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 reasonably sure 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 clean up 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 (isopropyl) alcohol 70% (surgical spirits in the UK)
- Several white cloths
- Plain household ammonia (maybe)
Step 1: Remove the Surface 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 more wax.
Step 2: Vacuum the Spot.
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 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 you don’t get any more up.
Step 4: Repeat.
There is probably still some remaining wax that has now melted, so repeat steps 1-3. Do this until you’ve removed all of the wax, leaving behind only a stain.
Step 5: Get rid of the stain.
To get rid of any stain left from the wax, pour a tiny amount of rubbing alcohol on one of the white cloths. Dab at the stain. DO NOT RUB OR SOAK THE AREA! You will need to change to a fresh rag repeatedly as the coloring transfers from your carpet to the fabric.
Step 6: Is the stain STILL there?
Open the windows, because rubbing alcohol combined with ammonia creates smelling salts. It’s not going to hurt you, but it does stink. Turn on your iron’s steam setting. Dab or spray the stain with some ammonia then place a white rag 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 fabric. Change cloths. Repeat until the stain is gone.
Step 7: Finish the job.
Clean the area with plain, fresh water to lift away the ammonia. Let it dry thoroughly then vacuum.
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.