Since we are well into the winter season, burning candles is the norm in most apartments/homes. Since I burn candles almost every day during the fall, winter, and part of the spring, I have spilled candle wax a few times. Most of the times that I have spilled wax, it has landed on hard surfaces, and that has been easy to remove (wait until the wax cools and hardens, then break the wax off the surface). But removing wax from fabric or carpets (especially shag rugs) is a very different story.
Step One: Damage Control
If you are around when the wax is spilled, grab a few absorbent paper towels and place them over the wax. Do not rub, as this will cause the wax to both spread to a much larger area and get deeper into the fabric thread, or carpet fibers. If you are cannot get to the wax before it dries, wait for the wax to harden completely. Once it has hardened, try to remove as much of the was as you can. Using a butter knife, chip away at the wax-- be careful not to dig into the carpet or fabric with the butter knife-- instead chip away at wax until you have removed the majority.
Step Two: Vacuum or Sweep Up Wax Debris
Simple. No further instructions for this step.
Step Three: Melting
This is my favorite part. It would seem counter-intuitive to remove wax by melting it once again, but this has proved to be the best way to remove the wax. Place an of absorbent paper towel or a piece of brown paper bag on top of the spilled wax. Using an iron on medium heat (or a hair dryer on full heat), go over the surface of the paper towel. The paper towel will absorb the wax as it melts leaving an oily stain on the paper. You will go through a few pieces of paper during this process. Continue doing this until a fresh piece of paper shows no more oily stains.
Step Four: Clean-Up
If you spilled a white candle, you are in luck as the wax will not have stained your carpet or fabric. If the candle spilled was not white, after you have removed the wax it may leave a stain behind. The best bet to removing this stain is using your favorite carpet cleaner.
And that is it! Pat yourself in the back for a job well done.
One Last Tip
My favorite way of removing wax from small glass candle holders is to place them in the microwave for about 30-60 seconds with a paper towel inside of it. After the minute or so in the microwave, the wax will have softened-- just wipe the inside of the glass candle holder with the paper towel. Dispose of the towel, and you're done. So simple, yet so effective.