How to Remove Wax From a Carpet

A pro shares his method for making ugly wax drips disappear

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.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Scrap, dampen and spray

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).

The only tools you'll need are a butter knife, a spoon, an iron and white cotton towels.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Heavy duty carpet cleaner

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