Candles add wonderful beauty to our homes but can become great annoyances when they drip onto the carpet. Acting quickly is important to prevent any dyes in the wax from staining and possibly leaving a permanent mark.
The following method is safe for all carpet types and materials.
You Will Need
- Butter knife or any knife with a dull blade
- Vacuum with hose attachment or hand-held vacuum
- Clean white cloth, white paper towels, or brown paper bags
- An iron
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Heavy flat weight like books
How to Remove the Stain
- Gently scrape hardened wax with butter knife to remove as much as possible. If wax is still soft, rub with an ice cube to harden it and then scrape it away.
- Vacuum away any small bits of wax that you have scraped off.
- Preheat an iron to lowest setting with NO STEAM.
- Place a either a white cloth, several paper towels, or a brown paper bag over the wax. Be sure not to use brown paper bags with the words printed on them facing down as they will transfer to your carpet leaving you with another, more difficult stain to remove. Turn the bag inside-out to keep the printed area away from your carpet.
- Gently press the tip of the warm iron over the waxy area until it melts and adheres to the cloth/towel/bag. Keep the iron moving in circular motions to keep from scorching the area. Be careful not to let the iron touch the carpet as it may scorch the fibers.
- When the wax has been absorbed, lift the cloth/towel/bag from the carpet.
- Repeat as necessary, with a clean cloth each time, until no wax remains.
- If dye from the candle remains in your carpet, you will need to tackle that stain next.
- Put some isopropyl alcohol on a cloth, then blot the stain.
- Rotate the cloth to a clean area as the dye is transferred to it. Repeat until the dye no longer appears on your carpet or shows on the cloth when blotted.
- Sponge the area with water to rinse it.
- Blot again until dry.
- Cover the area with a clean cloth or stack of paper towels and put a heavy weight on top (heavy books, etc.).
- Leave that to sit for several hours or overnight to absorb any remaining liquid.
- Remove the weights and towels and let area dry thoroughly.
- Vacuum to return the carpet fibers to their normal texture.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- If wax residue still remains, use a dab of dry-cleaning solvent and blot to remove. Be careful to use only a small amount so it does not damage the carpet backing.
- Prevent more wax spills by buying quality candles. Petroleum candles tend to drop more and contain dyes that are difficult to remove.
- Oriental rugs should be cleaned with caution. If your rug is an antique, silk, or part silk, contact a professional to remove the stain.