How to Clean Candle Smoke Off Walls


When burning candles, you don’t need to have them on all day for the residue to build up. However, as candle smoke rises and builds upon walls above candle burners, it can leave it hard to remove a sooty residue. No matter how long a wick is or how much wax is left around the base of a candle when it’s not being used, if there are drafts in an area where multiple candles are burned at one time, the residue will gather on walls close by. For this reason, today, I am going to discuss how to clean candle smoke off walls.

How to Clean Candle Smoke Off Walls

10 Effective Ways on How to Clean Candle Smoke Off Walls

Cleaning candle smoke off walls is no easy task, and all it takes is one wrong move for you to damage the wall. Here are a few essential tips that will help you clean the waxy, oily film of residue left behind by candles from the surface of your walls:

1. Remove Candles:

It’s essential that once you’ve finished burning your candles, remove them completely from their holders. This is usually the first step when cleaning candle smoke off walls because it prevents wax or melted drippings from falling straight onto the wall.

2. Scrape the Soap Scum Off:

Use a kitchen scrub or sponge and scrape off what you can of the candle smoke residue. If you cannot remove all of it with the sponge, use vinegar on the sponge and scrub away.

3. Rinse:

Rinse the sponge and use it to wipe away any remaining soap scum on the wall. Once you can no longer see soap bubbles forming, rinse away any residual vinegar with cool water. If there is still a lot of smoke residue on your walls, try using a little soap on the sponge and scrub again.

4. Use Lemon or Vinegar:

Use either lemon juice or vinegar to clean the smoke off your wall. The acid will cut through any leftover residue, making it easier to take off. You can use a spray bottle filled with vinegar or lemon juice and spray it directly onto the affected area.

5. Wipe Off Excess Wax with Cloth:

Wipe away any excess candle wax stuck to the wall with a clean cloth. Keep scraping and wiping until all the wax is gone from the walls. You can also use any cleaning products you would normally use on other stains as long as they are safe for wax removal.

6. Clean up Spills:

If there was any wax that spilled on the counter or floor, use a paper towel to clean it up. Put some baking soda on the wet paper towel and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Once time is up, wipe away any excess powder that was left behind with a dry cloth or paper towel.

Use a Kitchen Scrub or Sponge

7. Rub Dryer Sheets:

Take a piece of a dryer sheet and rub it gently on the wall to absorb any leftover candle smoke. The dryer sheet will also remove any remaining wax that has become stuck to the wall.

8. Spray and Scrub:

Spray down the walls with a mixture of vinegar and water and scrub with a sponge. The mixture will help break through any remaining candle smoke or wax that has been left behind on your wall. This method is especially effective if you used lemon juice to remove the smoke from your walls earlier.

9. Clean with Ammonia:

Mix 2 tbsp of ammonia in 1 cup of water and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on your walls and wipe away any excess soot with a clean cloth or sponge. Remember to open up all windows when you clean because this mixture can create a strong odor.

10. Clean the Wax Off With Dish Soap:

Put some dish soap on a sponge and rub it into the wall. The soap will act as an abrasive that helps to scrub away stubborn candle smoke residue. Let the wall dry out completely before you try cleaning it with another method.

Now that you know how to clean candle smoke off walls try it yourself! You will be surprised by the results after using these tricks. If none of these methods work for you, there are many other ways to remove stains from your wall. Remember that when trying to clean soot off your home’s walls, you might need to clean them multiple times before getting the desired results.

What Items Can You Use to Clean Candle Smoke?

1. Vinegar:

Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a bowl, then apply the solution to the stained area with a sponge or cloth. After that, wipe down the walls with clean water and dry them thoroughly. This will remove smoke stains from paint and wallpaper.

2. Rubber Gloves:

Put on rubber gloves, then dip a sponge into the solution of 2 cups water and 1/2 cup vinegar. Squeeze out the excess liquid, then wipe it over the stained area until the stain comes off.

3. Sponge:

Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar in a bowl, then apply the paste to the stained area with a sponge and work it into the stain. Let it dry, then wipe down the wall with warm water and rinse off any remaining residue.

Use Paint Brash

4. Denture Cleaner Tablet:

Drop one tablet onto a damp cloth, then wipe it over the stained area. In a few minutes, wipe it down with a damp cloth, rinse any remaining residue and dry the walls completely.

5. Dish Detergent:

Dilute four tablespoons of dish detergent in a bowl filled with warm water, then dip a sponge into the solution and wipe it over the stained area. Wipe off any excess soap with a dry cloth, rinse the walls with clean water and dry them thoroughly.

Precautions While Cleaning Candle Smoke off Walls:

  • Create a ventilation system in your home by opening windows or turning on fans to allow the smoke and soot to clear your home before you start cleaning.
  • Ensure you wear protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, and respirators while cleaning walls.Wear Gloves, Goggles, and Respirators While Cleaning Walls
  • Wipe out all the dust from candlesticks and try not to leave any residue behind while cleaning them off the wall sockets. (Your house would look unkempt if there were soot around.)
  • While cleaning, use only mild soap, warm water for outer areas, cotton cloths, and soft brushes for inner surfaces of raw walls painted with oil-based paints or varnished ones.
  • The Walls Must Be Completely Dry Before Applying Any Water, based paints or coatings. Water-based paints used to paint over sooty walls without proper cleaning can turn yellowish, which might take years to return to the original color. (If you are keen on using safe water-based paints, clean the walls with strong detergents such as bleach and wait 3 days before painting it.)

Does Candle Smoke Stain Walls?

Whether you enjoy burning votive candles or a large chandelier candle, you will be surprised to find that they both leave marks on your walls. However, many people are unaware that candle smoke can also stain and discolor your walls. This type of staining is caused by releasing oils and wax particulate matter from burning candles.

Candle Smoke Also Stain and Discolor Walls

This staining can indirectly add value to your home as it adds character to its structure. However, some might not want such an addition, especially if you have recently redecorated your home. If having oily stains is not something that excites or pleases you, some things can be done about it, like employing some easy strategies to get rid of the stains.

The Problem with Burning Candles in Rooms

If you enjoy burning candles in your home, you will be surprised to discover that they accumulate smoke that eventually settles on the walls and other surfaces in your room. The wax from burning candles gets released onto your walls as an environmental pollutant.

This is not a phenomenon that only affects indoor areas or structures but also outdoor environments such as beaches, rivers, and streams. Therefore, if candle smoking has been banned in public areas due to how it can affect the environment, then there is no reason why you should allow it indoors for any reason.  

Candle smoke releases carbon dioxide and volatile compounds into your surroundings, including formaldehyde, vanillin, acetone, ethanol, nitric acid, and a host of other noxious chemicals. These substances are released in the same way as to exhaust fumes from a combustion engine or cigarette smoke. In fact, candle burning (just like cigarette smoke) can travel several meters throughout an indoor environment.

If you are worried about Candle smoking, make sure that you clean areas off with a vacuum cleaner to remove any remaining soot and wax before it settles on walls and furniture.

Use Ruler Brash

Some Common Candle Smokers

Candle smokers come in many shapes and sizes, but all types share at least one thing: they leave soot marks on the wall wherever they settle. This can be caused by improperly burning candles which cause excess wick buildups, such as when using tealights or votives. Another cause can be from the wick itself. If it’s not made of high enough quality to withstand the heat, it tends to fall flat and leave behind a line mark on the wall.

Candle wax is composed of fatty acids that are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. These marks are usually rather difficult to remove, requiring at least an overnight treatment with denatured alcohol or rubbing alcohol (isopropyl). The denture cleaning tablets often mentioned actually aren’t very effective for this type of soot since they contain polyvinyl acetate, which dissolves in hot water, rather than solvent-based cleaners, which dissolve in organic solvents. However, toothpaste has been shown to do a pretty good job of cleaning off these soot marks.

Use  rubbing alcohol

The abrasive toothpaste works well against the candle wax and usually eliminates some or all of it after an overnight scrubbing session. It’s best to use regular toothpaste instead of gel since gel may contain too much water, which could weaken the strength of the scrubbing action you need to take against the mark before it breaks down the grime on your wall.

If that doesn’t work, mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and use this concoction as a paste abrasive. Leave it on overnight and repeat if necessary until gone!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Candle Smoke Stain Walls?

Candle smoke does not stain walls, but it can leave a smell. If you have a candle burning in a room and the wax starts to melt, the liquid wax will start to emit a foul odor. This smell will linger in the air for several hours after the candle has been extinguished.

Do Candles Cause Black Marks on Walls?

There is no scientific evidence that candles cause black marks on walls. However, it can be difficult to remove if you are using candles to decorate a room and the wax gets on the wall. You can try using a damp cloth or sponge to clean the wall, but be careful not to damage the paint or wallpaper.

Will Magic Eraser Remove Soot?

Yes, Magic Eraser can remove soot. However, it is important to note that Magic Eraser is not a professional cleaner and should not be used to clean highly sensitive surfaces or that you will be touching.

Can Candles Cause Smoke Damage?

Candles can cause smoke damage if they are not properly used and stored. If candles are left unattended, they can produce a lot of smoke that can harm your health.

If you are using candles in a room where there is a fire, it is important to keep in mind the following safety tips:

• Make sure the room is well-ventilated.

• Keep flammable materials away from the candles.

• Don’t leave candles burning unattended.

• Don’t use candles near curtains or other materials that could catch on fire.


This concludes the guide on how to clean candle smoke off walls. Please be sure that if you follow these steps, you are extremely careful because inadvertently bumping into your wall could result in a lot of damage because candles leave behind hardened wax which can easily chip off and fall onto furniture or floor. Thank you and have a nice day

You may read also – How to Stop a Candle From Smoking

Jennifer Branett
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