I’ve got this habit of lighting candles in the evening. The light of the candle feels more soothing than that from tube lights or bulbs. It doesn’t necessarily have to be aromatic candles, though I do use those once in a while as well. Generally, I use regular candles. I have a glass front door that opens to the balcony. I place the candles on a coffee table near this door. The light reflects off the glass and adds a comforting vibe to the entire living room.
Unfortunately, sometimes good things have a downside too. In this case, candle wax often drips onto the carpet. It’s not as bad as say a wine spill or ice cream stain, nonetheless, it needs to be cleaned or else the carpet fibres get spoiled.
You don’t need anything particularly fancy or expensive to remove wax from carpets. Most of the things that you need are readily available at home. You might have to pick a few things, but those are inexpensive and easy to procure.
What Do You Need?
- Ice cubes
- Clear plastic bag or ziplock bag
- Butter knife or some other blunt object
- Hair dryer and/or iron
- Paper towels
- Brown paper bags
- Clean white cotton cloth
- Dishwashing liquid soap
- Vacuum cleaner
The Freeze and Pick Method
This is a tried and tested method for removing and cleaning any dried out solid stain on a carpet. Hence, it works perfectly for wax as well. Unlike most other things that can stain a carpet, wax dries out very fast. But it’s still advisable to begin the cleaning process as soon as the wax falls on the carpet or at the very least, as soon as you notice it.
- Step 1: In a clear plastic bag or ziplock bag (whichever is easier for you to get a hand on) pour a bunch of ice cubes. If you don’t have ice cubes readily available, then you can use a pack of frozen peas or frozen meat. In case of frozen meat packs, remember to wipe it clean with a rag before using it.
- Step 2: Hold the ice cubes, with the plastic in between, against the wax till it freezes. You will have to check the wax constantly to ascertain if it has hardened enough or not.
- Step 3: With a butter knife or any other elongated blunt object pick away or chip away at the wax and try and remove as much of it as possible. If the wax has frozen enough, it’s possible to completely remove it off the carpet at this stage itself. This is particularly true of flatweave or low-pile carpets. In case of deep pile carpets, the molten wax is likely to have seeped in deeper. On the other hand, if only a tiny portion of the wax comes off via the freeze and pick method, then don’t go ahead with the remaining steps. Instead, try out the next method.
- Step 4: Vacuum the area to remove any bits and pieces of the wax that you’ve chipped out.
- Step 5: Now, mix a drop or two of liquid dishwashing soap in a bowl of lukewarm water. Using a white cotton cloth, apply this solution on the stain and gently press the cloth against the stain. Do not rub it, especially if it’s coloured wax. Rubbing might damage the carpet fibres.
- Step 6: Sprinkle or spray a little bit of cold water on the stain and blot it with white paper towels.
- Step 7: Repeat steps 4 and 5 till the stain is completely removed.
- Step 8: Once the stain has been cleaned, spray some more cold water and blot it dry to remove any soap residue that may be left behind.
- Step 9: Leave the carpet in a ventilated room and let it air dry. You could place a bunch of paper towels over the area and place a heavy object like a baking tray over it to blot any excess water.
The Hair Dryer or Ironing Method
You can use either the hair dryer or the iron to get the same results. If you want to be more thorough, use both of them.
- Step 1: Place four regular hand towels around the area where the wax has fallen. The hand towels will ensure that the wax doesn’t spread any further when you heat it up using the hair dryer or iron. More on that later.
- Step 2: On top of these hand towels, place a thick white paper towel so that it covers the exact spot where the wax has fallen. This is in case you have a hairdryer. In case of the iron, place a brown paper bag as it’s thicker than paper towels.
- Step 3: Now that you’ve set this up, use a hair dryer to heat up the wax with the paper towel in between. The wax will gradually melt and the paper towel will absorb some of it.
- Step 4: Once the paper towel is saturated, replace it with a fresh one and continue blowing the hair dryer over it. Use the hairdryer in short bursts instead of letting it linger over the carpet for too long.
- Step 5: If you’re using the iron, then set to a mild mode. Some irons have different heat modes for different types of fabric. Select the one that’s closest to mimic a carpet. For example, if you have a woollen carpet, use the mode that’s meant for woollen garments. Similar to the hair dryer method, either change the paper bag once it’s saturated or slide it over to a dry part of the paper bag.
- Step 6: Repeat this till no more wax melts and is absorbed by the paper towel or paper bag, as may be the case. However, if you’re repeating this method more than two or three times, then leave a gap of a few minutes in between each attempt.
- Step 7: The next set of steps are identical to the ones used in steps 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 in the previous method. Essentially, you use the dishwashing soap and lukewarm water solution to clean the stain completely, followed by cold water and paper towels to remove any and all soap residue. The reason the soap residue needs to be completely eliminated is that it can be sticky and later attract dirt from shoe soles.
Using some of these methods with easily accessible tools will ensure that you have a clean, wax-free carpet that you can enjoy your winter evenings on!