There’s nothing like a candle to add a touch of ambience and calm to your decor. Until, a slight knock or overspill causes wax to splash all over your new rug.

You might think it’s time to panic, your rug is ruined – but all is not lost. We’re here to show you how to remove candle wax from your rug.

a person holds a candle up to the camera in a dark room with their hand over the flame

How To Remove Candle Wax From Your Rug

Whether you’re removing red wine from your rug, coffee stains or candle wax – it’s always best to act quickly. As soon as you notice, you should begin to work on the stain.

Freeze The Stain

Candle wax will still be soft for minutes after the initial spill. Although it’s best to work quickly, it is easier to deal with wax that has hardened slightly.

Cool the wax by placing a bag of ice or an ice pack on top of the spill. It may be best to wrap some ice in a tea towel, as you don’t want to get any moisture onto the stain as this can make it harder to deal with.

Scrape The Wax

The next step is to gently scrape off the hardened wax, aiming to remove as much excess as possible.

a candle is burning and sat on a wooden bench outside in a close up shot

Use a butter knife to do this, but be very gentle. Work to ease the wax off the rug pile and avoid causing any stress or pulls where the wax has fallen.

Berber and Kilim rugs can be particularly prone to pulling, due to their looping structure. Be sure to be extra cautious when scraping wax from these type of rugs.

Then work to hoover up any crumbled and excess wax you have worked from the carpet.

Absorb The Wax

The next step is where we will be absorbing the waxy and oily residue left from the candle spill.

For this you will need either a paper towel, a brown paper bag or a clean tea towel. Cover the stain with whichever you are using, as this will be used to absorb the wax.

an iron is sat on an ironing board with a white shirt laid out in front

Then heat your iron to its lowest setting, with the steam turned off. Place that on top of the paper or towel, and you will see the wax being absorbed by the paper or towel. Move the towel, using a clean patch so that it can absorb more of the wax without it being saturated.

When using this method, ensure you are constantly moving the iron. Never leave it sitting in one patch, as the heat can damage or mark the rug if too much heat is applied in one spot. If you’re worried about the heat of the iron, you can use a dampened cloth or towel to absorb the stain.

If you’re still cautious of applying an iron to your rug, a hairdryer can achieve similar results without the same intensity of heat. 

Simply heat the wax with a hot setting of the hairdryer, then once melted blot the candle wax stain with a towel kitchen roll.

Repeat either above method until the stain is gone.

Clean The Area

It may be the case if you have spilled coloured wax that there is a slight stain remaining.

In this case, wet a tea towel and use a small amount of rubbing alcohol to dab the stain, working on it until the remaining stain has lifted.

For this, ensure you only blot and dab – never rub! This can cause the fibers to become stressed and damaged, which can cause permanent damage to your rug.

trainers on the floor next to a hoover used to remove candle wax from the printed rug

Once this is done, allow to dry and hoover the stain for a final time for a rug which is as good as new.


Now you know how to remove candle wax from a rug or carpet, it’s easier to minimise future stains. Now when it comes to gatherings or a relaxing evening, there’s no need to stress over knocking a candle!

If you want to know more about how to clean and care for your rugs, check out our rug care guide.