How to Remove Chalk Stains From Carpet and Furniture

rug stained with chalk

​The Spruce / Michele Lee 

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins - 12 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

There are a few reasons why chalk has made its way from the sidewalk to staining your carpet or furniture. Maybe your children brought the popular writing tool in from outside and decided to color the carpet. Or, perhaps you have a chalkboard in your playroom, and as we all know, stains are inevitable.

Luckily, chalk stains are easy to remove with the use of one special ingredient: dish soap—and we're here to show you how. Here is how to remove chalk from carpet and furniture in 3 easy steps.

Stain type  Mineral-based
Detergent type Regular
Water temperature  Hot
Cycle Type Normal

Before You Begin

Before starting the stain-removal process, shake the affected item lightly to eliminate loose chalk dust. It's best to do this outdoors because shaking the fabric inside could spread dust to other surfaces. Shaking out the loose dust minimizes the chance of creating secondary stains during stain removal.

When to Call a Professional

If a chalk stain remains after several removal attempts, a visit to a professional cleaner may be necessary. This is especially true of stained vintage or silk upholstery.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 vacuum cleaner
  • 1 sponge or clean white cloth
  • 1 roll of white paper towels

Materials

  • 1 bottle of dishwashing liquid
  • 1 bowl of cold water

Instructions

How to Remove Chalk Stains From Carpet and Upholstery

If chalk finds its way from the sidewalk to your sofa or carpet, act quickly so the chalk doesn't spread or become deeply embedded in its fibers. You may be able to eliminate the stain using dishwashing liquid and a vacuum, two tools you probably already have on hand.

The process for removing chalk from upholstery is the same as removing it from carpet, which is detailed with pictures below. Just be careful not to oversaturate the furniture upholstery with the dishwashing liquid solution.

  1. Vacuum Loose Chalk

    Pick up as much loose chalk as possible using the brush attachment on a regular vacuum cleaner or a hand-held vacuum. This will allow you to see how much of the chalk is leftover or has stained the carpet.

    vacuuming up loose chalk on a rug

    The Spruce / Michele Lee

  2. Apply Dishwashing Liquid

    Mix 2 cups of cold water and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, and use a sponge or a clean cloth to saturate the stain with the solution.

    blotting the chalk stain with dishwashing liquid

    ​The Spruce / Michele Lee

  3. Blot and Dry

    Blot the area again with cold water and allow it to dry. For carpet, place layers of white paper towel over the spot, place a heavy glass or ceramic object to weigh the paper towel down, and let it sit overnight. Vacuum the carpet the next day to restore its normal texture.

    allowing dry cleaning solvent to sit

    ​The Spruce / Michele Lee 

Additional Tips for Handling Chalk Stains

If the conventional methods suggested above are not doing the job, you can try dabbing a bit of vodka onto the chalk stain and washing it as you usually would. Repeat any of these processes as many times as you think necessary. Another additional tip to avoid stains on your carpet and upholstery: don't come into contact with fabric until you're confident you're free of the chalk. If any of the chalk has wound up on your clothing, it's possible you could transfer more of it and worsen the problem.