How to Clean Spilled Shampoo from Carpet

Matt asked: How do I clean hair shampoo from carpet? Three-fourths of a bottle of hair shampoo spilled onto our carpet and sat for an unknown amount of time. How do we get the shampoo out?

Soap spills can quickly become sudsy disasters if not cleaned up properly. Before you let a drop of water hit your spill, follow the steps below to make this clean up task as simple and quick as possible.

You Will Need:

  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Wet/dry vacuum/carpet cleaner
  • Dustpan
  • Spoon and bowl
  • Salt
  • Spray bottle

Steps to Clean Up the Shampoo Spill:

  1. Begin by removing as much of the shampoo as possible BEFORE adding any water to the area. Use a dustpan or bowl and spoon to scrape the shampoo from the surface.
  2. Apply pressure as you are scraping to remove as much of the shampoo as possible.
  3. Next, use a paper towel to blot the area. This will absorb much of the remaining shampoo.
  4. Continue blotting, using fresh paper towels as needed, until they no longer absorb any moisture.
  5. At this point, there should be minimal amounts of soap/shampoo left in the carpet.
  6. Use a wet/dry vacuum to suction out any remaining shampoo that may have soaked further down into the carpet.
  7. Spray the area with a light coat of water.
  8. Use the wet/dry vacuum to pull the water and remaining shampoo out of the carpet.
  9. Continue until no more shampoo remains.
  10. A small amount of suds are fine, but if they begin to become overwhelming, sprinkle them with salt. The salt will stop the sudsing.
  11. Once all of the shampoo is removed, blot the area with dry paper towels to remove any remaining moisture.
  12. Allow the area to air dry.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • It is important to remove as much of the shampoo as possible before adding water. The water will activate the soap and begin to form suds. If water is added too early, it will still be possible to remove the shampoo, but it will take repeated cleanings.
  • If no wet/dry vacuum is available, blot the area with paper towels instead. You might also consider renting a carpet shampooer and running it repeatedly over the spill with nothing but water in the tank.


  1. Jody says:

    I love this; it’s great if anybody has not told their mom that they spilled shampoo on the carpet and only has a small amount of time. It’s fantastic to use this cheat. It worked really well and I used a plastic doll spoon!

  2. Jody says:

    Love it. Perfect.

  3. Sarah says:

    I spilled 3/4 bottle of PINK shampoo on my bedroom carpet. I guess I have my work cut out for me to get it cleaned up. But thanks for the info!

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