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

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Salsa is the most popular condiment in America, beating out ketchup and mustard. Did you know that? Well, it’s true. And knowing that, it’s fairly easy to see why salsa stains have become commonplace in dining rooms. What many people don’t know is that there’s a chance that you can remove the stain before it actually sets. But…how?

Wipe the fresh stain with a towel and mix 1 tablespoon of dish soap with 1-2 cups of water. Spray the stain with the soap solution and rub it with a towel or rag. Apply white vinegar to the stain if it persists and blot it until the stain goes away.

Like many other tomato-based products, salsa has a reputation for being a “permanent stainer” among foods. If you’re a fan of salsa or just don’t want your wife to catch your mess after Super Bowl Sunday, this is for you.

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Are Salsa Stains Permanent?

It all depends on how bad the stain is. If your stain is fresh and just involved a recent spill, you have a good chance of removing the stain. On the other hand, dried salsa is borderline impossible to get out of carpeting. Unless you have a really good carpet cleaning company, it’s safe to say that dried salsa is a moot point. It’s there for life, baby.

How Can You Get A Dried Salsa Stain Out Of Your Carpet?

Dried salsa has the power to permanently stain carpeting, so there is no guarantee that you will be able to lift the stain out of the carpet. If you want to try to get rid of a salsa stain that’s caked in, we strongly suggest calling professional carpet cleaners. If you cannot do that, you can try using vinegar to loosen the stain, then use an extractor on it.

How Should You Get Salsa Out Of A Carpet?

The best way to get salsa out of a carpet is to act as soon as possible. Here’s how to remove it the ol’ fashioned way:

  • Scoop up any leftover salsa that you might have. You can use a tortilla chip for this or you can use a rag for this. Either way, picking up excess salsa is a must.
  • Mix up your laundry detergent solution. This is best done with 1 to 2 teaspoons of detergent for every cup of water.
  • Then, mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar with warm water. It’s best to keep your mixing done in blocks due to the chance of feeling crunched for time.
  • Grab a clean white cloth and dunk it in the laundry detergent solution. You want to fully soak it.
  • Spray some of the laundry solution on the stain. Leave it for five minutes so it can pick up stains.
  • Use the rag to pick up stains. Quick, circular scrubbing motions will be enough to ensure that most of the salsa is going to go away. Some also find that blotting or dabbing motions can also help.
  • Check to see the progress. If you are lucky, this alone will be enough to make the salsa leave the carpet. If not, shake your vinegar solution and then get ready for the next step.
  • If there is any remnant of salsa there, then spill the vinegar solution on the stain. Let it settle in for a couple of minutes.
  • Dab away the salsa, working from the outside edges inward. This should fix most of the stains that happen with salsa.
  • Let your carpet air dry. After everything, you should see a marked improvement in your carpet’s appearance. If not, do another round of vinegar.
  • Use a vacuum to re-fluff your carpet. If you want to improve the smell, spritz fabric refresher too.

Are There Any Other Alternatives For Salsa Stains?

Another option that might be a little riskier, especially if you have a stain on a delicate carpet. For this, you will need ammonia and dish detergent. Since ammonia is a rather rough chemical, you will need to do a spot test prior to working on the stain. If you know your carpet will work with ammonia, go full speed ahead. Just follow the steps below.

  • Open a window and mix a solution of 1 tablespoon dish soap with 2 cups water. You are going to want to get the area ventilated since ammonia smells awful.
  • Get a clean white cloth, dip it in the solution, and sponge at the stain. This will help lift the stain out and remove as much as you can. Blot from the outside of the stain inward.
  • Blot and continue to work on the stain until you no longer see a stain OR you can no longer remove any of the liquid. This can help with most of the salsas you’ll see, but you might still get some issues.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 1/2 cup of warm water. Stir gently. Make sure that you do not have any chlorine bleach anywhere nearby when you’re working with ammonia.
  • Sponge the stain with the ammonia mixture until the stain vanishes. The ammonia will be far stronger and will be able to soak up the entirety of the remaining stain.
  • Rinse with a wipedown from a water-soaked cloth, then blot dry with a clean cloth. From here, you will be able to enjoy a pristine carpet.
  • The best way to get rid of the odor is to let it air out. If you really can’t handle the smell, just run a vacuum over the area and then spray the area with an air freshener.

Should You Call Professional Cleaners?

If the spill literally just happened, then there’s no need to call up cleaners. Time is the big factor here. Fresh spills can be lifted completely if they are addressed immediately. If you have a salsa stain that has sat around for a day or two, regular cleaning methods probably are not going to work as well.

Dried salsa stains absolutely warrant a visit from professional cleaners, simply because regular methods of cleaning probably won’t work. If you have a carpet that has organic fibers or requires specialized care, calling up a cleaning professional is ideal. Just remember that professional cleaners will cost between $50 to $150 per room.

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Related Questions

Does Oxiclean remove tomato sauce stains?

Whether it’s a cup of salsa, some ketchup, or that wonderful tomato ragu you love, it’s good to know that Oxiclean Versatile Stain Remover has been regularly cited as a good stain remover for tomato-based stains. Like with all tomato stains, it’s best to act as soon as you can in order to avoid having the stain set in. To use it on a carpet or clothing, follow the instructions on the tub.

How do you get stains out of carpets after they’ve dried?

Though the best technique can vary from stain to stain, most stains will be able to be lifted by saturating the stain in vinegar. Then, let the vinegar loosen up the stain. Dab and blot it out to the best of your ability. Once you can no longer lift any of the stain, let it dry then use a rug shampooer to help further clean the stain. Let air dry.

Can you use a steam cleaner to get rid of a salsa stain on your carpet?

While steam cleaners are excellent for sanitizing carpets and even getting rid of bed bugs, the truth is that steam cleaning a carpet that has salsa on it usually won’t work as a first attempt. It’s great if you’ve already lifted out the stain and just want to get rid of the smell of tomato sauce, but may actually “cook” stains into certain fibers.If you are desperate to get rid of a salsa stain that just seems to be abnormally stubborn, you will be better served through a call to professionals who have high-grade materials and tools for the job. Steam cleaning that stain runs too much of a risk for a typical homeowner to try.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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