How to Get Candle Wax Out of a Sink Drain

Last Updated On June 12, 2024

Updated on March 29, 2022



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how to get candle wax out of sink drains

Pouring hot candle wax from an old candle jar into your drainage system isn’t the best of ideas. You might think that it’s the safest way to get rid of the candle wax, but it will create much more of a mess than is worth it.

You might be trying to get rid of the hot candle wax, but you will end up clogging up your drainage system. The worst part is, candle wax can clog up the pipes deep inside your drainage system and not just the sink area.

How then do you clean your drainage if you have already made this mistake? Here is a simple guide on how to get melted wax out of a sink drain.

It is important to note that the method you decide to use entirely depends on whether the drainage has a partial clog or the entire drainage is clogged up.

In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover how to get candle wax out of a sink drain using the following four methods:

  • Alcohol and Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Boiling Water
  • Deconstruct P-Trap
  • Freezing

What's In This Guide?

      Use Alcohol and Isopropyl Alcohol To Clear Wax Clog

      It’s quite easy to go for drain cleaners when you realize your sink is clogged up. However, most of these cleaners have sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide as their main active ingredients.

      They can dissolve grease, but they cannot react with the paraffin in liquid wax. It is best not to use caustic cleaners since they can cause massive damage to the pipes, and they are also not environmentally friendly.

      Which cleaning product will dissolve candle wax then? 

      Dan Miller, a cleaning expert, reports that the chemicals you are likely to have around your house that can dissolve candle wax are isopropyl alcohol and acetone.

      The only downside of using these chemicals is that you will need to be patient. They take a while to work. If your drainage is completely clogged, you have to get all the water out, which can be quite difficult.

      After getting the water out, you will need to pour the alcohol gradually to soften the clog. If the clog is partial, you will need to pour the chemicals over the wax and let the wax flow over to the septic waste system with little to no effect.

      The McKee’s Wax Remover is less toxic. However, you will likely get the same problem. The wax remover cannot work if it doesn’t have direct contact with the wax. It might also get diluted by water which will render it ineffective as far as wax removal is concerned. 

      Additional cleansers include:

      • Vinegar (white vinegar)
      • baking soda
      • Dish soap
      • Lemon juice
      did you know candle wax

      Unclog Wax By Pouring Boiling Water Into The Sink

      This is a great solution that will not involve any plumbing. If the clog is partial, the boiling water will soften the candle wax and drain it down. If the drain is completely clogged, the warm water will soften the wax enough to use a plunger.

      • You will need to fill a kettle or pot with water, boil it and pour it in the clogged drainage and let the water back up till there is an inch of the boiled water at the bottom of the sink.
      • Then fill the sink plunger cup with hot water. Invert it towards the sink fast enough to ensure that water does not pour out.  Move the plunger over the sink and give it several pumps. Add more hot water to the drainage if the water doesn’t start going down the drain.
      • Try as many times as you need till the drain opens up. If it doesn’t, you need to think about calling a plumber.

      If you are dealing with a partial clog, you will need to pour the boiling water into the drainage to soften up the wax. The wax should loosen and flow through the drainage.

      This method is not guaranteed to work, but it is worth trying before taking any other drastic measures.

      Take The P-Trap Apart To Remove Wax

      In most cases, the hardened wax will have collected at the bottom of the p-trap. The most efficient way to gain access to the wax is to disassemble the p-trap and manually remove the wax.

      You can get a plumber to do this for you if you don’t trust your handyman skills. However, a basic Google search shows that you will need to unscrew two nuts on both sides of the bent part of the p-trap. This is quite easy to do by hand, but use the tongue and groove pliers if you cannot.

      When you loosen the nuts, remove the bent part and clean off the wax with a kitchen knife. There might also be wax on the horizontal drain pipe; you can chip it off with a butter knife too. Once you are done taking the wax off, reassemble the p-trap together and drain boiling water through to help get rid of any residue.

      Unclog Your Drain With The Freezing Method

      It is important to note that this method will only work if you have a garbage disposal. If you do, all you will have to do is pour some ice down the chute of the garbage and let it freeze the wax. When the wax becomes hard enough, turn the disposal on to crush the wax.

      However, if the wax had already gotten to the p-trap, you will have to clean it off manually. You will need to take the p-trap apart, as we had earlier mentioned.

      Wax is very tricky to work with because it will continue to harden when melting if you are not quick enough. The best solution for this problem is to ensure that you don’t pour wax in the drain anymore.

      Rather than draining out the wax, you could repurpose the wax by making a new candle from the leftover wax. You could also use the leftover wax to make fire starters and easy tea lights. 

      These are by far some of the most practical “how to get candle wax out of a sink drain” methods you can employ. If all else fails, you can always call a professional plumber. 

      See this post for how to keep your clay mask from clogging the drain.

      FAQs On How to Get Candle Wax Out of a Sink Drain

      Can wax clog a drain?

      Absolutely! Wax can clog a drain, especially after the wax hardens. Do not pour candle wax down your sink. 

      What will dissolve candle wax in a drain? 

      Items that can help dissolve candle wax include:

      • Vinegar
      • Baking soda
      • Acetone
      • Rubbing Alcohol
      • Paint thinner

      Can wax clog a toilet? 

      A toilet can experience a  clog from the wax, too. Do not pour candle wax down your toilet and flush it to dispose of it.

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      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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