Burning candles or melting wax cubes adds a lovely scent to your home. Who doesn't want their rooms to always smell like fresh baked cookies? Unfortunately, all that melted wax can create quite a mess. At one point or another, you're sure to get some wax on your carpet, and it can be difficult to remove. How do you get wax out of the carpet efficiently? We've done some research and have the answer for you.
To get wax out of carpet:
- Use a household iron and a brown paper bag
- Freeze the wax and chip it away
- Use a hairdryer and absorbent rag
- Try dry cleaning solution
Now that you know the basic methods you can use to remove wax from carpet let's discuss each in detail. We'll go over the steps, as well as discuss more questions you might have. Keep reading!
Use a household iron and a brown paper bag
The easiest and most efficient way of getting wax out of your carpet is with a plain, brown paper bag and your clothes iron. Just follow these steps:
- Set the iron to a medium-low setting, no steam. You want it warm enough to melt the wax but not so hot it becomes a fire hazard when paired with the brown paper bag. If you don't have a bag, you may use an absorbent towel.
- Place the paper bag over the wax stain while the iron heats. Try to use a plain paper bag without any print. The heat could transfer the print to your carpet and leave you with a bigger mess. If the bag does have print, try your best to avoid it with the iron.
- Once the iron is warm, slowly press it over the affected area covered with the paper bag. You will see the paper bag begin to absorb the wax.
- After you can see, the wax has absorbed, lift the bag away, and observe the spot.
- If wax remains, repeat the prior steps using a new section of the paper bag.
- Repeat as many times as necessary to remove the wax. If the spot is bad enough, you might need more than one paper bag.
- Use isopropyl alcohol to dissolve any remaining residue.
- Vacuum the area when dry.
Freeze the wax and chip it away
Another way to remove the wax is by freezing it. This method will require a bit more elbow grease than the paper bag method but works if you don't have an iron or paper bag. For this, you'll need a dull knife and an ice pack.
- Apply the ice pack directly to the wax stain. If you don't have an ice pack, you can add ice to a plastic bag.
- Allow the ice to rest on the spot for as long as possible -- until the ice is nearly melted. This is to ensure the wax in the carpet is quite frozen.
- Use a butter knife or other dull object to chip away at the wax until it is removed.
- Use isopropyl alcohol to remove the remaining residue left in the carpet.
- Vacuum the area to restore and fluff the carpet.
Use a hairdryer and absorbent rag
The hairdryer method is similar to the iron and paper bag method, though it will likely take longer to heat the wax with the hairdryer instead of the iron.
- Place the absorbent rag over the carpet with the wax.
- If your hairdryer has a temperature gauge, make it as hot as possible.
- Direct the hot air to the spot, moving the hairdryer slightly in a circular motion to heat the wax evenly.
- Watch the rag for the absorption of the wax.
- Once the rag appears saturated, take a look at the wax spot.
- If quite a bit of wax remains, repeat until the spot is gone.
- Use isopropyl alcohol to cleanse the area and remove the remaining residue.
- Vacuum once the spot is dry to freshen the carpet.
Try dry cleaning solution
If none of the other methods listed above are available to you, or you'd prefer to use a commercial cleaner, then a dry cleaning solution is your best bet. Wax is naturally water-resistant, so a water-based solvent will not handle the wax stain very well.
- Blot the stain as much as you can if it is fresh -- at times, you can absorb much of it with a paper towel or cotton balls.
- Vacuum away any loose particles.
- Apply a small spot of dry cleaning solution to a non-visible spot of your carpet to ensure color-fastness. Check the results. If no discoloration occurs, move on to the next step.
- Saturate the wax stain with the solution.
- Allow the solution to sit for at least five minutes, longer if you can.
- Blot the stain with a light-colored cloth or rag until nothing transfers from the carpet to the rag. Take care not to rub or risk damaging the fibers of your carpet.
- Using a clean cloth, apply water to the stain to rinse it. Blot until none of the solution remains in the carpet.
- Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.
- Vacuum once dry to enliven the carpet.
How Long Does It Take To Get Wax Out Of Carpet?
The length of time it will take to remove the wax from your carpet depends on several factors. If the stain is fresh, the quicker it will be to remove it. Once the wax is set and fully dried, the longer the task will take. At times, you will have to repeat your chosen method several times to get the wax completely out of your carpet. This, of course, adds to the time it will take to complete your cleaning project.
Your timeframe will definitely depend on the method applied as well. With the paper bag method, it should really only take a few moments to remove the stain. If you're using the freeze and chip method, expect to spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour working at the spot, depending on its size.
What Will Dissolve Candle Wax?
As mentioned above, dry cleaning solution is effective at removing candle wax. Any non-water based solvent will be more effective at dissolving the wax than those made with a water-base, as most cleaners are. If you don't want to purchase a specialized cleaner to remove the stain, there are some household items you can try to remove the spot.
Isopropyl alcohol has proven effective at helping to dissolve waxy residue. Perform a spot test first. If that goes well, apply to the spot and allow it to sit. You might have to follow up by using a butter knife or other dull knife (even an old credit card works in a pinch!) and chip away at the wax lingering in your carpet.
Acetone (found in fingernail polish remover) is also effective at dissolving candle wax, though this has more chance of removing the color from your carpet. We can't stress the spot test enough! To apply this method, follow the same steps previously mentioned to use isopropyl alcohol.
What Kind Of Wax Is The Most Difficult To Remove?
The most difficult to remove, hardest wax is pure carnauba wax. Carnauba wax is very dense and has the highest melting point of any other wax. In fact, in its natural state, it is harder than concrete. It actually swells and becomes completely non-porous when exposed to water. For this reason, it is popular in car wax, shoe polish, and furniture polish. If this stuff gets in your carpet, you have your work cut out for you.
Using any method of melting the wax might be out of the question, so if carnauba wax gets in your carpet, it might be best to try the freeze method, use dry cleaning solution, or isopropyl alcohol. Good luck!
Wondering if you can add a new piece of carpet? Read our post, "Can You Patch a Carpet?"
Does Candle Wax Stain Carpet?
Colored candle wax can stain your carpet, so it's important after you remove the wax to clean up any residue. This can be done by using isopropyl alcohol or any other carpet cleaner you have found that is effective at removing stains. Always get to the stain before it sets, or risk it permanently joining with your carpet fibers.
Wax in the carpet doesn't have to be a textile death sentence. Try all the tips above, and you will surely find the solution that works best for you. With a little heat or some solvents that are non-water-based, you'll have your spot cleaned up in no time. Once you're all done, you can get back to enjoying the wax products you love.
Ready for new carpet anyway? Read our post, "How Much Does Carpet Cost?"