Be honest with us – when was the last time you cleaned your carpet? Not just hoovered it, but actually cleaned it properly? Probably not any time recently. The truth is most people try to avoid cleaning their carpets, even though you should be doing a proper clean at least every 6 months, with a professional clean once a year, minimum. But sometimes, it just can’t be avoided – mainly when something gets spilt on it and you have no choice but to clean it. In past posts we’ve covered how to get stains out of carpets, and given a few tips for each kind of stain. But today we wanted to do more of a deep dive into one of the most difficult messes to clear up – wax.
We’ve all had that moment. We have tea lights or candles on the table for a nice romantic evening in. We knock the table with our foot, or a pet comes running past and the candle teeters in its holder before falling in slow motion. It goes out on the way down (which is a relief), but as it hits your beautiful cream carpet it spills wax everywhere. Now you’re left with a dilemma – how do you get that wax stain out of your carpet without ruining it? There are actually a couple of different methods you can try, which include:
The Iron and Kitchen Towel Method
This is the oldest and honestly most trusted method of wax removal out there. This one is perfect for getting large or small amounts of wax of any colour out of any type of carpet. All you need is some kitchen roll and an iron. Heat the iron up the appropriate setting for the fibres of your carpet (cotton, wool etc.). If it’s a polyester carpet it is likely to have a lot of plastic in it, so just going for the highest setting is going to melt your carpet, and that can’t be fixed! So make sure you choose the right setting before you start.
Now place a sheet of kitchen roll over the wax stain and press the hot iron onto the towel. Let it sit there for a few seconds and then remove and check the kitchen roll. It should have started to absorb the newly melted wax. If it has a lot of wax on it already, reposition it or grab another sheet. Repeat these steps until all of the wax has been absorbed by the paper towel. If you’re finding the kitchen roll isn’t working, you can use a damp cloth instead. Once you’re confident you’ve got all the wax out of the area, soak with a wet cloth and then treat it with your carpet cleaner of choice to make sure it doesn’t discolour.
The Scrape, Damp and Spray Method
The scrape, damp and spray method is a little more labour intensive, but can be more effective if you’re willing to put the work in. For this wax removal technique, you’ll need:
- A clean, dry butter knife
- A metal spoon
- An iron
- Carpet stain remover
- Some white cotton towels.
Before you start, get the iron warming up so that it’s ready when you need it. Again, make sure you choose a setting that won’t melt your carpet.
First, take your knife and use it to scrape away any big chunks or loose wax, collecting them in a pile and either hoovering them up or throwing them away. Make sure you’re careful with Berber and loop fibre rugs, as these can fray easily. Once you’ve scraped off as much as you can, run a vacuum over the area to catch any loose pieces that might have sunk into the fibres. If you end up with fuzz or fraying, you can trim it (very carefully) with a pair of scissors.
Now dampen a white cotton towel, fold in it half and place it over the wax stain. Make sure it’s damp, and not dripping wet, otherwise this won’t work properly. Press the heated iron over the towel for 10-15 seconds, then remove and check the stain. The heat should draw the wax out of the rug and into the towel. Keep repeating this process until the wax is gone. Make sure your towel stays wet and if it becomes loaded with wax, grab another one. Once the wax is all removed you might notice a slight discolouration of the area. That’s where your stain remover comes in. Spray the area with stain remover and work it deep into the rug with the spoon. Dab off the excess and let it air dry. Lighter coloured rugs may require a few rounds of this to completely remove the stain, but when you’re done you’ll never know the difference.
Both of these methods follow the same basic principle – heat the wax with an iron and soak it up with something else. However not everyone has an iron, or has one handy. Luckily, there are a few ways around that. You can heat a thin layer of water in a large bottomed metal pan and use that, or you can heat the bottom of a metal spoon with a lighter to get the same effect. This might take you a little longer, but it will achieve the same results. For more tips on getting stubborn stains out of your carpet, or to ask us about replacing your stained carpets, get in touch with our experts for a free consultation – just not by candlelight!