I have menorah issues every single year. What is the best way to clean candle wax off everything? I put a sheet of wax paper under the menorah but even then I still have to clean wax out of the menorah itself and it takes forever, especially since it's an eight-day long holiday.

If you promise to invite me over for latkes (never met a latke I didn't love) I'll tell you this secret, but shhhh... don't tell anyone else (unless they're also going to invite me over for latkes): spray the menorah with a light coating of cooking spray (you know, like PAM?) right before you begin festivaling the lights; when the eight days are done and you've eaten more gelt than you thought humanly possible the wax will sort of slide right off. You'll want to wash the menorah afterwards with warm soapy water to remove any residual wax and/or PAM.

If your menorah is made of something you don't want to cover in cooking spray, you can also put it in the freezer. Once the wax is frozen you'll be able to pop it off pretty easily.


One last idea, which isn't really recommended so much as something cool I wanted to share because I am a huge nerd: I went on the candlelight tour of The Wyckoff House the other day, and because the group was small the guide told us we could go off topic and ask loads of questions if we wanted; you can imagine what I asked about. Anyway! Back in the day, the method for getting wax off of candleholders was to boil them. The wax would float to the top of the boiling pot, and could be skimmed off and reused. So if you're feeling old time-y, you could try that!

The above originally ran on The Hairpin on 22 December 2011