Cleaning up those Unsightly Candle Stains from your Carpet or Rug

Photo: Dariusz Jarzabek

I am sure you have been there, I know I have.  A beautiful evening, either spent reading a book in the bathtub, a dozen candles surrounding me or an evening pursuing all those romantic delights that sometimes evade us.  The only problem with the evening is the end when you notice that when you were focused on something else –the book—the candle had spilled and you are now left with a horrible stain on your furniture or even worse, on your carpet.

Okay, don’t panic, although that is usually the first thing we do.  The little picking at the wax; trying to get it off before it does even more damage only to find that you have created a horrible mess of shredded candle wax.  There is probably no way to get it out.  Thankfully, that is not the case and all candle wax can be cleaned up fairly easily.  All it takes is a little patience, and a little of that stuff we have all heard about, what was it again, oh yeah, elbow grease.

No, I’m not telling you to smear elbow grease on the stubborn candle wax, although wouldn’t that be amazing if you could bottle and sell it.  Instead, what I will ask you to smear on the candle wax depends on where it spilt.

Let’s start with one of the most common place for candle wax to spill, the carpet, and of course, it will be your best carpet.  Candle wax is like red wine, it just needs to splash onto a pristine carpet.

But don’t stress too much, it can be fairly simple to clean the wax from your carpet by following these simple steps.

  1. Try to get to the wax immediately.  The faster you can clean it up, the better the chance of getting every little spot.
  2. Take your hair dryer and heat the wax with it.  It is important to do this gradually, and make sure that you are dabbing up the wax as you go along with a dry cloth or a paper towel (the latter is probably better since the cloth will become stained.)  Don’t rub the wax since this will grind it into the carpet even more.
  3. After you have removed as much wax as you can with your hair dryer, it is time to pull out your iron.
  4. Place down a white cloth or if you prefer, 3 paper towels, layered.
  5. Next, run your iron over the cloth and draw the wax up into it.  You may need to refresh the cloth or, at the very least, move it to a clean spot.
  6. Lastly, take a good carpet stain cleaner and, following instructions, clean the area.

Once you have followed all the steps, your carpet should be as good as new.  This same technique can be used on cloth furniture.

If your candle wax spilled onto a table or a counter, it can be very simple to clean it.  With any type of scratch resistant surface, all you need to do is carefully scrape the wax off and then clean it with a surface cleaner.

Chances are, however; that the wax will drip on a surface that isn’t scratch resistant and it will take a bit more work to clean it off.  Again, to do this, all you will need to do is follow these simple steps.

  1. Pull out that handy dandy hair dryer again, bet you didn’t think it would have so many uses, and melt the wax with it.
  2. As the wax begins to melt, you should take a paper towel or a clean cloth and dab it up.  Remember that scrubbing can make the mess even worse.
  3. Once you have removed all of the wax, simply clean the surface with a surface cleaner.

And now that you have figured out how to clean up those wax spills, you will never have to worry about burning candles again.

-MJ Plaster

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