Bleach stains or faded, discolored spots on your carpet are a result of the carpet dye being removed, not of something being deposited onto the carpet that could be removed as with other stains. However, there are ways to repair the area without replacing an entire room of carpet. Choose one of the methods below.
Dying the Spot
One of the most common methods for fixing a bleach stain on any surface is simply to dye the spot. In order to do that, first you must neutralize the bleach so it stops eating away at the carpet or you will have no choice but to use the other method below (Swapping Out the Spot). There are two ways to neutralize the bleach. Here’s what to do.
What you will need
- Bleach neutralizer OR
- Bleach neutralizer home remedy:
- Baking soda
- Carpet dye
What to do
- If you want to use a home remedy to neutralize the bleach, pour some baking soda in a bowl and add water to make a thin paste. Spread the paste over the stain and gebtly rub it into the fibers. Allow it to dry, then vacuum up the baking soda. Doing this will protect your carpet from further damage until you can either re-dye the carpet yourself or call a professional. If the baking soda is not fully removed by the vacuuming, sponge the area with a damp cloth to rinse it, then allow it to dry and vacuum again.
- If you want to re-dye the carpet yourself, you may be able to get a bleach neutralizer for carpeting at a carpet store and while you’re there, also get the dye that matches the color of your carpet. If not, carpet repair kits that contain bleach neutralizer can be found online, such as Americolor Carpet Dye Pens. Follow the instructions on the label of your selected products to neutralize the bleach and re-dye the carpet.
- Carpet dyes can also be purchased at some automotive supply stores.
- For carpets with multiple colors or designs, it may be better to call a professional to re-dye the carpet rather then doing it yourself. Call your local carpet supply stores to get a referral for someone in your area who can do this. One company that specializes in this, Colorful Carpets, is available in several states, but any rug that is movable (e.g. Persian rugs) can be shipped to them for repair.
Swapping Out the Spot
An easy way to fix an unsightly bleach stain or other discoloration is to replace that portion of the carpet. This is not as intimidating or costly as it sounds. In fact, it’s quite easy and cheap.
What you will need
- A carpet cutting tool
- Matching swatch of carpet*
- Self-Adhesive Carpet Seam Tape (available at most home improvement stores).
- Wide-tooth comb
*If you don’t have any carpet remnants left from your carpet installation, you can remove a piece from an obscure area, such as the back corner of a closet. It is important that the carpet be a nearly exact match in order for the repair to look as seamless as possible. Another option is to go to a carpet store and get a few samples or scraps that you think might be an exact match and bring them home to determine which is best. You can then either use one of the samples for the repair or use the sample in the closet to replace the piece you remove from there.
What to do
- Measure off the area you need to replace, and with the carpet cutting tool, carefully cut out the damaged section of carpet.
- Using the exact measurements, cut your carpet remnant to fit. (NOTE: If you are using the Carpet Cookie Cutter, the sections will automatically be the same size, no measurements are necessary)
- Peel and stick the self-adhesive carpet tape to the section where the carpet patch was removed.
- Place the new piece of carpet on the tape and press down firmly.
- Using a wide tooth comb, gently comb the fibers of the new patch so they blend in with the existing carpet.
- If you are not good with measurement, and are not using the Cookie Cutter tool, try placing a drinking glass over the stain, and tracing around it with the cutting tool, then use the same drinking glass to cut out the new piece.
- Before performing this procedure, you may want to have your carpet professionally cleaned. This is because the new patch, if unused or taken from a little used corner somewhere, will inevitably be cleaner than the area of carpet you are removing and may not blend in well, especially if the stain is in a high traffic area.
- Always exercise caution when using the carpet cutting tool. It is best to wear canvas working gloves to avoid injury.
- If you are unsure of the Swapping out the Spot procedure, or uncomfortable in performing the necessary steps, you should not hesitate to contact a carpet professional who will perform the repairs for you. You can find carpet repair professionals in your area by checking your local Chamber of Commerce or the yellow pages.
- If in doubt about the qualifications of any professional, before allowing them into your home, check with your local Better Business Bureau, either by phone or online.
- If the bleach stain or faded area is excessively large, you may be in for a more extensive repair or even complete carpet replacement. In lieu of this, consider a nice, decorative throw rug!
- To avoid bleach stains on your carpet, NEVER use any type of cleaner containing bleach (which includes many spray kitchen cleaners) in the area of your carpet as stray droplets may get onto your carpet and cause staining.