How To Get Laundry Detergent Out Of Carpet (6 Ways To Do It!)
Some people may think that getting laundry detergent in your carpet is a good thing. But it can be a real pain to get it out of the carpet. Especially if you spilled the liquid kind. The granulated detergent can come up with a vacuum, but that liquid spill is going to take a bit more work.
Pour hot water on the detergent stain, let it soak for 15 minutes, and pour rubbing alcohol on it it. Let the rubbing alcohol sit on the stain for 10-20 minutes and blot the wet spot with a towel. Vacuum the stain with a wet/dry vac to remove it completely.
Another thing you will need is an absorbent material like kitty litter or salt. Whichever one makes sense considering the amount of the spill. You will also need a wet/dry vacuum and a steam cleaner. Once you have all that, come back and follow the steps depending on your cleaner of choice.
How To Remove Laundry Detergent From Carpet
There are 6 main ways that you can get laundry detergent out of your carpet. Each method is simple, and you can choose the best one for you based on what you have in the house.
1. Hot Water
- Put on gloves to protect your hands from the detergent. It can cause irritation in some people.
- Use a knife or clean paint scraper to scrape up as much of the detergent from the carpet as you can.
- Place a folded towel on the spot and walk on it from the outer edges in. Move to a new spot on the towel and do it again.
- Continue to do this, changing to a new towel as needed.
- After you have gotten as much liquid up as you can, pour salt or kitty litter on the spot to absorb the rest. Don’t worry, it will vacuum right up. Wait for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the spill.
- Then use a wet/dry vac to vacuum up the litter.
- To get rid of the stain, pour hot water on the spot and rub it to see if it is still sudsy.
- Soak it up with a towel.
- Keep repeating steps 6 and 7 until there are no more suds left.
- Use the wet/dry vac to vacuum up the rest of the moisture.
2. Rubbing Alcohol
- Wearing gloves and a mask, scoop up as much detergent as you can with a paint scraper or dull knife.
- Put a folded towel on the spot and put pressure on it for about 30 seconds, moving to another spot as needed.
- Keep doing this until most of the liquid is gone, switching towels as needed.
- Once you get the excess liquid up, pour enough kitty litter or salt on the spot to soak up the rest.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes and then vacuum it up with a shop vac.
- Pour rubbing alcohol on the spot and let it sit for another 15 minutes.
- Blot up the excess moisture before vacuuming.
- Continue to repeat steps 6 and 7 until the detergent is gone.
- Vacuum up any remaining moisture with a shop vac or wet/dry vac.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
- Put on your gloves because detergent and peroxide can both irritate your skin.
- Fold a towel and place it on the spill, standing on it to apply pressure for 30 seconds.
- Continue to move to clean dry spots on the towel until the carpet is mostly dry.
- Pour salt or cat litter on the spot to absorb the rest.
- After 15 minutes, vacuum up the litter or salt.
- Pour enough peroxide on the spot to cover it. Leave it to sit for two minutes before using a clean towel to absorb the excess.
- Use your shop vac or wet/dry vac to absorb the rest of the moisture.
Do not use this if your laundry detergent has bleach in it. Mixing ammonia with bleach is dangerous.
- Put on a mask, eye protection, and gloves because ammonia is irritating to your eyes, lungs, and skin.
- Scrape up as much of the detergent as you can with a dull knife or paint scraper.
- Fold a towel and stand on it to absorb the moisture, switching to a dry spot on the towel every 30 seconds.
- Flip the towel over and repeat step 3 until the moisture is mostly gone.
- Pour kitty litter or salt onto the spot and allow it to sit for 15 to 30 minutes to absorb the rest of the liquid.
- Use your wet/dry vac to vacuum up the granules.
- Mix one tablespoon of ammonia with one cup of cold water in a spray bottle and spray it on the spot. Let it sit for two minutes.
- Blot the moisture up with a clean towel and then use the wet/dry vac to remove the excess.
5. Dry Cleaning Solvent
- Put on protective clothing (long sleeves and pants), eye protection, a mask, and gloves.
- Using a clean paint scraper or dull knife, get as much detergent as you can off the carpet.
- Fold up a towel and place it on the spill. Step on the towel to soak up the liquid. If the spill is large, start at the outside and work your way in.
- Flip the towel over and repeat the process.
- Cover the spot with salt or cat litter to absorb the rest of the moisture, letting it sit for about 15 to 30 minutes depending on how big the spot is.
- Vacuum up the granules with a wet/dry vac.
- Apply the cleaning solvent by following the instructions on the container.
- Vacuum the spot after it is completely dry.
- Wearing gloves and a mask, use a dull knife or paint scraper to scrape up as much of the detergent as you can.
- Put a folded towel on the spot and stand on it for 30 seconds to absorb the moisture. Move to a different section of the towel as needed.
- Turn over the towel and repeat step 2.
- After you have dried the spot as much as possible, use cat litter or salt to absorb the rest.
- Vacuum up the granules with a shop vac or wet/dry vac.
- Spray the spot with WD-40 and rub it gently before letting it sit for about two minutes.
- Rinse the spot with hot water and use the wet/dry vac to absorb the water.
Does a carpet cleaner remove laundry detergent?
Absolutely. A steam cleaner you can rent from the store or a household carpet cleaner will usually work well. However, you will need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine how much cleaner to use, if any. It is best to follow these steps before using the carpet cleaner though.
- Make sure you put on your gloves before scraping up the detergent from the carpet with a scraper or dull knife.
- Use a folded towel to absorb as much as you can by standing on it for 30 seconds, switching to a new spot on the towel, and repeating the process until it is mostly dry.
- Pour enough cat litter or salt to cover the spot and allow it to absorb the moisture for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Vacuum up the litter or salt with a shop vac.
- Use the carpet cleaner, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
You can use mild dish soap with your carpet cleaner in small doses to remove dirt. Water down your dish soap to reduce the risk of soap scum building up so it doesn’t leave a residue on your carpet.
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.
More by Patricia Oelze