How to Get Candle Wax Out Of Your Carpet

Removing Candle Wax From Carpet

Today’s post comes from the “Kaitlyn Files.” :-)

Kaitlyn writes:

When I was a freshman in college I had this candle warmer that always sat on my desk in my tiny dorm room. We weren’t allowed to have open flames, so most of the girls in my dorm used candle warmers to add a nice scent and a little homeyness to our rooms.

If you aren’t familiar with a candle warmer, it’s a little hot plate of sorts that you set a glass jar candle on and it heats up the wax to release the scent. It’s a nifty device! The only drawback is that it melts the entire candle pretty quickly and as long as you leave the warmer turned-on you have a container full of hot wax sitting on your table. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem unless you are a bit of a klutz like me ;)

Like I said, I always had this warmer going when I was in my dorm room. One day I was making my bed and somehow knocked a pillow onto my desk and right into the hot wax. The candle and candle warmer fell off the desk, spilling wax all over the carpeted floor. I about had a heart attack knowing I would have a big repair bill if the carpet was ruined.

Luckily, one of my girl friends knew just what to do to clean up the wax. This simple trick totally saved me!


Removing Candle Wax From Carpet

The technique is almost identical to Jillee’s method for getting stains out of carpet except you don’t use any ammonia. The only tools you need are an iron and a nice, thick stack of newspaper.

Turn your iron on to its hottest setting and turn off the steam function.


Removing Candle Wax From Carpet

Place a piece of newspaper over the wax and then press the iron down onto the paper. I recommend kind of pressing down and moving it around a bit so you don’t burn the paper or the carpet beneath it.


Removing Candle Wax From Carpet

After a few seconds lift the iron and you’ll see that the wax has started to melt into the paper. Once you have a nice spot of wax soaked up, grab a fresh piece of newspaper so you don’t end up melting wax onto your iron.

Repeat the process until all of the wax is lifted out of the carpet.

I feel I should point out that this takes awhile to complete! You have to be patient, but it does work eventually.



Removing Candle Wax From Carpet

For the purposes of this post I dumped some wax on a small carpet remnant and it took me about 30 minutes to get the wax out of that tiny area. And I went through a lot of newspaper!


Removing Candle Wax From Carpet

About halfway through I decided to try using a towel and it actually worked a lot better than the newspaper. If you have some old towels lying around that you don’t mind messing up I would actually use that instead of newspaper. But the beauty of the newspaper is that you don’t have to ruin any towels. It just takes a bit longer because it’s not as absorbent.


Removing Candle Wax From Carpet

(When I dumped out my wax I ended up getting some soot from the burnt wick onto the carpet. You can still see a little bit of black, but that’s because it was difficult to effectively vacuum this tiny piece of carpet.)

And there you have it! Carpet that appeared to be ruined, looks good as new!


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    • marion says

      i had candle wax a few times on my couch and carpet…love this article however i use brown paper bags or brown paper grocery bags,,,,tear it in little pieces and it works great every time!!

  1. Lisa says

    I got a few drops of wax from a candle on a shirt of mine (with chiffon-like ruffled fabric!) Would the same method work on this?

    • Becky says

      Maybe try ice on it to harden the wax, then break/scrape as much as possible off? Not sure your fabric can handle the heat. : )

    • CTY says

      Instead of the iron I would try a blow dryer on the shirt; I would turn the air on from the back to allow the wax to back out rather than risk pushing it further into the fabric. Hopefully, there was no oil mixed with the wax.

    • Kaitlyn Nystul says

      Hi Lisa! I can’t guarantee that this wouldn’t ruin your shirt but I might actually try the iron. Carpet definitely melts if you put an iron straight on it but it just barely gets warm with this method.

    • ex army girl says

      I got wax on a pretty fancy dress from a candlelight Christmas service a few years back. This method with the iron & a stack of paper towels or a rag you don’t care about works just fine, since it should be a thick enough layer between the iron & the material. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds as the paper towels or rags soak it up really quick.

      Also, when I was stationed in the Kentucky/Tennesee area while in the Army, I rented a place that had HUGE wax spots in several places. The owners LOVED me, as they had been trying to get the money for new carpeting together for like 6 months. I bought a few towels cheap for the sole purpose of removing the wax, as anytime you can use a towel, washcloth, paper towel if a small area or a bar mop it works so much quicker & easier. Never tried the newspaper though.

      FYI, this method of a washcloth or bar mop & the hottest iron on steam works wonders after rearranging furniture too. I am by far NOT a neat freak, but I cannot stand to see the crushed spots from furniture, so that is the 1st thing I do after vacumming & moving the furniture around.

    • Margaret says

      Have it dry cleaned if it’s a shirt you really care about. Or place an absorbent cloth under the spots, wet with lighter fluid, dab from top. May need to repeat but the lighter fluid should eventually remove the wax. Any color left from the candle can be treated with homemade “Shout” or ammonia.

    • Lisa M. says

      well, I finally got the guts up to try to get the wax out of my shirt (that I love!)….
      I used a towel on the bottom of the shirt and brown paper bag on the top before I ironed it–I was very careful to not burn the sheer fabric ruffles and the wax did come out but it left some residue behind. I washed with stain remover and it looks about 90% better–I feel like I can still see some of the drops as spots, but maybe it’s just me. It is wearable–I may just have to wear it at night now ;)

      Thank you all for your help!

  2. christy m says

    Good idea. We’ve used a similar technique to get candle wax
    Out of a tablecloth. We just used ice cubes or you can freeze
    The article and then used part towels to get the wax out.

    • Kaitlyn Nystul says

      I hadn’t even thought about the fact that this would be great for tablecloths as well Christy! Thanks for pointing that out!

  3. Sharla says

    great tip!! i am now headed to my craft room with iron and old towels/rags in tow to lift that wax right off! Thanks for your amazing and life saving tips!

  4. Liz says

    I never would have thought of newspaper, lol. I always used Paper towels. Never had a problem taking the wax out. Thanks :)

  5. Denise says

    I like the old towels or paper towels ideas better, since newspaper can leave your carpet with dark print, which means another step to clean that up. I think you might have lost your blouse though.

    • Kaitlyn Nystul says

      That’s a good point Denise! I’ve only used the newspaper on brown carpet so I haven’t ever noticed the print rubbing off.

  6. says

    Great post! I have used my 100% vegetable wax candles and melts for the past 13 years and they clean up with soap and water. Ask me how I know–giggle.

    • Kaitlyn Nystul says

      That’s great to know Jan! Maybe I’ll have to switch to those kind of candles so I don’t have to spend hours cleaning wax out of my carpet ever again!

  7. Kia says

    Is there a remedy for getting out honey wax. I have a wicker basket that I don’t/can’t throw away. Pleaseeee. Thank ya kindly.

    • Kaitlyn Nystul says

      Hmmmm….I would think this same method would work on honey wax but I might be wrong. But the iron probably won’t work on a basket. I would try using an ice cube to get the wax really hard and then try chipping it off.