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How to Get Candle Wax Out of a Carpet

A thoughtfully crafted candle made from high-quality materials can burn for hours, filling your home with a delightful fragrance. Whether you prefer warm and woody fragrances that create a sense of comfort or bright and fruity aromas that invigorate your body and mind, the right candle can shape your mood and overall atmosphere.

While lighting and enjoying a candle is simple enough, sometimes accidents happen. If you go to move the candle or it gets knocked over and spills wax, the cleanup can seem impossible — especially if that wax gets on your carpet or upholstered surfaces.

Wax can be tough to get out of carpeting and upholstered surfaces, but it is possible and it’s important to do right or you risk damaging the surface with cleaning agents.

Here’s what you need to know.

First Things First…

Before you even try to get candle wax out of your carpet, you need to make sure it doesn’t spread. Try not to panic and, whatever you do, don’t start scrubbing at the soft wax. You’ll only drive it deeper into the carpet.

What you need to do in this situation is help the wax go from a liquid back to a solid.

To do this you’ll want to place an ice bag or a bag of ice cubes wrapped in a thin towel on top of the wax. The goal is to harden the melted wax as quickly as possible, so it doesn’t spread, but you want to keep the wax from getting wet. While waiting for the wax to harden, take a closer look at the carpet to determine what kind of material it is made from.

Carpet is typically made from some kind of synthetic or natural fiber – sometimes a combination of both. One of the most common synthetic carpeting materials is nylon. It’s inexpensive and highly durable – its resistance to wear and tear makes it one of the easier materials to remove wax from. Natural fibers like wool can be more difficult because they tend to be more absorbent.

4 Steps to Remove Wax from Carpet

Once you’ve hardened the wax and determined your carpeting material, it’s time to get to work. You’ll need an iron, a paper towel or terry-cloth towel, carpet cleaning solution, a butter knife, and a vacuum.

1. Scrape off as much wax as you can.

Using a butter knife or another dull knife, scrape off as much of the wax as you can. Depending on the type of carpet and the amount of wax, you may be able to get rid of all of it with this step alone. If you’ve removed most of the wax but some remains, however, move on to the next step.

2. Use the iron to melt the remaining wax.

Cover the wax stain with a paper towel or terry-cloth towel. If you have neither, a paper bag will work as well. Turn your iron on to a low temperature and let it heat up. Carefully rub the iron over the towel or bag. As the heat from the iron melts the wax, the towel or bag will absorb it.

Be sure to keep the temperature on the iron low. If it’s too high, it could start melting the fibers of your carpet – especially if they’re synthetic fibers. As you work, you may need to reposition the towel or bag when one area becomes saturated with melted wax.

3. Thoroughly clean the carpet.

After removing as much wax as possible, clean the carpet as thoroughly as you can. Apply a commercial cleaning solution (or rubbing alcohol) to the area and blot with a clean white cloth until the wax stains are gone. Once you’ve removed the stains, keep blotting the carpet to remove excess moisture.

4. Vacuum the carpet.

When the carpet is dry, vacuum it to restore the texture. If you have an upholstery attachment for your vacuum, even better. If not, move the vacuum back and forth over the area until the texture of the treated area looks like the rest of the carpet.

Removing wax from carpet is possible, but it can be a labor-intensive process – one you won’t be eager to repeat. In the future, taking a few simple precautions can reduce the risk of spilled wax and the necessary cleanup that follows.

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