How to Clean Dog Diarrhea from Your Carpet

washing hands with soap

To your horror, the gagging smell coming from your carpeted room turns out to be diarrhea from your dog. It is not an easy task to clean, but it can be done and the stain can be treated at home without hiring a professional.

Your carpet will back to normal in no time, if you know the steps to take when it comes to how to clean dog diarrhea from carpet. Act quickly, though - the faster you get to the diarrhea, the easier it will be to clean.

We've included recommendations for natural cleaning remedies as well, so that you can rest assured that your pet is safe throughout the process.

​How to Clean Dog Diarrhea from Carpet

You will want to clean up and treat the area as quick as possible to prevent a deep stain or drying of the diarrhea. If it does dry before you can get to it, then there is a section below on how to treat that as well.

When you are learning how to clean dog diarrhea from carpet, it can seem like a lot of work. But these step by step instructions can help you take on the mess and save your carpet.

​1. Remove the Diarrhea

It is always good to keep some plastic gloves around the house for cleaning. These will protect your hands from the toxins in the poop and the harshness of some cleaning products.

​Protect Yourself

You may also want to use a face mask or tie a bandana around your face. This will help block some of the strong smell.

To begin cleaning, you will want to remove as much of the surface diarrhea. The best method for how to clean dog diarrhea off carpet is to lightly scrape it​ to start with.

You can use a plastic bag to try and scoop it up, or find a flat surface to scrape. It is best to use something that you can throw away. A paper plate or piece of cardboard is an easy to use tool for this task.

This is a must if you have any allergies to dog dander

​Be Gentle

Try not to push down or over-scrap the dog diarrhea. You don’t want to push the poop deeper into the fibers, nor do you want to spread it across your carpet.  You have to be extra careful with this step especially if it's a furry shag carpet as stains can easily set within the hair of the carpet.

Your goal is to remove as much of the dog diarrhea off of the carpet's surface as possible. But, most important is that nothing gets ground deeper into the carpet fibers. If you find your efforts just making matters worse, move on to Step #2.

​However, do your best to get up as much as you can. That way, the next deep cleaning step will be able to reach further into the carpet fibers.

​2. Clean the Area

You can find good enzyme based carpet cleaners that are focused for poop and diarrhea. Most of these cleaners are made with various chemicals. While they are good for cleaning and stain removal, they are not always pet and kid friendly.

If you prefer a more natural remedy, ​then you want to focus on pet-friendly cleaners, or DIY options that you make from household products. Here are several of our favorites:

Natural Remedy with ​Baking Soda

​​Bicarbonate soda, commonly referred to as baking soda, is a great option for cleaning up dog diarrhea stains. We love this option if the diarrhea was especially runny, because baking soda is alkaline based and soaks up the liquid nicely.

  1. Generously cover the stain with baking soda.
  2. Gently rub the baking soda into the carpet fibers.
  3. Let the baking soda sit for several hours. You can even let it sit overnight. You want the baking soda to soak up all of the liquid.
  4. Vacuum the baking soda up. You can use a cheap vacuum for this, as it doesn't take much suction to pull the baking soda off the carpet.

​This baking soda approach is one method, but we recommend combining it with some of the following methods. Start with baking soda to soak up all of the liquid and then add the vinegar or dawn methods if a stain still exists. 

Related: Cleaning Your Wool Rugs with Baking Soda

​Natural Remedy with Vinegar

​A lot of people will instantly grab vinegar to clean and sanitize the area. ​Vinegar is a great option for dog diarrhea because it is enzyme based​, which allows it to quickly and easily break down the excrement. 

  1. Mix vinegar with water in a 50/50 solution.
  2. Spray the solution onto the area.
  3. Soak the area, and then blot with a cloth.
  4. Rinse with cold water and repeat as needed.

An additional benefit of vinegar is that it is a natural odor nuetralizer, so you'll kill off some of that bad smell in the process. You will get a vinegar smell in exchange. If that smell bothers you, add a few drops of scented essential oils to your mixture before you spray it.

Natural Remedy with Baking Soda & Vinegar

Our favorite method is to combine both the baking soda and vinegar methods. When put together, baking soda and vinegar create a chemical reaction that can cut through the toughest of dog diarrhea stains.

Before utilizing this method, make sure that your type of carpet is able to handle vinegar and baking soda together. It is possible that this will discolor your carpet, so if you need to, test it in a covered area.

  1. Cover the stain in baking soda.
  2. ​Gently rub the baking soda into the stain and allow to sit for several hours.
  3. ​Spray a 50/50 vinegar/water mixture onto the baking soda.
  4. As the solution bubbles, gently scrub the mixture in and through the carpet.
  5. ​Rinse with cold water and dry with towels.

Natural Remedy with Dawn Dish Detergent

​Dawn dish detergent can sometimes be a better choice when you are choosing how to clean dog diarrhea out of carpet.

Dawn is a great choice because it foams up really well on the carpet and will penetrate the fibers to reach the poop. Mix Dawn with some water and then spray the carpet.

If you use a sprayer then you can better control how much water you are putting on your carpet. You don’t want to completely soak it because too much water can cause further damage if you cannot completely dry it.

​Blot, Don't Rub

While your first instinct may be to scrub the stain out, this is not a good thing to do. Experts always say to blot the stain and don’t scrub. When you rub back and forth on your carpet it can cause the fibers to separate and fray.

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Instead of scrubbing, you can use your gloved fingers to gentle massage the mixture into your carpet. This will allow the Dawn to work its way into the fibers and foam up.

Let this foaming mixture set for fifteen minutes. You will then use a damp cloth to blot the soapy mixture up. Continue to dip, rinse and then squeeze the excess water out of the cloth before continuing to blot the Dawn mixture up.


Finish by using dry cloths or paper towels to blot the area dry. If you do repeat the cleaning step, make sure that you dry the carpet in between. This avoids the carpet getting soaked and damaging.

​3. Treat the Stain

Don’t stop at cleaning the carpet - it is time to stop cleaning and start treating the stain. Cleaning is only the first half of learning how to clean up dog diarrhea on carpet because most cleaning efforts will not remove the stain right away.

You can purchase stain removers from the store. However, if you are digging in your pantry for cleaning supplies then you can use hydrogen peroxide for the stain.

It’s good to use a small eye dropper to control how much you put on the area. You don’t want to soak the spot, instead add a few drops to cover the spot. Then let it sit and dry.

It may take a few treatments to clear the stain. If you find that one method is not working, then you can test other stain removing methods.

​4. Deal with the Dried Poop

If you need to know how to clean diarrhea from carpet when it is dry, then this extra step will make it easier. The dried poop needs to be rehydrated so that you can scrap it up and begin cleaning.

The best natural method is to mix a half and half white vinegar/water mixture. The water will rehydrate the dried poop while the vinegar’s acidic properties will begin to break it down for cleaning.

Let the mixture sit on the dried poop for ten minutes and then you can go back to the first step and follow along to finish clean your carpet.

​If you have really thick carpets, this process could take several passes. Use a vacuum designed for thick carpet to pull up everything that you loosen up, and be patient. 

​5. Prevent Future Accidents

If dogs have an accident once on the carpet, then there is a chance they could revisit the same spot at another time to go. It is because dogs will be able to smell the odor hidden in the carpet fibers.

You can purchase odor remover sprays to help keep dogs away, or make your own by using a citrus based spray or essential oils to lightly mist the area. Most dogs do not like vibrant citrus smells and will avoid that area.

Related: Cleaning Your Dog's Bed

​Move on from the Diarrhea

​Before moving on from the diarrhea, you need to give the area a good pass over with a vacuum. You'll do better if you use one specifically designed for pet hair and toxic allergens, since there is probably still a little residual toxins in your carpet. 

If you used harsher chemical cleaners then it is a good idea to block that area off for a few hours to make sure no pets or children come into contact with it.


Now that you know how to clean dog diarrhea from carpet, you can handle the task when it occurs. If this is something that you have to clean on a more frequent basis, then it might be a good idea to invest in a carpet steam cleaner to help alleviate the difficulty of the task.

About the Author Lauren Moldvay

Lauren Moldvay is a freelance writer from Virginia and the mother of one (not always) sweet little girl. She specializes in trying to help others find easier ways to clean, manage the home and save money with DIY projects.

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