If you've been doing laundry and accidentally spilled bleach on your carpet, don't panic. There are ways to remove bleach stains from the carpet, and we're here to tell you how to do just that. Check out the simple steps we've provided below.
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
There are two ways you can try to remove bleach stains from the carpet, depending on which cleaning agent you want to use. With either one, follow these steps:
- Mix a solution of water and vinegar or dish soap.
- Pour the solution on the bleach stain.
- Let it soak for 5 minutes, then rub it with a sponge.
- Rinse the area with cold water.
Both methods for removing bleach are very similar, other than the cleaning solutions used and the ratios to mix them. We will break each cleaning method down so you can decide which one you would like to try. For more specific details on each method, continue reading.
Materials You Will Need
- White vinegar or dish soap (depending on which method you want to try)
- A measuring cup
- A bowl or bottle
- A dishcloth or sponge
Method 1: Vinegar and Water
Vinegar is a popular cleaning agent due to its acidic nature used to clean upholstery, tile surfaces, and metal fixtures around your house. It can dissolve dirt, grease, and built-up mineral deposits and grime. It can also dissolve the fabric that is holding the bleach stain, restoring the color underneath. To try the vinegar method for restoring bleach stains, follow these steps.
1. Mix a solution of water and vinegar.
Start by measuring out four cups of water and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Mix them together in a bowl or bottle. It is important to follow the ratio exactly because using too much vinegar can be harmful when mixed with bleach.
2. Pour the solution over the stained area.
This step is pretty straightforward. Pour your vinegar and water mixture only onto the stained area of your carpet, making sure to cover the stain completely. It will not remove the entire stain if all of it isn't covered.
3. Let the solution soak, then rub it with a sponge.
After you've poured the solution onto the stain, you need to let it soak for about five minutes. This will ensure that the vinegar can penetrate the fibers. Then, using a cloth or sponge, rub the solution into the stain. Be sure to rub it from the outside of the stain toward the inside, or you will risk spreading the stain to other areas of your carpet.
The bleach stain will gradually start to disappear while rubbing it. If the bleach stain is still visible, repeat this step until you can't see the stain anymore.
4. Rinse the area with cold water.
Once the stain has disappeared, rinse the area with cold water to remove any leftover vinegar and bleach residue from the carpet. A vinegar smell may remain after rinsing, but the smell should eventually go away on its own.
Method 2: Dish Soap and Water
This method involves using a solution of dish soap and water instead of vinegar. Dish soap is a good cleaner for more than just dishes because of its chemicals that break down oil and grease. Follow these steps to remove a bleach stain with dish soap.
1. Immediately blot the stain with a paper towel.
When using this method, because dish soap won't help to restore the color to your carpet, it is important to immediately blot the stain with a wet paper towel as soon as you've spilled bleach on it. You want to remove as much of the bleach as possible. Do not scrub or rub the paper towel onto the stain at this point because it could spread the stain.
2. Mix a solution of dish soap and water.
The next step is to create a dish soap and water solution. You will need to measure one cup of warm water and ¼ of a teaspoon of dish soap. You can leave the solution in the measuring cup to pour it, or pour it into a bottle first, whichever you prefer.
3. Pour the solution over the bleach stain and let it sit.
Pour the water and dish soap solution over the stained area. It is important to make sure you cover the whole area so that you aren't left with small areas that are still stained. Let the solution sit on the stain for five minutes.
4. Rub the stain with a cloth or sponge.
After about five minutes, the stain should be almost dry. Using a cloth or sponge, rub the stain to soak up any bleach that may remain. If you use a cloth, make sure it is either an old one or that you don't mind getting bleach on it. Rub the stain from the outside toward the inside so that you don't spread it.
5. Rinse with cold water.
The last step is to rinse the area with cold water to remove any remaining dish soap or bleach residue. Let the area dry completely. You can use a towel to aid in the drying process as long as the stain is gone (you don't want to risk bleaching the towel).
Dish soap is a handy cleaning remedy; for more great tips, check out "How to Clean Bathroom Fixtures."
Can you dye bleach spots on carpet?
You can use fabric dye to attempt to dye bleach stains on your carpet, but it may be hard to match the color exactly. To help better match the carpet, start with a lighter shade by mixing a thinner dye solution. Add more dye to make it darker until the color of the solution matches the carpet's color.
If you want to try to dye the carpet using fabric dye, follow these steps.
- Mix powder or liquid fabric dye that matches the carpet with hot water, following the package's instructions.
- For small stains, use a cotton swab or cotton ball dipped into the dye and pressed onto the stain to cover it.
- For large stains, use a lint-free cloth. Dip it into the dye and rub it over the stain to cover it.
How do you hide carpet stains?
Besides trying to dye the carpet by mixing a dye solution, there are other ways that you can hide carpet stains. Dye pens, crayons, and hair dye are all options that you have for hiding carpet stains. And of course, you can always call in a professional to return your carpet to normal.
Carpet Repair Kits
There are carpet repair kits that are designed to repair or hide small stains on the carpet. Use a bleach neutralizer on the stain first, then follow the package directions to use the dye to cover the stain. Let the spot dry for 12 hours before you touch it.
If you can find a crayon to match to your carpet closely, this can be a very effective way to hide small carpet stains. Blot the stain with a wet paper towel, then use the crayon to color in the carpet fibers. Make sure the color is absorbed, then use a wet towel to blend the color into the carpet.
If your carpet is a neutral color, you might be able to find a hair dye that matches it. Clip a few carpet fibers from an unnoticeable area, such as near a wall or under a piece of furniture. Take it to a beauty supply store and see if you can find a hair dye kit to match it. Then follow the instructions on the box to return your carpet to its usual color.
Call in a Professional
Sometimes bleach carpet stains are too large or numerous to try to fix yourself. It is best to call in a carpet dyeing professional to fix these because they will have access to more dyes that will match your carpet and they will know how to blend the dye so that the stain is no longer noticeable.
Is bleach still active after drying?
If bleach is not rinsed out well enough, it can become reactivated after drying if it gets wet, so just because bleach is dry doesn't mean that it is inactive. The best way to deactivate bleach is to neutralize it. Because bleach is a strong base, you can neutralize it with a weak acid such as hydrogen peroxide, Vitamin C ground into a powder, and mixed with water, or a bleach neutralizing agent such as sodium metabisulfite (follow the directions on the package).
If you've spilled bleach on your carpet, there is hope. The do-it-yourself methods above are the easiest way to remove bleach stains from the carpet and be done with things you already have on hand. You can also try dyeing your carpet to hide the stain. If all else fails, there are carpet repair professionals that can do the job for you. Good luck!