ITHACA/ELMIRA carpet cleaners


Candle wax removal from a carpet or area rug can be tricky.  The candle wax itself is not so much of a problem, but considering the high heat of a candle wax spill, the residues from the wax as well as the colors can make the job harder than expected. 

  The Composition of Candle Wax

Although wax can come from several sources (beehives, plants, animals, petroleum, etc.), the most common wax used for candles is paraffin wax, which comes from petroleum by-products.  Paraffin wax melts very slowly and can make a candle that will burn for hours and, in some cases, for days.

The Type of Fiber of the Rug or Wall-to-Wall Carpet

It is very important to consider the type of fiber that makes up the area rug or wall-to-wall carpet as well.  Since candle wax is a petroleum or oil-based product, fibers that are oil-attracting fibers, such as Olefin and Polyester, will bond very strongly and faster with the wax than other fibers.  This will make the waxy feature of candle wax removal more difficult.  At the same time, these fibers naturally repel stains, making it easier to remove any colors from the melting candle.

With Nylon fibers, the ‘waxyness’ will be easier to remove, but any colors will be very difficult to remove.

With Wool fibers, you may want to leave the candle wax removal to experts such as ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co.

Do-It-Yourself Candle Wax Removal

The best way for a homeowner to attempt a candle wax removal is to use the following Heat Transfer Method:

Supplies Needed:

  • Clothes iron on low setting.  A wallpaper steamer may also be used. 
  • White cotton towel that will be disposed of.  (White cotton will protect the carpet from burning or melting and is absorbent.)


  • Place towel over hardened wax. 
  • Place the iron on the towel in order to soften the wax.
  • To absorb the softened wax into the towel, gently push the iron on to the towel.
  • Repeat as often as necessary to remove as much of the wax as possible.

What NOT to Do

  • Do not use any bleaching agent to remove dye.  This can remove the original color of the fiber.  This should only be done by a professional.
  • High heat may help drive the color into the fiber so remember to use the low setting on the iron.

Other Possible Candle Wax Removal Methods

  • Dry Cleaning Solvent:  If you can locate a volatile (fast-drying) commercial dry spotter such as Carbona or K2R, you can use in very small amounts.
  • POG (Paint, Oil, and Grease Remover): Hardware and paint stores will carry this product.

If using either or both of the above, do the following:

  • Treat the stained area with each spotting solution applied to absorbent material until the spot is removed. 
  • It may not be necessary to complete all steps but with candle wax removal, use the dry cleaning solvent first, then the POG, then follow with the dry cleaning solvent if any wax and/or color remains.  Use small amounts.
  • Always BLOT after each step. DO NOT scrub or brush or you may abrade the fibers permanently.
  • Always work from the outside of the area towards the center to avoid spreading and to prevent rings.
  • The FINAL STEP is to gently rinse the area with water and then absorb all remaining moisture as quickly as possible with absorbent material.

If Wax and Color (if any) Remains:

  • Especially on an Oriental rug, if you cannot successfully remove the wax, please call our ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co. office at 607-272-1566 to schedule a pick up or bring your rug to our plant in Ithaca. We offer pick up and delivery services in several areas beyond Ithaca.
  • If the wax is on a wall-to-wall carpet, and you are in the Tompkins/Cortland area, please call our office at 607-272-1566 to schedule a spot removal as soon as possible.
  • You may download the ABC SPOT CLEANING GUIDE for Do-It-Yourself removal of spots and spills by clicking here.

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130 Cecil Malone Drive Ithaca, NY 14850


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