The Super-Smart and Easy Way to Get Melted Candle Wax out of Carpet

published Dec 28, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Since fall arrived, I’ve been burning all my cozy-smelling candles pretty much all day. Today, I spilled some candle wax on a small rug in my bathroom, and I figured I’d either have to deal with the extra Balsam smell on my now-waxy rug or swap the rug out for a new one. But I did a little research and, according to popular TikTok creator Clean That Up! — a third-generation janitor — removing candle wax from your carpet (or a rug) is a lot simpler than I thought. 

To get pesky melted candle wax out of your carpet, you’ll need a few important tools: an iron, an old towel, a spoon, and some white vinegar in a spray bottle. I know — these ingredients sound random, but they all play a role in removing the stain. 

Here’s what to do, according to the TikTok video. First, lay one or two damp towels on the affected area (he says white is best, and I’m guessing that’s to prevent color from transferring onto your carpet). Then, steam the spot with a hot iron for 10 to 15 seconds. The wax should slowly lift onto the towel.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

You may be able to scoop the remainder away with a spoon, but if not, the video recommends spraying some white vinegar on it and attempting again. If neither of those options works, then you can repeat the whole process from start to finish until the wax is completely out of your carpet. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

I tried the hack on a medium-pile bathroom rug with palm-sized candle wax spill on it. First, I filled my iron with water, then I turned it on the highest steam setting (steam is the key here). While I waited for the iron to get hot, I laid one large towel over the affected area. Then, I followed Clean That Up’s instructions and steamed the spot for about 15 seconds.

When I lifted the towel, I could immediately see melted wax on it (and it smelled like Christmas). There was a bit of melted wax left on the rug, so I got the spoon and it basically scooped up all of the remaining wax — I didn’t even have to use the vinegar at all. I tried the hack less than a few hours after the spill, so the wax re-melted really easily and basically turned into a thick, scoop-able liquid. If I had been thinking, I would have put the melty wax right back in my candle rather than tossing it! 

All in all, I’d give this hack a 10/10, and I’ll be trying it again when I can. I’m sure I’ll encounter more wax spills through the holiday season, especially because candles are number one on my wish list!

Do you have a trick for getting melted wax out of carpets? Tell us in the comments below.