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How To Get Soap Residue Out Of Carpet

Learning how to get soap residue out of a carpet cleaner can be quite a chore, but it is actually easier than you may think at first.

Our preferred method is to use a solution of white vinegar, applied either by hand or with a carpet cleaner, to remove any excess soap residue on a carpet. 

Let’s jump into the causes of excess soap residue on a carpet, how you can prevent this from happening in the first place as well as some other methods you can use to tackle the problem.

What Causes Soap Residue?

Soap residue is caused by using a carpet cleaning machine incorrectly, in the majority of cases.

While carpet cleaners offer a more thorough clean, they also have some drawbacks and one of these is that they are difficult to use, alongside other factors like price and forth. Using a carpet cleaner incorrectly can lead to excess soap residue, but it’s important to know the specifics so you can avoid making the same mistakes if you decide to use one.

Carpet Cleaning With Too Much Soap

A lot of carpet cleaning machines rely on soap and cleaning solutions, but if you use too much of these solutions it can leave an excess of soap residue.

This is more likely to happen if you either don’t read the instructions properly or if you decide to mix up your own cleaning solution. We recommend sticking to the guidelines to ensure that you don’t encounter this problem, and if you decide to make your own solution then spot test it on a small area of carpet first before you tackle the entire area.

Incorrect Carpet Cleaning Technique

Even if you use the correct cleaning solution, you may be using your carpet cleaner incorrectly which can lead to soap residue.

More specifically, if you are moving too quickly to allow time for the cleaning solution to properly circulated, or if you aren’t going over certain areas more than once to make sure all the soap has been removed properly.

Take care when using carpet cleaners, and if you notice an area that looks like it has some soap left behind then you can always go over it again to make sure it all gets picked up.

Cleaning By Hand With Too Much Soap

While carpet cleaning is the most common way of ending up with soap residue leftover on your carpet, it can also be done by hand as well.

If you decide to tackle a stain with a damp cloth and soap you need to be careful of using too much soap. It can be easy to do as you only need a couple of drops of soap solution in most cases, any more and you could end up with a lot of residue that is difficult to remove.

Methods To Remove Soap Residue

Let’s take a look at the methods you can use to remove soap residue on a carpet, starting with our personal favorites which use a white vinegar solution.

Carpet Cleaner and White Vinegar

While a carpet cleaner may be the cause for the soap in the first place, it can also be used to remove it as well.

To do this, empty the water tank completely and clean it out. Afterwards, fill it to the suggested level with water and add 1/4 cup of white vinegar and nothing else.

Once this solution is made up go over your carpet like you normally would with the cleaner switched on and it should begin to remove the soap residue immediately. You don’t have to do anything different, just continue to clean the carpet like normal and all of the residue should be dealt with on the first run.

By Hand

If you don’t have access to a carpet cleaner and need to deal with excess soap residue then you can also apply white vinegar by hand, as well as rubbing alcohol as an alternative.

To remove soap residue by hand you first need to use a dry and clean towel to absorb as much excess moisture as possible. Simply lay the towel over the residue and gently pat it down to absorb the moisture.

Once you have removed as much moisture as you can, then you are ready to apply either white vinegar or rubbing alcohol to remove the soap that is left behind.

White Vinegar

To make up a white vinegar solution, simply dilute 1 part white vinegar to two parts water, to achieve the desired amount of acetic acid.

Once you have this mixture dip a clean cloth into it and wring it out so that it is damp. Work this cloth into the soap, rinsing in the mixture regularly, until it has all been removed.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol doesn’t need to be diluted at all, but it will need to be applied using a scrubber.

Simply apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol directly to a clean scrubber and work out the soap residue. This can be repeated as many times as necessary until all of the soap has gone.

In both cases by hand allow the carpet to dry afterwards.

How To Know The Soap Has Been Removed Successfully

It can be quite difficult to know when all of the soap has been removed, especially if the carpet is still wet right after cleaning.

Telltale signs include white foam or bubbles present on top of the carpet. If none of these are present, you can be quite confident that all of the soap has been dealt with.

Final Thoughts

Soap residue really isn’t a big deal to remove, and there are quite a few different ways of doing so.

If you know of any other techniques to deal with soap residue then please do let us know!