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How to Remove Candle Wax From a Wood Deck

Cathy Lanski

Enjoying an evening on a wood deck is a common pleasure of summer. Candles offer subtle illumination, and in the case of citronella candles, keep biting insects at bay. Spilled wax can mar the beauty of a wooden deck and may be difficult to remove.

Chances are that you will not notice the spill until daylight, and by then the wax will have soaked into the wood. A few household items and a little effort can return your deck to pristine condition.

  1. Scrape excess wax from the wood with the back of a spoon, ice scraper, putty knife or similar object that will remove the wax without scraping the wood.

  2. If wax has soaked into the grain of the wood or into the seams in the decking, use an iron to melt and remove the remaining wax.

  3. Lay a sheet of plain brown paper such as a paper grocery bag over the area. Set the iron to low (no steam) and place over the bag on the waxy area.

  4. Let the iron remain on the area for 10 to 15 seconds. Do not rub.

  5. Lift the paper. Waxy residue should have lifted from the decking onto the paper.

  6. If there is still candle wax on the wood deck, repeat the previous step using a clean section of the brown paper.

  7. Melt away any remaining wax with a blow dryer and blot it up with a soft, clean cloth.


When the candle wax has been removed, there may still be a greasy stain left behind on the wood deck. To remove this stain, try paint thinner or mineral spirits. If these steps don't completely remove the stain, try gently sanding the area or renting a power washer.