How to Remove Toothpaste Stains From Clothes, Carpets, and Furniture

How to Remove Toothpaste Stains from Clothes and Carpets

The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 15 mins
  • Total Time: 10 - 15 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

You have probably done it more than once. You get a little too exuberant when brushing your teeth, and white or blue specks appear on your clothes right as you are heading out the door. Sure, the obvious solution is to brush your teeth before you get dressed, but that's not always an option, and when the damage is done, you need to know how to fix it.

Removing spatters of toothpaste seems simple, but you can't just wipe them away with a damp cloth because they often reappear. You do, however, need to act quickly to avoid permanent bleaching or discoloration. Follow these quick and easy steps to eliminate toothpaste stains from clothes, carpet, or upholstered furniture—for good.

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Click Play to Learn How to Remove Toothpaste Stains

Stain type Toothpaste
Detergent type Heavy-duty laundry detergent
Water temperature Cold
Cycle type Varies depending on the type of fabric

Before You Begin

If you do not have time to clean the toothpaste-speckled garment and choose to just change clothes, the stains should wash out when laundering the garment. The surfactants and enzymes in your laundry detergent will take care of the problem. Simply wash as usual following the care guidelines for the garment.

Tip

If the toothpaste contains hydrogen peroxide, then be sure to rinse or wash your garment immediately. Peroxide acts as a bleaching agent and may discolor some articles of clothing.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Clothes

  • Dull knife or plastic edge
  • Clean white cloths

Carpet and Upholstery

  • Dull knife or plastic edge
  • Clean white cloths, sponge, or soft-bristled brush

Materials

Clothes

  • Water
  • Liquid laundry detergent

Carpet and Upholstery

  • Water
  • Liquid dishwashing soap

Instructions

materials for toothpaste stain removal
The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

How to Remove Toothpaste Stains From Clothes

  1. Lift off the Solid Residue

    If a blob of toothpaste lands on your clothes, use a dull knife or the edge of a credit card to lift the stain away from the surface of the fabric. Do not rub, because you will only push the toothpaste deeper into the fibers and make it harder to remove.

    using a dull knife to remove solids
    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley 
  2. Dilute Laundry Detergent

    Mix one teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent in one cup of water. Stir to mix well.

    diluting detergent in water
    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley 
  3. Rub Away the Stain

    Dip a clean white cloth in the solution and gently rub away the toothpaste. Do not over-saturate the fabric. Finish by dipping another clean white cloth in cool water and wiping away any detergent or toothpaste residue.

    person using a damp cloth to wipe away stain remnants
    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley 
  4. Air Dry

    Allow the stain to air dry.

    allowing the garment to air dry after stain removal
    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

How to Remove Toothpaste Stains From Carpet and Upholstery

For the most part, the instructions are the same for cleaning toothpaste from carpet or upholstery; only the detergent is different. A milder soap, like liquid dishwashing detergent, should be sufficient to remove the stain. Upholstery is cleaned the same way as carpet—just take extra care not to saturate the fabric to avoid excess moisture in the cushions.

  1. Scrape Away the Residue

    When the toothpaste blob hits the carpet or bathroom rug, quickly remove it with a dull knife or spoon to prevent the stain from spreading deeper into the fibers.

    Tip

    If you cannot clean it right away, blot the area with a white cloth or paper towel dipped in plain water. Work from the outside edge to prevent the stain from getting larger. It is especially important to treat it as soon as possible if the toothpaste contains hydrogen peroxide due to its bleaching potential.

    Toothpaste scooped up with dull knife from gray carpet

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

  2. Dilute Dishwashing Liquid

    Mix a solution of two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid and two cups of cool water.

    Dishwashing liquid diluted with water to clean gray carpet

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

  3. Blot the Stain With the Solution

    Dip a sponge, white cloth, or soft-bristled brush in the solution. Start at the outside edge of the stain and work the cleaning solution into the stained area. Blot with a clean white cloth or paper towel to transfer the stain out of the carpet. Keep moving to a clean, dry area of the cloth until no more stain is transferred.

    Gray carpet blotted with cleaning solution

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

  4. Rinse the Area

    Dip a clean white cloth into some plain water to rinse the area. It is particularly important to rinse away any cleaning solution that can attract soil to the area. Blot until no more soapy residue remains.

    White cloth rinsing toothpaste stain with water

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

  5. Air Dry and Vacuum

    Allow the carpet to air dry away from direct sunlight and heat. Vacuum to lift carpet fibers.

    Gray carpet vacuumed with hose attachment

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

Additional Tips for Handling Toothpaste Stains

Toothpaste stains are pretty straightforward. Most of them will come out in the first attempt. If the stain persists for any reason, repeat the steps as necessary. Do not put the garment into a clothes dryer until the fabric has been checked to make sure that the stain is gone.

When to Call a Professional

There are a few situations in which you'll want to consult a professional cleaner. These include:

  • For clothes that are labeled dry clean only, carefully remove any large blobs of toothpaste with a dull knife or spoon to prevent the paste from working deeper into the fabric. Do not rub the stain into the fabric. Then, take the item to a professional dry cleaner.
  • If the toothpaste contains titanium dioxide, it is best to take the garment to a professional dry cleaner and identify and point out the stain.
  • If toothpaste splatters on silk or vintage clothing or upholstery, consult a professional upholstery cleaner to avoid damaging the fabric.