How to Get Candle Wax Out of Carpet

How to Get Candle Wax Out of Carpet

Spill a bit of candle wax onto a rug or carpet? Whether you caused a few splatters from hurriedly blowing out a candle or had a guest who knocked over a candle jar accidentally, we’ve got you covered! 

In this step-by-step guide, Homesick reveals the absolute easiest and most efficient way to clean up the mess and return your carpet or area rug as good as new. Discover how to get candle wax out of carpet so you never have to fret about spilled wax. Plus, learn a few tips and expert advice on protecting your candles so you can prevent candle wax spills from happening again.

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How to Get Candle Wax Out of Carpet

Let’s say your cottage rental guests accidentally tipped over some beach candles while enjoying margarita and movie night. And you come to find an already-hardened waxy blob on your living room rug or carpet. Aside from replacing the carpet, which could be expensive if it’s wall-to-wall, what do you do? 

First, remain calm. Getting wax out of carpet is a relatively straightforward process, so no worries! Here is how to get candle wax out of carpet, along with the cleaning supplies.

Here are the items you’ll need to get the job done:

items you’ll need to get the job done

  • Plastic bag
  • Ice cubes
  • Butter knife
  • Vacuum
  • Clothes iron
  • White cotton towels
  • Carpet stain remover
  • Spoon
  • Paper towels

Step One: Scrape and Remove the Wax

The first step to getting candle wax out of carpet is to remove what you can first. However, the trick is not to rub it in further. So how do you get candle wax out of carpet without creating a bigger mess? Here is how to scrape and remove what you can of the hardened wax. 

If the wax spill accident has just occurred, you’ll need to harden it. Filling a plastic bag with ice cubes, lay it over the wax for several minutes, allowing the pool to cool and harden. 

Taking a dull butter knife (not something sharp!), scrape any hardened wax loose as best you can. In this step, the key is to be gentle. Specific types of carpet, such as Berber, can fray easily and you could cause more damage in the long run. 

Next, vacuum up any bits and chunks of candle wax, ideally with an upholstery attachment. Scrape up more wax, as needed, and vacuum again. 

It’s also worth noting: Scraping the carpet, even with a dull butter knife, could leave behind a fuzzy patch. If this happens, don’t worry! All you have to do is take a sharp pair of scissors, lay them flat against the carpet and trim the fuzz away.

Once you separate most of the candle wax from the carpet fibers, you’re ready for your next step!

Steps to clean carpet

Step Two: Dampen and Iron the Carpet

With most of the candle wax delicately chipped away and scraped up, it’s time to remove the rest of the more caked-in wax below the surface. 

Set your iron on the “high” setting and take the white cotton towels and dampen them. This will help create a steam effect and protect the carpet beneath. Fold over the damp towel and place it over the wax, pressing it with the hot iron for approximately 10 seconds. Essentially, the heat of the iron will draw the wax from the carpet as the towel catches and absorbs it. 

Repeat this step until the wax is gone. While 10 seconds is a minimum hold time, you can reach up to 30 seconds if the wax is being stubborn. 

summer camp candle

Should the towels begin to dry, make sure to rewet them. You also might find your towels accumulating wax. If this happens, simply toss the wax-saturated towel aside and grab a new one. 

Step Three: Clean the Carpet

Even once you remove all the wax with a butter knife, iron and wet towels, there will still be a visible stain or slight discoloration. To return your carpet back to new, you’ll need some heavy-duty carpet cleaner. 

With the carpet cleaner of your choice, spray the stain and scrub it into the carpet with a spoon. At this juncture, be sure to follow the directions provided by the carpet cleaner in regards to timing. Some might ask that the cleaner is dabbed up immediately, while others might suggest waiting a few minutes. Whatever the instructions say, once the time is up, dab up the area with a clean paper towel. 

Lastly, allow the carpet to air dry. Be patient with this step. What might appear as a lingering stain could merely be a damp carpet. Give it time and wait for the results. 

Keep in mind that if your carpet is a light-colored hue and your candle wax was dark, it could take a bit more elbow grease and a few more scrubs. 

quote candle

How to Prevent Candle Wax Spills

Now that you’ve tackled the spill and have learned how to get candle wax out of carpet, you might be wondering — How do I prevent this from ever happening again? Here are a few ways to avoid candle wax spills in the first place, from common-sense methods to candle care tips.

Place Lit Candles Out of Reach

Candles offer decorative accent pieces on a coffee table or bedside nightstand. But if you (or your kids or dog) are accident-prone, place the candle somewhere else temporarily while it is lit. Keep it higher on a fireplace mantel or shelf, out of reach of rambunctious kids and wagging tails. In other words, just be mindful of your candle's placement. Even a strong gust of wind by a window or airflow from an AC unit can scatter fine wax particles.

candle lights on a white shelf

Store Candles Properly

Learning how to store candles properly can prevent a wax mishap, too. The last thing you want is to store candles in a warm attic or freezing basement where they can pre-melt or harden, weakening the wax when you light the candle again. Keep them stored at room temperature, even when not in use! Luckily, unlike tapered and pillar candles, Homesick candles feature a reusable glass jar that keeps the wax held intact. 

It’s also important to consider fire safety. Besides splattering wax, blowing out a candle can also send sparks and embers flying. Since candles are a potential fire hazard, it's important to store them out of reach and away from children and pets, as we mentioned, but also to avoid storing them in cardboard boxes. 

Use a Wax Dipper or Snuffer

Never blow out the flame with your breath. Filling your lungs up and blowing the candle out forcefully can almost guarantee splatters. Not to mention, it can disrupt the pool of wax, making it uneven which, in turn, can shorten the lifespan of your candle. And the last thing you want to do is burn through your personalized candles faster than is necessary. 

Instead of huffing and puffing and blowing your candle out, reach for a candle wick dipper or candle snuffer. Using one of these candle tools will ensure a splatter-free carpet, wood furniture or whatever and wherever you choose to rest your candle.

Use Reed Diffusers

Want to avoid spilled candle wax entirely? Use a reed diffuser instead! Homesick reed diffusers offer the same wonderful scents you love without the worry over messy wax.  

Are candles bad for dogs? Is it safe for those who suffer from asthma? Used correctly, candles are perfectly safe. However, reed diffusers are also an excellent alternative for those concerned about a home’s indoor air quality or using an open flame. Reed diffusers can emit a scent all day long, lending spaces a lovely aroma as soon as you arrive home. 

Use Reed Diffusers

Use a Reed Diffuser So You Don't Have to Worry Over Spilled Wax

Use a Candle Adhesive

While this solution is more for tapered candles and pillars, it’s a really practical one. By using something like the Fox Run Stick-Um Candle Adhesive, you can pretty much guarantee your tall tapered candles won’t go falling out of the decorative candlestick holder and flying off the shelf. A simple but effective method! 

Use Drip-Proof Candleholders

Ideally, your candle should be standing as straight and upright as possible. However, that’s sometimes tricky to do. In these circumstances (or any other time, really), an easy solution would be to simply use drip-proof candleholders. Whatever style of candle holder you choose, you can also add small accessories, such as candle rings or a bobeche. A bobeche is essentially a tiny bowl with a center hole the candle slips into. While some bobeches feature flatter-shaped bowls than others, the function is the same: to catch any drips that might occur.

Hopefully, this guide has provided some insight into removing wax from your carpet. The next time your expensive wool area rug or wall-to-wall carpet encounters spilled wax, you’ll be ready and armed — with a butter knife, bag of ice and iron, that is!  

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