How to Remove Bleach Stains from Carpets

by edstorm

A practical guide on how best to deal with bleach stains, from DIY techniques, cut and splice methods to the services of professional carpet cleaners.

Bleach is a powerful chemical. Accidentally spill bleach on carpeting, clothing or upholstery and it can do irreparable damage if you don’t deal with the spill immediately.

If the spill cannot be remedied by our smart stain removal tips outlined below, don’t despair, as there are DIY solutions that can extend the life of your carpet.

Dishwashing liquid method

Dishwashing liquid

As with all tricky spills and stains, the sooner you can remove the spill, the better the results. Your first step is to absorb as much of the liquid bleach as possible by dabbing the area with a clean cloth or absorbent paper towel. Remember to wear gloves because the hydrogen peroxide in the bleach can harm your skin.

Once you’ve removed as much excess liquid as possible, mix a quarter of a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with one cup of warm water. Conduct a colourfast test on an area of carpet that is usually out of sight. If there is no discolouration, apply the solution directly to the area where the bleach was spilt, working from the outside in, and leave it to saturate deep into the carpet pile for at least five minutes.

Blot with a dry cloth but do not rub the carpet, because rubbing can damage the pile. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and cover the site with several layers of paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Place a heavy object on the absorbent layer and leave overnight. Vacuum and agitate the carpet with your hand to restore the lustre and texture of the pile.

If the stain persists, mix two tablespoons of white wine vinegar with four cups of warm water and follow exactly the same process as above. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to think about re-dying or removing the stain altogether, using one of two simple DIY techniques.

Clever crayon technique


A clever and cost effective stain removal trick that may restore your carpet to its original state is the wax crayon method. Find a crayon that matches the colour of your carpet and gently apply it to the stain. Use a hair dryer or any other mobile source of heat to melt the crayon into the fabric and, voila, your carpet will be as good as new. Note that this technique is effective only with short pile carpets.

If your budget can stretch that far, you can invest in carpet dye pens or a bleach stain repair kit. Alternatively, recruit the services of a professional cleaning company that has the experience and equipment to repair and recondition your carpet.

Last resort cut and splice

Utility knife

If all else fails, you can permanently remove the bleached area of carpet with a sharp knife, razor blade or carpet cutter, and replace it with an unstained patch of carpet from another, more hidden spot. Before you cut into the carpet, we recommend you create a template so that you’re guaranteed a precise fit.

Once you’ve made the template, place it over the damaged area of the carpet, carefully slice through the pile and remove the offending piece. Take the template and place it over a section of carpet that is usually hidden by furniture such as a chest of drawers, a table or a bed. Cut around the template, remove the patch and insert it into the gap where the stain occurred. This method can work well, provided there’s a tight fit.

Specialist intervention

Although DIY methods are cheap and convenient, you should consider specialist intervention by carpet cleaning professionals for serious stains, especially for favourite or expensive carpets. Stain removal techniques, technologies and products are improving all the time, so there’s an excellent chance that there is a practical carpet cleaning solution for your carpet stain. 

Updated: 04/15/2014, edstorm
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Rose on 04/18/2014

I had no idea you could get bleach stains out of the carpet - but I guess it's possible if you act fast

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