How To Get Bleach Out Of Carpet (Step-by-Step Guide)

How To Get Bleach Out Of Carpet

It never fails. You spend a ton of money on new carpeting and you spill something on it. But it’s not just a little soft drink or beer, you spilled bleach! The carpet is ruined now, right? Not necessarily. There are ways to fix the damage.

Although bleach stains are permanent, you can soak up the excess bleach and neutralize it, so it becomes easier to re-dye your rug. To do so, begin by blotting the stain with a mix of 2 parts white vinegar and 8 parts of water. Let soak for 5 minutes and rub with a clean rag.

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Using Bleach Neutralizer to Get Bleach Out of Carpet

There are many types of bleach neutralizers on the market. In fact, the bleach specialists who make Clorox even sell their own bleach neutralizer. The active ingredient in most of them is sodium metabisulfite but it may also be:

  • Disodium disulfite, also known as disodium salt or pyrosulfurous acid, is commonly used in lowering the chlorine levels in swimming pools. You may find it sold as Anti-Chlor. It is also used to remove chlorine in water processing plants. It is also effective in neutralizing bleach.
  • Sodium sulfite can also be found at a swimming pool chemical supplier since it is used to stabilize and reduce chlorine in pools and fish tanks. It is also sold under the names Knock Down or De-Chlor.
  • Ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, is a reducing and antioxidant chemical that is used to treat scurvy. However, it is also used to neutralize chlorine in fish tanks or agricultural water tanks.
  • Sodium thiosulfate, which is also sold as Bleach Stop is often used in spas to lower chlorine and bromine levels in hot tubs and saunas. It is also used for developing photographs.

How to Make Your Own Chlorine Neutralizer

Product Instructions
Disodium disulfite One teaspoon with 2.5 gallons of water
Sodium sulfite One teaspoon with two gallons of water
Ascorbic acid ¼ teaspoon with one gallon of water
Sodium thiosulfate One ounce with one gallon of water

Steps in Getting Bleach Out of Carpet with Bleach Neutralizers

Because bleach is not a stain, you are not going to need stain removers or any kind of soap to get the bleach out of your carpet. The damage was done as soon as the bleach hit the fibers and the only way to fix it is to add dye back to the fibers. But first, you have to neutralize the bleach. Just take the following steps.

  1. First, put on protective clothing such as long sleeves and jeans, a mask, gloves, and eye protection.
  2. Use a shop vac or wet/dry vac to remove as much of the bleach as you can.
  3. Prepare the bleach neutralizer as stated by the manufacturer or use the chart above. It is best to use a clean bucket of water and mix in the product slowly in a well-ventilated area.
  4. Using a clean white cloth, dip it in the neutralizer and blot the stained area. Continue until the spot is thoroughly soaked.
  5. You can also use a spray bottle to soak the area. Just put the solution in a spray bottle instead of a bucket.
  6. Wait five minutes for it to soak in and neutralize the bleach.
  7. Use the shop vac to soak up the excess moisture.
  8. Wait for it to completely dry before moving on to the next step of dyeing the carpet fibers.

Other Solutions in How to Get Bleach Out of Carpet

The results are mixed, and the experts (housecleaners and homeowners, not carpet specialists) disagree on whether these other solutions work, but we feel obliged to offer them anyway. Just remember, these are not proven to be true.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is mentioned even in the more scientific articles as being a chlorine or bleach neutralizer. And since we all have this in our cabinet, you may as well try it, right?

If you do not have any, it is extremely cheap compared to any of these other products. In fact, you can get it for under a dollar in most stores. Get the 3% hydrogen peroxide.

  1. Put your protective clothing on (long pants and sleeves, mask, gloves, and goggles).
  2. Use your shop vac or wet/dry vac to suck out all the bleach.
  3. Pour full-strength hydrogen peroxide onto the stain and let it sit for five minutes.
  4. Use the shop vac to remove as much moisture as you can.
  5. Wait for it to dry completely before you move on to the next step of dyeing the carpet fibers.

Dish Soap

We all have dish soap in our kitchen too so you can try this one without even having to go to the store. Just make sure you are using mild dish soap, not one of those extra strength super concentrated ones.

  1. Put on gloves and a mask. You should not have to worry about the long pants and sleeves with mild dish soap but keep the mask and gloves because you are dealing with bleach too.
  2. Use the shop vac to get all the moisture out of your carpet.
  3. Mix ¼ teaspoon dish soap with one cup of hot water in a spray bottle.
  4. Spray the spot with the solution until it is completely wet.
  5. Let it soak in for five minutes.
  6. Spray clean water on the spot and blot up the excess soap.
  7. Use your shop vac to remove the rest of the moisture and wait until it is completely dry before you move on to dyeing the fabric.

What Not to Use to Get Bleach Out of Carpet

Never use vinegar or any other acidic cleaner to neutralize or remove the bleach from your carpet. Not only will it not work, but it will also turn into a toxic and caustic chemical that can be deadly if you breathe it in. It will also ruin the carpet, but you will be too busy coughing to notice.

Ideas on How to Fix the Damage

There are many ideas on how to put the color back into the carpet fibers. Some of them may work and some are just worth a try for the fun of it. You can decide what to try or not to try. It also depends on what color your carpet is and what it is made of. Just remember, if you dye the carpet, you will not be able to get that color out without a professional.

Hair Dye

Some people say this really works. Maybe if you have a black, brown, orange, or blonde carpet. If you have ever dyed your hair, you know that when you apply the dye, it looks black or like some other crazy color. But after you dry it, the color will not be so harsh. However, your chances of matching the color of the rest of the carpet is pretty low.


This one may actually work if you have the right color sharpie or marker. You can either use the marker to color the fibers by hand or take out the ink piece in the middle and soak it in water to make a lighter ink. But either way, the chances of this working are only a bit better than the hair dye.


This sounds pretty strange but there are some sites that claim this works. In fact, there are YouTube videos of people using crayons to color their carpet fibers and it seems to work. If you have the right color, go ahead and try it.

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Related Questions

What If None of These Work?

If you tried these and they do not work, or you neutralized the bleach but cannot get the dye right, you may need to cut out the spot or call a professional. To cut out the spot, follow these instructions:

  1. Put those gloves and mask back on.
  2. If it is a tiny spot or just a few fibers, just pull them out by hand or cut them with a sharp pair of scissors.
  3. For a larger spot, cut it out with a sharp razor and replace it with a piece from inside a closet or other scrap piece of carpet.

Important tip: Do not cut into the carpet padding underneath.

  1. If you have some kind of carpet adhesive, you can use that to secure the patch. If not, you can use carpet tape.

How Much Will a Professional Charge?

Although it varies depending on your location, most flooring professionals will cost about $100 to $300. The price also varies by the size of the job and type of carpet. If the stain is soaked through, you may have to pay more for the replacement of the padding as well.

Patricia Oelze

I am a DIYer who loves writing about anything home-related. When I am not writing, you can find me studying for my PhD in Psychology, photographing nature, and swimming at the lake with my grandkids.

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