• FAQ: Kool-Aid Stain in Carpet

  • Kool-Aid Meets Carpeting

    If you are a homeowner who has experienced a Kool-Aid stain in carpet moment, you know exactly how it goes down. Someone, usually a small child, brings a glass of the brightly colored liquid (usually a red flavor!) into a room where they are NOT supposed to be bringing beverages at all.  Then it happens. In slow (but un-interceptable) motion – the glass tips, the liquid sloshes….and it’s done. Your furniture and/or your carpeting is now shining with all the brightness of a Kool-Aid moment. For best results, of course, you should call in the professionals. But there are steps you can take to deal with it yourself.

    Instincts Make for Bad Kool-Aid Carpet Decisions

    Kool-Aid stain on carpet.

    Kool-Aid, Red Wine and other colorful beverages can leave noticeable stains on carpeting.

    This is the moment when the disaster is often compounded. Someone grabs a towel or rag and starts frantically rubbing on the spot. The plan is to remove the beverage as quickly as possible in hopes that no evidence will be left behind.

    Alas, the plan fails.  Instead of disappearing, the spot expands, covering a larger area of the carpeting. The color dulls, barely, as the liquid reaches further across the surface of the carpet AND deeper into the carpeting fibers. The neon beverage gets a grip on the carpet.


    Breaking Up the Union (aka Saving the Carpet & Your Sanity)

    Fortunately, Kool-Aid and other bright beverage stains can be evicted. The first step is to gently blot the area with a dry towel. Preferably a white dry towel. Resist the temptation to scrub. Scrubbing makes things worse.

    Keep calm and blot on.

    Some people swear by the vinegar/detergent/water recipe (aka the one-mix-for-all-stains). Mix one-fourth cup of white vinegar, one-fourth cup of water and 1 tbsp of dish soap (Dawn is usually the dish detergent of choice). Spray this mixture onto the affected area. Spray generously. Walk away for five to ten minutes. Don’t rub it a little. Don’t try to immediately start wiping it. Let the mix do it’s job. After the minutes have passed, you can begin to gently blot with clean, dry toweling. Continue blotting until all liquid (and color) has been removed.

    Other Stain Removing Products

    You can also use one of the ready made stain removing products available online and in stores. Check the label, make sure the product is made to treat liquid beverage stains and that the product is safe for your carpeting. Follow the directions carefully. Chances are, they’ll be very similar to those above; i.e. apply stain remover, let it set, blot to remove. Some products are made to be vacuumed up after use.

    Do be aware that should you choose the wrong product or use it improperly, you might a) set the stain for life, b) damage carpet fibers, or even c) ruin carpet fibers. If in doubt, call the professionals.