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How to Get Syrup Out of Carpet

A bottle of syrup being poured onto a white surface.

Pancakes may be a Saturday morning fan favorite for your kiddos, but they can pose some unintended challenges for a busy mom and dad trying to maintain some semblance of order around the home.

Delicious when doused in sweet maple syrup, pancakes can leave your carpet vulnerable to attack.

Try as they might to avoid a spill, your child is likely to drip syrup onto your carpet eventually, leaving a sticky mess for you to clean up while your precious offspring munches on.

Whether it’s maple syrup, cough syrup, or corn syrup, the sticky goopy mess left when syrup drips to your carpet is an unwelcome frustration, for sure.

There are a number of convenient and effective natural and chemical solutions to help you vanquish even the stickiest of syrupy foes.

When it comes to getting syrup out of carpet, however, it’s important to act quickly. So let’s not waste any more time, and let’s get started tackling your stain!

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Use a Spoon

Thick syrup being poured onto a wooden spool.

If you drip some maple syrup onto your carpet over a morning pancake breakfast, it’s no cause for panic. However, swift action will increase your chances of being able to effectively remove the stain.

One of the most important steps when it comes to removing a syrup stain from carpet is to scoop or scrape the remaining liquid syrup from the carpet. This will help to prevent much of the syrup from absorbing into your carpet and causing an even deeper, wider stain.

Take a spoon, a butter knife, or another blunt object, such as a solid spatula, and scoop or scrape the syrup away from the carpet, taking care not to rub or press it into the carpet as you do so.

As you scoop or scrape, scoop up and scrape beneath, rather than scooping to the side, as this could cause the stain to spread.

Discard of the syrup onto a plate or into a bowl as you scoop it away, taking care not to drip any of the syrup elsewhere on your carpet.

While this won’t succeed in removing all of the syrup, it will prove effective in removing much of it, helping to prevent your stain from becoming even worse.

After you have removed as much of the liquid syrup as possible, you can begin to treat the stain.

Blot the Stain

A woman cleaning the white carpet with a rag and a spritzer.

Before applying a cleaning solution to the syrup stain, you can work to remove just a bit more of the liquid from deep within the carpet.

You can take a clean, dry cloth and gently blot the maple syrup, working to draw up any additional liquid that may have yet to set within the carpet’s fibers. It’s possible to use a paper towel for this process, but because syrup can be so sticky, it may be more effective to use a cloth or towel, as paper towels may stick to the syrup and break off, leaving a sticky, paper mess.

This helps to protect against the liquid becoming even more deeply embedded into the carpet and may protect against further spread of the stain.

Blotting beginning from the outside of the stain and working toward the inside may prove helpful in preventing spread of the stain, as well.

As with scooping the syrup away, blotting won’t remove the stain in its entirety, but it can certainly go a long way toward reducing the spread.

What if it’s dried?

A close look at dried syrup stains.

Let’s face it: sometimes you’re just not going to catch a stain right away, and when it comes to sticky maple syrup being consumed by your children, it’s quite plausible to imagine a stain going overlooked.

If you’re wondering how to remove dried syrup from carpet, it’s not much more challenging than removing a fresh one in terms of steps and procedures involved.

However, an old stain has had time to set into your carpet fibers, and as a result, it may prove more challenging to actually vanquish such a syrup stain.

If you discover a dried syrup stain, the first step to removing it is to re-hydrate it. Take a damp, dry cloth soaked in warm water and gently blot at the stain, working to moisten the affected area.

Once the stain is sufficiently moistened, you can then perform the blotting step discussed above before selecting a treatment solution from those highlighted below.

Dish Detergent

A gloved woman pouring detergent onto a sponge.

Once you’re ready to begin applying a treatment solution to the syrup stain, you may find that dish detergent is an effective place to start. Dish detergent is designed for lifting tough stains and sticky food from your cookware, which makes it great at targeting tough stains in carpet.

To begin, mix one tablespoon of non-bleach dish detergent into a spray bottle and apply to the area of the stain.

Using a dry cloth or towel, gently blot the stain and reapply the solution as needed until the stain is gone or progress with this solution appears exhausted.

You can then rinse the area using a clean cloth and cold water, gently dabbing at the area to remove the remaining detergent solution.

Take care not to leave any detergent in the carpet, as this can leave your carpet dingy and grimy, collecting dirt and causing additional stains.

White Vinegar

A glass jar filled with white vinegar.

Another great solution that works well to lift and lighten tough, dark stains is white vinegar. And it’s usually something you find on-hand at home, making it a great go-to stain fighting option for tough, sticky stains like syrup.

To use this product against your syrup stain, simply combine one part white vinegar with three parts warm water. Using a spray bottle is usually a good option, as then you can easily apply the solution to the stain, but you could also use a clean cloth to dip into the solution and blot into the stain.

However you choose to apply the solution, once applied, gently blot using a clean, dry cloth and reapply the solution as necessary until no more dark stain appears on your cloth.

This indicates that the stain has already been fully removed or that it’s unlikely you will be able to lift much more of the stain using this particular approach.

After you complete the application of the white vinegar solution, be sure to rinse it thoroughly, as vinegar will not only collect dirt and cause staining over time, but it will also leave a bit of a pungent odor. Although vinegar works well to lift odors from your carpet, it itself can contribute to odor if not thoroughly rinsed.

For additional stain-fighting power, some may combine dish detergent with white vinegar and water, using both stain-fighting agents at once to tackle a sticky, syrupy mess.

Club Soda

Although generally thought best for use on milder stains, club soda may also be worth a try when it comes to tackling a sticky syrup.

The carbonation works well to neutralize and lift your stain without posing a risk of damage to your carpet.

Simply pour a small amount of club soda to the area affected by the stain and blot gently with a dry cloth, reapplying club soda as needed.

Hydrogen Peroxide

A plastic bottle of hydrogen peroxide.

Another potential option if that stubborn syrup persists is the use of hydrogen peroxide on your carpet. Hydrogen peroxide works well to both lift and lighten tough stains.

However, it’s important to note that hydrogen peroxide works as a bleaching agent and can actually damage your carpet if you are not careful. It should not be used on dark colored carpets, and other carpets, such as wool, may not be appropriate with hydrogen peroxide.

If your carpet is safe for use with hydrogen peroxide, however, it may prove an effective solution if you’re still having difficulty getting that sticky stain out.

Combine one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with three tablespoons warm water and apply as needed to the stain-affected area. Using a spray bottle usually works well, but if you don’t have one available, you can simply dip a clean cloth or rag into the solution and gently blot into the carpet.

Once the solution has been applied, allow it to set for several minutes. Some will recommend giving the solution 15 minutes or more to set, allowing it to go to work lifting and lightening the stain.

Then, using a dry cloth, blot the stain affected area gently, taking care not to rub or scrub the area and risk spreading the stain or pushing it deeper into your carpet.

If you’re going to use hydrogen peroxide on your carpet, it’s a good idea to test a small area of your carpet first to ensure it won’t cause damage before applying directly to the area of the stain.

Commercial Carpet Cleaner

Rug Doctor FlexClean All-In-One Pet Solution; 32 oz. Dual Action, Pro-Enzymatic Formula for Both Carpet and Sealed Hard Floors; Removes Pet and Biological Stains, Messes and Odors; Use with FlexClean

If you’re open to using a chemical, commercial carpet cleaning solution on your carpet, the use of an enzymatic carpet cleaner may work well to break up your stain and vanquish that sticky syrup once and for all.

One potential option is Rug Doctor FlexClean All-In-One Pet Solution. This product is specially designed for use on tough stains like pet urine. But it can work well for a stain like syrup, too.

It uses an enzymatic formula to break up stain-causing products in your carpet, going to work to lift and lighten tough stains. It penetrates deep into your carpet’s fibers and targets the depths of your stain.

This can be particularly effective on set-in stains.

This product is designed for safe use around pets and children, although you should always exercise caution whenever using any product around a pet or child.

Cleaning Up

A man cleaning the carpet with a high grade equipment.

After you have completed treatment of your syrup stain, it’s important to make sure you clean the area thoroughly, leaving no cleaning product remaining in your carpet. Leaving any product in your carpet will leave your carpet looking blotchy and drab and may collect dirt, causing stains to develop or worsen.

Using a clean towel, apply cold water and gently blot the area where the treatment product was applied until all has been thoroughly rinsed.

Be careful not to douse the area with water, as this can leave your carpet over-saturated and difficult to dry. If you do not thoroughly dry your carpet, it can be vulnerable to mold and mildew growth.

To dry, blot with a clean, dry cloth until all moisture has been removed.

Then, use a vacuum cleaner to smooth your carpet and restore it to its usual fluffy self.

Although a sticky stain like that left by syrup is never cause for rejoicing, with a little bit of effort and some trial and error, you should be able to leave that stick mess in your past.