Candle wax accidentally dripped on a plush carpet may look like a hopeless mess, but with a cool head, a hot iron, and a few tricks of the trade, you can make a big wax mess disappear.
Scrape the wax loose with a butter knife (be gentle with Berber carpets; the loops fray easily). Vacuum up the loose wax and scrape off any remaining wax chunks.
Dampen a white cotton towel, fold it in half and place it over the wax. Press an iron set on “high” over the towel for 10 seconds. The heat will draw the wax out of the carpet and into the towel. Repeat until the wax is gone (you may have to hold the iron in place for up to 30 seconds). If the towel dries out, rewet it, and if it becomes loaded with wax, grab another one.
Spray carpet cleaner on the stain and scrub it into the carpet with a spoon. Dab it dry with a clean white towel, then let the carpet air-dry (it will appear slightly darker until completely dry). Light-colored carpets and dark stains may require several scrubbings.
Your holiday party was going Great—until your favorite aunt (who probably had had a little too much eggnog) knocked a lit candle onto the carpet. Everybody's quick to offer the old standby solution of ironing over a paper bag, but when I asked a professional carpet cleaner how he does it, I heard a different story. A paper bag can overheat and burn the carpet, and should not be used to remove wax. Instead, round up a butter knife, spoon, iron, carpet stain remover and white cotton towels. The following steps will leave your carpet cleaner than a surgeon's fingernails.
Photo 1 shows how to remove the large chunks of wax from the surface. You should get rid of most of the wax at this stage. Scraping the knife against the carpet will probably leave the area a little fuzzy. To remove the fuzz, lay a scissors flat on the carpet. Push down lightly on the pivot of the scissors, and trim off any fuzz.
Now it's time to use a heat exchange to reach deep down into the heart of the carpet fibers to draw out the remaining wax (Photo 2).
There's a good chance the wax will discolor the area, especially in a light-colored carpet. Take out the spot with heavy-duty carpet stain remover (Photo 3).