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How to Get Beer Out of Carpet

A glass of beer with its spill on the side.

Oh, sweet beer. The sharp click of the tab and crisp taste of cold suds are often just the refreshing drink one wants after a long day at the office or when turning on your favorite sports game. When hosting house parties and dinner get-togethers, a case of beer is more than likely going to show up, regardless if you yourself are a beer drinker, and bottles will get passed around.

People simply love beer. Unfortunately, people also have a tendency to get clumsy the more they drink. And beer plus clumsiness often results in nasty spills and stains on otherwise fresh and clean carpeting.

Beer stains on your carpet can be particularly more frustrating than other types of stains because not only is there the visible reminder, but more often than not, beer stains will smell for days later. Which, you may like the scent of beer when you’re in the mood, but the scent of warm, stale beer when you’re prepping for work is no bueno. Prevent that stench today by checking out the following outstanding tips on how to get beer stains out of your carpet quickly and effectively.

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React as Quickly as Possible to Blot as Much Beer as Possible

First off, the most important thing you can do to prevent beer stains from settling and starting to smell is to act quickly. Whether it was you, your partner, or your friend who spilled the beer, don’t wait for them to react. You act first.

Grab a paper towel, dishrag, bathroom towel and throw it on the beer stain as quickly as you can. Use whatever cloth you grabbed to blot at the liquid and absorb as much as you can. Note, you shouldn’t be rubbing at the alcohol, but rather pressing that paper towel, dishrag, or cloth towel against the stain, allowing it to soak up the liquid and then removing it.

Still have liquid beer that wasn’t soaked up? Grab another paper towel, rag, or cloth towel and keep blotting and grabbing something else until all the liquid that’s possible is removed.

A problematic man sitting on the carpet holding a bottle of beer.

The White Vinegar & Water Follow-Up Method

Once you have blotted all of the beer that you can, the next step is stain and scent removal. What’s unique about beer stains is that, unlike stains caused by blood, wine, ink, and similar things, these stains are relatively light in color and their high concentration of water means that should staining result, it will often blend in or soak so far into certain carpet fibers that it can be hard to see. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

So even if you feel as though you’ve gotten the majority of the beer stain out of your carpeting with just the aforementioned blotting technique, you should still consider following up with, at the very least, a white vinegar and water cleaning solution. White vinegar is fantastic at removing odor and lifting up light stains and so this cleaning method is perfect for when you can’t visibly see any staining but are worried about odors.

For a white vinegar and water cleaning solution, mix 1/3 cup of water with 2/3 cup of room temperature water. Shake this solution up in a spray bottle.

Then, spray the white vinegar and water solution directly onto the stained area. You don’t have to completely soak the carpeting, but you should have an even mist so that when you touch the carpet where you’ve sprayed the solution, it should feel slightly damp.

Take clean rags or paper towels and blot up the white vinegar and water solution just like you had the spilled beer solution. Remember, replace with clean rags or towels whenever your current one gets to be too damp. Repeat until your rags or towels lift up dry and the beer is gone.

A glass bottle of vinegar with cleaning materials in the background.

Get Out Light Beer Stains and Discoloration With Dishwashing Soap

If you see a visible beer stain growing on your carpet, then you’re going to need more than just the white vinegar and water solution, you’re going to need some grime-busting solutions. Enter dishwashing soap.

Dishwashing soap is such a useful product to have in your home thanks to its versatility and ability to be used across all types of surfaces — including your average carpet. There are, of course, a few things to note before you choose a dishwashing soap to use on your carpet. First, make sure you choose a product that is unscented as chemically added scents can mix with the beer stain properties to create an even worse odor. Secondly, don’t go overboard and pour half the bottle on the beer stain. Less is more with dishwashing soap and you should still start with the aforementioned white vinegar step to clear out the worse of the beer scent.

For the dishwashing soap solution, take one cup of warm water (consider the same back of the wrist techniques used to determine correct milk bottle temperature) and pour it into your spray bottle. Then, squeeze about five drops of unscented dish soap into that spray bottle and mix the two thoroughly.

Once the solution has been thoroughly mixed, spray the mixture onto the beer stain just as you had with the white vinegar and water mixture. Then repeat the blotting with dry paper or cloth towels until the solution and all beer stains particulates have been picked up. When using dishwasher liquid, you’ll also want to follow-up the entire process with a pure water solution to ensure you get all of the soap out of your carpeting.

Gloved hands cleaning the carpet stain with a sponge and a spritzer.

Try Hydrogen Peroxide or OxyClen on White & Light Colored Products

Hydrogen peroxide is a wonderful product that every bathroom should have. It excels at both disinfecting wounds and nixing germs on surfaces. But its not just germs it gets rid of, you’ll also find that hydrogen peroxide does a fantastic job at getting rid of beer stains and lingering beer smells.

To use hydrogen peroxide for cleaning up beer scents, you can choose to either use it as part of the aforementioned dishwashing solution or you can apply hydrogen peroxide directly onto the carpet. When applying directly, simply allow the product to stand on the carpet for at least an hour. Then, blot and dry and repeat if the beer stain is gone.

Note, if you choose to add hydrogen peroxide to your dishwashing soap solution, make sure you only do so if your dish soap does not have bleach or lanolin. Bleach and hydrogen peroxide can make for a dangerous concoction while lanolin can actually accelerate the stain and make it harder to clean up.

If you want something a bit more specialized for carpet cleaning, consider purchasing an oxygen cleaner like OxyClean. OxyClean is a specialty cleaning product that is based on hydrogen peroxide but also includes other stain-busting compounds like sodium percarbonate. When using OxyClean, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in full.

Warning: Both hydrogen peroxide and oxygen cleaners like OxyClean have a tendency to “bleach” out certain fabrics and carpeting fibers. As such, it’s important to always test either product in a smaller, less visible area before applying to a more visible area where your stain is. Also, in general, this means you should reserve the usage of these products for white and light-colored carpeting only.

Evaxo 3% Hydrogen Peroxide 32oz Pack of 3.

For Big Jobs, Try an Eco-Friendly Enzyme-Based Cleaner

If you have a stubborn beer stain that just won’t come off and that you just can’t get to stop smelling, then you’ll want to bring out some bigger guns and one gun certainly worth adding to your cleaning arsenal is Puracy Natural Stain Remover.

Puracy Natural Stain Remover is a very popular brand in what’s called enzyme-based cleaners or enzyme-based detergents. Enzyme-based detergents are comprised of enzymes that are specifically formulated to dissolve organic materials. These enzymes are active ingredients that are sometimes referred to as “friendly bacteria” that, when sprayed onto stains, actively work to eliminate those stubborn beer stains.

Different enzyme-based detergents will consist of different enzymes that break-down staining compounds. The reason why Puracy Natural Stain Remover is such a great buy is that it is currently the only natural stain remover that consists of all renowned plant-based enzymes. These enzymes include:

  • Mannanase, which effectively removes food-based stains
  • Amylase, which effectively removes starch-based stains
  • Protease, which effectively removes protein-based stains
  • Pectinase, which effectively removes fruit stains
  • Lipase, which effectively removes oil stains
  • Cellulase, which effectively removes general mud and dust stains

You’ll use an enzyme-based detergent like Puracy Natural Stain Remover similarly to how we described using hydrogen peroxide. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and spray the product evenly across the carpeting, leave for at least an hour, and then blot up the excess liquid and remaining stain particulates with dry paper towels or cloth towels.

Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover, Enzyme-Based Spot Cleaner, Free & Clear, 25 Ounce

Always Finish With a Vacuum Clean

No matter which of the above solutions you use, always remember to follow-up your cleaning with a swift vacuum clean once the carpet is fully dried. Vacuuming will ensure that all excess particulates are gone and will further help reduce the chances of any lingering beer smells.

A man having fun while vacuuming the carpet.

What to Avoid When Trying to Get Beer Stains Out of Your Carpet

The following is just a look at some of the most popular types of everyday cleaners you can use to get rid of those carpet beer stains. A quick look online will find you a lot of other great cleaning options and for really rough, ugly, and smelly jobs, there is always the option of calling in a professional.

However, while there is a long list of effective things you can do to clean out beer stains, there are also some key things that you shouldn’t do. Make sure to avoid the following things when trying to clean your carpeting of beer stains:

  • Never use bleach. Bleach is great for cleaning tile and getting the dirt and mud out of white socks, but it isn’t great for carpeting. Bleach will strip your carpet fibers both of its color and, in some cases, even strip the fibers themselves, thereby resulting in a thinner-looking carpet.
  • Don’t use an abrasive sponge, brush, or cleaning technique. The emphasis on all of the above techniques for cleaning beer out of the carpet is blotting. You want to blot out the liquid and not rub or scrub it as these are abrasive cleaning methods that can actually work the stain in deeper. As such, you should also avoid using any type of abrasive material to do the cleaning, such as the more abrasive side of a sponge or a brush. These types of abrasive products are great for really getting the grime out of tile and getting countertops sparkly clean, but they are horrible on carpets. That’s because similar to bleach, they will weaken the fibers of your carpet.

A visual representation of the do's and don'ts.

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