How to Remove Wax from Carpet

Candles add wonderful beauty to our homes but can become great annoyances when they drip onto your carpet. Acting quickly is important to removing the wax along with any dyes it contains before they leave 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
  • Iron
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Sponge
  • Heavy weight

How to Remove the Stain

  1. Gently scrape hardened wax with butter knife to remove as much as possible. If wax is still soft, rub with ice cube to harden and then scrape away.
  2. Vacuum away any small bits of wax that you have scraped off.
  3. Preheat iron to lowest setting with NO STEAM.
  4. Place white cloth/paper towel/brown paper bag over the wax. Be sure not to use brown paper bags with words printed on them as they will transfer to your carpet leaving you with another, more difficult stain to remove.
  5. 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.
  6. When the wax has been absorbed, lift the cloth/towel/bag from the carpet.
  7. Repeat as necessary, with a clean cloth each time, until no wax remains.
  8. If dye from the candle remains in your carpet, you will need to tackle that stain next.
  9. Place a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the spot. Be careful not to allow the alcohol to absorb deeply into the carpet as it can loosen the glue that holds the fibers in place.
  10. Blot with a clean white cloth to remove. Repeat until the dye no longer appears on your carpet or shows on the cloth when blotted.
  11. Sponge with water to rinse the area.
  12. Blot again until dry.
  13. Cover stain with clean cloth or stack of paper towels and put heavy weight on top (heavy books, etc.)
  14. Leave set for several hours or overnight to absorb any remaining liquid.
  15. Remove weights and towels and let area dry thoroughly.
  16. Vacuum to return fibers to normal texture.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Be careful not to let the iron touch the carpet as it may scorch the fibers.
  • 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.


  1. I followed the how to remove wax from carpet step by step and so far so perfect! I have the clean paper held by a box of books… to be continued tomorrow. By the way, the wax has been there over three months!

  2. I’ll be using this information tonight when all are asleep. The stain has been on there since Thanksgiving!

    Thanks so much, Maureen

  3. I was amazed; my candle was white, so the entire process only took about 15 minutes. WOW!

  4. Worked!!!! Thank you!!!!

  5. How remove/reduce/camouflage cigarette burns/holes from carpet?
    Thanks in advance,

  6. David,
    This is the article that you need: How to Remove Cigarette Burns from Carpet.

  7. So glad these articles stay up. My daughter was making candles last night and her younger sister hit the melted wax and knocked the freshly poured candle over on to the new carpet. Really hope this works.

  8. Thank you! It worked great!!!!

  9. This worked a treat; thank you so much!!!

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