How to Get Playdough Out of a Carpet

Playdough is a fun activity for kids to express their creativity, but the texture of it can get messy. If it is dropped, and even worse, stepped on, it can be a challenge to remove. But with effective methods, you can become well-versed in how to get playdough out of a carpet. 

The consistency of playdough is soft and sticky, so when it is pressed onto a carpeted surface, it can easily mesh well into the fibers which makes it difficult to remove. Depending on whether it is fresh or dried, you will need varying degrees of cleaning to remove it. 

Even when the playdough comes off, it might leave an oily residue in the form of a stain on the carpet which will also need to be removed. 

We review the best cleaning methods to get playdough out of a carpet so that you are well-equipped to freshen up your floors. 

What this article covers:

How To Get Fresh Playdough Out Of A Carpet

how to remove playdough from carpet

Fresh playdough on a carpet can be a tough mess to clean, but it is also easiest to remove at this stage. Act quickly, and you should be able to get the dirt out of your carpet completely, with relatively low effort. 

The trick with fresh play dough is to snap up as much of the excess play dough as possible, and then leave whatever is left behind to dry up, which will make it easier to remove completely. If you attempt to scrub out the fresh play dough that is embedded in the carpet fibers, the soft dough could mesh further into the carpet. 

Lift Excess Play Dough

Use a larger ball of play dough to lift the excess dough on the carpet by sticking it onto the carpet dough for 1-2 seconds, and then pulling it up in a swift and intentional motion. Continue doing this until you have removed as much of the dough as possible. 

Alternatively, or as an extra step, you can use a powerful vacuum to pull up excess dough. 

Leave to Dry Out

Next, you will leave the remnants of play dough to dry out completely before continuing with the cleaning process. You can either leave it to dry naturally for a day or so, or use something like a fan or hairdryer to accelerate the drying process. 

Ensure it is completely dried out before you continue to the next step. It should be hardened on the carpet. This is a similar process you would use to get wet mud out of a carpet.

Brush Out Dough

You will then use a brush to scrub out the dried play dough. Depending on the size and amount, this could be an old toothbrush or a larger cleaning brush. 

Gentle brush the carpet to loosen up the dried dough, until you get out as much as possible. You will then sweep up the particles, or use a vacuum to remove them. 

You can also use professional equipment, like an Orbital carpet cleaner, for this step.

how to get dried playdough out of carpet

Remove Stain

If there are any remnants still left on the carpet, or an oily stain left behind, you will need to remove this using a cleaning agent. 

Mix two teaspoons of liquid soap with one cup of warm water. Use a soft cloth to dip into the solution, and then gently dab the affected area of the carpet. Continue doing this until the area is completely dampened. 

You will then rinse the area using cold water, and dab it with a dry cloth to absorb the moisture. 

This mild cleaning solution can be used for most fresh stains, like getting fireplace ash out of a carpet.

Leave to dry fully overnight, and then check the area to see if that mess has cleared completely. If not, repeat the process. 

How to Get Dried Playdough Out of a Carpet

If you are dealing with dried playdough on a carpet, this will be a little bit more challenging to remove as it has likely settled into the fibers and will require more work. 

To remove harder play dough, you will first need to soften it, and then allow it to dry so that it is easier to brush off but not too stiff. 

remove playdough from carpet

Scrape Off Excess

Use a spatula or butter knife to gently scrape off as much excess play dough as you can, so that you are left with minimal mess to work with. Scoop up the dried remnants with a spoon, or use a vacuum to clean them away. 

Avoid scraping the carpet too hard, as this might end up damaging the fibers and leaving you with an even larger problem to fix. 

Soften the Dough

Fill up a spray bottle with lukewarm water, and then spray the area generously to dampen the dough. Leave it for about 15 minutes to allow the water to soften the dough. 

After the waiting period, check the area to see if the dough is soft to the touch. If so, leave it for about an hour to dry up before you continue cleaning. 

Scrub Dried Dough 

Once the dough is soft but dry, use a cleaning brush to scrub it off. You can use an old toothbrush or a cleaning brush. Scrub in small linear movements, and avoid circular scrubbing which can make it worse by spreading it. 

You should start to notice the dough rolling off the carpet, into smaller particles of loose dirt. As you scrub, sweep the loosened particles to the side to avoid re-sticking the carpet. 

Clean Up Stain

After you have removed the dried dough, you might notice that there is a stain left behind. This is particularly likely if the dough was sitting on the carpet for a prolonged period before cleaning. 

Hydrogen peroxide is an effective cleaning chemical that can be used for most stubborn stains, like getting crayon out of a carpet.

how to remove dried playdough from carpet

Prepare hydrogen peroxide, which will effectively remove the stain. First, do a spot test on a patch of carpet that is generally hidden or unnoticeable, and leave it for a few minutes to see if it changes its appearance. If it does, choose a milder cleaning agent like dishwashing detergent. If there are no changes, you can proceed. 

Use a cloth to dip into the solution, and then gently dab the area with pressure. Avoid applying too much hydrogen peroxide at one time. Instead, begin with a small amount, and add a little more as you go along. 

Once you have blotted the area well, spray the area with plain cold water to rinse out the chemical. Dab with a dry cloth until the moisture is out, and then leave to air dry fully before checking to see if the stain has cleared. If it has not, repeat this last step. 

How To Remove A Playdough Stain From A Carpet

If you have successfully removed all playdough remnants from the carpet, you might be left with a stain on your floor from the oil in the dough. This can be stubborn to remove, but it can be done with a good professional carpet cleaning product

how to remove dry playdough from carpet

These specialized products are best to use as they are designed for carpet application, which ensures that your carpet fibers are not damaged, while effectively removing a stain. 

Mix Cleaner

First, you will need to prepare your cleaner or prespray. One of the best available is the Truck Mount Forum Ultimate All Fiber Rinse, a liquid cleaner with the perfect PH level that eliminates any stain or dirt that needs to be cleared. 

how to clean play doh from carpet

It does not only clean the stain but also leaves your carpet looking fresher and brighter by the end, making it a good option to keep around for specific needs like cleaning latex paint off a carpet, or general cleaning and upkeep, too. 

It also gets rid of any nasty odor that is left behind, coming in a Sweet Breeze or Original Citrus Scent to leave your home smelling fresh and pleasant. 

Mix the cleaner according to the instructions on the bottle. 

Apply Cleaner

Apply the cleaner generously to the stained area, and leave it to settle into the carpet for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse out with cold water, and use a dry and absorbent cloth to dab the area continuously until you have removed as much liquid as possible. 

If it is tiles you are working with, you will use a professional concrete cleaner to remove the mess. 

how to get play doh out of carpet

Leave to Dry

Leave the carpet to dry fully overnight, and then check to see that the stain has cleared out completely. If it has not, repeat the process. 


Like cleaning food spills or getting black marker out of a carpet, a playdough mess can seem like a disaster, but it can be easily averted by using the right methods and products. 

Always try to attend tould have had less time to inflict damage on your carpet.

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