Whether you’re an avid candle burner, enjoying the warm light and the comforting scent they provide to your home, or a creative crafter melting wax for use in your latest project, the risk is real: You’re likely to drip wax onto your carpet one of these days.
Finally, the dreaded disaster happens. As you blew out your favorite set of stick candles after a nice relaxing dinner, the Zen of the moment is ruined as some hot wax splashes onto the carpeted floor of your dining room.
You gasp. Your heart rate accelerates. You stare at the blob on your carpet in disbelief, unsure what to do.
Surely your carpet is ruined.
How can you remove wax from the carpet?! Won’t it melt around the tiny carpet fibers and cake itself to them permanently?
Fortunately, however, in the case of candle wax in your carpet, all hope is not lost – especially if you find and address the offending spot as soon as possible.
It is possible to get both hot and dried wax out of a carpet, avoiding damage and working to remove any stain caused by colored wax.
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How to get candle wax out of carpet
To have the greatest chance of success in removing candle wax from your carpet, it’s important to take quick action. You will want to remove as much of the wax as possible before it becomes embedded in your carpet.
If you have just dripped the wax onto your carpet and the wax is still hot and melted, you may be able to act swiftly to draw up as much of the wax as possible.
Absorb it while it’s still hot.
The easiest solution is to grab the nearest paper towel and place it over the warm wax, absorbing as much of it as possible into the paper towel while the wax is still hot.
You could also use a brown paper bag or a terry cloth if you have those easily accessible. Most people will probably find that a paper towel is a most convenient and most absorbent product they have.
After the melted wax has been absorbed as much as possible by the paper towel, remove the paper towel to assess the remaining damage.
Is there still wax on the carpet?
Don’t worry – there’s still plenty you can do to remove the remaining wax and you should have all of the supplies necessary to do so on hand in your home.
And if you weren’t fast enough, or did not notice the spot soon enough, to absorb any of the wax while it was still hot, that’s ok, too. The following steps will help you address most wax stains in carpet.
Freeze the wax and scrape it off.
Rather than looking to heat, this time we’ll attempt to freeze the wax.
Put together a small plastic bag of ice, or find another frozen item, such as a plastic ice pack in your freezer, and place it directly onto the spilled wax.
Let it sit for about 10 minutes, so as to thoroughly solidify the melted wax.
Once the wax has sufficiently hardened, you will want to attempt to remove as much of it as possible while it is still firm.
Take a dull, flat object, such as a butter knife or spoon from your kitchen, and begin to gently scrape the solidified wax loose from the death grip it holds on your precious carpet fibers.
Take care not to scrape too roughly, as this can damage your carpet. A gentle and persistent motion should prove sufficient to loosen the frozen wax.
Use the straightedge of your butter knife to sweep the dried wax into your hand or onto a nearby paper towel or sheet of paper.
Just make sure not to use a rigid or abrasive object to perform this step, as it could damage, fray, or tear your carpet’s delicate fibers.
Whether you are working to remove candle wax or crayon wax, this method of scraping away the dried wax can be very effective in addressing the majority of the problem to start.
You can also take your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment to ensure you collect as many of the dried, loose pieces of wax as possible.
This process can help to remove a significant portion of the wax. In some situations, it may be sufficient to remove it all.
This process can work well on both natural fiber and synthetic carpets.
Use heat to melt the remaining wax.
But, depending on how long the wax had to set in to your carpet, how deep the stain runs, and how much wax you spilled, you may find some wax continues to cling to your carpet.
In this case, you will want to re-melt the dried wax in an attempt to try absorbing the remaining amount.
There are several ways in which you can melt the wax that is embedded in your carpet.
One common way is to melt the wax using a clothing iron. Take iron and set it to a low setting.
Then place either a white terry cloth, a paper towel, or a brown paper bag over the stain and, on low heat, iron gently over the stain, taking care not to leave the iron on the cloth for too long, checking intermittently to ensure the wax is beginning to melt.
You will want to make sure you use a very low heat setting on your iron, as otherwise you could either damage the fibers of your carpet or burn the paper towel or bag.
As the wax begins to melt, it will begin to absorb into the cloth.
You may need to leave the iron in place for 15-30 seconds in order to achieve the desired result.
Continue this process, melting and absorbing the wax until the remainder has been absorbed into your cloth or paper towel.
Alternatively, if you do not have an iron, or if you are concerned about causing damage by using an iron, you could use a hairdryer to melt the wax, using the same procedure to absorb it with a paper towel or cloth.
It is important to employ both the wax freezing method and the heat application method to your wax stain as soon as possible to achieve the best results and to prevent stains from setting into the fibers of your carpet.
This approach of using heat to melt dried wax in carpet can be useful for a range of wax types, including a candle, crayon, hair removal wax, and Scentsy wax.
Lift the stain.
After the remainder of the wax has been absorbed, a stain may appear where the wax was embedded into the carpet, especially if the wax was a color other than white or beige, such as red wax.
Although the wax itself may be gone, some discoloration to your carpet or pigmentation from the wax may remain, leaving an unsightly spot.
But, as with the removal of the wax itself, it is possible to tackle the pigmentation stain, too – just be sure to do so right away, following the removal of the wax.
There are a number of options available, depending on what you have on hand at home and the type of products you are most comfortable using.
Your choice of cleaning solution or method will also depend on the type of carpet you have, too. Be sure not to use a cleaning product that is too abrasive or that will damage the type of carpet in your home.
One option is to take a small amount of rubbing alcohol and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for several minutes before gently blotting the affected area with a soft cloth or paper towel to absorb the stain and the rubbing alcohol.
Be careful not to rub or scrub the stain-affected area, as this can only serve to rub the stain in further, rather than lifting it away.
You could also use a solution of diluted dish soap, repeating the same process. Dish soap may be particularly useful in getting crayon wax out of the carpet.
Some recommend an ammonia-based solution using 2 cups of warm water mixed with 2 cups of ammonia, while commercial cleaning products can also work well, too.
Using your white cloth, continue to wet and blot the affected area. You should notice the white cloth beginning to become wet as it absorbs the stain.
Be sure to move your cloth around to expose clean areas that have not yet absorbed the stain. This will not only help to avoid re-depositing any of the pigments, but it can also help you to gauge when the stain has been completely absorbed, as your white cloth will no longer appear pink in the applied area.
Can you remove wax from the carpet using vinegar?
While vinegar won’t prove useful for removing the actual wax, it may be helpful for those looking for a natural solution to removing the carpet stain.
You can first apply baking soda to the stained area, letting it sit in for at least 60 seconds. Then, apply vinegar to the baking soda, allow it to react, and then perform the blotting steps discussed above.
This may prove an effective and natural approach to removing stains left in the carpet from a wax spill.
Vacuum the affected area.
Once you have completed the removal of the wax and the stain, you can take your vacuum cleaner and run it over the affected area to smooth out your carpet and leave it looking as good as new.
No matter how large or small, fresh, or old, light or dark, a wax spill does not have to signal disaster for your carpet. With a little bit of patience and effort, you can have your carpet looking fluffy and fresh again.