How to Clean a Wax Warmer

Light green wax cubes inside and next to white wax warmer

The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 20 mins
  • Total Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Wax warmers can have many different uses. They can either be found in salons to heat wax for conditioning dry skin or removing body hair, or they can be used in craft rooms to melt blocks of petroleum-based wax or beeswax to create decorative candles.

Wax warmers can also simply be attractive accessories in homes to warm or melt scented wax cubes for fragrance and ambiance. These warmers use either a low-wattage bulb, warming plate, or a small votive to heat the scented oil-infused wax.

Regardless of which type of wax warmer you are using, it will need to be cleaned regularly to remove debris, prevent build-up, and keep the appliance working efficiently. With just a few household supplies, a wax warmer can easily be cleaned.

How Often to Clean a Wax Warmer

The cleaning frequency of a wax warmer depends on how frequently it is used. Ideally, all types of wax warmers should be cleaned after every use. This will remove any accumulated debris and dust in the wax, prolong the life of the warmer by removing build-up that might interfere with its operation, and allow a new fragrance of wax melt to be added.

Electric or candle-powered warmers that use scented wax should be cleaned when the melted wax no longer produces any scent.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Heat resistant gloves or oven mitt
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber towel


  • Mineral oil
  • Cotton rags
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper towel
  • Flexible silicone spatula
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Melamine sponge (Mr. Clean Eraser)


Materials and tools to clean a wax warmer

The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

  1. Start With Warm Wax

    It is easier to remove the wax while it is in a liquid state. Turn on the warmer until the wax is melted. If the wax level is low or it is a small capacity warmer, keep an eye on the unit because it won't take long for the wax to melt.

    Green wax melted inside of wax warmer surrounded by cleaning materials

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

  2. Unplug the Warmer

    Once the wax is melted, always unplug an electric-powered warmer and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes before continuing the cleaning steps.

    Wax warmer unplugged with melted green wax inside

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

  3. Remove the Wax From the Interior

    Wear heat-resistant gloves or use an oven mitt when working with the hot wax to prevent accidental burning.

    Small amounts of melted wax, like that found in a decorative warmer dish, can be absorbed or wiped away with an old cotton cloth, paper towel, or even cotton balls. Larger amounts of wax can be poured into a heat-resistant container for disposal or reuse if the wax is clean.

    If the wax begins to harden again, use a rubber spatula to scrape the semi-set wax out of the warmer well or dish.


    • If the interior wax well or dish is removable from the warmer unit, it can be placed in the freezer to harden the wax. Check the manufacturer's instructions because the cold may harm some types of ceramic warmer dishes. Use a dull knife or plastic scraper to pop the wax out of the well.
    • Another trick is to add a piece of sturdy string to the center of the melted wax (after the flame is blown out, of course). Use a string that is long enough to dangle over the side of the warmer. Once the wax has hardened completely, grab the string and pop out the wax disk.
    Wax being removed with paper towel while wearing black gloves

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

  4. Dispose of the Wax

    Unless you intend to reuse the wax, it should be placed in a trash bin when it is cool. Never pour hot wax down a sink drain!

    Paper towel with wax residue disposed of in trash can

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

  5. Get Rid of Interior Residue

    If there is any residue left in the warmer after removing the wax, spray an all-purpose cleaner on a sponge and wipe out the interior well or dish. For tough stains, use a melamine sheet or sponge (Mr. Clean Eraser) to lightly scrub the interior.

    Finish by wiping the wax well down with a slightly damp microfiber cloth to remove any cleaning residue. Microfiber will not leave any lint behind.

    Mr. clean eraser scrubbed inside wax warmer to remove residue

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

  6. Remove Wax From the Exterior

    If there are wax drips on the outside of the warmer, use a few drops of mineral oil or olive oil on an old cloth to wipe them away. Dry the freshly cleaned area with a microfiber cloth.

    Exterior of wax warmer wiped down with cloth and mineral oil

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

  7. Refill With Wax Melts

    Now that the warmer is freshly cleaned, refill the well with wax melts and plug in the appliance.

    Orange wax melt cubes inside of wax warmer next to houseplant

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

Tips to Keep Your Wax Warmer in Top Shape

  • Do not leave a wax warmer plugged in overnight or for long periods.
  • Do not turn on or light the warmer without wax in the pot or well.
  • Never submerge an electric wax warmer in water.
  • If washing a candle-powered warmer, allow the unit to cool completely before plunging it into water.