How to Get Candle Wax Out of Carpet

You don't have to cry over spilled wax, even when it creates a mess on your favorite carpet. Remove the unsightly mess using a combination of cold and hot treatments, a little blotting and a little scraping, returning the carpet to its original wax-free state once again.

Three candle
credit: Alexander Kuzovlev/iStock/Getty Images
Treat wax spills as soon as you notice them for easiest removal.

Blot the Spot

If the wax is so fresh it's still warm, wet and somewhat liquid, blot it up with plain paper towels. Place a folded paper towel -- or a stack of them -- directly atop the wet wax, pressing down gently without rubbing or wiping the spill, which may spread the wax. As the wax absorbs into the paper, replace the paper towels with fresh ones. Continue blotting until no more wax transfers over to the paper.

A Chilling Treatment

If the melted wax is anything but firm, cool it off with ice to make it easier to remove. Place a few ice cubes into a zippered sandwich bag -- as many as you need to cover the waxy area completely. Seal the bag and place it atop the waxed carpet for several minutes. Remove the bag; then scrape the wax using the bowl of a plastic spoon. Pick up loose bits of wax and deposit them into a nearby trash can or vacuum them up before they become embedded in the carpet fibers. Be gentle when scraping the carpet to avoid damaging looped fibers in some carpet types, such as Berber.

Warm It Up

While freezing and scraping removes some wax, it may not remove wax partially absorbed by the fibers in the carpet. Cover the affected carpet area with absorbent plain white paper or an old absorbent white towel or cloth such as a cotton rag. Warm a clothing iron to a low-heat setting without steam; then iron the paper or cloth, moving the iron every few seconds. Lift the iron and replace the paper or cloth as soon as you notice a waxy, wet-looking stain on the material. It may take quite a bit of paper or cloth to completely remove the wax. Avoid using a hot setting on the iron, as some carpets may be damaged from the heat. Do not set the hot iron plate directly on the carpet.

Color Control

Sometimes spilled wax leaves behind a bit of color, such as red wax from a melted candle or scented-wax pot. If a bit of color remains after cleaning up all of the wax, treat the spot by dabbing rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on a white cloth over the stained area. Blot the spot without rubbing, switching to a fresh area of the cloth once it starts picking up the color. Test the alcohol or peroxide in an inconspicuous area of the carpet first, such as inside a closet, if you're concerned that it may discolor the carpeting.