Wax On, Wax Off
Nothing enhances a small get-together or a romantic evening like a few lit candles. The atmosphere becomes cozy and inviting under the soft glow of candles. However, a bump here, a twist there, or possibly the unruly tail of a pet that escaped from the back bedroom, and your carpet is doused with candle wax. Oh no! Colored wax from a candle, scented or otherwise, adds another level of danger to your carpet. And it’s late, past the hours of Preferred Carpet Care. What can you do?
With some household equipment and a little bit of finesse, you can remove the wax from your carpet as easily as Mr. Miagi taught karate. However, there are two methods which best remove candle wax, so it’s important to use the right method so the wax – and possible stains – aren’t left behind.
First thing’s first: if you can, try to remove the excess with a thin, straight edge, like an old debit card or dull butter knife. Don’t be too aggressive, though – you don’t want to damage the pile of your carpet. At this stage, you merely want to remove the excess that hasn’t tried to soak in yet.
The Heat Method
This method works best for clear or white candle wax, or if the color of the candle is the exact same shade as your carpet. The reason is that heat will set stains, so this method will make your carpet “legally adopt” the color of your candle. If it’s a colored wax spill, it’s best to follow the ice cube method.
Let the rest of the wax cool as you get the tools you’ll need: an iron, a sheet of aluminum foil, a paper bag, a cotton cloth, and some warm, soapy water. Now, follow these steps:
- Place the paper bag over the stain, and the aluminum foil on the bag. Make sure there is no writing or logos on the bag, as that will likely transfer over to your carpet during the process. You can do this without the foil, but it’s usually recommended to have that extra level of protection.
- Set your iron to low and make sure the steam option is off. Pass it over the foil, constantly moving the iron. Watch this step carefully, as you don’t want the foil, the bag, or your carpet to burn. The goal is to melt the wax, so it gets absorbed by the paper bag.
- After moving the iron over the spill for several seconds, check the bag. Once it absorbs some of the wax, place a clean part of the bag over the spill to absorb more wax. Keep doing this until the part of the bag over the spill comes up clean.
- Blot the area with a clean white cloth doused with warm, soapy water. This will help remove any loose particulates left behind. Another successful cleaning solution is eight parts water to one part ammonia.
The Ice Cube Method
Although this method is best for colored wax spills, it also tends to be not as thorough, and runs a much greater risk to damaging your carpet. Also keep in mind that the goal of this method is not to fully remove the wax, but to keep it from staining your carpet. Depending on your type of carpet and other factors, better options for fully removing the wax might be available. Contact Preferred Carpet Care at your earliest convenience.
For this method, you will need a bag of ice (an ice pack will do in a pinch), the straight edge you used at the beginning, a cotton cloth and warm soapy water.
- Start by placing the ice bag over the spill. The wax needs to get as cold as possible, so it becomes brittle.
- Gently scrape away the wax with the straight edge, careful not to damage your carpet fibers.
- Blot the area with a white cloth doused with warm, soapy water to remove any loose stragglers.
Odds are the ice cube method will leave residue behind – even after blotting with a cloth. Remember that the main goal with this method is not necessarily to get all the wax out, but to keep it from staining your carpet. Once you have removed as much as you can, keep the area covered with a clean white cloth, avoid stepping to setting anything on it, and then contact us for more instructions.
If your wax spill doesn’t come up completely or even if it stays in place for a while, Preferred Carpet Care is happy to remove it for you. Give us a call or tell us about it online, and we will use our carpet cleaning martial arts to keep your carpet fresh, clean, and wax-free.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On February 21, 2019