrodes, rusts, or eats away the sealant on stainless steel, metal, granite, limestone, marble, quartz, stone, and concrete surfaces. 

Can you wash off candle wax with hot, warm, soapy, or cold water

If water with or without soap or dishwashing liquid is the only answer to a wax stain, you’re out of luck. The job demands more forceful solutions than water and soap to remove sticky wax from countertops. However, water can make your countertops look new after the stain or spot leaves on concrete counters. 

If you still want water and soapy water to be valuable to wax removal, pair it with vinegar, and water also pairs well with a powder product called Fuller’s Earth.  

When you mix Fuller’s Earth with water, it turns into a paste. Adding this on top of wax for 24 hours will harden the paste and the spot inside it, and a wet cloth will remove the clay paste with the waxy substance. 

If you were hoping to use the boiling water method for wax removal on countertops, the result does more harm than good. It only works for candles in glass jars and metal objects. 

Ronin Consulting Inc., operating as Media, makes no representation or warranty, express or implied. Your use of the site is solely at your own risk. This site may contain links to third party content, which we do not warrant, endorse, or assume liability for.