How To Get Gatorade Out Of Carpet: 8 Ways (Do This!)


Popular drinks, such as Gatorade, can leave unsightly stains on furniture, clothing, and carpets. These stains are not as difficult to remove as one might think.

Gatorade stains can typically be removed with club soda and salt or a mixture of dish detergent, vinegar, and water. Use a clean, white cotton cloth or paper towels in conjunction to draw out the stain from the carpet. If necessary, other cleaning solutions can be used, as well as steam cleaning or a professional carpet cleaner.

Why Staining Occurs 

Stains form when the molecules of the spilled substance become trapped in the fibers or pores of the material it is on, such as carpeting, clothing, couches, and mattresses. 

If heat is applied, then the pores open up even further to allow the staining material to settle in. 

Spills on lighter or contrasting colors will stain easier. Stains on dark material will show areas that are darker or look wet, but not necessarily the color of the spilled material.

Some Gatorade dyes are harsher or more concentrated for the product to have visual appeal for the consumer. In particular, purple, red, and blue tend to stain more easily than lighter counterparts such as green, yellow, and orange. However, they all have the potential to stain.

Considerations Before Cleaning Stains

Gatorade contains artificial coloring to reinforce the flavor you are drinking. While these additives are considered safe to drink by the FDA, if spilled on porous material, they will stain.

The following should be kept in mind when cleaning.

Absorbent Cloth

White cotton cloth is recommended so that you can see the stain absorbed, and so that you do not transfer color from the cloth to the carpet. 

Alternatively, clean sponges or paper towels will work as well.

You can leave absorption cloths overnight for serious stains, by using heavy books or another weight, to hold the cloth in place. This puts pressure on the dry materials to absorb moisture up into it for an extended period. 

The thicker the carpet, the deeper the staining liquids will go, and weight can help the clean cloth dig deeper. If you do not want the books to absorb moisture, place a plastic bag between the books and the cloth. 

Check the cloth during this process. If it is fully damp, remove it and put down a new dry one.

Liquids

Water or other cleaning liquids will dilute the concentration of staining materials, fading the stain’s appearance. 

When you add water or any other liquid, it should be cool or at room temperature. Applying heated or hot liquids may make the stain difficult to remove or permanently settle into the fibers.

Use cleaners conservatively. Too much liquid can also allow mold or mildew to form if you cannot get it dry quickly. Ideally, the carpet should feel damp to the touch without a “squishy” texture.

Blotting

Blot up spills immediately to prevent staining liquids from settling in deeply. However, if the stain is old, you can still use the methods in this article, repeating methods as necessary.

Apply stain removers in a dabbing, or blotting motion.  If you rub, then you dig the stain deeper into the fibers.

Blotting with a clean and dry cloth will absorb any liquids removing them from the fibers of the carpet. 

This short video demonstrates how to blot:

Additionally, it is best to blot from the outside of the stain and work inwards to avoid spreading the stain into the unstained areas.

Pre-Test

Test any liquid-based applications in an inconspicuous spot to ensure it doesn’t alter the color of your carpet. 

Most of the natural DIY methods are gentle enough to use. Commercial products often have labeling that will indicate what types of surfaces they can be used on.

8 Methods For Carpet Stain Removal

Methods one and two below work best individually or in conjunction with each other. 

Depending upon the severity, type, and age of your stain, multiple methods may need to be used. 

Refer to handling instructions to avoid mixing incompatible acids and liquids.

1. Club Soda And Table Salt

Club soda is a weak acid that is made of water, carbon dioxide, and salt to break up stain particles. Salt absorbs moisture, pulling liquids out of porous materials.

What To Do

  1. Blot up excess liquid.
  2. Sprinkle the stain with salt.
  3. Pour club soda onto the area. Take care not to over saturate it.
  4. Let it sit overnight, with a folded dry cloth on top of it. Add a weight, such as heavy books.
  5. Change the cloth with new, dry ones as needed.
  6. Vacuum up the salt once the spot is dry.
  7. Repeat or try another method.

2. White Vinegar, Dish Detergent, Water

Vinegar is an acid that, combined with the surfactants in dish detergent, can remove stains and grime from a variety of surfaces, including Tupperware (and other plastics) and also your carpets.

What To Do

  1. Add one tablespoon each of dish detergent and vinegar to two cups of cool water.
  2. Apply the liquid to the stain by dabbing with a cloth or sponge.
  3. Blot the stain dry with a clean cloth.
  4. Repeat with the solution as needed. 
    • Alternatively, let it sit overnight with a clean cloth and weight.
  5. Once the stain is gone, apply clean water to remove dish detergent residue. 
  6. Blot until dry.

Alternatively, you can try equal parts of vinegar and water only, if you wish to avoid a potential soapy residue and offer a higher acidic concentration.   

3. Alkaline Powder And Dish Detergent

Use an alkaline powder detergent, such as OxiClean, that is chlorine bleach-free and color-safe. 

Alternatively, you can use baking soda, cornstarch, or borax as an alkaline cleaner.

What To Do

  1. Add and mix one tablespoon each of the alkaline detergent and dish detergent with ¼-cup of warm-to-touch water. Stir to dissolve the alkaline detergent.
  2. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, or stick it in the refrigerator for ten minutes.
  3. Dab it onto the stain with a clean cloth.
  4. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  5. Blot and repeat if needed.
  6. Apply clean water with a clean cloth.
  7. Blot until dry.
  8. Vacuum up any powdery residue once the area is fully dry.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide 

Hydrogen peroxide is a mildly acidic liquid that can remove stains. 

Use a 3% formulated solution. Anything higher than this may cause a bleaching effect that changes the color and texture of your carpet.

What To Do

  1. Spray or dab hydrogen peroxide onto the stain.
  2. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Blot the area with a clean cloth and repeat as needed.

Note: If you have used other chemicals on the stain before this method, check the label to see if they can be mixed. For example, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide can create peracetic acid, if mixed. This is toxic and irritating to the respiratory system and more.

5. Ammonia And Water

Ammonia should be diluted and used in a well-ventilated area. Test your mixture on an inconspicuous spot first.

What To Do

  1. Mix one part of clear ammonia with four parts of water.
  2. Dab onto the stain.
  3. Blot and repeat as needed.
  4. Dab on clean water, blot and allow it to dry thoroughly.

6. Shaving Cream

The sudsy and soapy nature of shaving cream can lift stains out of carpet fibers.

What To Do

  1. Apply the shaving cream directly to the stain in a thick layer.
  2. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Blot it up.
  4. Apply water with a cloth and blot up any residue.

7. Commercial Products

Carpets are made of synthetic fibers such as nylon, polypropylene, and polyester. Others can be made of natural fibers, such as wool.

Try a commercial product designed for use on your type of carpet material. 

Refer to the packaging label to avoid mixing chemicals with others that you have already used on the stain. 

Test any commercial products in an inconspicuous area first.

8. Steam Cleaner Or Professional

If all else fails and you cannot get rid of a stubborn stain, you will need some heavy-duty cleaning.

You can rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional carpet cleaner. 

Steam cleaners work in conjunction with a compatible cleaning solution (according to instructions). They apply water at a steamed, high pressure to break down grime, dirt, and oils. 

The heat application is brief, which opens up the pores to release debris. The suction action of the cleaner then removes the debris. 

Conversely, you can use a steam iron on a moist, lint-free cloth over the stain for 10 seconds. 

There is a risk of permanently heating the stain into the fibers, so save this method as a last resort. 

How To Dry Carpet Quickly

Once you have removed the stain, you will want your carpet to dry quickly to avoid mold, mildew, or damaged subflooring. Drying the carpet also lets you safely vacuum up any residue.

You can dry quickly by doing the following:

  • Operate a fan pointed towards the wet spot. Open windows to circulate the moist air out.
  • Use a dehumidifier in the room to draw out moisture. Close the door to the room, if possible, to concentrate the efforts of the dehumidifier.
  • Lay down clean rags or towels with a weight on top of them. Replace the towels as soon as they become damp to the touch, repeating the process.

In Conclusion

Carpets are an affordable flooring option prone to stains. Stains that result from Gatorade spills can be easily cleaned with DIY solutions such as club soda and salt or vinegar, dish detergent, and water. 

Other cleaning solutions, which include using commercial products and steam cleaning, can also help to remove those unsightly stains.

Lisa Burlison

Lisa is a freelance blogger, literacy specialist, teacher, and self-published author with a vast DIY experience. When she’s not writing for PlumbJoe, Lisa enjoys testing homemade cleaners and doing repairs around her home. Her other hobbies include birding and bicycling.

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