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How do I Remove Wax from Carpet?

By Deborah Ng
Updated May 16, 2024
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Carpeting consists of tiny, absorbent fibers and most are relatively easy to clean. A wax spill, however, quickly hardens from a melted liquid to a greasy, solid mass that sticks tightly to the fibers of the rug. To completely remove wax from carpet, you need to act quickly to scrape away and vacuum any large, hardened clumps. A warm iron and absorbent brown paper bag or paper towel will soak up any that remains. To avoid tearing or staining your carpet, use low heat and treat it carefully.

Things You'll Need

Quickly collect the following tools:

  • Butter knife or putty knife
  • Ice cubes in a plastic bag
  • Vacuum
  • Iron or hair dryer
  • Brown paper bag or paper towel
  • Carpet spot cleaner

Steps to Remove the Wax

Scrape the larger, dry lumps of hardened wax with the butter knife or putty knife. These tools work well, but you can use anything with a clean, dull blade to remove as much of the hardened wax as possible. While you scrape, take care not to cut into the fibers or you will damage your carpeting. If the wax is still soft, use the ice to harden it so you can scrape it of. Use the vacuum to removed any debris.

Place a clean paper bag (with no printing) or a paper towel over the wax. Turn the iron onto a warm — not hot — setting with the steam turned off. Run the warm iron over the cloth until the wax melts. A hair dryer set to the hottest setting can also be used to remove wax from carpet.

Once the wax is melted, it will stick to the bag or towel. As you lift the paper off, the wax will come away with it. Repeat this step with a fresh paper towel or bag to completely remove any that remains on the carpet.

Things to Consider

Never turn the iron up too hot. If the wax is colored, the heat may cause the dye to stain your carpet. A carpet made with synthetic fibers can also melt under a hot iron, creating an even bigger mess. Avoid touching the carpet directly with the iron as well, as it may leave scorch marks.

Use only a clean paper bag, paper towel or absorbent cloth without any inks or stains. Do not use newspaper or other ink-printed materials as the ink may be transferred to your carpet with the heat from the iron.

Treating Stains

Should the colored wax stain the carpet, dampen a clean, dry cloth with commercial carpet spot cleaner or dry cleaning solvent. Follow the instructions on the product label; it will usually tell you to blot the stain gently with the cloth, taking care not to over-saturate the section. To make sure that it won't bleach or damage your carpet, try testing the cleaner on an inconspicuous area, such as a corner behind a door.

If you prefer to use a natural, alternative carpet spot remover, try one of the following household products: mild laundry detergent, mild dishwashing detergent, laundry stain remover, vinegar or denatured alcohol. As with the commercial spot remover, test an inconspicuous area of the carpet before blotting the dye. Avoid using chemicals on natural-fiber carpeting such as cotton, sisal or wool.

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Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By anon1000203 — On Jul 01, 2018

I had red wax from my scentsy warmer spilled on my white carpet. Used my hair dryer to heat it up and cotton balls to absorb the wax. It's amazing it all came out! Looks new.

By lynnmcin — On Jan 02, 2015

The WARM/LOW iron setting and the paper bag worked like a charm! We have 100 percent wool, light beige carpeting. Lucky for us, the spill involved white wax. I sat the iron on a folded up towel, to prevent the iron from burning the rug. This allowed me to constantly change the positioning of the paper bag to a clean, no wax spot, on the paper bag.

I repetitively ironed the paper bag, which was covering the wax spills, which caused the wax to absorb into the paper bag, looking like wet spots on the paper bag. The wax spill spots disappeared! Thank you for these easy and effective instructions.

By anon933112 — On Feb 14, 2014

Fantastic! Probably saved a friendship. It worked great. I found a scentsy candle had been spilled almost a week ago with no mention of it.

By anon234306 — On Dec 11, 2011

Wow this really does work! A warm iron on kitchen role soaked it up, no problem.

By anon181294 — On May 29, 2011

Thank you so much. I had a candle burning which overflowed and spilled all over the carpet! Using a hot iron and kitchen paper towel removed it completely! Thanks!

By anon179742 — On May 24, 2011

I spilled an entire melted pot of potpourri wax on my beige carpet and all i did was put down some postal paper, like brown paper bag, and ironed on top of it. Took me a while as there was a lot of wax but it worked. you couldn’t even tell anything happened.

By anon174796 — On May 11, 2011

As a carpet cleaner I am constantly amazed at how many carpets have iron shaped burn/melt marks where people have used paper and not a towel or cloth to soak up the wax. All I would add is to have a hidden test area to ensure that you don't damage the carpet.

By anon170759 — On Apr 27, 2011

I used a cloth napkin with my iron. The wax disappeared like magic.

By anon170747 — On Apr 27, 2011

Great advice, worked like a charm.

By anon164810 — On Apr 02, 2011

Thanks for the great advice. On another website it said to use wax paper and an iron (wax paper laying on top of carpet and then ironing over it). However, it just made the stain worse as it caused more melting of the wax into the carpet.

I then tried paper towels laying on the carpet and then the iron over it. It worked pretty well. It wasn't as quick as it was for some others on here apparently (I've been working at it for about an hour), but it is helping tremendously. I spilled red scentsy candle wax on a beige carpet. Hopefully I will be able to get out the discoloration once I take care of the rest of the wax. Thanks for the great advice.

By anon150263 — On Feb 07, 2011

Took longer to read the post and comments, than to remove the wax thanks! Now I need to figure out a way to remove the wax from my cat who knocked it over.

By anon150181 — On Feb 07, 2011

This worked perfectly! I spilled wax hair remover on our cream carpet and it dried to a horrible, hard mess. After reading this solution, I tried it and the wax was up in no time! This tip was a life saver! Thank you!

By anon149610 — On Feb 04, 2011

This article was very interesting, and I found the comments to be most beneficial. I am a student and am currently researching a new product for a class assignment.

By anon147886 — On Jan 30, 2011

Another site says to use newspaper first with an iron and then rubbing alcohol. Now I'm going to try this and hope it works better. The wax is now hard and deep into the carpet. I will write more after I try your idea. A white cloth does sound more logical.

By anon145519 — On Jan 23, 2011

Oh gosh! My mother just spilled pink wax all over our beige carpet! She was freaking out. After using your simple method it came out very easily. Then we went over the stains with goo remover! Now we will not tell anyone else of this incident.

By anon130809 — On Nov 30, 2010

Thank you so, so, so, so, so much. Worked like a charm.

By anon120126 — On Oct 20, 2010

Here's a tip about removing wax from your rugs.

From my experience, using a simple brown paper bag and warm iron usually does the trick.

Here's how: Place a single layer of the brown paper onto the wax. Place a warm/hot iron on top of the paper being careful not to apply the iron directly to the rug.

The heat from the iron will melt the wax and the brown bag will absorb the wax! Hope that helped!

By anon112073 — On Sep 19, 2010

wow! This really worked beautifully! There's no visible stain left either.

By anon92535 — On Jun 28, 2010

I am impressed! Perfect!

By anon84490 — On May 16, 2010

This actually works! No stain whatsoever! Brilliant! A+

By anon79561 — On Apr 23, 2010

ahh, amazing! worked so well.

By anon78629 — On Apr 19, 2010

Thank you so much! I spilled mulberry scented, dark burgundy colored wax, from a wax melt. I used the iron with the brown paper sack, and also paper towels and it worked great!

By anon72488 — On Mar 23, 2010

this page saved my life! I spilled a huge pot of hair removal orange wax on the bathroom floor. it dribbled all the way over the the sink and all over my hands; i was in a right mess!

I used paper towels, which got the majority off, but then after reading this website, i used an old cotton shirt of mine, which was great. The brown paper which was even better! Then carpet cleaner!

I hope my mum doesn't find out! Thanks for all the tips.

By anon71932 — On Mar 20, 2010

Amazing! I spilled hot pink wax on the carpet at work and thought for sure I would be in a great deal of trouble. But your simple method worked great! There is so sign of the wax whatsoever. Thanks so much for sharing.

By anon69528 — On Mar 08, 2010

Can't thank you enough! This is awesome. Wish I would have seen this article sooner, I've ruined a couple carpets (yes, you think I would have learned by now). You would never know I did it again. Many thanks!

By anon69336 — On Mar 07, 2010

thanks! you just saved me from losing my deposit on my condo!

By anon63029 — On Jan 30, 2010

I used this method with a pillow case and a hairdryer. I'm kind of glad i found this, because I could have been in a lot of trouble if the wax were visible. My wax was white and on a near white carpet so i didn't have to worry about stains.

It's not completely out, but that's probably because i must keep at it.

Looks a lot better than it did -- hardly noticeable. I am pleased and will probably do this in the future as well, lol.

By anon60214 — On Jan 12, 2010

It is unbelievable! It worked immediately. The paper bag works nicer because you can see the grease marks and as you repeat the steps you see it less and less and know the wax is all absorbed. I also used the paper towel in between using the paper bags. My beige carpet has no sign of the large amount of the green candle wax that dripped on it. And the carpet is soft and smells nice, the same scent as the candle!

By anon59827 — On Jan 10, 2010

Did I miss something? I understand the heat drawing the wax onto the cloth or paper, but after removing the wax I still have a pink stain in the carpet that I cannot get out? What did I do wrong?

By anon57449 — On Dec 23, 2009

My wife accidentally knocked over a full Scentsy of Red wax on a beige carpet. I am going home today after work to try it out! I will post back later if it works!

By anon57158 — On Dec 20, 2009

I'm almost in tears. I have a brand new light gray carpet with a heavy, deep shag. It's one week old and I spilled a huge amount of red wax all over it. Used this forum, a light cotton shirt and a hair dryer. It's unreal -- no visible stains. Saved me huge money because I was ready to replace the carpet. Thank God for small miracles. CJ says thanks.

By anon56835 — On Dec 17, 2009

I too was worried about tackling this job myself and was considering going with a professional carpet cleaning service, but I figured I'd first give it a try on a smaller, remote portion of the wax spill.

I used white paper towels and my wife's clothes iron set on medium heat. In short, it worked perfectly with absolutely no staining to the cream carpet by the orange candle wax. I probably just saved $150-200 by doing it myself. I think I'll go buy myself a real nice bottle of Scotch with the savings. Cheers!

By anon56440 — On Dec 14, 2009

Worked for me as well. I put the iron on hot with steam and it all came out really fast.

Thanks for the free tip, great site.

By anon56383 — On Dec 14, 2009

Happy days. I melted a candle by accident over the carpet, and the missus went mental. iron and a cloth saved my life.

By anon53433 — On Nov 21, 2009

worked like a charm. iron over paper towel. thanks

By anon51573 — On Nov 07, 2009

i just used the knife and iron method, and didn't need to move on to the other steps. i'm for real amazed, thought for sure i'd have a giant stain forever. the iron was magical.

By anon49948 — On Oct 24, 2009

My son fell asleep with the candle burning, thank God my house house didn't catch on fire. It was red wax on tan carpet, It came out great. Thanks for the tips, I was really freaking out.

By anon49928 — On Oct 24, 2009

I need help. I did the iron job on it and It seemed to lift it a bit, but i kept going and going and it didn't come out. It was a blue candle. And i tried to use dishwashing detergent and a mild carpet cleaner, but it still won't come out! Please help. I would appreciate it so much. xxx. :)

By anon48239 — On Oct 10, 2009

Hey it's easier if you pour boiling water on it and dab with a dry cloth, comes out straight away. And actually makes your carpet a little softer. :) xx

By anon47575 — On Oct 05, 2009

Aamazing! My boyfriend spilt wax from our mosquito candle on our lovely carpet and he panicked, to say the least. I told him to use a knife to scrape some off but he dragged his feet. The wax started getting stuck in the fibers, then I panicked so I immediately got online and the first result for my search led me to this site. I must say that I am sold! It works like magic. We're both excited and happy to have our carpet back. Thanks!

By anon45582 — On Sep 18, 2009

Help! My daughter has emptied almost half a bottle of hair removal wax on her bedroom carpet! It doesn't go hard and so as soon as you touch it it is very sticky. Any ideas?

By anon44558 — On Sep 08, 2009

Red wax - came out great. Thanks a bunch!

By anon43762 — On Sep 01, 2009

I used a hairdryer and an old cotton t-shirt --I pulled the wax right out of the carpet easily. Thanks!

By anon41765 — On Aug 17, 2009

I spilt orange wax on the living room carpet and knew i would be dead when my mum found out. I searched the internet desperately for a way to remove the wax and came across this site. I immediately got out the iron and removed the stain with ease. Thanks for the tip. I will remember it for next time.

By anon41222 — On Aug 13, 2009

I thought my chenille rug was toast after red candle was was spilled on it! I am still amazed at how easily the wax was removed! I used an old cotton undershirt for the cloth and the previous comment was right about the iron being hot, not warm. This was *extremely* effective! Thanks! =)

By anon40087 — On Aug 06, 2009

The wax removal tip works perfectly. I did however, find that the iron needed to be hot and not warm, but it worked just perfectly with a towel. Thanks a bunch! I was really wondering what I was going to do about the stain. Not anymore! Thanks again.

By anon39521 — On Aug 02, 2009

My berber is in like new condition. I tried the iron trick, and it made it worse. I used "Goof Off" and "Oxy-Clean Carpet cleaner" along with a dirt devil compact vacuum. Only I can see where the stain was. Use Goof Off first with a butter knife, then soak with Oxy and vacuum away.

By anon37444 — On Jul 19, 2009

I just came home to a candle that had melted down unevenly.... did a quick google search, found this page, and with the tips on this page, was able to clean up a rather large mound of solidified wax. Awesome.

By anon37232 — On Jul 17, 2009

thank you, thank you, thank you. I used a white cloth and it absorbed everything, although it left a very dull pink color, is much better than before.

By anon35329 — On Jul 04, 2009

It honestly works! I used a hairdryer and a paper towel and with about 5 minutes effort managed to remove a lump of wax from a rug with a thickness of about 0.5cm- Thank you soooooo much!!

By anon32712 — On May 26, 2009

ATTENTION!! I guess I'm the only unlucky one so far: Do not use paper bags! I did that and must have had the iron on too high or left it on the paper too long. Now I have the *paper stuck on the wax that's stuck on the carpet!!* Now it's even worse! Use a towel instead!!!

By anon30570 — On Apr 21, 2009

Just tried your tip on 2 very old and large wax stains on my carpet...*amazing*!! Completely gone!! Thank you very much for saving me a lot of money to re-carpet a large room.


By sail1993 — On Feb 21, 2009

Works like a charm. Got the white candle wax out of my red shaggy rug. But, I should caution that the iron should not be too hot or it will melt any man made fibers in the rug.

By anon23107 — On Dec 16, 2008

I spilled melted Christmas candle wax on our off white berber rug and just used your wax removal suggestion and it worked like a charm.. I'm a bumbling man, whom my wife tells me is always doing things like this, so if I can do it anybody can...

By anon21591 — On Nov 18, 2008

The instructions for removing wax from carpets do work, but too time consuming. Buy a bottle of GOO GONE and save yourself some time. It also works well on other stuff.

By anon20085 — On Oct 25, 2008

Works like a dream - thank goodness white wax on a dark jade carpet was not the best look. Thanks!

By anon20052 — On Oct 24, 2008

this is awesome. Thank you so much. it worked brilliantly.

By anon19238 — On Oct 08, 2008

Wonderful Thank God for the internet....spilled a Frebeeze Candle and I assumed the carpet was ruined...quickly looked on the internet and there was a solution....it took about 15 minutes and the spill is completely gone. Thanks for the tip, I will pass it on.

By anon17141 — On Aug 23, 2008

Thank you so much! My son accidentally spilled the wax out of a candle warmer last night. The carpet is off white and the candle wax was pink. Imagine that! I tried the cloth with the iron this morning and my carpet looks like new *and* there are no stains!

By anon13456 — On May 27, 2008

thank you so much, really!

By anon11244 — On Apr 11, 2008

I don't know who came up with this idea, but they are a genius. I dropped an entire 15.5 oz red candle on my new beige wall-to-wall carpet. I was considering cutting a whole in the carpet and having it replaced. After taking this advice my carpet is nearly new again. Little hard on the knees since the stain was large but my carpet is nearly new again. Thanks genius......

By anon1743 — On Jun 14, 2007

The stain removal help for wax on carpert works brilliantly!!! I had a beautiful pink candle that dripped copious amounts of wax onto my cream carpet. After following these intstructions my carpet is no longer waxy pink but cream again. Thanks heaps for the tips!

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