I routinely answer questions on my Facebook page, but sometimes I find myself giving the same answer over and over again. When that happens, I like to turn the answer into a blog entry: it saves myself some time and ensures I don’t overlook anything in my response. Since both Jacki and Carin have recently asked about getting candle wax out of their carpets, I figure I might as well make a full-fledged entry about it. So, for both ladies — and anyone else whose pet/kid/drunken party guest has knocked over a candle and messed up their carpet — here’s how you get rid of that wax and any lingering stain.
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. (Yes, I know: they’re pretty.) Now, 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? Lightly dampen a cloth with the clear household ammonia. (Note: 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, then contemplate buying candles that match your carpet from now on.
Linked to: Lady Behind the Curtain, The Trendy Treehouse, Mercy Ink, The Thrifty Home, Lil Luna, This Chick Cooks, 733 Blog, Southern Lovely, Rae Gun Ramblings, Sugar and Dots, DIY Crafty Projects, The NY Melrose Family, Someday Crafts, Savvy Southern Style, Family Home and Life, Polka Dots On Parade, Gingersnap Crafts, We are THAT family, Many Little Blessings.