How to Remove Candle Wax from Carpet
Candles can make your home feel warm and inviting; they can fill your home with your favorite scent, wax scented with anything from cinnamon buns to evergreen bows and they can make a royal mess if you knock one over and the wax stains the carpet.
Anyone who has burned a scented candle, or even had taper candles on the dining room table knows that the possibility of a huge mess is always there.
Even when you are careful, accidents can happen and before you know it, your gorgeous apple scented candle is a big giant puddle of red wax on your beige carpeting.
Whether it’s the cat, the kids or your husband who made the mess, you are the one who is worried about getting the wax out of carpet. Before you worry too much, take a deep breath.
Candle wax isn’t too hard to remove from carpeting, as long as you take your time and know how to attack the problem.
As soon as the spill happens, resist the urge to wipe up the hot wax; you will only end up spreading it around and making a larger mess that you will have to clean up later. Try to keep it contained to its original size.
First Remove as Much Wax that Comes off Easily
If the spot is large, with a lot of wax, give it the ice treatment- I mean this literally. Take a few ice cubes and rub them over the wax, essentially turning the melted wax into a solid. This also make solid wax slightly brittle, so it is easier to remove in pieces.
For thick spills, this method can get out a good chunk of the wax and make the second step a little easier to manage.
Once you’ve gotten as much wax from the carpet that's going to come out easily (or start with this step if the spill is smaller or made up of small bits of stuck on wax) it’s time to get to work on removing it from the rug.
Removing the Remaining Candle Wax
Here’s the drill:
- Get out the iron. You will be using the heat of an electric iron to melt the wax and lift it gently out of the carpet fibers.
- Get a paper bag or paper towel. This will serve as the absorbent material for lifting the wax and will also protect the carpet from the heat of the iron.
- Put the iron on its lowest setting. Many carpets are made from synthetic fibers that can melt at high temperatures. If you end up melting your carpet, you will have more to worry about than a little wax spilled on it.
- Cut the paper bag or paper towel to the size of the spill. Keep your towel or bag in a manageable size because you will be moving it around a bit.
- Cover the spill with the paper towel or bag and rub the warm iron over it. The wax will melt and be absorbed by either the paper towel or the paper bag. It will show up as an oily stain. It should only take a few minutes to get the wax and the carpet warm enough for this method to work.
- Move the bag or towel around and keep working until you’ve melted and absorbed all the spilled candle wax.
- With this method, you shouldn’t see any color left behind, if there is a stain and you're sure that all the wax has been removed, treat the remaining stain as dye stain. In many cases the remaining color can be removed with 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Removing Colored Candle Wax Stains:
In very rare instances, the pigment from the candle may not be fully absorbed by the paper towel or paper bag. If this should happen, here are a couple of things you can try:
- Solvent cleaners like Goo-Gone or Goof-Off are very effective at removing all kinds of stains, but should be used carefully.
- Be sure not to rub too hard when using them or you could cause damage to the carpet.
- 3% Hydrogen peroxide is great for removing dye stains. Pour it full strength onto the dye stain and let it dry naturally. If the spot has lightened, repeat. Hydrogen peroxide will not damage the carpet fibers and does not need to be rinsed out.
Candle wax on carpeting shouldn’t be the cause of tears and worry
It’s actually a pretty simple problem to fix. As long as you act quickly and follow the right steps, your carpet will be back in shape quickly. If you are very concerned about the spill or staining, you could call a professional carpet cleaner, but in most cases, it’s the perfect DIY cleaning job.