Naturally, the ideal solution is to make sure no wax drips happen- and prevention is not that difficult.  Make sure you are using a quality 51% beeswax candle. Keep wicks trimmed and use a brass or glass follower.  These can be had very inexpensively from Egan’s Church supply http://www.eganchurchsupply.com/ 

Brass or glass followers can be had for 1 ½ inch candles for about $26 and are a good investment when you think a fair linen costs $400-500. 


Use a fair linen protector to cover the fair linen between services.  Some acolytes cover the fair linen with one of these BEFORE they extinguish the candles at the end of the service.  It only takes about 3 seconds to do this.  Also make sure the candle “snuffers” are clean inside the bell-shaped piece on the end of the pole. Built- up soot and residue can come dripping back on the linen.  Acolytes must be trained to gently lower the snuffer over the candle flame, depriving it of oxygen, not touching the candle or crushing the wick down into the hot wax well which will result in dripping onto the fair linen when the snuffer comes up. 


Once wax has dried onto a fair linen several steps are required to remove it properly and completely. The first thing to do is to apply an ice cube (in a plastic baggie)  or ice pack to the wax.  You can also roll up the linen and place it in a plastic bag in the freezer for 20 minutes.  This will make the wax brittle, allowing you to scrape off what you can. Use a credit card to gently scrape away as much of the wax as you can. Never use a regular dull knife that has serrated edges since this may damage the cloth.

Once you have carefully removed as much of the wax as you can, it will be necessary to get your iron and a few clean brown paper bags. Place one paper bag underneath the cloth while you set the iron to heat on a medium to medium high level, depending on the fabric. Place a second paper bag on top of the wax..  If no paper bags are to hand, white paper towels will do as well.

Gently iron the area until the wax has been transferred to the paper bag. Throw the paper bag with the wax residue into the trash once it has cooled. Repeat the process with another paper bag until all of the wax has been removed.  To get the last of the wax out, stretch the spot over a glass and pour boiling water through to melt the traces of wax still left behind.  Launder as usual.  Almy’s wax remover is the last step I use for very stubborn wax “shadows” still remaining on a textile.  Four 4 oz. bottles of this miracle liquid wax remover costs $35.00 and can be ordered at this link http://www.almy.com/cgi-bin/shopper.exe?preadd=action&key=73002



Disposable Votive Holders  (above photo from Root)from  http://www.rootcandles.com/shop/litproduct.cfm?CatID=101

The best thing to do with glass votive holders is to prevent the wax buildup in the first place. If you place a tiny bit of water in the bottom of the glass votive prior to placing the candle inside, it should prevent the wax from sticking to the votive.

However, once you have wax stuck to the votive, you should clear a small area in the freezer and gently secure the votive inside to freeze the wax. Allow the votive to sit inside the freezer for several hours to ensure that the wax freezes. After several hours have passed, attempt to pry the wax loose carefully with a dull knife, preferably a butter knife.

The wax should easily become dislodged. Any remaining wax residue can be removed by washing the glass votive in a solution of hot, soapy water.

Votive candles in clear plastic holders which fit as inserts into glass votives may also be a solution and are carried by all major candle companies such as Root, Cathedral, Emkay. etc.