I’ve been asked a number of times how to get candle wax out of carpet. As someone who adores candles, it took me a while to figure out the best ways to remove melted wax from carpeting, too.
In fact, I’m fairly certain there’s a landlord from my college days who is still grumbling about the damage I caused. If only I’d known these steps to cleaning up my candle spills back then!
How To Get Candle Wax Out Of Carpet
You will need:
- A table knife
- Several ice cubes
- A plastic bag
- A vacuum cleaner
- Three or four brown paper bags cut in pieces large enough to cover the spill
- An iron
- Rubbing alcohol
- Several white cloths
- Clear household ammonia (maybe)
Step 1: Remove the obvious wax. Using the table knife, pry up as much of the wax as you can. Next, place a few ice cubes in the plastic bag and set this over the stain to harden any remaining wax. Wait a couple of minutes, then remove the ice pack and use the knife to pry up any additional hardened wax you see.
Step 2: Vacuum the spot. It’s best to use the upholstery attachment to do this. Work toward the base of the fibers in every direction to lift and suck away as much additional wax as possible.
Step 3: Liquefy the remaining wax. Turn the iron on to its lowest setting without steam. Place a piece of the brown paper bag over the wax spill. Run the iron over the paper, keeping it in constant motion. Stop as soon as you begin to see wax seep into the paper. Change to a clean paper and repeat until no more wax lifts up.
Step 4: Repeat the above steps. There is probably still some remaining wax that has now melted so repeat steps 1-3.
Step 5: Get rid of the stain. Chances are, you used a colored candle. (Hey, they’re pretty!) So even though the wax is gone the stain isn’t. To get rid of it, pour a tiny amount of rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol on one of the white cloths. Dab at the stain. DO NOT RUB OR SOAK THE AREA — rubbing alcohol can ruin the glue that keeps your carpet fibers attached to the backing, while rubbing will only spread the stain. You will need to change cloths repeatedly as the coloring transfers from your carpet to the cloth.
Step 6: Is the stain STILL there? Open the windows, then lightly dampen a cloth with the clear household ammonia. (Note: Seriously, open the windows. This is going to smell. Rubbing alcohol combined with ammonia is basically what creates smelling salts. It’s not going to hurt you, but it sure does stink.) Turn your iron’s steam setting on. Place a clean white cloth over the spot and run the iron over it. Be sure to keep the iron in constant motion. After a few passes, you’ll see the stain transfer to the cloth. Change cloths. Repeat until the stain is gone.
Step 7: Finish the job. Dampen yet another white cloth with water and dab at the area to lift away the ammonia. Let it dry. Once the area is completely dry, vacuum it thoroughly to lift the nap.
Now, as you’ve seen, it’s a lot of work to remove candle wax from carpeting so maybe start buying candles that match your carpet, or switch to permanent LED candles that give the pretty flicker without the risk.
Equipment I Use To Do This: