Some may say a carpet is a staple of any room; often it’s what ties the whole place together. We might argue that candles are the true accent piece but that’s an argument for another day. Candle wax is a funny little science experiment and there are a whole set of rules and expectations you need to be ready for. While candles in jars may not consistently lead to carpet problems: mistakes happen, kids get creative, and a general reaction to heat can lead to unwanted limb flailing. In preparing for the worst, here are a few tips and methods for when wax does get a hold of your carpet.
First and foremost, as always: never panic. We know it’s carpet and literally anything that is not carpet related is the worst to get out. Fear not, we have a solution; break out the wine [don’t spill that] and get ready for a little cleaning project.
The Ice Method
For this method, you will need ice in some form (pack, frozen food, wrapped, etc.), a butter knife, and a vacuum for later. You want to freeze the wax that’s on the carpet so it hardens and lifts off with simple scraping. Use your ice – or similarly frozen bag – to freeze the wax. The trick is to turn it into a solid, making it easier to separate from the carpet. Be careful as you do this though, you don’t want the ice to sweat; moisture is the enemy here. After the ice has frozen, simply use the butter knife to scrape out the wax. It should come out in chunks and you don’t need to scrape so hard because you do still want to keep the carpet fibers intact. Finally, use the vacuum to pick up all the pieces of wax: a hose might be best, but we trust your judgement.
Ideally, this is enough to remove the wax but it can be stubborn. Also, like other carpet stains, it’s easy to move quickly past the surface so it might help to put in a little more work. For that, you can use the following method.
Do note that these methods can be used on their own but we recommend performing them sequentially as they are outlined here. With that said, after trying the freezing method (though, you don’t have to), this method will help you get a deeper clean. This will help limit and remove any stain, making it especially useful if you’ve dropped a dyed wax.
For this method, you need a thick cotton towel or similar cloth and a heat source like an iron (no steam) or hair dryer. The iron works better as it is a more direct source of heat and pressure but, use what you have. Start by wetting the towel so it is damp and absorbent. Then, place that towel over the wax on the carpet. If you use the iron, you would do so over the towel. If you are using a dryer: apply heat first, then dab and absorb. Basically, you want to melt the wax and act quickly enough to transfer it onto the towel. You may need to repeat this process a few times to get all the wax out. It should do a good job of removing all the wax and the only part remaining is regular carpet care.
After you believe to have removed all of the dropped wax, you may have a damp carpet. At this point, just let it dry as you would normally: allowing it to air out or putting a dry towel to soak up as much wetness. Once your carpet is dry, take extra care and add carpet cleaner to the previously waxy area. If there are any stains, you may want to put some rubbing alcohol on a cloth and dab until the color is gone. Wax comes in many forms, so it’s purely up to you how much more you want or need to clean. After these final applications and after the carpet is dry, just run the vacuum over the area once more to revive its natural texture.
Ideally, you will never run into this problem. It is always better to be preventative but there’s only so much for which you can prepare, which is why we’re here, sharing these tips and helping to keep your space exactly how you want it.