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How to Get Soap Out of Carpet

By November 1, 2022No Comments
cleaning carpet

Carpet needs to be cleaned in homes to eliminate germs and stains. Many homeowners will have their carpets cleaned or they will do it themselves and sometimes a soapy residue may be left. Also, it is inevitable that if you have kids or pets, something will spill on the carpet and cleaning will be necessary. Soap residue may be left and you will need to know how to get the soap out of the carpet. Depending on if it is a wet spill or a dry spill, there are steps to take to remove the soap. Let’s take a look.

What Causes Soap Spills and Residue

Soap can get into the carpet in a few ways. If someone in the home spills soapy water or cleaning chemicals that are liquid, then soap gets into the carpet.

Another way is if the carpet shampooing is done over and over again, it can leave a residue as too much soap is used. Also, a soap residue is left if the carpet is not thoroughly rinsed.

Additionally, if the carpet is not washed properly, there may be soap or detergent left, which shows as stains. However, keep in mind that the stains will show but there is no need for a health concern.

Wet vac to be used on the carpet to get rid of extra soap and stains.

Wet Soap Spill and Dry Soap Spill

When it comes to soap spills on the carpet, there are two types: wet and dry.

Wet soap spill – recently happened and you can see the soap on the carpet.

Dry soap spill – happened a while ago, has dried, and you can’t see it well on the carpet.

Let’s look at the materials for getting rid of wet and dry soap spills.

Materials Needed

  1. Bucket of warm water
  2. White vinegar
  3. Portable fan
  4. Wet dry vacuum cleaner
  5. Towels – clean, light-colored, or white towels

Steps to Remove Soap From Carpet – Fresh Spill

Let’s look at the steps to remove soap from the carpet when you have a fresh spill.

  1. Start with a clean, dry towel, and try to dry out as much soap as you can.
  2. You will have soap residue left on the surface of the carpet so take a wet towel, moist not soaking and press it to get rid of any soap residue that remains.
  3. Grab another towel, moisten it and place it on the carpet. You will want to press the towel firmly so the towels can absorb excess soap and water. Then, squeeze out the water from the towel until you can’t get any more water out.
  4. Next, use a wet vac and go over the area.
  5. Lastly, put the portable fan on and open the windows. This will help the moisture to evaporate and keep mold and mildew away.
Using a traditional vacuum to get up the dry pieces of carpet and dirt.

Steps to Remove Soap From Carpet – Dry Spill

Removing soap from a dry spill is a different process from a wet spill. Let’s take a look.

  1. Neutralize the soap – the dry spill means it has been on the carpet longer so you need to add warm water to the spill to dissolve it. Then, add vinegar to the water and this will neutralize it on the affected areas. Make sure to add just enough for the stain and not too much. The other option is to add a towel with the mixture of vinegar and water to wipe the soap.
  2. Repeat the process until the soap is gone. You will know it is gone because there will no foaming of bubbles on the carpet so this signals that the carpet is clean and no more soap lingers.
  3. Lastly, using a dry towel, blot the excess water. You can use the shop vac to dry the carpet completely.
  4. In the case of a wet spill, we mentioned you can let the carpet air dry or use a portable fan to speed up the process. The same is true of a dry spill.

Keep in mind if you have wool, silk, or other rugs that are natural fiber, don’t use vinegar. These are special materials and need to be professionally cleaned.

Effects of Leaving Dish Soap on the Carpet

Now, dish soap is another story. Fortunately, it is used in kitchens and rarely is near carpet when it is open, but things do happen. This contains moisture and can create mildew or mold when it is in the fibers of the carpet.

Also, it has a harsh chemical in it that can react with the fibers of the carpet and they can weaken, as well as damage the floor. If you don’t clean up a spill of dish soap, you will need to fork over a lot of money for the damage it will cause so take care of this spill right away.

Here are the materials you will need:


  1. Shop-vac
  2. White or light-colored towels that are thick
  3. Vacuum
  4. Kitty litter that is absorbent
  5. Spray bottle
  6. Warm water


  1. Pour kitty litter over the spill of dish soap right away. It is highly absorbent and can soak up wetness. The faster you apply it after the spill the better.
  2. Use a dustpan and remove the loose material once the kitty litter has absorbed the liquid. Then, use a thick towel and brush back and forth.
  3. Next, take the spray container and fill it with warm water. Apply enough water to the carpet to make it wet enough to blot excess water. You don’t want to create suds so make sure you only use a little water.
  4. A thick dry towel is used next. Blot dry the spot with enough warm water but don’t rub or push down. This will send the soap further into the material.
  5. The shop vac is very handy at this step. Wet the area again with warm water and use the shop vac attachment that is good for picking up a spill. It should suck it out of the carpet. If it isn’t working, try wetting the area again and then use the shop vac.
  6. Once you are satisfied, let it dry overnight with keep human and pet feet away.
  7. Next day, if it is dry, use your regular vacuum and clean the whole carpet. If you find discoloration has occurred, contacting a professional might be needed.

Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about getting soap out of the carpet, there are a few other areas to look at.

One of those is cleaning paint off hardwood floors. The materials required are similar to the ones for the carpet so that is good! You will need to do some scrubbing and hope that the floor is not damaged.

Another area is removing paint from tiles. Imagine spilling paint on the tile floor or tile walls, what a mess! This will be a little more complex as now you are dealing with cleaning grout, as well as the tile. You will need a heat gun, rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a dust mask.

Lastly, if you notice your hardwoods are squeaky, it is a good idea to find out what the cause is. It may be that you need to fill in gaps with glue or drive nails into the floor joist. If it happens on the second floor, it could be because the plywood underneath the carpet is loose.

When To Call A Professional

It can be difficult to get the soap out of the carpet for people so calling a professional is a great idea. As mentioned above, if it is left for too long, it can cause moisture issues that lead to mildew and mold. It also requires getting on your hands and knees so if you have issues in those areas, a professional can help and probably do it in less time.


Calling on your local home inspection team is a good idea as they can refer someone to dry out the carpets, but can also check to see if there are any issues with the leftover soap. Also, they can check if there is any damage or mildew, or mold growing.  Avalon Home Inspections will check your carpets and floors during a home inspection in Atlanta, GA.

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