How to Remove Beet Stains From Carpet and Upholstery

How to Remove Beet Stains From Carpet

The Spruce / Michela Buttignol

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 20 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins - 8 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5 to 10

Whether you grow your own, shop at a farmer's market, or open a can, beets are a healthy and delicious vegetable. While the pop of red color on a plate is appetizing, the tannins that create the color are a powerful dyeing agent when they come in contact with carpet and upholstery fibers.

So, when a beet or beet juice lands on the carpet, it's time to take quick action. With just a few common household cleaners, the stains can be removed with a bit of patience.

Stain type Plant-based tannin
Detergent type Ammonia, oxygen-based bleach, hydrogen peroxide
Water temperature Warm

Before You Begin

If the beet stain is on an area rug on a hardwood floor, move the rug to a tarp or washable floor before treating the stain. If the wood floor beneath the rug becomes wet during cleaning, remove the rug completely to allow the floor to dry or dark stains may appear.

The cleaning tips will work on both natural carpet fibers like wool and cotton, as well as synthetic fibers. However, if you have a wool carpet, do not use oxygen-based bleach to remove difficult stains. Use hydrogen peroxide instead.

removing beet stains from a rug

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 to 2 microfiber cloths
  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 set measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 spoon or spatula
  • 1 vacuum


  • 1 roll paper towels
  • 1 bottle household ammonia
  • 1 container oxygen-based bleach
  • 1 bottle hydrogen peroxide


How to Remove Beet Stains from Carpet

  1. Remove the Solids and Blot the Liquid

    • Remove any beet solids from the carpet or upholstery with a spoon or spatula. Do not rub because that will push the stain deeper into the fibers.
    • Blot the stained area with a clean, dry white paper towel to absorb as much of the liquid as possible.
  2. Mix the Cleaning Solution

    In a small bowl, combine one tablespoon of household ammonia with one-half cup of warm water. Stir well to mix.

  3. Treat the Stain

    • Use a clean microfiber cloth dipped in the ammonia and water solution to sponge the stain. Work from the outside edges toward the center to keep the stain as small as possible.
    • When no more color transfers to the cloth, blot with a dry cloth until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Rinse the Stained Area

    • Dip a second microfiber cloth in plain cool water and sponge to rinse the area. Do not leave any cleaning solution on the carpet to attract soil.
    • Blot with a clean dry cloth and allow to air dry.
  5. Air-Dry and Vacuum

    • Allow the area to air-dry away from direct heat and avoid walking on that area of the carpet until it is fully dry.
    • Check the area for any traces of beet stains.
    • Vacuum to lift any matted fibers.
    • If stains remain, move to the next steps.

How to Remove Tough Beet Stains on Carpet and Upholstery

If the beet stain was not treated promptly or if traces of the stain remain after following the cleaning tips, use hydrogen peroxide or oxygen-based bleach to remove all final discoloration.


Do not combine ammonia and oxygen-based bleach or mix ammonia with any other cleaning product because hazardous fumes can occur.

  1. Use an Oxygen-Based Bleach Solution

    • In a small bowl or bucket, follow the product label directions to mix a solution of powdered oxygen-based bleach with one cup of cool water.
    • Stir well until the powdered bleach is dissolved.
    • Dip a clean microfiber cloth in the solution and sponge it onto the traces of stain remaining on the carpet. Be sure the carpet fibers are thoroughly wet down to the carpet backing.
    • Allow the area to air-dry for at least 8 hours. Do not blot away the solution.
    • Repeat the steps with a fresh batch of the solution, if needed.


    While oxygen-based bleach is safe to use on all colors of carpeting, do not use it on wool carpet fibers. They can become brittle.

  2. Use Hydrogen Peroxide

    Hydrogen peroxide is the chemical compound H2O2, made up of two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms. The 3 percent solution sold in drugstores acts as a mild bleaching agent to remove stains from light-colored carpets.

    • Use a clean cloth to sponge the hydrogen peroxide onto the carpet fibers.
    • Allow the area to air-dry.
    • Repeat, if needed.

Additional Tips for Removing Beet Stains

For the best results:

  • Don't wait. Remove beet stains as quickly as possible.
  • Don't spread the stain. Always work from the outside edges of the stain toward the center to prevent the stain from growing larger.
  • Don't rub. Lift away the beet solids with a spoon instead of rubbing the stain deeper into the fibers.

Repeating Method on Upholstered Fabric

The same cleaning techniques and products recommended for carpet can be used to remove beet stains from upholstery fabric. However, be careful not to over-wet the fabric because excess moisture in the furniture cushions can cause mildew to form.

Before cleaning any furniture, always follow the manufacturer's care label on cleaning upholstery. This tag can be found under the sofa cushions or fabric skirt with letter codes that indicate how to clean the furniture. If the upholstery is vintage or silk, remove any solids, sprinkle the stain with cornstarch to absorb the moisture, and call a professional before attempting to remove the stain.