As careful as you may be, spills are inevitable at some point. When it comes to laundry detergent and carpet, it can be a bit more stress-inducing. With the chemicals and coloring in assorted laundry detergents, it’s easy to get hung up on whether or not it will stain. So how exactly do you clean up a soapy substance from your carpet?
Cleaning spilled laundry detergent is a relatively easy process as long as you get to the spill as soon as possible. To properly clean up spilled laundry detergent, you should do a preliminary clean and then run a carpet cleaner over the area a few times before letting the area dry. This should fully remove the spill and prevent any possible stains.
In this article, we’ll cover just how to go about cleaning up laundry detergent spills and stains. After reading, you should have a good idea on where to start and what you need to do.
Will Laundry Detergent Stain Carpet?
Laundry detergent can, in fact, stain carpet but this only happens when the stain is left to sit for a long period, or it wasn’t thoroughly cleaned when the initial spill took place. For the latter, it’s important to use a good quality carpet cleaning machine as it can penetrate deep into the carpet’s fibers rather than pushing the thick soap further into the carpet.
Any type of carpeting is susceptible to detergent stains, but the most common areas for these types of stains to occur is in or near a laundry room or area in the home.
Using Laundry Detergent on Your Carpet
Laundry detergent is specifically designed to clean all kinds of fabrics. Carpet is made of a type of fabric, so it makes sense that you could use laundry detergent to clean it. Using laundry detergent is a good way to effectively clean your carpet while also leaving it smelling fresh and new.
To clean your carpet with laundry detergent, you should follow these steps:
1. Fill a steam-cleaning canister with the detergent. This is the tool you’re going to use to clean your carpet.
2. Add your disinfecting element. Along with one cup of laundry detergent, you should also add ½ cups of white vinegar. The white vinegar serves as a disinfectant while the laundry detergent cleans the carpet.
3. Add water to the canister. You should fill with water until you reach the fill line indicated on one of the canister walls.
4. Replace the canister. Connect it back to your machine and let the machine heat up for roughly five minutes.
5. Use the machine. You should mimic the way you would normally vacuum. However, make sure to go a bit slower in order to give the mixture time to penetrate deep into the carpet.
Check out the full article for cleaning your carpets with laundry detergent, here.
How to Get Laundry Detergent Out of Carpet: 5 Steps
For those pesky moments when you accidentally spill detergent, there are five steps to follow for proper clean up. Begin with a preliminary clean to absorb any loose liquid. Spray the area with warm water and then use a carpet cleaner on the spot. After repeating that a few times, wait for the area to dry and then check for stains.
Let’s go a little further in detail for each of these steps.
1. Do a Preliminary Clean
You’re going to want to clean as close to your carpet as possible. To do this, take white paper towels and scoop up as much of the spilled detergent as you can. Doing this will keep the detergent from being pushed further into the carpet and potentially spreading to more areas.
It’s best to use white paper towels because you can easily see how much you’re cleaning up at a time. This is beneficial as it gives you a good indicator as to when it’s time to use your actual carpet cleaning machine.
2. Spray the Area
After the preliminary cleanup, spray the area with warm water. The warm water will work with the detergent to break it up and make it easier for the machine to clean. It’s best to use warm water over cold because cold water can actually constrict the area and make it more difficult to reach the entire affected area.
3. Use a Machine to Clean the Area
Once you’ve sprayed the area, it’s time to turn on the machine and get to work. This is a good time to just knock the entire room out but if you don’t see a need to, you can only focus on the affected area. If you don’t own a carpet cleaner, you can rent one from most home improvement stores or you can hire a professional.
We recommend doing this yourself as it’s not an entire room that needs help but rather a small area instead. To use the carpet cleaning machine, try vacuuming the area first to ensure no debris gets taken up with the water.
Add your warm water into the machine, taking care not to use water that is boiling or too hot. You may also need to add detergent for the machine to work but you can clean the area just fine with just the water if possible.
Go over the affected area as needed and check after you’re done with the cleanup. Once you run the initial cleanup, you’ll need to do a rinse to make sure excess soap isn’t left behind.
4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 a Few Times
If it was a larger spill, you may need to repeat the previous steps more than once. If you still have a noticeable spot, that’s a pretty solid indicator that the entire spill hasn’t been cleaned up yet. You should repeat the steps until you no longer noticer an issue.
5. Wait to Dry and Check
Once you feel like you’re satisfied, you’ll need to wait for the area to completely dry before checking your work. Because it’s only a small area, you likely won’t need to wait very long. While an entire room can take hours to dry completely, a smaller area may take only 1-2 to dry out.
After the area is dry, check the spot to make sure no soap is present.
Laundry Detergent on Carpet FAQs
Will Bleached Detergent Ruin My Carpet?
If your carpet is vibrantly colored or has a darker tint, bleached detergent will remove the color completely. Bleached laundry detergent should only be used on carpeting that is white and has sustained spills or stains that are highly noticeable and dark in color.
Will Blue Laundry Detergent Cause a Lot of Carpet Damage?
Blue laundry detergent will cause the same amount of damage to a carpet as any other laundry detergent, unless it also contains bleach. Any bleached laundry detergent has the chance to bleach out the color from a carpet. However, typical blue laundry detergent will only cause minimal damage as long as the spill is cleaned up right away.
Can I Hire a Professional Cleaner to Get Laundry Detergent Out of My Carpet?
You can absolutely call a professional for this, but most professionals will charge per room regardless of the work. In most cases, you’ll pay between $25-$75 per room depending on the area you live in.
Although spilling laundry detergent on your carpet can be stressful, removing it isn’t nearly as difficult as one may think. As long as you get to the spill as soon as possible and clean up as much as you can before using a carpet cleaner, you shouldn’t have many issues removing the soap from your carpet fibers.
With that said, be sure to check the area when you think you’re finished because sometimes soap can hide in places you don’t realize until you look closely.
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.