How to Get Soap Out of Carpet: Top 7 Helpful Methods

By Marsha Harrison

Fact-checked by Kia Lowe

how to get soap out of carpet

We use soapy water to clean most surfaces at home. Ironically, they also cause stains and allow all the dirt to stick.

Don’t worry! In this guide, I’m sharing a few different methods on how to get soap out of carpet, whether it’s dry or wet.

Besides, I also encourage you to read the FAQ section to learn and understand what causes the stains and soap residues. Knowing them will greatly help you in figuring out the best approach to removing soap stains.


Ways to Get Soap Out of Carpet

Cleaning supplies to prepare

Generally, you will need thick towels, white towels, vinegar, cold/warm water, salt, and a spray bottle. You can use a vacuum cleaner or a fan to dry your carpet.


Whether you have white minimalist modern carpets or vintage dark-colored carpets, test the product or DIY mixture first before applying it to the entire carpet.

Pour a small quantity on a hidden area, such as a carpet’s surface that is placed underneath a piece of furniture.

Wait for a couple of minutes or as prescribed in the packaging and check for discoloration, fading, or other types of damage.

Also, keep in mind that the techniques I’m about to share work only for detergent stains that are either fresh or dried after a couple of days or weeks.

If the color of your carpet completely changes, it is time to let a professional handle it. More information on this is in the frequently asked questions.

1. Remove dry spill

Dry spill refers to dried soap residue left on your carpet for years. So, the best way to tackle it is to neutralize and, ultimately, get rid of soap residue.

Start by pouring white vinegar onto the affected area and allow it to work through the stain for 10 minutes.


Get a thick towel and soak it with warm water. Dab the towel on the spill and work your way from the edge of the stay then inward.

Continue to press firmly until you notice that the soap spills are gone.

Using a dry towel try to get as much moisture out of the carpet. Lastly, dry the area with a wet dry vacuum cleaner.

If you are in a place without a vacuum cleaner, simply utilize a fan.

  • Tip: Use vinegar for cleaning pet, ink, and drink stains, too! Simply combine 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts lukewarm water in a spray bottle.

2. Remove wet spill


If the carpet liquid soap spills look fresh and more obvious, then our first goal is to dry the area first.

Use a clean towel to blot the spilled detergent on the carpet.

You can expect that there is still some wet spill left. At this point, use a wet towel to press against the carpet to remove soap residue.

Repeat the process and wring the excess soap or moisture out when your towel gets a little too wet.

Be sure to dry the area with a wet dry vacuum cleaner.

Otherwise, use a fan and make sure to open the windows to promote air circulation. This will surely prevent molds and mildew.

3. Remove detergent stain caused by washing

Whether you are washing your carpet with laundry soap, a store-bought carpet cleaner, or a DIY mixture with dish soap, you need to rinse it thoroughly to prevent future stains.

To remove soap from carpet, pour some water onto the stained area and dab it with a dry towel.

When you no longer see foaming and soap bubbles forming, start the drying process by blotting out the moisture.

The most efficient way to do this is to start from the edge of the carpet towards the center.

4. Remove stains using the sand in your cat’s litter box


Assuming that you just spilled laundry soap and did not have a carpet cleaner at home, you can use the bentonites in your cat’s sandbox.

Although this kitty litter method takes longer to work, it is nevertheless effective. Plus, it is also best to do this technique while the liquid detergent is still wet.

Put a generous amount of the kitty litter on the wet detergent stains, making sure that it is well covered. This process helps in absorbing soap.

After that, remove the kitty litter from the carpet. Then use paper towels or old towels to blot out the excess water and soap on the wet areas.

  • Note: You can use a shop vacuum to ensure that the carpet is completely dry.

5. Remove stains on a dark carpet

Eliminating a dark stain on a colored carpet is especially tricky as strong products tend to bleach it.

To avoid this issue, an easy way to use paper towels, salt, and cold water.

Simply blot the area with the paper towels to take out excess water from the carpet.

Scatter some salt onto the affected area, making sure that it is completely covered. Allow it to sit and work through the stain for a couple of minutes.

Next, rinse the area with water and dab the area with paper towels.

Repeat the steps above until you manage to remove the stubborn stain.

6. Remove dish soap from car carpet


To get soap out of car carpet, you will have to neutralize the soap with diluted vinegar just like you would with any carpet.

Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water. Apply this on the dish or bubble soap stain and vacuum it. You can use a wet dry vacuum cleaner to do this.

Continue to apply the vinegar mixture and vacuum it again until the detergent spot is gone.

Rent steam cleaner and water. Simply follow the instructions on the manual and work on the stain.

7. Remove personal care products from the carpet


Did you spill your body wash or shampoo on your carpet?

Prepare plenty of clean towels, several sheets of kitchen towel, warm water, and salt.

Start by pressing the paper towel hard onto the area and allow it to absorb excess soap then lift.

Get all the soap you can by blotting then proceed to spray warm water onto the affected area.

However, be mindful not to get it too wet. Remember, the goal is to dissolve the product. If you start to see foams, sprinkle some salt.

Next, use a clean towel to absorb excess soap. Feel free to use as many towels as needed.

If you notice that the carpet is nearly dried, remove the remaining moisture with the wet dry vacuum cleaner.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens if you leave the soap on the carpet?

Molds and mildew love moisture. The soap spill will create an environment that lets these fungi breed.

Apart from being a source of moisture, the chemicals in the soap can damage the carpet fibers if not cleaned.

2. Why is there cleaning soap residue on my carpet?

There are two reasons. First, the spill occurs by accident. You accidentally dropped a bowl of DIY dishwashing liquid mixture. Even though you tried to clean it up without realizing that it was not thoroughly done.

Second, you intentionally cleaned the carpet. However, the remaining detergent was not rinsed properly. This is also why many housekeeping experts still recommend professional cleaning services. Let’s talk about this more in the next question.

3. When should I call a professional carpet cleaner?

Let me answer this question with another question: Do you remember the last time you got your carpet cleaned?

If the answer is no, then get your phone and contact your local carpet cleaning service provider. There is a huge possibility that soap is not the only thing you need to remove from your carpet.

Another reason to leave the job to a professional is when your carpet is discolored, smelly, and giving you allergies.

Besides, according to housekeeping blogs and several users on Reddit, carpets need to be professionally cleaned once a year or 18 months.

Without this, you may not be able to take out the pet dander, strands of hair, dead skin cells, dust, and dirt with ordinary household cleaners.


While we can always call the carpet cleaning service provider, we should still get the soap out as soon as we can.

Don’t wait for hours or days to wash it off as it may stick and stain the surface. Worse, it can invite molds, mildew, and all sorts of dirt. Not only will it make your carpet look filthy but it is also bad for your health.

With that, I compiled the ways how to get soap out of carpet that you can apply in different scenarios. Hopefully, this guide will help you keep your house tidy!

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