How to Clean Dog Diarrhea from Your Carpet

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To your horror, the gagging smell from your carpeted room turns out to be diarrhea from your dog. While it is not an easy task to clean, you’re more than capable of doing it at home without hiring a professional.

Learning how to clean diarrhea from a carpet will help you keep it looking as good as new in no time. Act quickly, though – the faster you get to diarrhea, the easier it will be to clean. All you need if a few things and some elbow grease.

How to Clean Diarrhea from Carpet

However, sometimes you can’t get to it as soon as it happens. If diarrhea does dry before you can get to it, then rest assured, we cover that in a separate section a little further down.

For the future, make sure to spend some time house training your dog to avoid future accidents!

​1. Remove the Diarrhea

The first thing that you need to do is get down and remove as much of the liquified fecal matter as possible. If you don’t get up a majority of diarrhea, you could end up smearing it further instead of cleaning it up in the next step.

There are a few steps to the removal process to ensure you can get up as much of the loose stool as possible before you begin actually cleaning the carpet and finally lifting the stain. 

How Long Should It Take To Clean Your Home?

What is the size of your home in square feet?

What type of flooring do you have?

​Protect Yourself

Keeping some latex gloves around the house for cleaning is always helpful. These will protect your hands from the toxins that live in the fecal matter and keep your hands protected from the harshness of some general cleaning products.

You may also want to use a face mask while cleaning up diarrhea. This will help lower the pungent smell while also creating a barrier between you and the loose stool so that you aren’t potentially breathing in harmful bacteria.

Dog sitting beside his owner while she cleans the carpet

If you don’t have any face masks, you can tie a bandana around your face or use a scarf. Ensure that any loose ends are secured and tucked away so it doesn’t fall into the mess you are cleaning.

Finally, you will want to change your clothes quickly. While you want to jump on the cleaning as soon as possible to prevent any staining, the difference in five minutes won’t matter much, especially if you accidentally get some smeared on your nice pants or shirt. So throw on something you don’t mind getting dirty before you kneel to start cleaning. 

​Be Gentle

Once you are equipped and ready to begin cleaning up diarrhea, then the first thing you need to bear in mind is to be gentle. Since it is loose stool, there is a high chance of wet poop seeping down into the carpet fibers.

You don’t want to smash down into the fibers anymore since pulling up what is already down there will be enough of a challenge. To best clean up diarrhea, you will want to have:

  • ​A flat surface for scraping – cardboard or paper plate is best.
  • ​Paper towels or baby wipes
  • Latex gloves
  • A vacuum cleaner or shop vac
  • ​An empty grocery bag or a plastic garbage bag
  • A small pan of water.

To begin cleaning, you will want to remove as much of the surface diarrhea. The best method to clean diarrhea off the carpet is to lightly scrape it off your carpet’s surface. The flat surface of cardboard or the edge of a paper plate is both great options due to the durable materials that are strong enough to hold the weight of the loose stool.

These two options are also great because they are easy to throw away in a plastic garbage bag along with the latex gloves, so you don’t have something else to clean after.

Soak up the Residue

​​Now that you have scraped off as much as you can, it’s time to pull up any loose stool that has penetrated into the fibers. This is the best way to get diarrhea out of the carpet so you can clean it.

  1. Have a clean cloth in the small pan of cool water to help you distribute it. You won’t put the cloth on the carpet. Instead, you will dip it in the water, wring it out and then move the cloth over the stained area to wring a small amount of water over it.
  2. ​You don’t want to drench the area, this is important because you will be dealing with an over-saturated carpet that may not fully dry. Instead, just allow some droplets to be transferred from the cloth to the carpet.
  3. ​Adding water will help break up the feces in your carpet to make it easier to pull up. Now you will want to take a few sheets of paper towel and gently blot the area. Don’t push down too with the paper towels much since this can push diarrhea deeper into the carpet.
  4. Your paper towel will bring up the brown or discolored liquid along with some of the water. So after you blot it twice with paper towels, drip more water over the area and repeat the blotting.
  5. Repeat until you only absorb clear liquid with the paper towel. This means you can soak up most of the loose stool in the fibers with the paper towels. While it’s probably not 100% all cleaned up, it is enough to allow the cleaner to pull up the rest and sanitize the area.

2. Clean the Area

When you need to know how to get dog diarrhea out of carpet, then the first thing you need to have is an enzyme-based cleaner instead of dish soap or laundry detergent.

Enzyme-based cleaners can eat and eliminate particles so the original mess is thoroughly cleaned. You can find good enzyme-based carpet cleaners that are focused for pet poop and diarrhea.

Our opinion is that the best store-bought cleaner for dog poop is the Carbona Oxy-Powered Pet Stain & Odor Remover. It even comes with a handy (and rigid) scrubbing pad.

Natural Remedy with ​Baking Soda

​​Bicarbonate soda is a great option for cleaning up dog diarrhea stains. We love this option if the diarrhea is runny because it is alkaline 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 the baking soda sit overnight. You want it to soak up all of the liquid.
  4. ​Vacuum the baking soda up. You can use a cheap vacuum cleaner, a shop vac or a steam cleaner for this, as a vacuum cleaner doesn’t need much suction to pull the baking soda off the carpet.
​Natural Remedy with Vinegar

​Many dog owners 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. Simply dilute white vinegar with water in a 50/50 cleaning solution.
  2. Spray the cleaning solution onto the affected area.
  3. Soak the affected area, and then blot with a cloth or a paper towel. Avoid rubbing.
  4. Rinse with cold water and repeat as needed.

An additional benefit of vinegar is that it is a natural odor neutralizer, so you’ll kill off some of that foul 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.

  1. Cover the stain in baking soda.
  2. ​​Gently rub the baking soda into the stain and let it sit for several hours.
  3. Spray a 50/50 water and white vinegar solution 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 a paper towel.

Ensure you use a clean spray bottle that you can control to administer the vinegar so you are not oversoaking the carpet. When the padding gets wet, it can become almost impossible to dry, causing damage to the flooring beneath and possibly mold. This is especially important if you have hardwood floors, since hardwood floors can’t get wet for long.

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 avoid scrubbing. When you rub back and forth on your carpet, it can cause the fibers to separate and fray.

  1. Instead of scrubbing, you can use your gloved fingers to gently massage the mixture into the affected area. This will allow the cleaner to work its way into the fibers to clean. If you have a foaming cleaner, then the gentle agitation will help the cleaner to activate and begin foaming on your carpet.
  2. Let the cleaning mixture set for fifteen minutes. You will then use a damp cloth to blot it up. For this step, have a clean pan of cool water with a washcloth. Start by wringing out the cloth and then blot it on the area to help soak up the cleaner.
  3. Continue to dip, rinse and then squeeze the excess moisture out of the cloth before blotting the cleaning mixture up. If your water becomes too dirty, replace it with clean water and continue to blot the cleaner up.
  4. If you are still feeling like the carpet is not clean then you can repeat adding a carpet cleaner onto the area again, let it sit and then blot it up. The pan of water will begin to turn a dirty color if you are still pulling up fecal matter from your carpet fibers.
Baking soda


A paper towel is our go-to when it comes to pulling up excess water. Since they are thinner, you can feel the water as it comes up. This lets you know when you have absorbed as much moisture as possible from the area.

Once you cannot pull up any more moisture, then you will allow the carpeted area to continue air drying. You can help the carpet dry faster by having the ceiling fan on. This will allow air to circulate in the room and encourage the carpet to dry a little faster.

3. Treat the Stain

Cleaning is only the first half of learning how to clean up dog diarrhea on the carpet because most cleaning efforts will not remove the stain immediately. There are a few products you can find around the house that will help you when you are dealing with getting dog diarrhea stains out of carpets.

Hydrogen Peroxide

​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.

​Shaving Cream

Spray the shaving cream over the stained area. You can let it sit on top, or use a soft brush to rub it in some. Let the shaving cream sit for 15-20 minutes and then blot it up with water or you can simply vacuum it up or use a steam cleaner.

Dog sitting beside his owner while she cleans the carpet

4. Sanitize

Sanitizing is super easy; all you need is some rubbing alcohol or a small amount of vodka. Put the alcohol on a cloth and blot the area. Making sure that the alcohol dampens the carpet some. No need to soak it.

Then let the area completely dry. Rubbing alcohol and Vodka contain sanitizing elements that take care of any lingering bacteria in your carpets.

​5. Deal with the Dried Dog Poop

The best natural method to deal with dried diarrhea is to mix a half and half white vinegar solution/water mixture. The water will rehydrate the dried dog poop while the white vinegar solution acidic properties begin to break the dried feces down for cleaning.

Let the white vinegar solution sit on the dried diarrhea for ten minutes and then you can go back to the first step and follow along to finish cleaning your carpet.​

​If you have thick carpets, cleaning all the dried feces could take several passes. Use a vacuum cleaner or shop vac designed for thick carpet to pull up the dried feces that you loosen up, and be patient.

6. 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 can smell the dried feces odor hidden in the carpet fibers.

Or, if the issue is related to your dog’s stomach, make sure to opt for bland, easily digestible foods for sensitive stomachs to prevent a repeat, and take your pooch to the clinic for some veterinary guidance.

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

​Move on from the Diarrhea

You’ll do better if you use a vacuum specifically designed for pet hair and toxic allergens since there are probably a few residual toxins in your carpet. 

If you used harsher chemical cleaners or harsh dish soap or laundry detergent, then it is a good idea to block that area off for a few hours to ensure no pets or children come into contact with it.


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

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.