We’re all guilty of trying to multi-task while brushing our teeth–anything to squeeze a few extra seconds out of our day. But when the gob of toothpaste leaps off the brush and onto the floor, you could end up wasting a good chunk of time trying to get it out. But all may not be lost; with the right treatment, you may be able to rescue your carpet from a permanent stain.
Regular stain remover and carpet cleaner don’t work on all types of toothpaste, but there a few different methods that have high success rates when you need to get toothpaste out of the carpet. The right option for your predicament depends on the type of toothpaste you use and your carpet style. Here are some common techniques that have worked for others faced with nasty toothpaste stains.[toc]
As with any carpet stain, it’s best to try to get the toothpaste out when it’s still fresh. You have a better shot at getting it completely out before it has time to soak into the carpet and dry. If the toothpaste is already dry, try scraping off as much of the excess toothpaste as you can with a coin or a plastic knife.
Whichever method you choose to treat your carpet, it’s a good idea to test it out on an inconspicuous spot on your carpet first. It doesn’t do you any good to get the toothpaste out of your carpet only to leave an even bigger detergent spot, so make sure your carpet’s color can withstand the treatment. If you have one, use a clean white cloth rather than a colored one to eliminate the risk of the color bleeding onto your carpet. You could also use a white towel or an old toothbrush, as long as it’s clean.
When you’re applying your solution to the stain, work in a circular motion starting on the outside, and working your way to the center. You may need to apply some elbow grease to work the solution all the way into the stain, especially if it’s dry. Just make sure not to scrub so hard that you damage the carpet fibers.
Once you’ve given the area a good scrub leave it on the carpet for about five minutes to let the chemicals do their work on the toothpaste. Once those five minutes have passed blot the stain with a new cloth until the color is gone. You can rinse with some cool water if needed to get the last little bit of the stain.
Solutions to Try
Commercial Carpet Cleaner
When you see that toothpaste falling to the floor your first reaction may be to reach for a commercial carpet cleaner. After all it was made specifically for stain removal. These cleaners may work really well for a lot of people and offer a quick fix, but they have their downsides too. If you don’t want chemicals on your carpet you should stick to a DIY option rather than a commercial cleaner.
Some carpet cleaners will leave residue on your carpet if you don’t rinse it thoroughly afterward. Some only really work on fresh, wet stains and fail on dried out messes. Bottom line; if you’re not averse to the chemicals traditional carpet cleaners are worth a shot, but you may be just as well off with a more homegrown cleaner.
Simple laundry detergent may hold the key to solving your toothpaste woes. Just mix a small amount of detergent into some water and use a cloth to rub or dab the stain.
Use dish soap to make a warm soapy water mixture, and rub gently into the stain. This cleaning solution works best on whitening toothpaste or other plain white toothpaste without colored dye, but may not be as effective on the bright blue or green varieties.
If you prefer a more natural route, white vinegar is often effective at removing toothpaste stains. A combination of about four tablespoons of vinegar and two cups of warm water should do the trick.
For colored toothpaste, such as gel toothpaste, club soda may offer another eco-friendly option. Club soda is great at getting dyes and color out of carpet, especially if the toothpaste is still wet. For this method, carefully pour a small amount of club soda onto the stain so that it’s damp but not soaked.
Let it sit for a minute and then blot with a clean cloth. You may need to apply the club soda a few times to get all the color out. Just remember to stick to plain club soda–nothing with sugars or other chemicals added, as those could make the stain worse.
Sprinkle some baking soda on the stain and then wet with warm water. Scrub with a paper towel or cloth until the color rises to the surface of the carpet. Once the stain dries vacuum up the baking soda and toothpaste residue.
For the most stubborn carpet stains try 3% hydrogen peroxide. Dab a small amount onto the stain, wait for at least one minute, and then dab with a damp cloth to remove the hydrogen peroxide.
What Not to Do
Whatever you do, don’t use bleach on your toothpaste stain even if your carpet is white. Besides staining the carpet, the chemical could break down the carpet fibers.
Another common cleaning product that may fall flat is lemon juice. Lemon juice is often touted as an awesome all-natural cleaning product, but it works best when used on a cloth, rug, or another object that can sit in the sun. It’s the combination of acid and sunlight that breaks down stains, and since carpet can’t be easily moved out into the sunlight, you’ll have more luck with other natural products.
Will Carpet Cleaner Get Toothpaste Out of Carpet?
The commercial carpet cleaner should get toothpaste out of your carpet, especially if the toothpaste is still fresh. Other options, like dish soap or hydrogen peroxide, may be just as effective if not more effective.
Are There Eco-Friendly Ways to Get Toothpaste Out of Carpet?
Yes! You can try vinegar, club soda, hydrogen peroxide, or baking soda to get remove the toothpaste stain.
Can I Use Lemon Juice to Get Toothpaste Out of Carpet?
Since lemon juice works best when combined with sunlight we wouldn’t recommend trying it on carpet unless you can somehow move it out into the sun.
StainMaster: Toothpaste Carpet Stain Removal
Treehugger: 13 Baking Soda Uses to Clean Almost Everything
Best Carpet Cleaner Review: Natural Carpet Stain Remover
Ready To DIY: Can Rubbing Alcohol Ruin Carpet and its Colors?