There are some carpet stains we may learn to tolerate, but poop sure isn’t one of them. Poop stains look terrible and smell even worse, often shutting down entire rooms until someone braves the cleanup. And it isn’t just the sensory assault you have to worry about. The CDC notes dog feces may also carry various viruses, parasites, and other pathogens that could spread through the household.
Unsightly, stinky, and sickening, poop stains of any kind have got to go. But set-in protein marks never make for an easy fight. If you’re stuck with an aggravating pet mess on the rug, we’ll show you how to get poop stains out of carpet fibers to completely refresh your space’s look (and smell).
What Will Clean Poop Stains Out of Carpet?
Like any cleaning job, you want to scoop and pick off as much poop as possible before applying a cleaner to your carpet. You have several homemade and commercial solutions at your disposal, though the best choice will often depend on the size and freshness of the stain.
The following are some of all the tips and top cleaning options to clean dog poop out of the rug:
- Commercial cleaners
- Carpet cleaners
- Liquid dish soap
- White vinegar and baking soda
- Oxygen bleach
- Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia
I leaned heavily on products like Resolve when my dog was having tons of accidents as a puppy. He had some specific dietary tolerances that took time and tons of trial and error to figure out. And until we found food he could pass without issue, our carpet suffered most of the consequences.
Resolve was highly convenient at the time. But having kids, enzyme cleaners have become my preferred solution for several reasons. They’re flexible, letting me clean everything from dog poop on the carpet to toddler accidents on the floor or in the bed. Plus, they work without questionable chemicals, providing eco-friendly solutions that are healthier for the family.
Enzyme sprays can safely work alone or alongside soaps, detergents, and chemical cleaners to help pet owners battle stubborn stains. Some of our top recommended products include Simple Green Bio Dog, Pet Stain & Odor Miracle, or Angry Orange Stain Remover.
If you’re in a household where poop on the carpet is an ever-present possibility, you’d probably get tons of value from a multi-purpose tool like the Little Green carpet and upholstery cleaner.
People and pet poop stains are rarely a standalone issue. When kids, dogs, and cats leave these kinds of messes on the rug, it’s a cinch they’re also leaving tough stains and spills on the sofa, dining chairs, and other soft surfaces. If that sounds like your situation, a carpet and upholstery cleaner is an excellent investment for handling all kinds of everyday cleaning headaches.
How to Remove Poop from Carpet
1. Remove Solid Poop Chunks
- Rubber gloves
- Baby wipes or scraper
- Plastic bag
Remove as much of the solid poop out of carpet as possible. Pick it up by hand with rubber gloves or a baby wipe. A scraper works well, especially with loose stools and diarrhea. Scoop with a spatula or piece of stiff cardboard and put the waste in a plastic bag to toss in the garbage.
2. Clean the Poop Stain
After removing as much feces as possible with a wet cleaning tool, you can apply a liquid cleaning solution to remove the poo stains and deodorize. The following are convenient tools and techniques to try on fresh messes.
Option 1: Dishwashing Liquid
- Dish soap
- Old rag, sponge, or paper towels
- Scrub brush (optional)
Mix a few drops of dish soap in a bowl of warm water to make a sudsy solution. Dip a clean cloth, sponge, or paper towel in the water and blot at the stain. Do not rub the stain. Continue blotting until the stain lifts. For stubborn pet stains, use a stiff carpet brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the stain with soapy water.
Option 2: Vinegar and Baking Soda
- Distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
- Spray bottle
- Old rag or paper towels
- Scrub brush (optional)
Sprinkle baking soda on the poop stain. Work the baking soda into the carpet with a brush. Fill the spray bottle with distilled white vinegar, and spray the stain liberally. The release of carbon dioxide will lift the soil as the mixture bubbles.
Blot the loosened poop stain with a rag or paper towels until the stain lifts. Use a stiff scrub brush or old toothbrush as needed to pull up more of the stain.
Option 3: Enzyme Cleaner
- Enzyme cleaner (I recommend Rocco & Roxie)
- Old rag or paper towels
Spray your enzyme cleaner of choice liberally on the stain. Let it sit for the recommended dwell time (~30 minutes) before blotting up. Repeat as needed until the stain is gone.
3. Rinse the Area
You will need just cold water for this.
Rinse the area with cold water to wash away any remaining cleaner. Removing leftover soap is crucial, as it can attract dirt and allow any remaining dog or cat poop to settle back into the carpet.
4. Blot or Vacuum to Dry
You will need a clean towel, paper towels, or wet/dry vacuum cleaner for this.
After rinsing (Step 3), blot as much of the water as you can with a clean towel or paper towels. Better yet, use a wet/dry vac to extract it. The powerful suction draws moisture and soil from deep in the carpet, preventing any remaining poop from spreading or pressing further into the fibers.
5. Sprinkle Baking Soda (Optional)
- Baking soda
- Shop vac
Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda over the dried spot to finish drying any excess moisture and neutralize lingering odors. Let the baking soda sit for about 30 minutes or more before vacuuming.
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How Do You Remove Set In Poop Stains?
Old, dried poop presents a tougher cleaning task than a recent pet stain. For these, you may need to let the spot soak in a soapy water solution for several minutes and scrub repeatedly with a stiff carpet brush. For set-in stains, I’ll often save myself the hassle of trying several cleaners and jump straight to the carpet cleaning machine.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide and Ammonia for Stubborn Poop Stains
After you’ve tried everything and some discoloration remains on the carpet, you can attack poop stains with a DIY cleaning solution of hydrogen peroxide and household ammonia. Combine a couple drops of hydrogen peroxide with the same amount of ammonia on the stain, and let it sit for a few minutes. Blot with a moist paper towel and towel it dry.
Warning! Peroxide and ammonia can discolor certain carpet materials. Always spot test on an inconspicuous spot before applying to the stain to ensure your carpet is color-fast. Do not use ammonia or other high-pH cleaners on wool carpets, as they break down organic materials.
Does OxiClean Remove Poop Stains?
You can dissolve OxiClean powder in warm water and apply it to the affected area to loosen and extract old poop from carpet fibers. Mix a solution according to the cleaning product’s instructions. Apply it to the stain and let sit for about five minutes. Blot dry, rinse with cool water, and blot or vacuum to remove as much water as possible.
OxiClean makes an excellent follow-up to an enzyme cleaner if it doesn’t remove all the visible discoloration. Many complain about enzyme cleaners doing exceptional work on the poop smell but not eliminating the stain every time. Using these cleaners and OxiClean as a one-two punch will remove any trace of the pet stain and the odor it carries.
Tips to Clean Dog Poop
- Spot test cleaners: Spot test ammonia, oxygen bleach, and any cleaners that makes you uncertain before using on a carpet stain to ensure it won’t cause permanent discoloration
- Blot, don’t rub: Rubbing stains often only spreads them around and grinds them deeper into carpet fibers. When pulling up the poop stain and liquid cleaners, always blot to ensure they only transfer to the cloth or paper towel
- Watch what you mix: With so many cleaning products to try, you may accidentally mix the wrong solutions. We can avoid bleach for cleaning dog poop in many of our methods, allowing us to skip many hazardous cleaning combinations. Still, you should always stay conscious of what you’re mixing
- Don’t overuse cleaners: Follow the product instructions on any cleaner you use. Avoid overusing cleaners, as it can often damage or discolor the carpet fibers
- Talk to your vet: Poop on the carpet could signal a deeper health problem with your pet. They may be stressed or sick, requiring your immediate attention. Follow up with your vet about any concerns if your pet suddenly starts having unexplained accidents around the house
Will Vinegar Remove Dog Poop Stains?
Vinegar is an excellent room deodorizer, but it isn’t a fix-all solution for a pet stain like dog poop. Breaking down the components that cause the poop stain requires a more basic chemical solution, oxygen cleaner, or enzyme spray.
Does Hydrogen Peroxide Get Poop Stains Out of Carpet?
Hydrogen peroxide alone is a versatile cleaner, but you can combine it with ammonia, as mentioned, for an added cleaning boost against tough carpet stains. To use it as a standalone cleaner, blend one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with four parts warm water. Dip a scrub brush in the solution and scrub it into the stain. Let it sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing and blotting dry.
How Do You Get Old Dog Poop Out of Carpet?
The best tools to clean stubborn dog poop from the carpet are enzyme cleaners, scrub brushes, and carpet cleaners. Saturating and scrubbing with OxiClean or soapy water will take time and elbow grease but will eventually remove the stain. You can also use hydrogen peroxide and ammonia on synthetic materials for persistent staining.
What Is the Best Carpet Cleaner for Dog Poop?
Enzyme cleaners are the best all-around dog poop solution for soft and hard surfaces. They include various non-pathogenic bacteria and enzymes in a biodegradable formula to break down organic components that give poop substance and smell.
Poop is mostly water and an undigested mass of carbs, protein, fat, and other organic compounds the body didn’t absorb. The bacteria and their associated enzymes in enzyme cleaners pair specifically with those materials to catalyze their breakdown.
For instance, amylase enzymes break down carbs, lipase digests fat, and protease enzymes consume proteins. As living cleaners, they keep working until they eliminate all the organic waste and the smells it produces.
How Do You Get Human Diarrhea Out of Carpet Without Vinegar?
For fresh diarrhea, the shop vac is a great tool to use. Scrape as much of the diarrhea as possible into a plastic bag, and toss it in the garbage bin outside. Then, flush the stain with fresh water while using your shop vac to suck up the poop/water mixture. Remove any lingering stain by scrubbing with soapy water and a soft-bristle brush.
How Do You Get Diarrhea Out of Carpet Without Vinegar?
You don’t need vinegar to get diarrhea out of the carpet. While diarrhea is a bit trickier than typical pet poop stains, you can use the same enzyme cleaners and soap/detergent cleaners you would use on solid feces. Wear protective gloves with diarrhea, as it’s usually messier than feces and brings the threat of parasites or pathogens swimming around. Check our article on cleaning challenging dog diarrhea stains for help with your pet’s most recent accident.