how to get wax out of carpet

How to Get Wax Out of Carpet in 7 Easy Ways

When Covid-19 showed up and suddenly struck fear into our hearts, we scampered into the time-tested safety of our homes. That’s when some of us discovered the ethereal, relaxing powers of candle scents. But apparently not everyone figured out how to get wax out of carpets. That’s why I put together this easy-to-follow, practical candle wax removal guide.

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What’s the Best Way of Getting Candle Wax Out of a Carpet?

The best way of getting spilled candle wax out of a carpet is melting it with a warm iron and absorbing it with a brown paper bag. Lay a brown paper bag face-down on the candle wax-stained carpet. Then, plug the iron in and select its lowest heat setting. Push the iron around the paper until the wax starts to melt and seep in. Once an area gets saturated, move to a fresh spot and repeat the process. In just 2 or 3 minutes, the wax absorbs into the paper. If there’s a visible wax stain on the carpet, use a regular carpet stain remover or rubbing alcohol to tackle it. 

7 Simple Ways of Removing Candle Wax from Carpets

Here’s a quick list of 7 effective ways of getting spilled candle wax out of carpets and other fabrics. Most of the wax stain elimination methods described here are heat-based. But the guide also details how to clean up wax on carpets without an iron or heat.

5 Heat-based Methods of Getting Wax out of Carpets

  • Use old newspapers and an iron to get wax out of a carpet.
  • Run a low-heat iron over a brown paper bag.
  • Place a t-shirt over the stained area and rub an iron over it.
  • No brown paper bag? Use paper towels instead.
  • Use a hairdryer on a low-heat or medium-heat setting over the affected spot

2 Zero-heat Methods of Yanking Candle Wax from Carpets

  • Use oil-based solvents such as acetone and rubbing alcohol to dissolve the candle wax stain.
  • Pack ice cubes in a bag and place it on the wax-covered section of the carpet. 

Here’s how to use each of the suggested wax removal methods listed above. Note: If you notice a stain after successfully removing the wax, dab the spot with rubbing alcohol to clear it up. Then, clean the area with a regular carpet cleaner.

1 .Use old Newspapers and an Iron to Get Wax out of Carpet

“Use newspapers and an iron” sums up the sage wisdom many grandmas and moms have dished out for ages. And to be clear, this is practical advice. It works.

Lay a folded newspaper sheet on the problematic spot. Then, run a warm iron over the area for a reasonable amount of time. The heat from the iron gradually melts the wax. And the liquid-y mess seeps into the newspaper.

But there’s one downside to this method: The print on the newspaper might run onto the carpet, staining it. This multiplies your troubles instead of solving the problem.

In fact, newspaper print tends to come off pretty easily. If you’re not sure how your carpet might respond to this treatment, try something else.

I strongly recommend using paper towels or a paper bag instead of old newspapers. Why? Because there’s no snowball’s chance in hell that the bag’s or paper towels’ color will transfer onto the carpet.

2. Run a Low-heat/Medium-heat Iron over a Brown Paper Bag

This is easily the best method of removing stubborn candle wax from a carpet. Here’s what to do:

  • Cut a piece of paper off a brown paper bag and place it face-down on the wax-packed area on the carpet.
  • Choose a low-temperature or medium-heat setting on the iron.
  • Place the iron directly over the spot and start moving it around. After a short duration, the heat from the iron starts melting the wax, which progressively soaks into the paper.
  • It takes between 2 and 5 minutes to implement this method and get a good result. And the best part? This trick works like a charm! Whether you spilled red candle wax or whichever color on the carpet, this approach works sublimely well.  
  • How do you tell which side of the bag is the face?The outside of the bag is its face.I believe that the inner side of the paper bag is sealant-covered. And this would prevent the wax from absorbing into the paper.

3. Place a T-shirt over the Stained Area and Iron

You sure have a T-shirt you don’t care much about lying around. Why not use it to mop up that spilled fragrance wax off your lovely carpet?

Lay the tee on the wax and start rubbing an iron over the spot. Keep in mind that not all kinds of tees will work well.

Some T-shirt fabrics are highly absorbent (think cotton and linen T-shirts). Others such as polyester tees have much lower absorbency rates. If there’s nowhere for the melted wax to go, your wax removal efforts won’t yield a great result.

4. No Paper Bag? Use Paper Towels Instead

OK, I get it. Brown paper bags aren’t always available. But you still have that pile of waxy mess sitting on your carpet and making it look like misery.

Don’t freak out. Instead, get some paper towels and start attacking that pile of worry embedded in your thick pile carpet or rug.

Paper towels work the same way as paper bags, and aren’t they always on hand? Follow the steps described in method #2, except you use paper towels this time around.

5. Run a Hair Dryer on a Low-heat/Medium-heat setting over the Affected Spot

Maybe you don’t have an iron. I don’t blame you. I suppose all the clothes you own are made from polyester blends that don’t need ironing, right?

Fortunately, you can use a hair dryer and get similar results. First, use a blunt tool such as a butter knife or even a spoon to scrape away most of the wax. Then, clean up the bits that chip off with a vacuum cleaner.

Then, lay a damp towel on the stain. Next, plug in your hair dryer and select a low or medium-heat setting. Run the hair dryer over the towel to melt the wax.

Once most of the wax soaks into the towel, use some rubbing alcohol to clear up any colored stains. Finally, treat the area with a regular carpet cleaner and leave it to dry.

Wondering how you can get wax out of a carpet without using heat? Read on.

6. Dissolve the Wax Using Oil-based Solvents

Oil-based solvents such as acetone and rubbing alcohol/ Isopropyl alcohol are another effective remedy for dried-on wax in carpets. 

Don’t have acetone? Don’t worry, because you most likely have some around. If you or your SO uses nail polish remover (who doesn’t?), use that. Nail polish removers contain acetone, and you can use this common product to dissolve wax on carpets.

How to Use Rubbing Alcohol or Acetone to Remove Wax from a Carpet

Before using acetone or alcohol on any kind of carpet, make sure to read the manufacturer’s care label. Acetone is a no-no on fabrics such as modacrylic, acetate, and triacetate.

By the way, all three fibers are a type of rayon. When acetone comes into contact with any of these semi-synthetic fabrics, they dissolve! And you’re trying to dissolve spilled candle wax, not your carpet!

This method works best if you can flip over the wax-stained part of the carpet. If it’s an area rug or a small carpet, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if it’s a large, heavy carpet and the stained area sits in the center, the method might prove too much of a hassle.

Do this: Fold the carpet or flip it over so that the wax-stained area faces down and the backing faces up. Then, fold a towel and set it between the folded portions of the carpet. The problem area now sits between the stained spot and the folded towel.

Moisten a cotton swab or a soft absorbent cloth with nail polish or rubbing alcohol. Then, start dabbing at the wax stain.

The wax melts away in no time. Mop it up and then spot-clean the area as you normally would. Note: If you use acetone (nail polish) for this task, make sure to steam-clean the area before cleaning it.

7. Cool the Wax and Then Yank It from the Carpet

Here’s another heat-free method of removing solidified wax from a carpet. The idea here is to cool the wax, making it easier to yank it from the carpet.

Here’s what to do: put ice cubes into a plastic bag. Then, place the bag on the wax-covered area and wait.

After about 10 minutes or a little longer, the wax is cool enough to come off the carpet. Use a tool with a blunt edge such as a butter knife to separate the cooled wax from the carpet.

Usually, tiny pieces of wax remain in the spaces between the fibers. Worry not about them. Do this instead:

Pick the bits up with a vacuum cleaner. Attach the upholstery tool and lift up these hard, tiny pieces of wax. If traces of the wax’s color are still noticeable on the carpet at this point, use a cloth dampened with Isopropyl alcohol to dab the stain before cleaning the carpet as you normally would.

Here’s another trick: Cool the waxy, oily patch with ice cubes. Then, smash the cooled wax with a hammer. Finally, pick up the bits that break off with a vacuum cleaner.

Candle Wax on Carpet FAQs

Does Candle Wax Stain Carpets?

Wax is the main material used to make candles, and regardless of where the wax originates, it’s oil-based. When a candle melts onto a carpet, the oil, wax, and dye (if it’s a colored candle) can (and often do) stain the carpet.

What Dissolves Candle Wax on Carpets?

Oil-based solvents such as nail polish and rubbing alcohol easily dissolve wax on carpets. Be careful when using these solvents as some can seriously damage your carpet.

How Do You Get Spilled Candle Wax Out of a Carpet?

Cover the oily, waxy stain with a brown paper bag or paper towels and rub a warm iron over it. The melted wax seeps into the paper, solving the problem. Alternatively, run a low or medium-heat hair dryer over a damp towel laid on the stain to blot it up. Other effective strategies include using acetone or rubbing alcohol to dissolve the wax. Cooling the wax with ice cubes and then separating it from the carpet with a blunt tool also works.

How Do You Get Candle Wax Out of a Carpet Without an Iron?

If you don’t have an iron on hand, use a hair dryer or ice cubes to get wax out of your carpet.

Final Thoughts

Inhaling heavenly fragrances from scented candles helps us unwind after a grueling work week. If some of the wax melts onto the carpet and stains it, the mess isn’t too hard to clean up if you follow the tips this post presents.

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