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How to Clean Wax out of Carpet: The 2 Best Methods

No need to regret that candle-lit dinner.

Candles add a special touch to the ambiance of your home, but it can be quite concerning if they drip on your carpet.

Wax can be challenging to remove, but there are ways around it. The correct methods will quickly get it out without a trace.

Getting the wax out successfully doesn’t require any expensive products. There are two very effective methods for removing wax. You can use ice or a hot iron to get rid of the problem quickly.

We’ll share the step-by-step method for how to clean wax out of a carpet.

Key Takeaways

  • Freeze the wax by applying ice or a cold pack to harden it, then gently scrape with a dull knife.
  • If freezing doesn’t work, use heat by covering the wax with a paper bag or damp cloth and ironing the area.
  • Remove any remaining wax stains with rubbing alcohol or a carpet cleaner.
  • Vacuum or brush the carpet fibers to restore their original appearance.

Freezing the Wax

The first method involves freezing the wax. Once it’s hard, it’s easier to remove.

  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

1. Apply Ice

Apply something frozen directly to the wax, such as an ice pack or frozen bag of peas. Avoid ice cubes as they will melt and wet the wax which you don’t want.

By freezing the wax, you’ll solidify it and make it easier to remove. However, if the wax has already hardened, like candle wax, you might not need to freeze it. But if you’re dealing with hair removal wax, cooling it down is the best starting point.

2. Scrape

Use a dull knife such as a butter knife to scrape off as much of the wax as possible.

Depending on the wax, you might be able to get a good amount off. However, if you’re unable to get much, move on to the second method to see how to remove stubborn wax.


If you have a Berber carpet, be very careful. The loops in the fibers fray easily and can be damaged by scraping.

3. Use a Cleaner

You can use any carpet cleaner or solvent for this step. Spray the solution onto the area and rinse with clean water. Blot the area with a clean cloth until it’s dry and all traces of the wax are gone.

If the wax was colored and has left a stain, try applying a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cloth. This will help to remove the stain without damaging the carpet fibers.

4. Vacuum

The wax might have caused the fibers in your carpet to become stiff or flat. To restore your carpet, brush it gently with a toothbrush or vacuum the area using a small attachment.

Heat the Wax

You can also use the opposite of freezing the wax. Instead, heat things up. This method is quicker since you don’t need to wait an hour to let the wax freeze.

  • Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

1. Cover the Wax

Start by covering the wax with a paper bag or a damp cloth. If you use a paper bag, place a dry towel next to it on the carpet away from the stain.

As we heat the bag using an iron, we’ll be moving the bag as it absorbs the wax. The towel will prevent the mess from spreading.

Avoid Plastic

Never use a plastic bag for this. It will burn and melt, ruining your carpet and iron.

2. Iron the Area

Set the iron to a warm setting — not too hot so as to not melt the bag. Also, if your iron has a steam setting, turn it off as we only need to use heat.

Carefully iron the bag or cloth, using small circular motions if possible. When one part of the bag becomes covered in wax, move it onto the towel and use a different section. Keep going until the wax is gone.

Apply the iron for no more than 30 seconds at a time. Keep checking the paper or cloth until there are no more traces of the wax.

3. Remove the Stain

The wax might have left a stain if it was colored. Applying a small amount of rubbing alcohol and dabbing it with a cloth should remove this.

You can also place a cloth on the stain and iron it using the steam setting. The steam and heat will help lift the stain from the carpet and onto the cloth.

4. Clean the Area

Use a carpet cleaner or solvent to clean the area once the wax and stain are gone. Then blot the cleaner out using a clean cloth or iron it with steam on top of the cloth. Finally, you might want to finish off with a vacuum to restore the fibers.

Tips and Tricks

If you want to try a different method or there are still signs of the stain, these other methods work just as well:

  • Hairdryer: You can use a hairdryer if you don’t want to use a hot iron on your carpet. Set the dryer at the hottest setting and carefully heat the wax. Keep the hairdryer at a safe distance, or it could overheat. Blot the wax with paper towels in intervals with the heat until the wax is gone.
  • Use a hot pot: It may be tricky to reach the wax if it’s in a spot far from an outlet. You can then heat a pot on the stove and apply it like the iron. This method is handy but can be time-consuming, so stay patient.
  • Use dry ice: Dry ice is much colder than regular ice, so that it will freeze the wax much quicker. It also won’t leave a residue. However, you must be careful — wear leather gloves to protect your skin. Dry ice can cause substantial damage to skin tissue (1).
  • Removing a stuck stain: If the wax left a colored stain that won’t go away, you could use a carpet cleaner after removing the wax. It may also help to use a small amount of household ammonia. But remember to keep the room ventilated and wear protective gear (2).
  • Refresh the carpet: Wax can sometimes leave a particular scent depending on the candle’s fragrance. You can remove this from the carpet by mixing 15 drops of essential oil with 16 ounces of baking soda. Sprinkle it on the carpet and leave for an hour or two — vacuum thoroughly and enjoy a refreshed rug.
  • Act fast: You can save yourself time and effort by acting quickly when you notice spilled wax. The wax won’t have time to settle into the fibers, and any color will be easier to remove.
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Is It Safe to Use a Hairdryer to Melt the Wax?

Many homeowners prefer to use a hairdryer instead of a hot iron. It can be easier to control, and the risk of damaging the carpet is reduced. It’s also the best option if you want to use paper towels instead of a cloth.

What Can I Do If the Wax Isn’t Hard?

If you’ve spilled hair removal wax, it most likely won’t dry hard on the carpet. However, you can use the same method of applying ice to freeze it. This will help to solidify the wax. But if the wax is newly spilled, you can use a hairdryer to melt further and blot it away.

Can Vinegar Remove Wax from a Carpet?

Even though vinegar is an excellent natural stain remover, it won’t remove wax on its own. But if you do want to use vinegar, you can start by scraping off the wax and ironing the stain. Then clean with a mix of equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle instead of a carpet cleaning product.

What Can Dissolve Wax?

Several things dissolve wax, like vegetable oil. Place a spoonful of oil on the wax stain, wait while the oil breaks it down, and dab it clean. You may need vinegar to clean the oil from the carpet fibers once you are finished.

Does Peanut Butter Remove Wax?

Peanut butter does not remove wax. You will need something that melts the wax, like oil, vinegar, and baking soda.

Will Dawn Dish Soap Get Wax Out of Carpet?

Dawn Dish Soap won’t remove wax out of carpet, but it will strip wax from your car’s paintwork.

Wax On, Wax Off

Before you feel too devastated about spilling wax on your carpet, take a breather. It isn’t as difficult as you think. By acting fast, you can remove it successfully in no time.

Start by using method one and see how it goes, then if the wax won’t budge, use heat.

A hot iron or hairdryer will work effectively, so choose the one you’re comfortable with. Finally, remember to avoid plastic bags and don’t leave the iron on the spot for too long.

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About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy Anthony is a cleaning expert, author, and contributing writer for Oh So Spotless, a leading online resource for all things related to cleaning, organizing, and maintaining a spotless home. With over 15 years of experience in the cleaning industry, Amy has gained extensive knowledge and expertise that have made her a trusted authority on best practices, efficient techniques, and innovative cleaning solutions.