Someone has spilled hot candle wax on the carpet again. How can I remove it?

Vacuuming doesn't seem to work, it breaks up the wax a bit, but not enough to pull it free from the carpet fibers and I would rather not have to rent a steam cleaner.

1 Answer 1


There are two ways that I've found to remove wax from a carpet.

Before using either method try scrape off and pick up any large clumps of wax from the surface of the carpet.

The iron method:

  1. Preheat your iron on a lower setting, if your iron has a setting for synthetic fabrics use it.
  2. Place a few (2-4) layers of paper towel over the wax spot.
  3. Gently place the iron on the paper towel.
    • Try not to press down or rub too much, you don't want the wax to further embed in the carpet. Think blotting not scrubbing.
  4. After about 5-10 seconds pick up the iron.
    • You should see that some of the wax has melted and absorbed into the paper towel, if not put the iron back on for a couple more seconds.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until you've melted and blotted up all of the wax.

The coffee maker and shop vac method:

  1. Use a coffee maker to heat water.
    • Add water to coffee maker as usual and turn it on, just don't add coffee grounds.
    • Depending on the type of wax you may need water that is hotter than your coffee maker can provide, in this case heat the water in a kettle or microwave, just be sure that the water isn't at a rolling boil to avoid damaging the carpet.
  2. Pour hot water on the wax to melt/soften it.
  3. Quickly extract, or suck up, the hot water and melted wax with the shop vac.
    • It is important to be quick here. Have your shop vac on and ready before pouring the hot water. If you're too slow the water will cool and the wax will set.

It is probably worth mentioning that these methods also work for removing deodorant and other wax like stuff from carpets.

  • +1 for the iron method (Never used the coffee maker/shop vac combo)
    – Sidney
    Jan 8, 2015 at 20:24
  • 2
    ...and if you put aluminium foil on top of the paper, you don't get wax over your iron sole plate.
    – Lefty
    Jan 8, 2015 at 21:35

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