How To Get Play-Doh Out Of Carpet (Quickly & Easily!)
Nothing is more entertaining to the kids as making crazy animals and other shapes out of colored dough. Play-Doh can keep your kids busy for hours. But it can also keep you busy trying to get the bright colored mess out of the carpet later. Maybe the kids should only play with Play-Doh in a room without carpet next time. But now you have a mess to clean up.
Do not start trying to get it out with water or any kind of cleaner yet. First, you need to let it dry. You can also try to freeze it if you are in a hurry. Then you can pick out the dry pieces, vacuum it up, and finally, you can work on the stain with alcohol, peroxide, or some other cleaner.
Play-Doh can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a source of disaster when it gets into your carpet. Even though you told the kids to stay in the kitchen with the doughy fun stuff, sometimes they forget. But you can handle it. Grab your compressed air, vacuum, and one of these cleaners. Make sure you test the cleaner on an inconspicuous spot first.
What Is Playdoh Made From?
Playdoh used to be made out of flour, water, and salt. However, in 2004 the USA patent had changed the ingredients to include:
- A binding element that is starch-based
- A retrogradation inhibitor
While this is a safe mixture for kids to play with, it’s not necessarily a great product to drop onto your carpet. If it sits too long, it will flatten and mold into your carpet. Due to the hardening effects, it will eventually harden into the carpet fibers and possibly even cause stains.
How to Get Play-Doh Out of Carpet with Compressed Air
- Start out by picking all of the loose bits of Play-Doh off of the carpet. Do not try to get any that is stuck in the carpet fibers or you will likely just make it worse.
- You can, however, use a ball of Play-Doh to pick up the loose pieces too small for your fingers.
- If you have a can of compressed air, hold it about two inches from the playdough and spray it for 15 seconds.
- Use a dull knife or paint scraper to scrape the playdough off the carpet.
- If it starts to melt, use more compressed air.
- Once the playdough is gone, use one of the cleaning solutions to clean the stain (see below).
How to Get Play-Doh Out of Carpet with a Vacuum
- Get as much of the loose Play-Doh from the carpet as you can, leaving the pieces that are deep in the carpet fibers.
- Use a clump of Play-Doh to get any pieces that are too small to pick up with your fingers.
- Allow the playdough to air dry or use a blow dryer to help it dry faster.
- Using the vacuum hose or nozzle attachment, remove as much of the dried dough as you can.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until it is mostly gone.
- Use a dry toothbrush or nylon scrub brush to loosen any leftover bits in the carpet fibers.
- Vacuum whatever is left over, using the blow dryer as needed.
- Use one of the cleaning products below to remove the stain left on the carpet.
How to Get Play-Doh Out of Carpet with Rubbing Alcohol
- Pick as much loose Play-Doh as you can off of the carpet but do not try to pick any out of the fibers or you may make it worse.
- You can also try using a ball of Play-Doh to pick up any small pieces you cannot get to.
- Wait for the Play-Doh to be completely dry before using your fingers or a brush to loosen the bits from the carpet. If it is in a high traffic area, place a cardboard box over the spot to keep it from getting stepped on.
- Put on gloves because rubbing alcohol can irritate your skin.
- Vacuum the Play-Doh and then use a clean cloth soaked in alcohol to remove any stains left over.
- After you get up all the Play-Doh stain, rinse with a cold wet cloth and allow it to dry completely before vacuuming again.
How to Get Play-Doh Out of Carpet with Hydrogen Peroxide
- Get all the loose Play-Doh off the top of the carpet.
- Use a clump of Play-Doh to pick up any pieces you cannot get to.
- Allow the spot to dry completely. Put a box over it to keep it from getting stepped on.
- Once it is dry, use a clean toothbrush or nylon bristle brush to loosen all the rest of the playdough.
- Vacuum the spot with the hose or nozzle attachment.
- Wearing gloves, use a clean cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide to clean up the stain from the carpet fibers.
- Allow the spot to air dry before vacuuming.
How to Get Play-Doh Out of Carpet with Dry-Cleaning Solvent
- Pick all the loose pieces of Play-Doh off the top of the carpet but do not try to get the pieces stuck in the fibers or it will just get worse.
- To get those pieces, get a small ball of playdough and use it to pick them out.
- Let the carpet dry or use a blow dryer before vacuuming up the dry pieces of dough. Use a stiff bristle brush to get any pieces stuck to the fibers.
- Put your gloves and mask on to protect your hands and lungs to use the dry-cleaning solvent.
- Put a few drops of solvent on a cloth or Q-tip to get the stains out of the carpet fibers depending on how big the spot is.
- Rinse the spot with a spray bottle of cold water and blot with a towel to dry.
- After it is completely dry, vacuum as usual.
How to Get Play-Doh Out of Carpet with WD-40
- Start off picking all the loose Play-Doh from the carpet.
- Use a small ball of Play-Doh to pick out the smaller bits that you cannot get to.
- Allow the carpet to air dry or use a blow dryer or compressed air.
- Use a toothbrush or nylon bristle brush to loosen any remaining pieces of playdough.
- Using the vacuum hose or nozzle, get all of the loose pieces off the carpet.
- Wearing gloves, spray the spot with WD-40 and rub it in gently with a clean cloth to get rid of any stains.
- Use a wet cloth or sponge to rinse the WD-40 away.
- Vacuum after the spot is completely dry.
How to Get Play-Doh Out of Carpet with Ammonia
- Start by picking the loose Play-Doh off of the top of your carpet. Do not try to remove those pieces stuck in the carpet fibers or you may just make it worse.
- Let the spot dry or help it along with compressed air or a blow dryer.
- Rub the spot with a toothbrush or stiff bristle brush to loosen the rest of the dough.
- Vacuum the pieces with your hose or nozzle attachment.
- Put on gloves and mix one tablespoon of ammonia with one cup of cold water.
- Dip a cloth or sponge in the mixture and apply it to the stain until it is gone.
- Allow the carpet to dry before you vacuum again.
How to Get Play-Doh Out of Carpet with Shaving Cream
- Get all the loose pieces of Play-Doh off the top of the carpet.
- Use a small ball of dough to get the pieces you cannot pick up.
- Allow the rest to air dry or you can use a blow dryer or compressed air.
- Use a nylon bristle brush or toothbrush to dislodge all the pieces that are stuck to the carpet fibers.
- Using your nozzle attachment or hose, vacuum up the rest of the dough.
- Spray a liberal amount of shaving cream (classic white foam works best) and allow it to be completely absorbed.
- Take a clean wet cloth and dab at the spot until the stains are gone.
- Let the carpet dry completely before you vacuum it.
How to Get Play-Doh Out of Carpet with Laundry Detergent
- Pick up all the Play-Doh sitting on top of the carpet but do not try to get the pieces out of the fibers while it is still wet. That will likely just make it worse.
- Use a blow dryer, compressed air, or let the spot air dry.
- Brush the pieces out of the carpet fibers with a nylon brush or toothbrush.
- Vacuum up the pieces with your vacuum’s hose or nozzle.
- Put on your gloves before mixing one tablespoon of laundry detergent with one cup of water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the stain and let it sit for two minutes.
- Blot the area with a clean wet cloth until the spots are gone.
- Vacuum as usual after the spot is completely dry.
Treating Tough Playdoh Stains
On occasion, even the harshest and most determined treatments aren’t enough to remove playdough stains. If this is the case, and the stain stubbornly remains, try using a clean white cloth, dampened with a little rubbing alcohol to blot the area.
Any of the stains that have been removed will be visible against the white of the cloth. As a final rinse, use one part of distilled white vinegar to four parts of cold water. This may also help to remove any remaining stains.
Playdoh Stains In White Carpets
If your carpets are white, you could use hydrogen peroxide to remove the stain. Just place a small quantity of the hydrogen peroxide on the stain. Use a paper towel to blot the area until the carpet is white again, or you could also use a white washcloth or towel. Although, you’ll want to make sure that the cloth is lint-free, so it doesn’t add to the mess on your carpet.
A word of caution: Although hydrogen peroxide effectively removes stains on white carpets, it should never be used on those of other colors or with patterns. You will probably be left with bleach stains instead of playdough stains.
Can I use a steam cleaner to clean up the Play-Doh?
It is not advisable to use a steam cleaner or hot water because it just makes the dough wetter. You want the dough to dry to get it out of the carpet. The moisture from a steam cleaner or carpet cleaner will just make the Play-Doh stickier.
What is Play-Doh made of?
Play-Doh is a brand name of modeling clay made of a petroleum additive, color, fragrance, hardener, preservatives, surfactants, a retrogradation inhibitor, lubricant, and a starch binder. There is also some salt and humectant in there and water, of course. But the main ingredient is starch.
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