Saying that keeping a carpet clean is a hectic job is a gross understatement. But a wax spill on a carpet is mess in a league of its own. However, you shouldn’t let the fond memories of your candlelight dinners and successful Halloween parties be tainted with the frustration of dealing with wax stains.
In an active household, a carpet takes a lot of hits in various forms of liquid spills including wine, coffee, tea and bodily fluids like blood, vomit or pet urine.
Liquid spills are usually more difficult to clean than solid debris like food crumbs or dirt, as the latter can easily be vacuumed. Liquid spills soak into the carpet if not immediately taken care of and are not easily cleaned.
Then there are spills like wax that are liquid to begin with, but become one with the carpet as they solidify.
Hot wax, when spilled on your carpet, seeps into the fabric of the carpet like any other liquid. As it solidifies, it becomes embedded into the fibers of the carpeting. The soft, slippery and sticky texture of the wax makes it seemingly impossible to get it out.
No amount of unplanned, coarse effort will take that wax stain out of your carpet. But with a little strategy, not only can you remove candle wax from carpet fast and easy, but you can also restore the condition of your carpet.
Here’s how you deal with the hopeless mess of a wax spill:
Steps to Clean Wax from a Carpet
Things you’ll need:
- Ice cubes
- Butter knife
- Paper towel, white
- Rubbing alcohol
Step 1. Freeze and scrape away at the wax
First, you need to take out as much solid wax as you possibly can. Freezing the wax will further harden it, so that it can be easily scraped off.
- Put some ice cubes in a bowl and place it over the wax stain. Use an ice pack if needed, as the entire patch of wax should be completely covered by the ice.
- Let it remain in place for a few minutes to freeze the wax, allowing it to harden.
- Use a dull and rounded knife, such as a butter knife, to scrape off as much of the hardened wax as you can without damaging the fibers of your carpet.
- If the wax spill is quite thick, you may need to repeat the first step until you remove the entire wax caked onto the surface of the carpet. This will make the next steps easier.
Step 2. Use heat to remove more of the wax
After removing the caked-on bulk of the wax, you can lift off the remaining wax using the heat from an iron. The heat melts the wax. The melted wax then gets absorbed into a paper towel. Using a white paper towel prevents further staining of the carpet.
- Preheat your iron on a high heat setting. If your iron has a steam feature, turn it off.
- Put a white paper towel over the wax stain.
- Place the hot iron over the paper towel for 10 seconds. Melted wax will get absorbed into the paper towel.
- Discard the paper towel and place a fresh paper towel over the wax stain. Again, heat the paper towel for 10 seconds.
- Repeat this step, using a fresh paper towel every time, until the paper towel comes up clean after being heated.
Step 3. Finish using rubbing alcohol and vacuuming
If you spilled colored wax on your carpet, the stain may stay behind even after the wax is gone, giving your carpet a discolored look. Rubbing alcohol can remove stains from your carpet.
While most of the embedded wax is removed using the above steps, rubbing alcohol will dissolve any remaining traces of the wax. Vacuuming afterwards will help restore the look of the carpet.
- Put a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.
- Lightly dab at the stain with the soaked cotton ball until the stain is removed.
- Vacuum the carpet to get rid of the frayed look that may result from the cleaning process. This will also remove any remaining traces of wax loosened by the rubbing alcohol.
- A wax spill should be immediately blotted away with paper towels in order to prevent it from setting. The remaining can be cleaned out with the help of an iron.
- Depending on the fibers of your carpet, the wax may set in deep or stay mostly at the surface. Taking this into consideration, you may need to repeat the first or second step multiple times.
- Don’t keep the iron over the paper towel for more than 10 seconds at a time to prevent any potential fire hazard or scorching of your carpet fibers.
- Colored wax should be cleaned up immediately. Allowing it to sit may stain the carpet.
- Use rubbing alcohol in moderation, as it can dissolve the glue that holds the fibers to the carpet backing. Avoid rubbing and scouring, which may loosen the fibers.