Hanukkah is over, the gifts are unwrapped, the dreidel has spun its last spun, and all the latkes eaten. Although it's tempting to put your menorah away without cleaning and forget about it until next year, you'll have happy when you have a clean one next Hanukkah! Or, display your beautiful menorah all year. There are some really gorgeous modern menorahs you wont want to put away! So how do you clean the candle wax off your menorah? Here are our top 7 tips for preventing and cleaning a waxy menorah.
What is a Menorah?
First things first: what is a menorah? Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights. We rejoice in the miracle of one day of oil lasting 8 nights during the rededication of the Second Temple. Because of this. we light a candelabra with 8 candles (plus a shamash aka the leader candle) for eight nights during Hanukkah aka a Hanukiah or a Menorah. It's a joyful celebration, until it comes time to clean!
How Do You Clean a Menorah?
- Hot water: Put your menorah in a heat-proof container such as a large pan and pour hot water over the menorah until the wax melts off and floats to the top. Wipe off extra wax with a towel. Be careful that the wax doesn't drip into the sink drain as this can clog your drain! You can also spot clean by warming with a hair dryer (high heat, low fan). If your menorah is glass or ceramic, start with warm water to slowly warm the menorah so it does not crack from the change in temperature.
- Freeze the menorah: Put your menorah in the freezer for 30 minutes - a hours until the wax hardens, and then peel it off. Ice cubes help with spot cleaning. This works best with metal menorahs as glass or ceramic menorahs may crack under the temperature change.
- The oven method: Put your menorah on a foil or parchment-lined sheet pan in the oven on the lowest temperature setting for a few minutes until the wax melts off. Very carefully (it's hot!) turn over the menorah so the wax comes out of the holders too. Then simple throw away the foil and you have a clean menorah! This works best with metal menorahs as ceramic and glass can crack under temperature changes.
- The oil method: Prevent wax from sticking by coating your menorah with non-stick cooking spray to help the wax from not sticking if it drips. (Do not use on precious metals.)
- Beeswax and dripless candles: It helps to use beeswax or dripless Hanukkah candles to prevent the wax from dripping in the first place! Or try freezing your candles before lighting. It helps prevent drips!
- Drip cups: You can also line your menorah with drip cups or foil to catch any drips.
- Love the wax: Can't get all the wax off? Let it be! We actually love the look of a little wax on the menorah to show it's well-loved for many years. The wax is filled with memories!
Please use these tips at your own discretion and make sure your menorah can handle any temperature changes. And safety first with the heat! Wear gloves and be careful says our Bubbe. Let us know your tips in the comments. Happy Hanukkah!