How to Get Bleach Out of a Carpet

Isn’t it ironic how bleach, one of the most effective cleaning agents, can cause some of the worst stains on your carpet?

Unless you have a pearly white carpet, bleach stains can be a massive eyesore. They are also difficult to get rid of if you don’t know how to get bleach out of a carpet.

To make matters worse, bleach stains are some of the most common carpet stains. 

In the wink of an eye, you may splatter some bleach on your carpet when the intention was to clean the house, not create more stains.

Luckily, we are here to save your carpet and spare you the headache of trying to shop for a new one.

We will look at some of the best cleaners to deal with bleach stains and take you through the step-by-step process for ridding your carpet of that nasty white (or yellow) bleach stain.

What this article covers:

Can You Remove Bleach from A Carpet?

how to remove a bleach stain from carpet

Yes. The good news is that it is entirely possible to remove bleach from a carpet (phew).

But it should be noted that the effectiveness of removing the stain largely depends on how much bleach was spilled, how soon you address the issue, and the color of your carpet.

In some cases, the outcome will be damage control and not fully restoring the color but it will definitely make the bleach stain less of an eyesore.

Can Carpet Cleaners Remove Bleach Stains?

Yes. In fact, your best bet for removing bleach is using professional carpet chemicals.

Bleach works by chemically removing color from whatever object or surface it is transferred to (which is why it is often recommended for removing ink stains from a carpet).

For this reason, bleach may be your best bet for how to get old stains out of white carpet, but you sure don’t want it on a colored or dark carpet, where it will leave an unsightly stain.

The first step to prevent or stop this is to neutralize the bleach and the associated increase in the pH.

This can only be done by using a carpet pre-spray specifically designed for neutralizing pH.

Opt for something like an Alkaline Rinse or an Acidic Rinse which is designed to neutralize and emulsify acidity associated with bleach stains.

how to remove bleach stain from carpet

This is also why you don’t want to use dish detergent for cleaning a bleach stain.

Dish detergent has been promoted as a great carpet cleaner for getting rust out of a light carpet and even for removing grease from a carpet in your house.

Although some people recommend this for bleach stains, it is a bad idea to bring dish detergent near a bleach stain.

This is because the heightened pH of dish detergent acts as a vehicle for the bleach to remove the color and will be ineffective in removing the stain.

So, leave the dish detergent for when you are figuring out how to remove oil-based stains from a carpet and keep it far away from the bleach stain.

Once you have your chosen carpet chemicals ready, follow the steps below for removing that bleach stain.

how to remove bleach stains from carpets

How To Remove Bleach Stains From A Carpet

Method 1: Clean Bleach Stain Using a Carpet Cleaner

Step 1: Act Fast

Okay so now you have spilled bleach. Your first step is to run like the wind and grab your bleach stain neutralizer and pour it over the stain.

Be sure to dissolve or mix it according to the package instructions first. Be careful not to use it too much and don’t let it sit for too long.

Step 2: Vacuum

As soon as your cleaning solution has come into contact with the stain, use a wet/ dry vacuum (or any device that acts like a water extraction vacuum) and vacuum up the excess liquid.

how to remove bleach stains from carpet

Step 3: Check and Dry

Check whether the stain has disappeared. If not, repeat the first two steps until it does. If it has vanished, simply allow the area to dry.

Method 2: Clean Bleach Stain with Vinegar

Maybe you spilled bleach and haven’t had the time to order an alkaline rinse yet. Well, there is an alternative solution for dealing with a bleach stain.

But it should be noted that this method has a far worse success rate because the bleach is not being neutralized.

Without neutralizing the bleach, the changes of severe discoloration increase immensely.

Some people have had luck with this solution. There are experts who even recommend this method as a follow-up after applying your bleach neutralizer. So, it is worth a shot.

Step 1: Mix the Solution

As with the previous method, it is important to act as soon as the stain occurs (if you know how hard it is to clean dried glue off a carpet, you will realize the importance of this).

So, when you spill the bleach immediately grab a clean damp towel and cloth and start dabbing up as much of the bleach as you can.

Then, create a solution of two tablespoons of white vinegar (yes, it must be white vinegar) and four cups of warm water.

Step 2: Apply and Soak

Apply the cleaning solution onto the stain and let it soak in for about five minutes.

Use a sponge or small cloth and dab the stained area after the waiting period has elapsed. Do not rub the stain with the cloth as this will cause the bleach to spread.  

how to get bleach stains out of carpet

If the stain comes off, continue the dabbing process until it is completely removed, using a new clean part of the cloth each time. If not, repeat the first two steps until you achieve success.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

After the stain has disappeared, rinse the area with cold water to remove the vinegar solution. Use a towel or wet vacuum to dry up any excess liquid. 

Then, allow the carpet to dry out a bit. 

The smell may be a bit pungent (especially when combined with the smell of bleach) so aerate the room a bit by turning on a fan or opening up some windows.

Method 3: Restore Color

Okay, so this is a controversial method and not one we recommend unless it is an emergency. .

Step 1: Blot Up

Once the bleach stain occurs, use a damp cloth and dab up as much of the bleach as you can. 

The purpose of this is to prepare the area and to ensure that any excess bleach is removed. 

Take care to not rub the stain, which may cause the bleach to spread or penetrate into the underpad of the carpet.

remove bleach stain from carpet

Step 2: Color or Paint

Then, take a crayon or interior paint that more or less matched the color of your carpet and apply it to the stained area.

In essence, you are coloring your carpet in an attempt to restore it to its usual color. You can use interior paint and apply it with a brush or use a crayon and color the affected area.

Then use a damp paper towel and work the color into the carpet until it more or less matched the previous color.

Work the color into the surrounding area to ensure it blends in well.


So, is a bleach stain the end of the world? No, not necessarily.Bleach stains can be dealt with if you are well-prepared.

Yes, there are some crafty ways to deal with bleach stains if you don’t have professional chemicals or industrial carpet cleaning equipment on hand but the result of these methods is not guaranteed.

remove bleach stains from carpet

But, if you invest in a bleach-neutralizing cleaning solution, you have the best chance of success.

If you know you have a habit of spilling bleach where it doesn’t belong, why not invest in a product that can make your life easier in the long run?

As a bonus, neutralizing rinses can function as effective cleaners for a variety of stains so we promise you won’t regret it. 

Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking other guides:

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