Wax spilled or dripped in a sink should be removed as quickly as possible to prevent it from eventually getting into the pipes. Whether it's candle wax or hair-removal wax, the key is to pick off as much as possible when it's still somewhat soft. Reheating and immediately blotting it up gets rid of the rest.
Sink Paper for Liquid Wax
If the wax spill is fresh enough that it hasn't hardened, immediately grab sink paper or paper towels and blot the spot. Don't rub the wet wax, as this may spread it thin, making it more difficult to remove. For a large spill, keep blotting with fresh paper towels to remove as much of the mess as possible. Once you've blotted most of it and it's starting to cool, pick at the wax with your fingers to remove more before it completely hardens.
Discard the paper towels and bits of wax. Do not run hot water over the wax in an attempt to melt it so it goes down the drain, as this could contribute to eventual clogs.
For soft waxes, such as car wax on porcelain sinks, simply wipe the excess up with a paper towel by wiping from the outer perimeter of the wax spill towards the center. Once you've wiped up as much as possible, use the remaining wax to buff that part of the sink. Car wax actually helps prevent films and residues from building up on surfaces like stainless steel and porcelain.
Safe Wax Scraping
Safely removing hard wax from any sink requires tools that won't scratch or otherwise harm the sink basin. Start by scraping hardened pools of wax with the bowl of a plastic spoon or a plastic scraper. Vacuum up the loose wax bits or pick them up by hand to discard them in a trash can. Remove as much as you can. Heat or ice will help remove the rest.
The Heated Wax Method
One of the best ways to remove stubborn bits of wax is to reheat, then blot it before it hardens again. Fold a few absorbent paper towels, or keep an old cotton towel on hand to clean up the wax. Hold a hair dryer, turned on to high, a few inches above the wax mess. Continue heating the wax until it gets shiny and liquefies. Immediately turn off the hair dryer and blot the wax with the paper or cotton towel. Do not rub the wax.
As the towel accumulates wax, rotate it so a clean area blots up additional wax. If the remaining wax hardens, reheat it with the hairdryer and continue the blotting process with a fresh paper towel. Repeat until you've removed as much as possible.
The Chilled Wax Process
In many cases, chilling the wax can make it brittle enough to snap it off of the sink. Place a few ice cubes in a zip-seal sandwich bag, seal the bag, then set it atop the wax for several minutes. Set the bag aside and pick at the ice with your fingernail, a plastic scraper or the edge of a plastic spoon bowl. Remove and discard the loosened wax bits.
Cleaning the Sink
When it comes to sink materials, such as glass or stainless steel, wax may leave behind a dull residue. To remove that cloudy film, wash the area with warm, soapy water or a cleaner specifically designed for that type of sink. If a residue remains, rub the area with a squirt of baby oil or mineral oil on a paper towel. Wipe the oil away with a fresh paper towel, then wash the area with soapy water.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.