How to Remove Detergent Residue From Carpet

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Things You'll Need

  • Carpet shampooer

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • Club soda

  • Clean cloths


Vacuum your carpet frequently to keep it clean and stain-free. This helps to reduce your need to shampoo your carpet.

Follow the "less is more" rule when it comes to using carpet shampoo. Too much shampoo can result in a dirt-attracting residue.

Err on the side of caution and rinse your carpet twice or until the rinse water comes up clean and not full of soap bubbles.

Carpet that's free of detergent residue stays clean longer.

Detergent residue in carpeting may occur as a result of frequent carpet shampooing. When too much shampoo is used, or your carpet is not properly rinsed, you end up with detergent residue. This detergent buildup can dull the appearance of your carpet and adds a residue that attracts dirt. Proper carpet shampooing techniques can prevent detergent residue, but if it does occur you can remove it so your carpet is truly clean.


Step 1

Fill the detergent reservoir on your carpet shampooer with the instructed amount of water and 1/4 cup white vinegar, instead of carpet shampoo. If your shampooer has a separate rinse water reservoir, add 1/4 cup white vinegar to the rinse water, as well. The vinegar solution helps rinse out and remove detergent residue in your carpet.

Step 2

Shampoo the affected carpet, as usual, with the vinegar solutions. Dump out dirty water and add a fresh batch of vinegar water. Continue until the entire carpet has been cleaned with the vinegar solution.

Step 3

Open windows or turn on the air conditioner or heater to help dry your carpet. Allow the carpeting to dry for 24 hours.


Step 4

Wet areas that have remaining detergent residue with club soda. Blot the carpeting with a clean cloth to lift out the detergent. Repeat this step until detergent residue or stain is lifted.



Mary Ylisela

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.