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How to Clean Candle Wax off Carpet in 3 Easy Steps

Candle wax is a nightmare to remove from carpets. It clings to fiber like a second skin and creates a stain that even the toughest of cleaners can’t seem to get rid of.

Don’t worry, though; I’m here to help. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to clean candle wax off carpet using cleaning products you’ll find right at home.

Two white candles melting on navy blue cloth.
© rob_lan from Getty Images via Canva.com

How to Clean Candle Wax off Carpet

As with most accidental spills, the secret to cleaning candle wax off carpets is to act fast. 

Whether you find wax on your carpet after kid’s birthday parties, last night’s dinner party, or let your rolled beeswax candles burn too long, use the following method every time for the best results.

Here’s what you need to get started.

Materials

  • Icepack 
  • Scraper or butter knife
  • Paper towel or paper bag
  • Clean cloth 
  • Vinegar, isopropyl alcohol, or carpet stain cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner

Step 1: Let the Wax Harden

The first step is to insert several ice cubes into a resealable plastic bag and place it atop the melted hot wax. You can also use an ice pack if you have one available. 

Let the wax cool and harden for about 10 minutes. As you wait, make sure that the bag of ice doesn’t leak or add moisture to the wax. The liquid will only make the candle wax even more difficult to remove. 

Step 2: Scrape Away the Wax 

With the help of a scraper or butter knife, gently scrape the dried wax off the carpet fibers. Use a back-and-forth motion to get it all off. As you do, vacuum the wax residue. 

Once you remove all the wax, proceed with the next step. 

If some wax remains, place a paper bag or paper towel on top of the remaining residue and press a warm iron on the lowest heat, running it back and forth several times. 

As you do, you’ll notice the wax gets absorbed by the paper towel or bag. Reposition the paper towel several times and repeat the process until all remnants are absorbed. 

You can use a blow dryer on medium heat if you don’t have an iron. Keep the hair dryer at least five inches away from the paper to prevent it from burning. 

Step 3: Remove the Stain

This step is especially important for colored candle wax, as it tends to leave a stain on the carpet. 

Dab a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a white terry cloth and blot it into the stained area until the candle wax stains are removed. Alcohol shouldn’t affect the quality or color of the rug as long as you use it sparingly. 

Don’t rub the cloth against the carpet, as doing so may worsen the color stain. Vacuum the affected area one final time, and that’s it—you’ve successfully removed candle wax off your carpet!

If you don’t have alcohol, vinegar diluted in equal parts water or a carpet stain remover works just as well.

Spray the solution onto the stain and let it sit for five minutes. Don’t add too much of the solution; you want the carpet wet to the touch but not soaking. 

When the time is up, grab a clean cloth, blot away the stain, and add more of the solution. Repeat this step several times until the stain disappears completely. 

Then, let the carpet dry.

While you’re down on your hands and knees, take a look around to determine if it’s time to clean your carpet.

How to Prevent Future Wax Spills 

An orange candle burning low.
Photo credit: Envato Images.

The best way to avoid a candle wax spill is to prevent it from happening in the first place. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when lighting up a candle: 

  • Melt the bottom of the candle and press it hard into the candle holder.
  • Let the candle cool down before moving it to a different area.
  • Make sure that the candle is upright before lighting it.
  • ​Maintain a clean area around the candle while it is in use.
  • Don’t keep the candle burning for longer than indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions. As a rule of thumb, burn the candle for one hour per one inch in diameter.
  • Don’t leave a lit candle unattended, especially when you have pets or kids at home. 
  • Don’t place the candle too close to other candles, as the heat from the neighboring flame can cause warping, irregular melting, and excess wax dripping.
  • If you notice the candle dripping or about to drip, extinguish the flame and trim the wick down to around a quarter of an inch. Long wicks cause large, flickering flames, resulting in the candle burning faster than usual.
A person lighting a rolled beeswax candle in a concrete holder.

Wrapping Up 

With the right technique, cleaning candle wax off carpets isn’t as arduous as one might initially think. Now you’ll know the easiest way to tackle the task the next time it happens. 

To prevent damaging carpet stains, deal with the wax drips as soon as they happen. The longer spilled wax stays on the carpet, the harder it’ll be to clean. 

For best results, don’t mess with the wax while it’s still hot. If you attempt to dab melting wax away, it’ll spread and fall deeper into the fibers. Instead, accelerate the cooling process by pressing an icepack on the wax.

Once the wax has sufficiently hardened, you can safely scrape away the wax with a dull knife and remove the stain it left. 

Follow the easy cleaning method outlined in the step-by-step tutorial below, and you’ll have just as much success as a professional carpet cleaner.

Cleaning supplies on countertop.
Photo credit: Envato Images.

More Easy Home Cleaning Tutorials

White candles melting on blue cloth.
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5 from 3 votes

How to Get Candle Wax Out of Carpet

Candle wax is a nightmare to remove from carpets. It clings to fiber like a second skin and creates a stain that even the toughest of cleaners can’t seem to get rid of. Don’t worry, though; I’m here to help. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to clean candle wax off carpets using cleaning products you’ll find right at home.
Prep Time10 minutes
Active Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Homemaking
Keyword: how to clean candle wax off carpets
Yield: 1 clean carpet
Author: Jessica Haggard

Equipment

  • Scraper or butter knife
  • Paper towel or paper bag
  • Clean cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner

Materials

  • Icepack
  • Vinegar isopropyl alcohol, or carpet stain cleaner

Instructions

  • Let the Wax Harden: Insert several ice cubes into a resealable plastic bag and place it atop the melted wax. Let the wax cool and harden for about 10 minutes.
  • Scrape Away the Wax: With the help of a scraper or butter knife, gently scrape the wax off the carpet fibers. Use a back-and-forth motion to get it all off. As you do, vacuum the wax residue. Once you remove all the wax, proceed with the next step. See the notes below if you have trouble.
  • Remove the Stain: Dab a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a white terry cloth and blot it into the carpet until the stain is removed. Don’t rub the cloth against the carpet, as doing so may worsen the stain. Vacuum the area one final time, and that’s it—you’ve successfully removed candle wax off your carpet!

Notes

You can also use an ice pack instead of ice cubes in a bag.
As you wait for the wax to harden, make sure that the bag of ice doesn’t leak or add moisture to the wax. The liquid will only make the candle wax even more difficult to remove.
If some wax remains after you scrape it, place a paper bag or paper towel on top of the stubborn candle wax and press a warm iron on the lowest heat, running it back and forth several times. As you do, you’ll notice the wax gets absorbed by the paper towel or bag. Reposition the paper towel several times and repeat the process until all remnants are absorbed.
You can use a blow dryer on medium heat if you don't have an iron. Keep the blow dryer at least five inches away from the paper to prevent it from burning.
If you don’t have alcohol, vinegar diluted in equal parts water or a carpet stain remover works just as well. Spray the solution onto the stain and let it sit for five minutes. Don’t add too much of the solution; you want the carpet wet to the touch but not soaking. When the time is up, grab a clean cloth, blot away the stain, and add more of the solution. Repeat this step several times until the stain disappears completely. Then, let the carpet dry.
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Recipe Rating




Jen

Friday 4th of August 2023

Love that you added an option for those rare few of us who don't have an iron ;) The blowdryer method worked and my knitted table runner has been saved. Thanks!

Erikka

Thursday 3rd of August 2023

My kid's craft project got a little out of hand and we ended up with wax all over one of our area rugs. Thankfully, this method of cleaning worked beautifully and the rug lives to see another day of crafting.

Jessica Haggard

Monday 7th of August 2023

Thanks, Erikka. Happy to hear the crafting can can continue without stress.

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