Removing wax from candlesticks and yahrzeit glasses is difficult for me. For example, if I put a yahrzeit glass into hot water, the wax floats to the top and then I have to try to separate the wax from the water. (Some of the wax always ends up going down the drain.). Any good solutions to this little practical problem?

  • What’s wrong with having the wax go down the drain? If you really don’t want it to go down, why not clean out the cups over a sieve or a piece of cheesecloth or the like, so that the wax gets stuck and the water passed through just fine?
    – DonielF
    Jul 1, 2018 at 22:19
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    I see that this is getting voted as off-topic. Before voting, please make sure to check the Jewish Life policy. To me, this satisfies the criteria listed there and should therefore be left open.
    – DonielF
    Jul 1, 2018 at 22:29
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4 Answers 4


The easiest way that my wife and I have found is to slowly pour warm water onto the candlesticks or you can use a hot damp towel and rub it over the wax. It will loosen up the wax enough so that you can peel it off in pieces and discard them.

I'd imagine this method should work with yahrtzeit candles, but, I tend to discard them in the garbage after yahrtzeit is over.

  • What of the wax in the cup itself. Or do you use protectors?
    – Yehuda W
    Jul 2, 2018 at 13:26
  • Good question. I assume that you're talking about the candlesticks? Yes - of course I (well, my wife, actually, but we're "one" :-o) we use aluminum / disposable inserts or sometimes glass. I will caution about the glass ones - sometimes they shatter from the candle heat. They also make liquid paraffin holders which my friend uses. They're terrific b/c there's no wax mess. You have to see if they fit your holder, though. Ezra's idea is one that my wife sometimes uses, as well.
    – DanF
    Jul 2, 2018 at 16:15

This question is more of a Lifehacks Stack Exchange question, but I will give you some of my advice on how to deal with glass votive containers such as the ones that are used for Yahrtzeit candles.

The first step is to use your oven. Get a metal baking/roasting pan, put the glass containers—votives, whatever…—onto the sheet upside down. Place them in the oven and turn the oven up to the minimal temperature it can be set at. That’s usually 200 degrees Fahrenheit based on U.S. measurements.

Now let the oven heat up with the glasses in there for about 5 to 10 minutes. Peek inside to see if the wax has melted. If it has, the wax would melt down into the pan and the glasses should be a bit cleaner.

When you feel the wax as melted out as much as possible, take the pan out of the oven and then—using paper towels or a rag you won’t need anymore—take each glass container and wipe away as much of the still liquid-like wax as possible. If all goes well, the glasses should be clean of all wax.

If somehow there are some residual pieces of wax, I would recommend just boiling the glasses on the stove in a pot with a small amount of water, wait for that wax to melt again and and wipe it away again with the paper towels and/or rags.

The reality is some wax will be melted in with the water and head down the drain. But using this method the bulk of the wax melts off into the pan where it can solidify can you can crack it off and toss it in the trash. The remaining wax from the stove top boiling will be so minimal it would be inconsequential to literally toss down the drain… Or if you are concerned about a small amount of wax going down the drain, filter that wax out of the water by pouring it through a paper towel that should catch that wax and allow you to just toss it in the trash.

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    Thx. I like all except the little wax down the drain. Wax may not deteriorate with time, so a little wax in the drain now and then might end up causing real plumbing problems.
    – Yehuda W
    Jul 2, 2018 at 13:25
  • @YehudaW Fair enough. I edited the answer to provide another way of dealing with the waxy water. Jul 2, 2018 at 14:34

Burn a tea light in the glass after using it, and once the tea light has burned out, remove the metal case from the glass and the remaining wax in the bottom of the glass should come out with it. The heat from the metal tea light case will have melted the remaining wax onto itself.


White vinegar. Jewish housewives know this. So do some Jewish girls.

It only works for splatters, though; for a larger amount, you need heat.

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