It’s exceedingly rare that you might squeeze your tube of toothpaste so hard that it shoots out of your bathroom and onto the carpet. On the other hand, you might share the bathroom with siblings, a roommate, or a spouse. On some occasion, during the chaos of getting ready for the day, you might find yourself having to step out of the bathroom while still brushing your teeth. All it takes is a bump or a slip, and that mixture of saliva and toothpaste spills out or your mouth.
Now, depending on how old you are, you’ve probably been using toothpaste for a while, and you might have gotten a few drips on your clothes. If you have, you probably already know what a challenge it can be to get toothpaste stains out of clothing. Fortunately, a clothes washer helps to remove it. But unfortunately, you can’t put your carpet in your clothes washer.
The Challenges of Toothpaste
Most toothpastes come with a portion of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral and is often added to drinking water as well as toothpaste. Large amounts can stain teeth, a process called fluorosis. If fluoride can stain teeth, it can stain carpet. Another common ingredient in toothpaste is titanium dioxide, which is used as a pigment to make the toothpaste look white. Titanium dioxide is also difficult to remove without a detergent – hence, putting toothpaste-stained clothes in the washer.
Removing the Toothpaste Stain
You might think that if laundry detergent can take toothpaste stains out of clothes, it should work on your carpet, too. We recommend against that idea. The fabric used for clothes, even if nylon, are still a different composition than your carpet. It’s best to use a milder detergent, like dish soap, as long as it does not contain bleach or lanolin. The process, however, is rather simple.
- Scrape away the residue with a dull knife or straight edge, so it doesn’t spread.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of water.
- Use a sponge or clean white cloth to blot the stain with the solution, from the outside edge inward. Repeat the process until you determine there is no more transference from the carpet to the cloth or sponge. (Blotting is not wiping. Make sure you know the difference between these two techniques.)
- Rinse the area with water (distilled water is best) from a spray bottle and blot up the water with a clean dry cloth. This will remove any detergent residue that might attract dirt.
- Spray with water once more, then apply a weighted stack of paper towels or cloths to absorb the water for an hour.
- Once dry, vacuum the area and inspect the stain.
Due to all the different kinds, flavors and mixtures of toothpaste out there, yours might be stubborn when you try to remove it. That’s okay – no toothpaste has ever withstood the power, skill and experience of Preferred Carpet Care. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online. When you do, see if you can tell us the brand and type of toothpaste, so we know what solution to use. With a bit of effort, we’ll have your carpet as fresh and clean as your teeth!
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On March 18, 2021