How To Get Candle Wax Out Of Carpet

How To Get Candle Wax Out Of Carpet from 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!

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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. (It’s the rectangular one with the little teeth.) 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 the iron 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 harden it with the ice and try to scrape it away, then vacuum the area again.

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 alcohol on one of the white cloths. Dab at the stain. DO NOT RUB. Do NOT soak the area, because rubbing alcohol can ruin the glue that keeps your carpet fibers attached to the backing. You will need to change cloths repeatedly as the candle wax 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 much, in fact, that I’ve taken to buying candles that match my carpet!

Equipment I Use To Do This:



  1. Terry says

    I spilled wax on a brand-new sweater last week. I found a multi-step guide — somewhat labour-intensive — to removing it. Will your suggestions (not including the vaccuum cleaner, obviously) also work on the sweater, or should I go with the guide I found online?

  2. says

    It really depends on what the sweater’s made from. Wool or acrylic should be fine (though spot test before using the rubbing alcohol and ammonia, since clothing dye isn’t as tough as carpet dye). But cashmere or angora? No way.

  3. The Quiet Mom says

    Oh what a great tip. Thank you!

    Hopping by and following your lovely blog’s twitter, FB and Pinterest.

    I am also inviting you to join Tiddle Diddle Handmade Shoppe’s first giveaway event.

    • says

      Thank you for the invite! Sorry your comment got trapped in my spam filter. Since I have CommentLuv enabled, which links back to the most recent entry on a blog, any comments containing additional links get marked as spam. I’ve been making a point of going through my spam folder regularly to avoid losing good comments like yours. :)

    • says

      Oh, I’m so glad I could help! Don’t forget, if your carpet is brand new you may have a stain warranty on it that would cover the cost of patching it. If you get it patched quickly enough, there won’t be a color discrepancy at all.

      • says

        Thanks. Great idea. Forgot about the warranty. Know how to get raisin stains out? 2 year old is a raisin fanatic as evidenced from the one I found ground into our new carpet. Ugh!

      • says

        I sure do, from experience! Just follow all of the same steps, but skip the rubbing alcohol part. You’ll need to use the ammonia step to get rid of the color, though. Good luck!

    • Katie Berry says

      With oil, you need to sprinkle on cornstarch or baking powder to soak up as much of the oil as possible. Vacuum that away, then repeat, working the powder deeply into the carpet to pull as much oil away as possible. After doing this several times, sprinkle on more, place a piece of wax paper on top and weight it down. Let that sit overnight so it pulls even more oil out of the carpet and padding.

      Next, use the ammonia method I describe here.

  4. Emily says

    Fantastic breakdowns, I have JUST stained my multicoloured carpet (black cream grey and purple striped). I have knocked over an oil based candle I have tried the baking powder trick but now I’m stuck the stain is still there and I can’t get any further, any tips to remove the stain nothing seems to be budging it including the iron trick. Thanks, from
    desperate girl!

  5. says

    Many thanks Katie Berry ! There are definitely lots of details like that to take into consideration. That is a nice level to carry up. I actually liked what you said, and more than that, how you presented it. So niiice!

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