Hanukkah Cleaning Hacks and Stain Removal

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Hello, Clean My Space community! I’m back again with even more holiday cleaning tips for you. But first, if you haven’t already, check out my 2021 Holiday Gift Guide and 10 Areas You’re Overlooking in Your Holiday Cleaning

If you’re gearing up for Hanukkah this weekend, you’re going to want to know how to clean candle wax, how to clean a menorah, how to remove chocolate stains, and finally, how to get oil stains out of clothes! Luckily, I have a lifetime of Hanukkah cleaning experience to fall back on, so keep reading!

Melissa Maker with her family in the snow

How to Clean A Menorah

Did you pull out your menorah and realize you threw it in the cupboard last year without getting any of the wax build-up off?! I know I did. Luckily, wax on a menorah is easy to manage. 

Fill your sink with very hot water and soap, and let your menorah soak for at least fifteen minutes. Luckily for all of us, wax melts, so it should loosen and come off easily after a hot soak. Be careful not to scrape your menorah with a knife or other metal tool, as this could scratch it permanently. 

For brass menorahs (unpainted), use metal polish to get it looking it’s very best. Do this after you remove the wax, of course. If you’re working with a silver menorah, only use soft cloths like a microfiber cloth. Silver is very easy to damage and scrape. 

If you have a glass menorah, a great hack for managing wax build-up is a tiny bit of non-stick spray. Apply a small amount of non-stick spray after you have cleaned and dried your menorah. This works for some other materials as well, but be sure to do your research before using non-stick spray on any precious metal. 

How to Clean Candle Wax off Wood

Wax mess happens on Hanukkah, on and off your menorah. So if you’re dealing with hardened wax on your wooden table, don’t worry. This shouldn’t be too difficult to address. 

It can be tempting to start wiping wax off as soon as you notice it. And your kids will definitely want to join in on this fun. But soft wax will make an even bigger mess and get spread all over your table.

Wait for the wax to cool before you begin to clean up. Then, use a plastic surface like a credit card or plastic utensil to scrape the wax off. Never use metal because it can permanently scratch your wood. Be patient and gentle, so you don’t cause damage. Trust me; I’ve spent about half an hour using an old credit card to gently scrape off every single speck of wax from a wooden dining table before. 

If you have a big mess, or you’re worried it will be difficult to scrape off, use the freeze and scrape method. Put a bag of ice on top of the wax mess and let sit until the wax is frozen. This makes the wax brittle and easier to scrape off. Then go in with your plastic tool. 

How to Remove Chocolate Stains

I think I can safely say that adults and kids alike look forward to Hanukkah gelt! I know I often make it through a whole bag just preparing for Hanukkah dinner. And let’s not get me started on how much the kids end up eating. 

Inevitably, chocolate plus children equals stains. So let’s talk about how to remove chocolate stains when they happen. When you notice a stain, use a credit card, butter knife, or any flat edge to scrape off as much chocolate as possible. 

Once you’ve scraped off the chocolate, pre-treat the stain with dish soap or laundry detergent, and let sit for about ten minutes. Then throw it in the laundry on a cool cycle. 

If the offending stain is still there after washing, it’s time to break out the big guns. Mix a solution of two parts hydrogen peroxide to one part dish soap. Treat the stain, and let sit for about an hour. Then wash again. Repeat until the stain is gone. 

Removing food stain from clothing with knife

How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes

I always break out an apron when it’s time to fry latkes, but even so, oil stains happen. Unfortunately, oil stains are some of the trickiest stains to remove. But with perseverance, hopefully, they won’t last eight nights (insert eye roll at bad Hanukkah joke here). 

To treat oil stains, first, soak the piece of clothing in hot water. As hot as possible without damaging the fabric. Then, treat the stain with a stain remover. As usual, I like to use two parts hydrogen peroxide to one part dish soap, but you can also try a commercial stain remover. Let this sit for at least an hour. 

After the hour, wash the piece of clothing as usual. Because oil stains are persistent, you may have to repeat this whole process more than once. 

Blotting clothing for stain removal

Hanukkah Party Cleaning

Hanukkah is one of the most fun Jewish holidays of the year. And knowing how to deal with common Hanukkah messes is a great way to keep it fun and stress-free. So now you can enjoy your latkes, gelt, jelly donuts, and menorahs without worrying about the mess. 

Happy Hanukkah to the Clean My Space Community!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

1 COMMENT

  1. I used to clean brass or gold candles at my Church with a blow dryer. I let the dryer heat the wax until it is clear wipe off with a paper towel then buff with a microfiber. I did find it is easier if you let the wax become liquid then wipe.

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