When it comes to decorating your home and adding the perfect ambiance to an evening or event with the perfect lighting, there is nothing better than a scented candle. You get the refined look you want and your favorite scent wafting through your space, too. They’re the perfect home décor item, but candles can sometimes make a mess, too.
Unfortunately, every now and then you might have an accident and get candle wax on a surface in your home, on your clothing or furniture fabric, or even on the rug. Candle wax can be cleaned up in most situations, but only if you know the right thing to do. Keep reading for a few handy tips on how to clean up candle wax.
Candle Wax and Carpet
When dealing with a lit candle, you should always be as careful as possible. The candle should sit securely on the surface you set it on, back and away from the edge so it can’t be accidentally tipped. When moving a lit candle, you should do so with care. Don’t rush! When you blow out your candle, you should do so gently or use a snuffer to avoid splatter.
Even with the best of intentions and most purposeful movements, you can sometimes have a wax spill or splash on the carpet. To deal with candle wax on your carpet, take these steps:
Stop and wait for the wax to harden or do so more quickly by applying a baggy full of ice cubes to the area of the spill. This will cool the wax more quickly so you can get to work.
Next, you’ll want to gently scrape the wax away from the affected area. It’s important not to use anything sharp so you don’t snag the rug or hurt yourself in the process. A butterknife that is nice and dull is a great tool for this step.
Once you’ve scraped, remove the excess wax from the area by hand or with a vacuum, then see if you need to scrape again. When you have scraped all you can, move to the next step.
Get an iron and a cotton towel. Set the iron to high, dampen the towel, and place it over the spill. Apply the iron to the area for ten seconds to draw the wax out of the carpet into the towel. You may have to repeat this step or leave the iron on longer but do so with caution and be sure to keep the towel damp. You don’t end up with a burn through the towel or the rug!
Once these steps are complete you may still have a bit of a stain. Grab your favorite carpet cleaner, then spray, scrub, and rinse. When the carpet is dry you will be able to see if you need to repeat this step again.
While this method may not work on larger spills or wax that is dyed to a dark color, it should clean up most everyday wax accidents. That said, be as careful as you can and try to keep that candle wax where it belongs.
Candle Wax and Furniture or Wood
Like a wax spill onto your rug, it can be tricky to clean candle wax that has splashed or spilled onto your furniture. If you’re not careful you can do more damage cleaning up than the wax did. If you’ve got to clean candle wax off of a surface in your home, try one of the methods listed below.
Use a Hair Dryer or Iron To Clean up Quickly
One of the easiest ways to clean up a small wax spill on a hard surface in your home is with a hair dryer, or an iron to be used in a similar way to the method listed above. If you’re using a hair dryer, simply use it on a low setting about 3-5 inches from the spill to warm the wax. When it’s pliant, you can scrape it up with your fingernail or wipe with a warm cloth and cleaner.
If you're using an iron, grab a thick damp towel and dry paper towels.You will then press the iron with a damp towel and then paper towel (in that order) onto the wax for about three seconds to absorb the wax into the paper towel until the wax has been removed
The Scrape Method
Like removing wax from the rug, the first step is to let the wax harden or cool it. When it has had time to do so, use something thin and plastic like a card from your wallet or a utensil from the kitchen to gently scrape at the dry wax. If this is a wood surface, be sure to scrape with the grain, until the wax is removed. Afterward, finish off with the right cleaner for the surface and then dry with a soft cloth.
If none of those methods work for you or you just aren’t confident about cleaning up on your own, there are a variety of wax removal products available for sale in department stores and online too. Google “wax removal products,” and find the right product for you. Make sure to follow the directions closely for the best cleanup results.
No matter how the wax got spilled or what surface you must clean, don’t let the wax sit too long or the cleanup will be more difficult and less effective. Candles are a great way to decorate your home and take advantage of soft light whenever you like as long as you're careful and know how to handle cleanup in the event of a mess. Good luck!