Cleaning candleholders

Can anyone suggest how I might remove the soot & old citronella wax out of these buckets without damaging the finish.

I realize they’re just cheapies (which admittedly makes it more likely that the finish won’t survive) but I like re-purposing things when their original use is finished. The color is appealing and they’d make themselves quite useful, but I’d like to make them look a bit nicer.
Suggestions anyone?

tip-tapping away by phone, but why would you care?

I get wax off candleholders by putting them in the freezer for an hour or so. The wax just flakes off.

I’ve had success by heating up a couple inches of water on the stove and then letting the candleholders set in the hot water until the wax melts and liquifies, then I pour it off. This usually leaves a thin coating on the sides and bottom, so I put put the candleholders back in the hot water to liquify again and then soak up the little bit of wax that remains with a wadded up paper towel.

:dubious: I use the microwave, gotta dig the wick base out first! :smack:

I’ve placed candlesticks on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, then into a low (200F) oven.

I’ve done this before. Not possible in this case - the candleholders are metal.

I’ll try the “set into hot water” idea, thanks. Hadn’t thought if that. It should be gentle enough to avoid melting off the coating of paint or whatever is green & purple. Enamel LOL nice but doubtful; pretty sure these came from the dollar store.

Followup Q: how do you get wax residue off the cookpot afterwards? :slight_smile:

tip-tapping away by phone, but why would you care?

Hot water will soften the wax so that it comes loose.

Former old-style hippie-candle-maker here. Put them in a pot/pan of water and heat; sort of reverse engineering or duplicating how you melt wax to make things like that in the first place. Most of the wax and carbon will basically pour out at that point. For the small traces left use a paper towel being very careful not to burn yourself. Never heat something like those pots directly over a flame or electric burner. Wax, when melted, can be a serious hazzard in terms of fumes and fire. And its a mess to get off a floor. Trust me on that one. :wink:

There is no residue in the cookpot. Let’s say the candleholders are three inches high. The water level should then be about 1 1/2 or 2 inches high. The idea is for the hot water to heat the candleholders, which then melt the wax.

ETA: I’ve done this with ramekin style candle holders even an inch or so high. As long as the water level is less than the depth of the candleholder, the size of the candleholder itself doesn’t really matter.