As we continue to grow our business, we continue to realize the little things we’ve learned along the way that could be helpful to others. Whether it’s where we’re finding our inventory, what we’re looking at when we source or our opinions on everything in between, we love having this platform to tell you guys our input. One of the things we get asked a lot is how we clean things. We rent out tabletop, couches, rugs… all sort of things that require upkeep and cleaning. Today, we wanted to share a little bit more on how we clean wax off our vintage candlesticks.
If you’re in a rental business like we are, taking care of your inventory is probably top of the list. You need to ensure that things are in tip top shape for their next event. There are so many ways out there to clean wax off of something. Maybe it’s a specific combination of apple cider vinegar and peanut butter (is this a thing?), setting the item outside in the direct sunlight or even sticking them in your freezer. We’ve found a pretty simple method that takes the headache out of the chore of cleaning wax off our vintage candlesticks; use a heat gun!
Whenever we get our vintage candlesticks back from an event, they’re typically COVERED in wax. Sure, this looks pretty at the event and we are big supporters of a candlelight dinner, but the cleaning of the wax used to be such a pain for us. Most people will buy a cheaper brand of candles to use in the candlesticks for their event. You see, the cheaper brands of candles are able to use a cheaper type of wax which isn’t meant to burn clean. This means, those companies are probably focused on a quick burn to get you to buy more in the long run. We always try to recommend using these taper candles, as they’ve been relatively successful and as drip-less as a candle can be in our experience.
Once our vintage candlesticks have been returned and accounted for, we want to get them cleaned and back on the shelf as soon as possible. We set our Porter Cable heat gun on the highest temperature but blowing at the lowest setting So remember, high heat, low air pressure. Okay, so before we go any further, a heat gun is essentially a blow dryer but with super HOT air coming out. Like, WE WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND DRYING YOUR HAIR WITH ONE OF THESE. But having one on hand to plug in to an electric outlet, to melt some old candle wax off of vintage candlesticks is really the perfect purpose for this. Heat guns are usually used to shrink different wires for electric, can be used to dry out wood and also great for thawing frozen pipes… But, if you’re us, we specifically enjoying using them to clean wax off our vintage candlesticks.
We usually clean one end of the candlesticks at a time. For example: I will have an old clean cloth (don’t use paper towel as this can scratch your vintage piece), and hold the top of the candlestick, so the base is over an empty trash can. We’ll use the heat gun and blow the hot air on the base of the candlestick until the wax melts off. You’ll be able to see when it starts to melt because the dripping will just start happening and gravity will pull the melted wax down, which is exactly why we hold it over the trash can. This can definitely be a messy task, and our garbage container that we use for this has a ton of wax on the side. Once all the wax melts off, you’ll want to take a clean cloth (again, do NOT use paper towel) to wipe any remaining wax off. And that is basically it! You’re done. Depending on how many you’ve got to clean, it can take anywhere from 3 minutes to hours (this is like, 200+ candlesticks…). Remember to be safe when handling your heat gun, as this will make your metal candlestick hot so remember to NOT grab the side that you were just heating with the heat gun. Use your brain to make your job easier and and remember, safety first… ALWAYS.