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How to Clean Dog Diarrhea from Carpet: Easy & Effective Methods

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

beagle on the carpet

We love our dogs and everything that comes with them! The companionship, the love, and unfortunately, the poop. Sometimes, our best friends make a mess and we need to clean it up, but when your dog has had diarrhea on your carpet, that’s a whole other ball game. Messy and smelly, you might be tempted to throw the carpet away, but we do have some solutions to your problem that should help clean it up nicely.

So, without further ado, here are some practical methods for getting dog diarrhea off your carpet.

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Before we actually attack the problem, we do need to start with some preparation.

First of all, you need to clean it up as soon as possible after the deed has been done. The longer the diarrhea sits, the harder it will be to get the stain and smell out.

Next, be sure you have the appropriate material to help you to clean on hand.

This will include:
  • Gloves: you certainly don’t want to handle feces with bare hands, particularly diarrhea, which is full of bad bacteria.
  • Cleaning Material: Have the cleaning products ready. This could be a commercial product designed for just this purpose or one of the suggestions we’ve provided.
  • White vinegar
  • Distilled water
  • Dish detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Wiping Material: You will need something to mop up the mess. This could be paper towels, a clean cloth, or baby wipes. Disposable might be the safest bet considering you’ll be cleaning poop.
  • Vacuum or Steam Cleaner: If you have one, of course. There are also steam cleaners designed specifically for this purpose (like this one).

You might want to grab your face mask or wear a clothespin on your nose while you’re at it (helpful but not necessary).

Now you’re ready to tackle the mess! Before you actually start to clean the diarrhea up, you should first take your dog into your backyard. You certainly don’t want multiple messes occurring while you’re trying to clean up the first one!

This first method is for any carpet material (nylon, acrylic, polyester, etc.) except wool. We’ll give you instructions for wool carpets after.

person cleaning carpet with sponge
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

The 6 Steps to Clean Dog Diarrhea From Regular Carpet

1. Remove the Excess

Put on your gloves, and then start by getting rid of the excess mess without pushing it further into the carpet fibers. You can use a paper towel or anything you have on hand for this. Try your best to pull the mess up and away without pressing it further in and dispose of the diarrhea in a plastic garbage bag. Keep the bag handy as you’ll want to use it to throw out other dirty paper towels as you clean.

If the diarrhea is old and has dried, you can use a dull knife to lift the mess out of the carpet.

person cleaning the carpet
Image Credit: VGstockstudio, Shutterstock

2. Blot

Once the excess has been removed, you should blot with paper towels to remove the last of the mess. This can be done with wipes or cloth as well, and just press lightly into the stain. Avoid rubbing, or you will end up rubbing it into the actual carpet fibers. Again, dispose of dirty paper towels in the garbage bag you have on hand.

3. Spray with Cleaning Solution

You can use a solution that you’ve purchased that is designed to lift stains, particularly those that have been made for pet stains. We like to use enzyme-based cleaners because they’re especially effective.

Our favorite product for cleaning up pet smells and stains is our very own Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray.  It makes clean-up a breeze because it permanently removes even the very worst smells and stains (urine, feces, vomit, you name it!) from basically any surface you can imagine. 

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
  • FOR ANY MESS, ON ANY SURFACE - This pet odor eliminator cleans your carpets, floors, furniture,...

You can also make your own cleaning solution:

Homemade Solution
  • 1½ teaspoons dishwashing liquid (Dawn is commonly used for cleaning up pet messes)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 cups warm water

Mix together the three ingredients in a clean spray bottle or any other container. Spray on the solution and let it sit for about 10 minutes, and then blot until the liquid is absorbed. Just continue adding some cleaner and then blotting it up until the stain has disappeared.

4. Stubborn Stain

If the stain is still present after doing this a number of times, you can try applying some hydrogen peroxide or ammonia (but tiny amounts, so use something like an eyedropper). Just sponge it off with cold water and blot it gently until it’s dry. Do not follow this last step if your carpet is made of wool.

Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

5. Cold Water

Once you’ve removed the stain, spray or sponge the area with a small amount of cold water and blot that up with a new paper towel or cloth. This will help to remove any cleaning solution from your carpet.

6. Baking Soda

The last step involves sprinkling baking soda over the area and letting it sit for at least 10 minutes or possibly overnight. Vacuum it up, and you should be all done! The baking soda will help to eliminate any odor, so if the smell is particularly pungent, you’ll want to leave it on longer.

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How to Clean Dog Diarrhea From Your Wool Carpet (6 Steps)

Wool carpets need slightly different ingredients for cleaning. Otherwise, they are more likely to be damaged and/or discolored.

person vacuuming carpet
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

1. Remove the Excess

This is no different than the first step for other carpets. You need to remove as much of the excess diarrhea as possible and place it in a plastic garbage bag.

2. Blot

Again, like the second step above, very carefully blot away any excess diarrhea. Absolutely do not rub at the stain as you’ll be actually rubbing it into your carpet further.

3. Spray with Cleaning Solution

This homemade cleaner does differ from the solution we provided previously. For this you’ll need:

  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • ⅔ cup cool distilled water

Mix the two ingredients together and pour in a clean spray bottle or container. Spray the stained area and blot with a clean cloth or paper towel, and remember, don’t rub! Continue blotting and spraying until the stain disappears.

person spraying on the carpet
Image Credit: Syda Productions, Shutterstock

4. Stubborn Stain

If the stain doesn’t come out using this method, you could add the dish detergent to your mixture or a laundry detergent that’s safe for wool. If you opt for the dish detergent, just make sure it doesn’t contain any kind of bleach or ammonia. Try testing this mixture in a small area that is inconspicuous to make sure it doesn’t discolor your carpet.

5. Cold Water

Spray or pour a small amount of water on the area and blot dry to help remove the excess cleaning material.

6. Baking Soda

Just like with the section before this one, sprinkle baking soda over the area and let sit for at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight if the odor is particularly bad. Once it’s done, just vacuum up the baking soda, and your carpet should be almost as good as new!

baking soda
Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay

A Few Notes

Now that it’s clean, let your carpet dry out completely and check it again. You might find that you will need to repeat the process a few more times to completely get rid of the stain.

If you already have a steam cleaner, the process will be much simpler. Just follow the instructions for your cleaner, and you’ll have yourself a sweet-smelling, sanitized, and clean carpet!

You might also want to invest in a pet spray that breaks down the enzymes, so your dog won’t think your carpet is his new toilet. If you can’t smell the poop, your dog might still be able to, thanks to his amazing sense of smell. Just be sure to check that it’s safe for the fabric of your carpet (especially if it’s wool).

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Unfortunately, part of owning a dog also includes cleaning up occasional messes. As long as you act quickly, your carpet should survive but of course, make sure your pup is okay as well. You can choose to spend some money on a product or save some money and make your own, but with a little elbow grease, you should have your carpet looking (and smelling) back to normal.

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Featured Image Credit: ALEX_UGALEK, Shutterstock

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