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How to Get Hair Shampoo Out of Carpets

Project Overview
  • WORKING TIME: 60 mins
  • TOTAL TIME: 60 mins
  • SKILL LEVEL: Beginner

Spilling your hair shampoo on the carpet comes with double the consequences. One, your shampoo has gone to waste, and two, the carpet is in disastrous shape.

While you can’t revive the shampoo, there’s an efficient method to clean carpet without spending a dime on professional cleaning. 

A shampoo spill isn’t a regular mess – like pet accidents or coffee spills – so most people don’t know how to deal with the situation.

Dabbing or using water to clean the spill makes the mess even worse, considering water is to shampoo what fuel is to fire.

Back in my hotel cleaning days, many guests spilled shampoo on the bathroom rugs and carpets. So believe me when I say, my method for getting shampoo out of carpets works like a charm.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Carpet cleaner machine
  • Wet dry vacuum


  • Salt
  • Spray Bottle


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Blot the Area

First off, examine the damage. How much shampoo did you spill? Depending on the size of the carpet stain, get dry towels, and place them over the spill.

Make sure to cover the whole affected area and let the towels absorb the moisture. Do not rub vigorously as this would cause the shampoo to go deeper into the carpet fibers.

Allow the towels to remain on the spill for up to fifteen minutes and then remove them.

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Vacuum the Area

When you remove the towels, there will still be some soap remaining. Use a wet-dry vacuum to remove the shampoo. 

Don’t rush this step. Make sure no shampoo remains inside the carpet.

During this step, suds may form. To prevent that, add a bit of salt to water and spray the solution to the carpet. Then, vacuum the area again until no traces of the shampoo are left.

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Lastly, place a dry towel on the area and let it soak up any excess moisture remaining after vacuuming. Then, turn on the fan and let the carpet dry before taking it back to its original place. Alternatively, you can use a steam cleaner to dry the carpet.

Don’t use the carpet while it’s still wet as it can lead to mold growth

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Clean Without Vacuuming

If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, there’s another way for you. Clean the area with a dry towel to remove the excess shampoo.

Make a cleaning solution using ⅔ cup of water and ⅓ cup of white vinegar. Spray the mixture to the stained area. Again, use a dry cloth to blot the region and remove as much moisture as possible.

Let the carpet dry for about twenty minutes. If the vinegar’s odor is bothering you, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the carpet for deodorizing it(2).

You can also use a few drops of your favorite essential oil as an alternative.

Tips and Warning
  • When getting the shampoo out of carpets, use a dry cloth or towel to remove the maximum amount of shampoo before adding water to the affected area.
  • If you add water too early, it will activate the soap, forming suds. You can still remove the shampoo, but the process will take a few extra cleanings.
  • Call a professional for carpet cleaning if the spill is too big, and you can’t get it out yourself.
  • If you don’t have a wet-dry vacuum, use paper towels instead. Make sure to replace them as soon as they get too damp or soapy.
  • If you accidentally add a large amount of water and suds start to form, spray a saltwater solution to the area. It will break the suds apart.
  • Do not let kids or pets access the area where you’re cleaning. Ingesting shampoo or touching the eyes with soapy hands can be harmful.
  • Always dry the carpet entirely before putting it back where it belongs. A carpet may have to be dried overnight if the stain is too big. Turn on the fans to accelerate the process.
  • For a small stain, use a hairdryer to dry the area.
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