How To Clean Oil And Wax From Your Menorah

Goldy Buxbaum December 14, 2022

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Menorah, candles, wax, oil, and all the trimmings, erm…drippings. That pretty much sums up the Chanukah hangover.


When you wake up the next morning and realize as beautiful as the past eight days were, you’re living in a sea of oil and wax.


Well, it’s time to face reality and get it all spic and span. The longer you procrastinate, the more saturated your floors and walls are. That’s before we deal with wax-encrusted menorahs.


There’s no need to worry about how to get it all done. That’s why we are here.


We’ll guide you through the kvetching and deglazing with all the elbow grease you can muster up and have your home and menorah all shiny and clean.


Start Cleaning Your Menorah Now:


Start right away. 


This is not something you want to leave for your cleaning help that’s coming at the end of the week. The glasses will need a good soaking, and you wish to have it all nice and tidy for the following Shabbat.


How To Wash The Glass Cups:


Time to tackle the glass cups holding the oil (and the source of all those drippings). There are a few ways to deal with it.


One way is to place the glass cups and all the accompanying little metal pieces in a mesh bag. Make sure there is ample space to spread everything out. Place the bag in your dishwasher and run a cycle or two until everything is thoroughly degreased and sparkling clean.


Another way to clean the glass cups is to soak them in hot water with dish soap or laundry detergent. Let that sit till it eats through the oil and muck from all the wicks. After that, you can run them through the dishwasher or wash them in your kitchen sink.


A third option is to rinse the glasses with soap and water right away. After that, leave it in a double-bagged zip-top bags with three parts ammonia to two parts water. Allow it to sit for two or three days, then wash them off with soap using gloved hands.


How To Clean Your Silver Menorah Base:


Now that you have conquered and have like-new glasses for next year, it’s time to tackle the centerpiece of the holiday — the menorah!

It’s a pain to clean, and a part of me feels that the silver stores should have a disclaimer before selling them. Menorahs redefine shiny silver object syndrome.


Menorahs are tall, heavy, and full of beautiful details, ensuring you’ll spend the better part of your day picking through the crevices like a skilled surgeon.


How to clean them when they are covered in wax and stained with oil?


Start by wiping your menorah with a dry cloth to absorb excess oil.


The next best thing to do, especially if it’s covered in wax drippings, is to pour boiling water over it and watch all that wax melt off.


Utterly satisfying.


You may need to wash it well with soap and water to remove all the oil from your menorah altogether.


When you have removed all the wax and oil residue from your menorah now, you can start working on getting that finished polish it so desperately needs.


Purchase your favorite silver polish. I’m partial to the Hagerty silver polish. I love how easy it is to clean with and how it minimizes my need to scrub the menorah until my knuckles bleed and my arm has a charley horse for the foreseeable future.


When your menorah is fully polished, take a cloth and give it a good buff and shine.


How to Store Your Menorah For Next Year:


The job is not quite done. Now comes the conundrum of the best storage method.


You can wrap all your glasses in paper towels and store them in a closet or drawer. Or you can buy another container (the Container Store must love our obsession with pretty bins and storage containers) to store them before packing them away.


For travel menorahs and all the related parts, you want to pack them all together, making it easy to grab and go on your next Chanukah expedition.


Now for your menorah, you can place it back into your display case, such as a curio or breakfront. If you want to ensure your menorah stays shiny and clean without tarnishing, wrap it in saran wrap or a similar product.


A great tip a dear friend shared is to write down what you’re left with after Chanukah. How many bottles of oil, candles, and wicks, whether you need to replace anything Chanukah-related. This way, when you go to light candles on the first night the following year, you’re not left scrambling for supplies, and you light on time.

It’s funny how our default post-Chanukah resolutions are to shed the extra weight accumulated through indulging in delicious food that was deep-fried and smothered in chocolate. Cleaning your menorah is the most productive way to start a proper exercise regimen.


As Slay Copy Inc.’s founder, Goldy Buxbaum, helps business service providers reach more clients by combining business strategy with web writing. Check her out on Linkedin to see how you can grow your business.