Laundry is one of those chores that never seem to get any simpler. Between all the different types of detergents, stain removers, and fabric softeners, it’s easy to feel like there are a million steps and processes between a dirty shirt and a clean one. Fortunately, these stains are fairly common—and fortunately again, they’re also fairly easy to treat. If they catch you by surprise as quickly as they caught your carpet, read on for some tricks on how to get laundry detergent out of the carpet.
How To Get Laundry Detergent Out Of Carpet?
Vinegar has been around for a long time, and it’s still as effective as ever. It’s often used to clean woodwork, but it works just as well on your clothing.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great all-purpose cleaner. It’s safe for most fabrics and surfaces and can be used to remove stains, disinfect surfaces, and soften hard water deposits. It can also be used to absorb odors, though the best way to do that is with a vinegar-based solution.
3. A Clean Towel or Cloth of Your Choice
If you have access to a laundry room (or if you have access to some spare time!), using a clean towel or cloth of your choice is an easy way to remove detergent stains from carpeting without having the carpet dry cleaned or taking it off the premises altogether. Simply start with the area where you think the stain may have originated, then use any of these methods until you’ve removed all traces of detergent from the fabric.
4. White Vinegar
Vinegar is a common household cleaner, but it’s also great for removing stains from your clothing. It’s safe for most fabrics and surfaces, and the acidity of the vinegar will neutralize the detergent’s alkaline components. Make sure you dilute the vinegar with water to avoid damaging your carpet fibers.
Salt has been used to clean and deodorize everything from laundry to sinks for years now, and it still works just as well on your clothes as it does on a sink full of dishes. It can be used to remove coffee stains from a carpet before you wash the clothes in question, but it’s also great at removing stains that have already been set in place. Simply sprinkle some salt onto any stain once or twice daily until all traces of detergent are gone.
6. Baking Soda and Water
Baking soda is a great all-purpose cleaner, and it’s safe for most fabrics and surfaces. It can also be used to absorb odors. Mix the two ingredients together until you have a thick paste, then use this paste to scrub at the stain until the detergent is gone. The baking soda will help neutralize any alkaline components in the detergent, which will help get them out of your carpet fibers.
How Does Detergent Get On The Carpet?
Laundry detergent is a fairly strong cleaning agent. It can attack any type of fabric, including carpet. Some people like to dry their clothes on low heat, in order to avoid this problem—but this can also lead to damage from overheating the carpet, which can cause a fire hazard. If you’re going to dry your clothes at all, make sure that you don’t over-dry them either.
Don’t Let The Carpet Dry Out For Too Long.
It’s important that you don’t let the carpet dry out too much before washing it again with detergent, because if it dries out too much, it won’t be able to absorb the detergent effectively—and that means it will be left with a residual stain after you’ve washed it once more with detergent. If the carpet is really bad and needs to be replaced entirely, this could be something you should do—but if your carpets are fine and just need some extra cleaning up, then just give them a good shake (or even better, vacuum) before putting them back into service.
Use The Right Kind Of Detergent For The Carpet You Have.
Your carpet is probably made of several different types of fibers: nylon or polyester for strength and durability; cotton for softness; and natural fibers like wool or silk for softness and warmth against the skin (if you’re lucky enough to have wool or silk in your carpet, that is). The kind of detergent you use will depend on what type of fiber the carpet is made of.
Use The Right Kind Of Detergent For The Stain.
Most stains on carpets are caused by detergents—they’re usually red or brownish-red, and they look like a very concentrated version of the stain itself. If you’re not 100% sure what the stain looks like, it’s always a good idea to use a little bit of your favorite brand of laundry detergent to see if it removes it. If not, you can use another brand (or even mix and match) until you find one that works—but be sure to check out our guide on How to Clean Carpet Stains for more information about different types of stains and how they are treated.
Don’t Use Fabric Softener On Your Carpet.
As tempting as it might be, fabric softener is actually bad for most kinds of carpeting—and for good reason: softening fabrics makes them more susceptible to damage from detergents, which can cause permanent discoloration and staining (even though most people don’t think that fabric softener causes white marks on their clothes when they use it). If you want to try using fabric softener on your carpet anyway, only do so after washing with a regular laundry detergent in order to see if it does anything to the carpet.
Tips For Getting Laundry Detergent Out Of Carpet
- The first step to getting detergent out of your carpet is knowing what kind of detergent it is. There are several different types of detergents, each with its own characteristics. The most common type of laundry detergent for home use is “fabric softener” or “fabric conditioner.” These sorts of products are often marketed as “water softeners,” but they actually work on the fabric itself rather than the water in which it washes. Fabric softener contains chemicals that break down the fibers in the fabric and make them softer and more absorbent. Laundry detergents without this sort of additive will still do a fine job at removing stains, but they won’t be as strong at removing stains and other tough stains as a product with a fabric softener will be.
- The next step in getting laundry detergent out of the carpet is to wash your clothes separately from your carpets to avoid staining the carpet with soap residue or leaving behind any stains that may have been left on your clothing while you were washing them (toothpaste, food dye, etc.)
- After washing all your clothes separately from your carpets, try blotting up any excess soap residue on the clothes by using paper towels or an old towel to help soak up some of the suds before rinsing them all off thoroughly. This helps cut down on how much soap gets left behind on your clothing and your carpet.
- The final step to getting laundry detergent out of your carpet is to rinse it all off as thoroughly as possible. Use a detergent that is specifically made to be used with dye-based stains, and make sure you rinse the stain completely away. You should also make sure you’ve used enough of the detergent that it can soak into the fibers of your carpet—don’t just use a little bit, or you could end up with soap residue left behind on the carpet, which will only make matters worse when you try to get detergent out later.
- If there are still stains left after rinsing them away, blot them up with paper towels or an old towel and let them sit for at least 30 minutes before trying to remove them again with laundry detergent (or any other kind of stain remover). This helps cut down on how much soap gets left behind on your clothing and your carpet, which will help avoid further damage in the future.
- Finally, if you still feel like there’s some sort of detergent residue left behind on the fibers of your carpet after using a specific stain-removing product, try using a product specifically designed for removing stubborn stains like these—the ones that are tough even for a specific type of stain remover. These products tend to be more expensive than regular laundry detergents (and may not work as well), but they can help prevent future damage to your carpet.
Laundry detergent is a powerful stain remover, which is why it’s so irritating when it gets on your carpet. There are plenty of ways to get the detergent out of your carpet, though, so don’t worry if it happens to you. The best way to handle laundry detergent stains is to be careful when you’re handling your laundry. The next time you’re doing laundry, remember to wear gloves and use color-safe bleach.