What we call stains start out as spills, which often never
become stains if they are cleaned up right away, so the key to
removing stains caused by soft drinks and other liquids from
carpet is to act quickly. Get out the wet/dry shop-vacuum cleaner
and suck up that spill. Otherwise grab a towel - preferably a
clean white one, and mop it up.
Whether you can completely remove the spill or stain depends
on the type of drink, how long the stain has been there, and
what type of carpet fibers you are dealing with. The procedure
below is for removing most soft drink stains. Wine is covered
on the page
about wine stain removal, and there is also a page devoted
to get beer out of carpeting (which is mostly about getting
rid of the odor).
How to Remove Drink Stains
1. Do what you can to remove any liquid before you start cleaning.
Use a shop-vac or a stack of white paper towels or a white cotton
cloth. Don't rub the area, but push on it gently to soak up liquids.
2. Rinse the area with water, using a spray bottle and blotting
up the water between applications. Mix a tablespoon of clear
ammonia (not the colored ones) in a cup of water and spray this
on the spot to neutralize odors and clean the stain. Spray lightly
repeatedly and blot it up each time using that wet/dry vacuum
cleaner or white paper towels or a clean white cotton cloth.
Do not soak the carpet so heavily that the solution reaches the
carpet backing, or damage could result.
3. Make a cleaning solution from a few drops of Dawn or Joy
dish washing detergent and a cup of warm water. Apply this several
times, blotting it up each time. Gently work it in, but don't
4. Rinse with plain water several times, again extracting
the moisture each time. Get all traces of the detergent out or
it can attract dirt.
5. Dry with paper towels (white ones only) or a clean white
cloth. One of the better methods is to put a stack of paper towels
over the spot and weight them down with a heavy pan or books
(put plastic in between so the books don't get wet). Replace
the paper towels as they get saturated, and finish with a fan
blowing on the spot for a few hours. Quick drying prevents the
migration of any remaining color from wicking up to the surface
from deeper in the fibers.
The video here is specifically about
getting soda stains out of wool rugs...
Different coloring substances are used in the various soft
drinks, and so some stains will be more difficult than others
to remove. See the page on how
to get Kool Aid out of carpeting if you have spilled a red
colored soda. If nothing else works, you can also follow the
instructions on the page
about carpet repairs.