How to Remove Wax From an Axminster Rug

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Introduction: How to Remove Wax From an Axminster Rug

Like molten lead or cheese, spilling molten wax is something best avoided. A while ago I had an accident with liquid wax affecting my mouse, keyboard, monitor, table, rug, trousers and more.
The keyboard & mouse were easy to clean - I removed the electrical bits and poured boiling water over the cases. The rug and trousers were not so easy.

The usual method for de-waxing carpets found on the internet involves picking at them with a knife, maybe after chilling with ice, then applying heat & absorbent paper. I didn't think this would work on my rug because a lot had soaked in deep.

I used:
Washing-up liquid (detergent)
Hot water
An empty food-can (and can opener)
A bucket
A bath


Step 1: Preparation

Mark the affected area on the reverse of the rug, I've used tape but a marker or chalk would do. I guess you could push pins through from the front if it's difficult to judge.

Apply a little detergent to this area, which should help wet the fibres and allow water to penetrate rather than roll-off.

Using a can-opener, remove the other end from a empty can (sweetcorn in this case) to give you a steel ring. This will help guide the hot water you are about to apply to the back of the rug.

Place the rug over a bucket, preferably in a bath or over a surface which will not be harmed by water. Level and flatten the rug on the bucket. In this position water should be inclined to move straight down, rather than to one side.

Step 2: Wax Off

Weight the ring made from the can over the marked area with a heavy object of your choice.

Pour hot (just boiled) water into it - see picture - be careful and notice from the second picture that I'm keeping at arm's length away from the water.

I used 1.5 Litres, and it would have been ~95oC.

Some of this escapes to the sides, but a high-handed, rapid pouring drives hot water into the rug, splashing is contained by the ring and detergent-foam.

Dry the the rug as you find convenient, at the moment mine is draining in the bath after a total washing. I suppose I'll hang it out later.

Step 3: The Results

This was almost totally effective first time. A tiny amount of wax left behind was easily removed with some paper and a hot pan of curry goat.
As documented elsewhere, place a sheet of absorbent paper over the waxy area and apply heat with pressure, the function of a hot pan should be obvious.

One other remaining patch required two hot water treatments, but was similarly removed.

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    31 Comments

    In the past I have used a can of air to resolve this type of problem (similar to the ice cube trick). Insert a straw into the nossel, turn the can upside down and begin spraying the area. By turning the can upside down you will spray our a very very cold stream which will deep freeze the wax. Then I use a hammer to SLAM it into a million pieces. Works like a charm! :)

    You don't mean a can of air - LPG or something equally volatile?

    L

    Yes, a can of compressed air. You know, the kind that you buy at Office Depot to blow out dust bunnies out of your computer. When I use to do electronic repairs some of the circuit boards used a thin 'cardboard' glued to circuit boards as an insulator. A failed circuit board would sometimes get so hot that this glue would melt down, into the the frame of the printer making it nearly impossible to remove the circuit board. Taking a can of compressed air, inverting it and spraying it onto the melted glue would freeze it instantly. Then giving it a tap with a screwdriver and hammer the frozen glue would shatter allow the circuit board to release. Try it, it works!

    Compressed air doesn't freeze things, the can you're talking about would have butane / propane in it I should think. L

    Hmmm... Let me see if I can find out who the manufactuer was and where we used to purchase those cans of compressed air from. I'm fairly certain that there was no propellant added. I haven't done an instructable yet, maybe this will be my 1st : )

    <div class="wikierror"><strong>Video</strong><pre>can not parse options from: , {width:425, height:350}</pre></div>Ok, so I contacted a buddy I used to work with and he confirmed that yes indeed we used to use air duster inverted to freeze and smash things. Thank goodness cause I thought I had brain freeze. If you still don't believe that it can be done just do a search on this site for 'air duster freeze' you will find several people who are demonstrating it already so I don't need to create a video to prove it to you. <br/>

    Of course canned air works. Look up "Ideal Gas Law" on Wikipedia, and cogitate for awhile. Right next to the valve, when the air first comes out, the pressure has dropped dramatically, but the air molecules are still confined to a fairly small volume. So the temperature drops first. As you move further from the can, the volume increases so the temp rises to room temperature. But the CAN--that stays cold for some time.

    Although much of Wikipedia is worth noting and much of it may be true , you should always be aware that some of it is n't worth noting and equally not true.
    I leave you to consider which is and which is n't.

    The Truth like Gold is Rarely Found,
    But lies, The Gold Of Fools Abounds,
    Anon.

    Well this discussion has been quiet for 5 days.
    I take it that you have now conceded to the fact that "Yes, a can of compressed air. You know, the kind that you buy at Office Depot to blow dust bunnies out of your computer." can indeed freeze things.
    But it has been fun discussing it with you.