Having a new, plush carpet makes any home feel comfortable. However, a single bleach stain can ruin the look, leaving a discolored yellowish-orange spot that stands out against nearly every other color. After spilling bleach on carpeting, the only thing you typically want to figure out is how to get bleach stains out of the carpet.
Technically, you can remove bleach stains with conventional cleaners. Instead, to remove bleach stains on the carpet, you need to neutralize the bleach and then redye it. Fortunately, you have a few options to deal with the spot and potentially stop it from spreading.
However, redyeing or another approach to apply new color is necessary if you want to remove the discoloration. Here’s a look at how to get bleach stains out of carpet.
Contents (Jump to Topic)
- Can You Get Bleach Stains Out of Carpet?
- How to Get Bleach Stains Out of Carpet
- Carpet Dye Pens
- Cover Bleach Stains with Crayon
- How to Get Bleach Out of Carpet Fast
- What Happens If Bleach Gets on Carpet?
- Do Carpet Cleaners Remove Bleach Stains?
- Can You Remove Bleach Stains on Carpet with Vinegar?
- Will Rubbing Alcohol Fix Bleach Stains on Carpet?
- What Is the Best Way to Fix Bleach Stains on Carpet?
Can You Get Bleach Stains Out of Carpet?
Technically, you can’t remove bleach stains from carpet directly. Bleach doesn’t stain the fibers. Instead, it removes the dye from the material, which is why the spots are typically lighter than the surrounding carpet.
However, you can neutralize the bleach and redye the discolored fibers. By doing that, you’re essentially eliminating the stain.
How to Get Bleach Stains Out of Carpet
1. Blot Up Excess Bleach
Before dealing with the bleach, you want to blot up any excess. Use a slightly damp paper towel to soak up as much bleach as possible if the spot is wet. Make sure you dab instead of rub and work from the outer edge toward the center to avoid spreading the bleach.
2. Prepare a Bleach Neutralizer Solution
Bleach neutralizers render the remaining bleach inert. As a commercial product, you’ll want to review the manufacturer’s directions to see if you need to prepare the solution before applying it. Some may require preparation, while others are usable straight out of the bottle, so check the instructions before you begin.
Also, ensure you put on any recommended personal protective equipment (PPE). Generally, you’ll want to wear gloves and goggles. However, you might need a breathing mask and disposable coveralls, so follow the recommendations.
3. Apply Bleach Neutralizer
Once the solution is ready, you can apply the bleach neutralizer. Some products are applied using a cloth, while others are sprayed or poured on. Since the needed approach may differ based on the product you choose, review the manufacturer’s directions regarding the application method.
After applying the neutralizer, let it sit. How long that takes varies by product, so refer to the instructions.
4. Remove Excess Neutralizer with Wet/Dry Vac
Once the bleach neutralizer sits, remove the excess with a wet/dry vacuum. Along with getting the chemical out of your carpet, this helps dry the fibers a little. If it’s recommended, you can rinse the spot and vacuum again.
5. For Full-Strength Bleach, Repeat Steps 3 and 4
If you spilled full-strength bleach on your carpet, repeat steps three and four. That ensures all of the bleach is neutralized before you proceed.
6. Redye the Carpet with a Carpet Redyeing Kit
After the carpet is treated, let it dry completely. Then, follow your carpet redyeing kit instructions to apply a new color, essentially removing the discoloration.
1. Choose the Right Dish Soap
While dish soap won’t correct the stain or neutralize the bleach, you can use it to help clean up the spill. However, you need to make sure that the dish soap is ammonia-free. Otherwise, it can release toxic gases once combined with bleach.
Along with checking the ingredients list, look for bleach warnings on the bottle. Some dish soaps don’t show ammonia in the ingredients list but contain small amounts. Others may use different chemicals that aren’t compatible with bleach, so don’t rely on the ingredients list alone.
2. Blot Up Excess Bleach
Before you apply any cleaner, blot up as much bleach as possible. Use absorbent materials like paper towels and dampen them with cold water. Ring out the paper towel and stick with a dabbing motion as you clean up the spill.
Also, work your way from the outside toward the center. That helps prevent accidental spreading, making it less likely that more fibers get discolored.
3. Make the Solution
Generally, you only need a little bit of dish soap to clean the spot. Add ¼ teaspoon of dish soap to a cup of warm water and stir to combine.
Next, apply a bit of the solution to the spot with a clean paper towel. Make sure you blot instead of scrub and don’t saturate the area. Let the solution sit for a few minutes before getting a fresh paper towel dampened with the cleaner and blotting more.
You want to continue that process until you remove all of the bleach. Then, use more paper towels to soak up excess moisture before letting the spot dry.
4. Test Before Redyeing
For small bleach spills, the process above may remove all the bleach, so you can use a carpet redyeing kit to restore the color.
However, if any bleach remains, you’ll need to apply a bleach neutralizer before redyeing. As a result, you can try redyeing a test spot to see if the color remains intact before doing the rest. If so, you can proceed. If not, neutralize the bleach before redyeing.
Before you start redyeing, make sure you put on gloves. Also, choose clothing you don’t mind accidentally dyeing or wear disposable coveralls. A dye can stain various materials, so work slowly to avoid splashes.
5. Redye the Rest of the Spot
After the test – and using a bleach neutralizer if needed – you can redye the spot. Every carpet dyeing kit is different, so you need to review the directions to prepare and apply the color. Following the instructions found on the redyeing kit ensures the best result.
Also, make sure the spot remains undisturbed throughout the process. Accidentally contact can track dye across your floor or onto other materials, including clothing, walls, or different flooring types in your house.
Additionally, dyes may contain harmful chemicals. As a result, you need to keep people and pets away during the entire process and until the carpet is redyed and completely dry.
Redye Bleached Carpet with Hair Dye
1. Neutralize the Bleach
Before redyeing the carpet with any dye, you need to neutralize the bleach. Use a bleach neutralizer to render any remaining bleach inert. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding application processes, soaking times, and clean-up to get the best result.
2. Select a Hair Dye
Generally, you can only use hair dye if you find a hair dye that matches the shade of your carpet. As a result, it’s usually only worth trying if your carpet is brown or black.
Additionally, using hair dye isn’t ideal for large bleach stains. However, it is worth considering if you only have a drop or two of discoloration. Still, it won’t provide the same results as actual carpet dye, so keep that in mind.
Usually, the easiest way to find a suitable color is to bring two small snips of your carpet with you to a beauty supply store. One carpet sample needs to be from an unbleached part of your carpet. The other should come from the bleached area.
By having two samples, you can compare the bleached carpet fibers to the starting shades and the unbleached fibers to the results shade on the box. Remember that carpet fiber and hair don’t have the same composition, so your results may vary.
3. Do a Test
After choosing a hair dye, you’ll want to do a test. You can use the bleached sample carpet fibers you brought to the store.
Mix the dye following the manufacturer’s directions. Apply it to the fibers and let it sit for the recommended time. During that period, use a blow dryer to heat the fibers to help absorb the dye.
Then, rinse the carpet fibers to remove the excess dye, let the sample dry, and compare it to your unbleached carpet fibers. If the coloring of the dyed sample matches your unbleached carpeting, you can proceed. If not, you may need to choose a different dye to get a closer match.
4. Redye the Bleach Stain
If you get a match, you can redye the bleach stain. Don’t go overboard when applying the dye. You only want to add as much as necessary to cover the stain and achieve the desired color.
Use the same process as you did with the test. Once it’s set long enough, use a paper towel to blot up as much dye as possible. Then, you can use clean, damp paper towels to continue removing the remaining dye. Finally, let the carpet dry completely.
Carpet Dye PensCarpet dye pens are a straightforward way to redye carpet stained with bleach. Many sets have everything you need to complete the process, including bleach neutralizer and dye remover.
After neutralizing the bleach, you want to make sure that you remove any remaining dye. If the bleach stain is yellow or orangish, that means there’s still some old dye in the fibers. If it isn’t removed, the spot could have a yellow or orange tint even after applying the new dye.
The dye remover also helps you correct mistakes if necessary. With carpet dye pen sets, you’ll get several colors to help you get the right shade as you redye. However, it’s easy to pick the wrong hues by mistake.
In most cases, you want to begin with a test spot. If your carpet dye pens come in shades that align with your carpet hue, choose the one closest to your carpet shade as a starting point. Sometimes, you’ll need to blend two of the provided hues to get a match, so air on the side of the lighter at first if you think your carpet is between two shades.
Otherwise, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding the application. Usually, you want to add as little dye as possible in a single pass. That allows you to build up to the right hue.
Additionally, wear PPE and choose clothes that you don’t mind potentially staining. You can also put on disposable coveralls if you prefer.
Finally, be mindful of drying times. It can take a while for the dye to set, so you need to make sure the spot is undisturbed until it’s entirely dry. Otherwise, incidental contact could cause you to drag dye through your home.
Cover Bleach Stains with Crayon
Technically, crayons don’t dye your carpet. Instead, they give you a way to cover the surface of the discolored fibers temporarily.
Begin by choosing a crayon that closely matches your carpet. Depending on the shade of your carpeting, this could be relatively challenging. Not all hues are widely available as crayons. Since that’s the case, this approach is usually only worth trying on smaller bleach stains.
Once you have the right color of crayon, apply it by drawing on the discolored fibers. You want to effectively coat the strands with the wax, covering the discoloration on the surface.
After you get the spot covered with a crayon, you’ll want to take an extra step to help the crayon stick. One option is to use a hair dryer on a lower setting to gently warm the wax. That can help it adhere to the fibers better, allowing the fix to last longer.
A handheld steamer is another option, or you could try an iron. Remember that not all carpet fibers respond well to high heat, as some synthetics can melt. Additionally, these options put moisture into your carpet, which isn’t ideal. If you go this route, you want to dry the spot quickly after you get the waxes melted onto the fibers.
Since the wax only adheres to the surface, this solution won’t stand the test of time. The wax will come off as it’s contacted, so walking across the spot, vacuuming, and similar activities will impact the longevity of the fix.
However, crayons are a quick solution if you don’t have time to redye them right away. Then, when you do have time, you can remove the wax before redyeing.
WD-40 is a potential solution for removing the wax later. You can also place newspaper and a towel over the spot and iron the area. The heat melts the wax, and the newspaper absorbs it, allowing you to essentially remove it from the fibers.
How to Get Bleach Out of Carpet Fast
The fastest way to get bleach out of carpet is to use a bleach neutralizer. Bleach neutralizers essentially render the bleach inert, preventing further discoloration.
After applying a neutralizer, you can then clean the spot. Just make sure to review the manufacturer’s directions regarding how to proceed once the bleach is neutralized.
Additionally, to address the discoloration, you’ll need to redye the fibers. Use a carpet redyeing kit or hire a professional if you want the best results.
What Happens If Bleach Gets on Carpet?
While many people refer to bleach spots on carpets as stains, bleach doesn’t stain carpet. Instead, it causes color loss, essentially breaking down the dye. The process starts by removing blue hues before moving on to yellow and red. That’s why bleach stains usually appear orangish or yellowish.
After bleach gets on your carpet, it typically remains active until it’s neutralized. As a result, it can continue impacting the fibers until you intervene and could make redyeing harder.
While you can try other options to deal with a bleach spill on carpet, dish soap, vinegar, and other household cleaners don’t neutralize the bleach. Since that’s the case, stick with bleach neutralizers to get the best outcome.
Additionally, while cleaning up the spot, don’t scrub bleach stains. Scrubbing can move the bleach to other parts of your carpet. Instead, you want to blot the excess bleach to prevent unnecessary spread.
When it’s time to recolor the spot, it’s wiser to use carpet redyeing kits. These are specially formulated dyes that are designed to work on carpet fibers. Alternatives like hair dye may not create the right shade or absorb correctly. Additionally, crayons are a temporary solution at best.
Do Carpet Cleaners Remove Bleach Stains?
Carpet cleaners won’t remove bleach stains since they can’t restore the removed dye. Additionally, certain cleaners may spread the remaining bleach around, leading to more color loss.
The only carpet cleaners that can help you fix bleach stains are bleach neutralizers. If a cleaner acts as a bleach neutralizer, it prevents additional spread. Otherwise, applying carpet cleaner might leave the bleach active.
Additionally, some carpet cleaners aren’t safe to combine with bleach. For example, any cleaner that contains ammonia will interact with the bleach and create chloramine gases which are incredibly harmful and potentially deadly.
Can You Remove Bleach Stains on Carpet with Vinegar?
Vinegar won’t remove bleach stains from carpet. Additionally, combining bleach and vinegar is dangerous. Combined, the two cleaners can create chlorine gas, irritating skin, lungs, and eyes or even cause death.
As a result, you don’t want to apply vinegar to a bleach stain, even if it’s old. Instead, use a bleach neutralizer to render the bleach inert. Then, you can prepare to redye the discolored spot safely.
Will Rubbing Alcohol Fix Bleach Stains on Carpet?
Rubbing alcohol won’t fix bleach stains on carpet. Also, mixing rubbing alcohol and bleach is dangerous. When combined, rubbing alcohol and bleach can create chloroform.
Chloroform is highly toxic. It can damage the eyes, lungs, and liver. Plus, it can irritate the respiratory tract and skin. Depending on the level of exposure, chloroform is potentially fatal.
Rubbing alcohol and bleach can also create peroxyacetic acid. Contact can lead to severe irritation and burns to the eyes and skin, and can lead to respiratory tract irritation.
What Is the Best Way to Fix Bleach Stains on Carpet?
Ultimately, the best way to fix bleach stains on carpet is to first apply a bleach neutralizer. After that, you can choose a redyeing method. Using carpet redyeing kits is your best approach, though you could potentially try hair dye or, if you need a quick fix, crayons.
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