Regardless of how careful you are with your candles, accidents happen. One slight flick of the wrist, and there can suddenly be more wax on the carpet than there is in the candle holder. But that wax spill needn’t spell the end of your carpet. Not if you act quickly and follow the right steps, in any case.
As Homestratosphere notes, the trick to avoiding any lasting damage is to absorb as much of the wax as possible before it’s had a chance to solidify or attach itself to the fibers of the carpet. As soon as the wax spills, get to work with a terry cloth or a pile of paper towels, pressing it gently into the wax to absorb as much as possible. Once you’ve absorbed what you can, step back and survey the damage. If the wax was clear, you might be lucky enough to have absorbed the lot without leaving any lasting reminder of the spill. If the wax was dyed or the spilled amount was particularly copious, you might have a little work still in front of you.
Here, we look at three of the most popular ways of how to get wax out of the carpet. If the wax stain is particularly gruesome, you can try all three, although it’s recommended you start with the freezing method before moving onto the heating one. Bear in mind you may need to repeat the process several times to fully remove the wax. By the time you’ve finished, the carpet should look as good as new.
The ‘Melt It’ Method
What does wax love to do? You’ve got it – melt. Appeal to its base instinct by applying some heat – just be sure to have a paper bag to hand as you do.
- Step 1 – Start by grabbing your supplies. You’re going to need a brown paper bag, rubbing alcohol, a cloth, paper towels, an iron, and some carpet cleaner. If you don’t have an iron to hand, a warm pan or even a hairdryer will work at a pinch.
- Step 2 – Preheat your iron to a medium setting (don’t be tempted to use too high a heat or a steam setting – you want a warm heat only). Take your brown paper bag and layer it with paper towels. The extra layer will help the bag absorb more of the wax spill.
- Step 3 – Lay the paper bag over the wax. Place a paper towel under the part of the bag that’s not directly located above the wax (this will help stop the stain spreading). Press the iron on top of the bag for a few seconds. The heat of the iron should start melting the wax, which the paper bag will then absorb. Once the one side of the bag has absorbed as much wax as it’s going to, flip it over, and repeat the process on the other side. Depending on the extent of the spill, you might need to think about getting some more bags. Don’t leave the iron on any one spot for more than a few seconds or you risk it burning the carpet.
- Step 4 – Once all the wax has been absorbed, you’ll probably be left with a slightly unsightly stain, especially if the wax was colored. To counter the problem, soak a cloth in some rubbing alcohol and apply it to the stain. Gently rub the cloth into the affected area. Remove the soiled cloth and lay a clean one over the stain. Rest the iron over the cloth for a few seconds so any remaining dye transfers to the cloth.
- Step 5 – Finish off by cleaning the area with a carpet cleaner. If your carpet looks a little worse for wear once you’ve finished, run it over with the vacuum cleaner to help restore it to its former glory.
The ‘Freeze It’ Method
If you’re dealing with a fresh wax spill, try freezing it away with this super easy technique.
- Step 1 – Start by grabbing your supplies. You’re going to need a butter knife, a bag of ice cubes, rubbing alcohol, a carpet cleaning solution, and a vacuum cleaner.
- Step 2 – Place a bag of ice cubes on top of the wax spill– don’t be tempted to remove the ice cubes from the bag and apply directly. As The House Wire notes, this risks the ice melting into the carpet and creating an even bigger mess. Leave the bag to rest on top of the wax for 5 minutes.
- Step 3 – Use a butter knife to gently scrape up the frozen wax. Be careful not to cut into the fibers of the carpet by accident. If there’s still wax remaining after you’ve scraped up as much as you can, place the bag of ice on top for another 5 minutes before repeating.
- Step 4 – Once you’ve removed all traces of the wax, soak a cloth with some rubbing alcohol and then gently dab at the stained area. This will help absorb any dyes or colors that have leaked from the wax into the carpet.
- Step 5 – Finish by cleaning the area with some carpet cleaner before vacuuming to restore the carpet’s texture.
The Vinegar Method
If you have neither ice nor iron, all’s not lost. If you have some white wine vinegar, this simple method should soon have your carpet looking as good as new.
- Step 1 – Start by making your vinegar solution. Deliasphotos recommends you mix vinegar (white wine vinegar is best), lukewarm water, and mild dish soap. Combine the ingredients until they’re fully integrated.
- Step 2 – Fill a spray bottle with the vinegar solution and spray the affected area. Leave it to soak for a few minutes before using a butter knife or the back of a spoon to gently scrape away at the waxy residue.
- Step 3 – Dab at the area with a dry towel and leave it to dry. Keep repeating the process until all the wax has gone. Run the carpet over with a vacuum cleaner as the final step.