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Caring for your candle collection

Ever since we Brits were introduced to the Scandinavian concept of hygge we’ve become more interested in feeling cosy and creating a relaxing ambience at home.

An easy way to enhance the Skandi ambience is with a range of softly-illuminating scented candles. You may have your favourites that get more ‘glow time’ and others that are mainly decorative. While having the choice is great, it creates another cleaning job!

As we’re at home more at the moment, perhaps it’s time to give your cosy candles some love?

candle cleaning


Candles are often used as a focal point around the home but, to avoid making extra work for yourself, where they are placed is important.

Keep candles away from places they will be exposed to direct sunlight or harsh indoor lighting in case they melt and become distorted or even drip.

Place the candle away from drafty areas to avoid flickering, this helps prevent soot marks from forming in the candle holder or on walls too.

Keeping lids on when not in use protects candles from dust and debris.


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Washing up liquid
  • Some freezer space
  • A feather duster or microfibre cloth
  • A spatula

Begin by removing candles from their holders. Place the candle holder in the freezer for an hour or so because the wax can then shrink and easily pop off.

To work the wax away from the sides of the candle holder, use a wooden or silicone spatula: sharp objects can scratch or weaken it.

If the wax refuses to budge, soak in a basin of hot water and washing up liquid. After one hour, wash and dry the holder and set it aside.

Now, back to the candles!

Remove any candle drippings to avoid future spills into votives or candle trays and holders.

In terms of dust and dirt, some candles will only need a light hand: dusting them gently with a feather or microfibre cloth may well do the trick, but you might find this method only removes the top layer of grime.

Simply dampen a cloth in warm water mixed with washing up liquid and wipe over the wax. Don’t use harsh chemicals because they may contain ingredients that will discolour your wax or flammable ingredients that could cause a hazard.

A shiny finish 

Once candles are clean and shiny, buff candle votives and trays with a soft cloth.

Don’t worry too much about soot: it’s the natural byproduct of incomplete combustion and is not a health concern. Remove it by wiping with a dry cloth when the candle isn’t lit or you trim the wick to less than a centimetre before every use to promote proper flame height.

Once your lovely candles are clean, light your favourites and sit down with a brew or a glass of wine and enjoy these calming additions to your home, knowing that they’re clean and safe once again!

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