How to get laundry detergent out of carpet — spills solved

Our experts reveal the best way to get laundry detergent out of carpet for a neat result

Beige carpet with throw pillows on floor and wooden step stool
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It can be surprisingly challenging to get laundry detergent out of carpet. While one would assume that anything soapy would be easy to clean up, things can get pretty messy fast. 

If you've had an annoying spill while loading the washing machine, rest assured. Our experts reveal how to clean up laundry detergent without leaving any sticky residue. 

If you're clued up on how to do laundry the right way, you can hopefully avoid those pesky spills in the first place. See our best tips and tricks for managing this soapy substance.

Three ways to get laundry detergent out of carpet

It's pretty easy to make a slippery mess with laundry detergent if you're trying to pour a capful out of those giant containers. To avoid the scenario in the future, you may want to think about some new laundry detergent storage ideas so you can pour your desired amount more easily.

You can simply wipe a detergent spill from a tile or vinyl floor, but cleaning up carpet is a bit trickier. Of course, a great carpet cleaner like our favorite Bissell Little Green carpet cleaner (available at Amazon) makes the job easier, but if you're doing it by hand, our experts have some helpful advice.

Blue sponge removing stain from beige carpet

(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Blotting

The easiest way to get laundry detergent out of carpet is to blot it out. But before you grab a towel, you're going to need something to help cut the stickiness of the detergent. That's where vinegar comes in. 

"Mix a gallon of hot water with a cup of white vinegar to create a solution that will help break up the detergent. Saturate the stain with your solution then gently pat dry with an absorbent towel. Repeat as many times as necessary to get rid of all the detergent," says cleaning expert, Karina Toner.

Karina Toner, Operations Manager, Spekless Cleaning
Karina Toner

Karina Toner is a cleaning expert and the Operations Manager at Washington D.C.-based Spekless Cleaning. 

2. Cat litter

This may seem like an odd solution but this household item is actually great for its absorbing properties. 

"You can pour kitty litter directly over the mess to absorb the laundry detergent. Just make sure to do it quickly while the stain is still wet, otherwise it won't work," says Angela Rubin, a cleaning expert from Hellamaid.

Leave the cat litter for at least an hour, then scoop it up and toss it away. This Arm & Hammer cat litter (available on Amazon) is lavender-scented and highly rated.

Angela Rubin, cleaning expert at HellaMaid
Angela Rubin

Angela Rubin works at Hellamaid, a top-rated cleaning company in Canada. Hellamaid are industry experts specializing in residential and commercial cleaning services. 

3. Wet/dry vacuum

If you have a vacuum on hand that can suck up liquids, such as the Bissel Crosswave vacuum available on Amazon, you're in luck. Fill a spray bottle with hot water and saturate the laundry detergent spill. Once the detergent has been diluted by the water, simply vacuum it up and repeat until the stain is gone. You may need to finish off with some light blotting using a clean and dry towel.


Learning how to clean a carpet the right way can save you a ton in cleaning fees and professional services. With just a few carpet cleaning hacks you can save yourself some serious cash while getting a great result in the process.

If you're finding those stains just won't budge, you can pretty easily remove your own carpet with some handy DIY skills. Stuck in a rental? Don't panic. You can cover up ugly carpet with some strategic furniture arranging and decor additions.

Emily Lambe
Deputy Editor

Hey! I’m Emily and I’m the deputy digital editor at Real Homes. I’m here to bring you the latest decor trends, inspirational ideas, informative how tos, the latest celeb homes style and the best budget-friendly buys. I live in a rented apartment, making the most of small spaces and using accent pieces to make things pop. When I’m not writing, I’m usually doing yoga, eating chocolate or working on my skincare routine.

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