Toothpaste dropped onto the carpet may smear or spread through further contact; creating a larger mess. Even if the toothpaste contains bright colors, you can use gentle cleaning methods to remove it completely without harming the carpet. When you clean with substances such as vinegar, test the solution first in an inconspicuous area to ensure the carpet is colorfast -- if the carpet is in the bathroom, most likely the answer is "Yes."
If the toothpaste spot hasn't yet dried, scoop up as much of the moist material as possible with paper towels or a white cloth. Use the bowl of a plastic spoon to scoop up a large amount of toothpaste, depositing the substance in the trash after each scoop. Grab as much as possible while it is still wet.
Dealing With Dried Toothpaste
If some or all of the toothpaste on the floor has dried, scrape the carpet fibers gently with the bowl of a plastic spoon or the edge of a plastic knife to flake some of the paste away. Vacuum the toothpaste particles, alternating scraping and vacuuming until you have removed as much of the paste as possible.
Wash and Dab
Add a generous squirt of a mild liquid dish soap to a cup of warm water, mixing the liquids thoroughly. Dip a soft white cloth into the soapy water, and then blot the toothpaste spot with the cloth. If the toothpaste is difficult to remove, wet the cloth a little more so the carpet fibers absorb some of the water. Do not saturate the area so much that the liquid soaks through the carpet. Continue dabbing and blotting with the soapy water, and then rinse the cloth and wipe the area again. Blot up as much of the moisture as possible with a dry white cloth.
If a bit of toothpaste remains after you've tried other removal methods, mix 1 part white vinegar with 4 parts warm water. Dip a white cloth into the solution, and then press the cloth over the toothpaste stain, allowing it to sit over the spot for several minutes. The cloth should be wet enough that it moistens the affected carpet fibers but not wet enough to soak the carpet backing. After five to 10 minutes, remove the cloth. Absorb the excess moisture from the carpet with paper towels. Blot the area again with a damp cloth, using water in place of the vinegar solution. Press a white absorbent cloth or folded paper towels over the area to absorb remaining moisture.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.