The last couple of months we have been focusing on holiday specific stains. Our October blog focused on the removal of the most common Halloween stains from real and fake blood. Our November blog discussed how to remove popular Thanksgiving stains, including: cranberry sauce, gravy, wine, yams and tracked in mud from guests. To complete the holiday collection, we thought it pertinent to cover how to remove candle wax from carpet. This is one of the most common questions Rug Doctor gets at this time of year. Between Hanukkah and Christmas, December is a big candle month. In fact, December 4th is National Candle Day. With so many candles burning (or wax melting), it is inevitable for some of that candle wax to make its way to carpet fibers.
Does Candle Wax Stain?
Yes. Coloring from candle wax can stain carpet. Candle wax spills are stressful. Once the wax cools and hardens it can be very difficult to remove from any kind of surface, especially carpet. Rug Doctor gets it, and we are here to help. Removing candle wax stains from carpet and rugs is easier than other food and beverage stains like tomato sauce or wine, but it takes a little more time and finesse.
How to Remove Candle Wax
Before we get into the steps for removal, let’s talk about what NOT to do. Other resources may tell you to use an iron to melt the wax and transfer it onto another fabric. Using a hot iron near or on your carpet puts your carpet at great risk for damage. Damage from the iron method of removal also has potential to void your carpet warranty. Instead, follow the steps below to safely remove candle wax from carpet and rugs.
You’ll need the following items:
- blunt knife (like a butter knife)
- vacuum cleaner
- white paper towels
- white sponge or cloth
- hair drier
- oil-fighting cleaning solution (like Rug Doctor Spot and Pre-Treat Dual Action Cleaner)
- After the wax has dried, gently scrape the area with a blunt knife to remove large chunks of hardened wax. Take care when scraping as to not damage carpet fibers.
- Use a vacuum to remove the loose particles that you have scraped out of the carpet.
- Repeat these steps until you think you have removed as much as possible.
- If any wax remains after a few rotations of scrape and vacuum, place a clean, damp white towel over the entire area of the stain.
- Use a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting and blow the warm air over the towel while pressing the towel into the stain. Any wax left in the carpet should melt and absorb into the towel. Repeat this step until all of the wax is removed.
- Coloring from the candle wax is likely to cause discoloration of the affected area. Since candle wax is an oil-based stain, it is important to use a solution that is specifically designed to fight oil stains on carpet. We recommend Rug Doctor Spot and Pre-Treat Dual Action Cleaner because it is scientifically engineered to lift oil stains from carpet and other fabrics. Spray the area generously and saturate the stain.
- Use a white sponge or cloth to gently agitate the stain. Work your way from the edge of the stain inward towards the center to contain the stain in its original area and not make it larger.
- Blot with a white paper towel, pressing deep into the stain.
- Spray water on the stain to rinse, and blot with a white paper towel again, pressing deep into the stain.
- Repeat use of cleaner until discoloration is gone before allowing carpet to completely dry.
Candle Wax Spill Prevention
The best way to keep wax stains off your carpet is by preventing spills in the first place. The three best ways to do so are:
- Never place a burning candle on carpet. Even if the candle is in a glass jar or candle holder, it should be placed on a hard, study surface to prevent tip-overs and spills. That goes for candle wax warmers, too. Placing candles and warmers directly on soft fabrics or carpet is also a serious fire hazard.
- Make sure the candle wax is completely cooled and hardened into a solid state before moving.
- Cup the flame before blowing it out to prevent splattering.
Candles and candle wax warmers add a nice ambiance and pleasant fragrance to any room. They set a calming and inviting mood and can add a nice touch to your holiday décor. Hopefully, now that you are prepared with this knowledge, a little candle wax spill won’t be as upsetting. Rug Doctor wishes you the happiest of holidays. We’ll see you next year!