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 get out of a carpet, but there are ways around it. The right 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 quickly get rid of the problem.
1. Freezing the Wax
Step #1: Apply Ice
Apply something frozen directly to the wax, such as an ice pack or frozen bag of peas. Avoid using ice cubes as these will melt and wet the wax — you want to freeze the wax, not wet it.
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 place to start.
Step #2: Scrape
Use a dull knife such as a butter knife to scrape off as much of the wax as you can. This will ultimately make it easier to remove in the following steps.
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.
Step #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.
Step #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.
2. Heat the Wax
Step #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.
Step #2: Iron the Area
Set the iron to a warm setting — not too hot 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.
Step #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 to lift the stain from the carpet and onto the cloth.
Step #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: If you don’t want to use a hot iron on your carpet, you can use a hairdryer. 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 try to stay patient.
- Use dry ice: Dry ice is much colder than regular ice, so 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 certain scent depending on the fragrance of the candle. 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: By acting quickly when you notice spilled wax, you can save yourself time and effort. The wax won’t have time to settle into the fibers, and any color will be easier to remove.
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.
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.