How to Remove Soda Stains From Carpet

Pouring soda in glass


Igor Alecsander / Getty Images

It seems like where there is a gathering, there is likely to be soda and more often than not, those sodas or colas can find their way onto your carpet. But removing a soda stain from a carpet is easier than you think and can be done in four easy steps with items you likely already have.

The stain is caused by the dyes within the drink, but that is not the end of it. In fact, you can get even more of a headache if it is not treated immediately. Since most sodas are made with sticky, sugary syrups that attract dust, dirt, and grime if not cleaned up, the stain can darken and get worse in appearance if let alone. Also, do not be surprised if creepy crawlies like ants or roaches hunt down the stain too.

Stain Type Dye-based 
Detergent Type Heavy-duty laundry detergent
Water Temperature Cold

Project Metrics

There are a few factors to keep in mind before removing the stain.

  • Working Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours

Before You Begin

Test any detergents or cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous area first to ensure they do not discolor the carpet.

Older stains will be harder to remove. You might need to repeat the cleaning process a couple of times before the stain disappears.

What You'll Need


  • Water
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Carpet stain remover (optional)


  • Clean white cloths
  • Vacuum cleaner

How to Remove Soda Stains From Carpet

  1. Blot the Stain

    Using a clean cloth, blot the area to remove as much of the liquid as possible from the carpet.

    Best Way to Blot the Stain

    Make sure you work from the outside toward the center to avoid spreading the stain. Do not press too hard because you do not want to work the soda deeper into the fabric. Avoid scrubbing the stain, this will only set it further.

  2. Put Detergent Solution on Stain

    Pour a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent and 1/2 cup cold water onto the soft drink stain and blot up the stained area again. Use another clean dry cloth. Allow the area to dry fully.

  3. Vacuum the Area

    After the stain has dried, vacuum it thoroughly. Any dry bits of residue will be sucked away after this step. This also helps fluff the carpet fibers back to a normal appearance.

  4. Use a Carpet Stain Remover

If the soda stain remains, try a carpet stain remover. Be sure to follow the instructions, and be wary of using too much cleaner. An excess amount of cleaner is difficult to remove and can actually attract dirt in the future.

If these options do not work, try diluting some white vinegar with water, about a 1-to-2 part ratio will do, and repeat steps two and three. Some stains from sodas like grape soda or red-colored soda may be more difficult to remove and the acid in the vinegar solution may be necessary to get rid of it.

For more stain removal tips, consult our stain removal guide.