If you’ve ever brought a newborn home from the hospital, then you know what panic feels like. The nurses are gone. The child is yours to feed and soothe, and the diapers are yours to change.
While many of those diaper changes will turn out to be completely benign, you’re bound to have a few complete blowouts. Whether you change your baby using a changing table or place him on the floor, the risk of an accident is real. Baby poop can be runny and goopy, easily leaking onto your carpet, or it can be projectile, leaving destruction in its wake.
Although I’ve been fortunate and have only experienced a few uncomfortable diaper changes with my baby, I knew a friend in college who went to change a soiled diaper at 3 am only to have the baby projectile poop all over the wall, carpet, and everywhere. Even if the majority of your diaper changes are false alarms, it’s not unreasonable to expect an eventual encounter between your baby’s poop and your carpet. And when that happens, it’s important to know how to safely and effectively clean up the mess and treat the stain with as little discomfort as possible for all involved.
But when it comes to baby poop stains, clean up can be quite difficult. Not only do you have to find a safe area to place your baby while you deal with the cleanup, but you have to get up close and personal with an unpleasant substance. One of the challenges with a baby poop stain is not just getting the stain out, but also getting the smell out. Phew!
Fortunately, there are a number of DIY stain treatment methods that work great to remove the dreaded baby poop stain so you can quickly resolve the problem and get back to caring for your precious little one.
Remove as much of the poop as possible.
Whether you’re working with baby diarrhea, newborn poop, or a solid stool, it’s important to remove as much of the liquid or solid poop from the carpet as possible before you attempt to treat the stain. Whenever you’re working with baby poop, or bodily fluids of any kind, it’s important to take some safety precautions to protect yourself and others in your home. Make sure you remove your baby from the area and have any other children keep a safe distance so as to not come into contact with the poo.
You’ll also want to ensure you are wearing latex or rubber gloves before you attempt to clean up the stain, especially if your child has diarrhea and could be ill. Once your gloves are on, grab a roll of paper towels and a waste basket or garbage bag and prepare to get your hands dirty. Well, not really dirty – that’s what the gloves are for! – but you know what we mean.
Using a spatula, a spoon, a large knife, or a similar blunt object, begin to scrape away the poop from the carpet, working to remove as much of it as possible. The more you remove, the less opportunity the poop will have to set in and cause a stain. It will also make treating the stain much easier.
Discard with the remaining poop safely in a garbage bag. You should leave no standing poop visible on the carpet. After you have removed as much of the poop as possible, it’s time to treat the stain.
There are a number of methods that can work well to treat a baby poop stain in carpet, but it’s important to act quickly to prevent as much of the stain from setting into the carpet as possible.
Blot the Stain
After you have removed as much of the liquid or solid poop remaining on your carpet, you’ll want to blot at the stain to lift as much of the set-in liquid as possible before applying treatment. This helps to pull up liquid or moisture from the carpet before the stain has had a chance to dry. This will set you up for greater success once you do begin to apply a treatment to the stain, as it helps to pull out some of that liquid, keeping it from setting deeper into carpet stains.
Using paper towels or a soft, dry cloth or towel, gently blot the area of the stain, working to draw up liquid from within the carpet that has been left from the poop stain. If the poop was solid, you may find this step unnecessary. But for liquid poo, it’s a good step to take before you finally apply a treatment.
Blot at the stain gently, taking care not to rub or scrub the area of the stain, as this can not only spread the area affected by the stain, but it can also push the stain deeper into your carpet’s fibers, making the stain worse. Once no more dark-colored stain appears on your cloth as you blot, it’s time to move on to applying treatment, as you have likely removed as much of the moisture as possible.
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
One common approach when it comes to lifting a baby poop stain from carpet is to use a solution combining baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. This may work well if you have a light-colored carpet, but it should not be attempted if your carpet is dark, as hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent and can damage dark colored carpets. It may also not be appropriate on certain carpet types, such as wool.
Once you have determined this solution is safe for use on your particular carpet, pour baking soda over the entirety of the stain. Then, apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to a cloth and gently blot it onto the baking soda. You could also use a spray bottle to spritz hydrogen peroxide onto the baking soda.
Allow the mixture to sit for several minutes. Using a hard-bristle brush, such as a scrub brush or an old toothbrush you don’t intend to use anymore, gently massage the mixture into the fibers of your carpet. This will gently work the solution into the depths of the stain.
Be careful not to brush too vigorously, as this can cause damage to your carpet, while also rubbing the stain deeper into your carpet. The baking soda works well to absorb the moisture from the stain, drawing it out of your carpet, as well as helping to neutralize the unpleasant odor left by the baby poo. The hydrogen peroxide works well as a stain lifter and lightener, helping to lighten a dark stain left by poop in any form.
If you’re more comfortable, you can also complete this step without hydrogen peroxide. Pour baking soda onto the area of the stain and, with a hard-bristled brush, gently rub the area to allow the baking soda to penetrate deep into the carpet’s fibers. Allow to sit overnight.
After the baking soda has set for a sufficient amount of time, use a vacuum cleaner to draw up the remainder of the baking soda from your carpet. This step may work well for drawing out a significant amount of the stain, but you may find it did not remove it all, especially if you did not use the hydrogen peroxide.
If that is the case, there are a number of additional DIY methods that may work well to remove the remainder of the stain, as well as to address that atrocious odor you certainly don’t want lingering in your carpet. You may also like How to Get Putty Out of Carpet!
Another option to remove a baby poop stain is the use of dish detergent. These products are specially designed to remove tough stains like grease from your cookware, and so it only makes sense that they can work well on tough carpet stains, too. To treat a baby poop stain using dish detergent, combine one tablespoon of a non-bleach dish detergent with two cups of warm water in a spray bottle and apply the liquid to the area of your stain.
Then, using a dry, light cloth, gently blot at the stain. Apply additional solution as needed, repeating the procedure until the stain no longer remains. Do not use hot water for this procedure, as this can actually cause a stain to spread.
Once completed, you can take a soft cloth dipped in cold water and blot at the stain to remove any remaining dish soap solution from your carpet. Failure to remove the product entirely will cause your carpet to look drab, but it will also collect dirt and lead to additional stains. You may also like How to Get Rust Out of Carpet!
Another potential option that can work well when it comes to removing any sort of poop stain is the use of white vinegar. This product has a number of benefits when it comes to stain removal, as it works well to lift stains, lighten stains, and neutralize odors – all of which are important when it comes to smelly baby poop in your carpet. To try this solution, combine one part vinegar with two parts warm water in a spray bottle and repeat the process described in the section above, only with a vinegar solution this time.
Remove the remainder of the vinegar in the same way highlighted above once the stain has been removed. For some extra stain-fighting power, you can add one tablespoon of dish detergent to this solution and reap the benefits of both stain tackling solutions. Just be sure to rinse the carpet thoroughly once your stain is removed.
Enzymatic Carpet Cleaner
For some stubborn stains, you may need to apply a commercial carpet cleaning solution following your DIY home remedies. Or, in some cases, you may prefer to skip the DIY route and go straight to a commercial carpet cleaner in the first place. Whichever route has taken you to this solution, be sure to look for an enzymatic carpet cleaner.
These options are designed specifically for use on tough stains left by bodily fluids and are often used to tackle stains left by pets. In this case, an enzymatic cleaner may be just the option to tackle the dreaded baby poop stain. They work well to break apart biological products and are, generally, considered safe for use around children and pets, making it a good option if you have a baby in the home.
One option that may work well is Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover Trigger Spray. This product uses an enzymatic formula to break down stains immediately, and is great on bio-based stains, such as urine or poop. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the product for both application and removal.
Be sure to rinse thoroughly following removal of the stain to ensure none of the product remains in your carpet. You may also like How to Get Slime Out of Carpet!
After you’ve completed treatment of your carpet and the stain has been lifted, it’s important to continue caring for your carpet to ensure it does not become damaged or additional stains to not develop. It’s important to rinse the area treated using a cloth and cold water. Avoid pouring cold water onto the area affected by the stain, as this can over-saturate your carpet, making it difficult to remove all of the moisture.
Continue dabbing at the area until all of the product has been removed. If you notice a bit of odor remains in your carpet even following treatment, you can apply some baking soda, gently massage it into your carpet, and allow it to sit overnight. Vacuum it in the morning to remove all baking soda from your carpet.
This should work to neutralize the odor. Once you have rinsed your carpet, use a dry cloth to blot the area dry. You may also opt to use a wet-dry vacuum or turn a fan toward the area.
It’s important to ensure the carpet is sufficiently dried, as moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow. Finish by vacuuming over the area to restore your carpet’s natural look.