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Easy Ways to Clean Your Wax Warmer – Fast DIY at Home

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We all love wax warmers and candles, but cleaning the hardened, melted wax can be challenging. With a few simple steps, you can easily clean old wax from your wax warmer at home.

To clean a wax warmer, turn it on for 2-3 minutes. After the wax has warmed slightly, turn off the warmer. Use a wooden or rubber spatula to pop old wax out of the warmer lid—clean the remaining wax oils with paper towels or cotton balls. 

An electric wax warmer and a candle-powered wax warmer on a countertop.

It sounds easy, and it is!

But, I will break down each step so you can ensure the wax residue is clean and avoid previous scents tainting your new wax melts.

Know there are several different methods to clean your warmers, and I will show what I’ve found to work best.

Get more cleaning ideas and tips for the home here.

What is a Wax Warmer?

A wax warmer is an easy and convenient way to enjoy scented candles without the hassle of an open flame. It can be used to heat wax cubes, melts, or chunks to release their scent into the room. Wax warmers are typically electric and use a low-wattage light bulb or hot plate to melt their contents safely.

The wax warmer consists of a shallow bowl with a heating element beneath it.

Place scented wax cubes into the bowl to use the device and plug it in. When heated, these items will slowly liquefy and fill your home with a delightful fragrance.

Many users enjoy experimenting with different scents by mixing different types of waxes for unique combinations! Additionally, most models come with adjustable temperature controls so you can customize the intensity of your fragrance experience.

There are also candle-powered warmers—these work by burning the unscented tealight candle, which then melts the solid wax above.

So now that you know precisely what a wax warmer is, let’s address how you clean it.

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Melt Wax for a Couple of Minutes

Turn on the wax melter for 2-3 minutes.

Allow the hardened wax to melt for just a bit, so the liquid wax is next to the hard surfaces of the warmer tray. This makes for quick and easy removal of the soft wax from the wax melt warmer.

Turn off the warmer and unplug it from the power source if cleaning an electric wax warmer. If you are cleaning a candle-powered warmer, blow out the tealight candle before cleaning.

Use Non-Abrasive Spatula to Remove the Wax

First things first. 

Before touching the warmer pots, use heat-resistant/ protective gloves (vs. your bare hands) to avoid burning yourself! 

In the past, I have used a butter knife to remove wax from the wax heater. BUT, knives can scratch the surfaces of warmer dishes, so you should avoid this if possible.

Using silicone rubber spatula to remove wax from wax warmer.

Using a heat-resistant silicone spatula, a popsicle stick, or chopsticks, gently scrape away the used wax from the warmer. It should slide off easily in a solid piece!

There will likely be a small amount of leftover wax that remains.

Remove the Remaining Wax Residue

To clean the remaining residue from the warmer, use cotton pads, a clean cloth, a microfiber cloth, or a paper towel.

I prefer paper towels or cotton pads (or cotton balls) as they are disposable. If using a cloth, it can be challenging to remove the wax later.

Work quickly, and you will likely be able to remove nearly all of the hot wax before it has a chance to harden again.

If small amounts of wax remain, use mineral oil on a cotton ball to clean any remaining wax or excess oil. This should also work to remove sticky wax and tough stains.

Related: How to Clean Mirrors without Leaving Streaks

Other Methods

While I have had the best success with cleaning wax warmers in the way described above, there are a few different methods to consider.

Pour-Out Method

For the pour-out method, allow the wax to melt entirely. When the wax is in liquid form, safely pour the majority of the wax into a disposable heat-resistant container. 

Use a paper towel or cotton balls to remove the excess wax.


Place the room temperature removable lid in the freezer for ~15 minutes.

Remove from the freezer and use a non-abrasive spatula for popping the wax out of the lid. Clean any remaining wax with a paper towel or cotton balls. A wax warmer cleaner may be beneficial in removing excess wax oil.

Note: Please read through the manual of your specific warmer the first time you attempt the freezer method. This may not be recommended for certain types of warmers.

Wax Melt Liners

A warmer liner is an effective way to eliminate the need to clean used wax. 

Pop the warmer liner into the lid of the wax pot before use. Then place your wax tarts inside the liner and use them as you usually would.

When ready to replace, let the wax fully cool, toss the liner with the hardened residual wax.

Cotton Ball Method

Allow the wax to heat to liquid form. 

Put cotton balls in removable lids to soak up/absorb the melted wax. Using heat-resistant gloves or an oven mitt, remove the cotton balls and place them in a heat-resistant, disposable container. Once cooled, you can throw it in the trash.

Clean the wax that remains with a paper towel or clean cotton balls. Use a wax cleaner or all-purpose cleaner to remove any remaining wax residue.

Remember to use heat-resistant gloves to avoid potential burns if using the cotton ball method for removing used wax.


With proper maintenance, your wax warmer will keep your home smelling great! Follow this complete guide to cleaning your wax warmer, and you can enjoy your favorite scents for years to come.


How do you clean a wax heater after use?

There are several different methods to clean electric wax warmers. The best way is to allow the wax to melt slightly, then turn off the warmer. Use a spatula to remove the solid piece of warmed wax. A paper towel or cotton pad can be used to wipe away any remaining wax.

How do you clean a scented wax warmer?

After removing the majority of the warmed wax with a spatula, use a wax cleaner to remove any residual wax. This will help to avoid tainting the smell of your favorite scents the next time the warmer is used.

How do you clean a glade wax warmer?

To clean a Glade wax warmer, allow the wax to fully cool and harden after use. Then use a wooden or rubber spatula to push the wax out of the warmer. Toss used wax in the trash after use.

Yield: 1 clean wax warmer

How to Clean a Wax Warmer in Minutes

Red rubber silicone spatula popping out used wax from warmer.

Simple tips to properly clean a wax warmer.

Active Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $2


  • Paper towels or cotton balls


  • Silicone / rubber spatula


  1. Heat wax warmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Turn off and unplug wax warmer.
  3. Use rubber spatula to pop warmed wax from wax warmer. Discard used wax in trash after allowing to cool.
  4. Use paper towels or cotton balls to remove any residual residue.
  5. If sticker wax remains, use mineral oil to remove using paper towel or cotton pads.


Use heat resistant gloves when handling hot wax warmer.

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