How to get bleach out of your carpets

… and the story of how Courtney got her security deposit back.


I bleach my hair.

I know… it’s a shock. I will give you a moment to absorb the fact that these gorgeous, luscious locks are not NATURALLY platinum.

I’ve been blonde for about 3 years now, and with the help of one of my besties, Tracie, I learned to bleach my own hair. Because I am cheap. But while it saves me a bunch of money, it has it’s own risks. One risk is getting bleach stains on my apartment bathroom carpet. “WHO puts carpet in and around the bathroom?” you may ask. “People who want to keep your security deposit,” would be my response. Seriously. How is bathroom carpet supposed to stay clean?!! In addition to hair bleach, we also have acne cream that, when accidentally “splurged” on the carpet, will bleach it. And now we know…

Regardless of how you get bleach on your carpet, I feel you. I ran the gambit of trying to figure out HOW to fix this mess. Trim the carpet down? Nope. Patch in a clean piece of carpet? Can’t. I was seriously facing whipping out my acrylic paints and seeing if I could match the color while trying to keep it non-crusty, when I found a snippet on-line of a guy who suggested blending crayons or pastels into the carpet to cover the bleach stain.

That’s all the incentive I needed. I bought 3 different types of crayons and pastels and went to work.

Do not buy Crayons. I bought the regular ones AND the washable ones. Neither worked. Buy portrait pastels. NOT OIL BASED pastels. Trust me.


How to get BLEACH out of your carpet.

Basic overview: You are going to moisten the bleach spots and blend a mixture of pastels into that stain, wiping off excess color and blending with a wet towel as you go.

You’ll need:
Portrait Pastels – NOT OIL BASED PASTELS. You are looking for basically chalk pastels that are water soluble.
Old Towel
Water Bottle
A little bit of time and patience.

Note: There is no way to get bleach out of carpets. I can’t give you a detailed explanation, but essentially the bleach performs a chemical reaction with your carpet fibers which is irreversible. The best thing you can do is disguise it  and stain it a color closer to your original carpet and this tutorial will help you do that. Hopefully.

Step one. Plop a squat by your bleach stains… you are going to be there for a little bit. Dampen the stain slightly (think moist to the touch, not dripping wet). Wipe off the stain, getting any loose dirt or bleach paste off of the stain.

Step two. Establish what the color of your carpet is. That sounds dumb, but stay with me. My carpet pictures are very yellowed and sort of crappy, because they were taken with an iPhone, in a bathroom, at night. But my carpet is a dull tan. I immediately grabbed a regular brown pastel, not realizing that one of the dominant colors in true brown is red, and that is the color that remained when the patch was worked on. I ended up having to go to the darkest brown I had, a Burnt Umber sort of color, because it was the only one that didn’t have a large red presence. After much trial and error, the colors that ended up matching the carpet the BEST were a mixture of the Burnt Umber, Gray and White. But every carpet and coloring is different.

Step three. Coloring. Start with your most SEVERE color (mine was the dark, dark brown) and work it into the carpet, coloring each strand of carpet, from the base to the tip, as best you can. I took the brown outside of the bleach stain to try to blend it with the original carpet. Once you’ve covered the whole stain, come back with your wet towel and start to wipe out the stain. Wipe, spread, even out, do your thing… put some color on, wipe some off. When you’ve gotten a good amount out, start adding a different color. I added gray which helped neutralize a lot of the remaining red (from the first brown pastel). I worked the gray in really well, into each of the stains and the area surrounding it. The last color I worked in was white, just to lighten up the areas to the same color as the carpet. Continue to wet your towel and wipe out the colors as you go. The idea is to subtly add layer upon layer of color until it matches the carpet. Add too much gray? Wipe it out. Needs to be lighter? Add more white.

Step four. Distribute the goods. Once I felt like the stains were really covered, I took a step back and looked from every direction. When I was satisfied (exhausted and just ready to be done) I wet down my towel ONE more time and went over the entire area with my damp towel. It’s basically taking just a little bit of the chalk and distributing it to the strands around the stain, but it’s also freshening up the rest of the carpet, getting the nap to go the same direction and honestly, helps make it look uniform.

That’s it! From the research I have done, this process will actually stain your carpet the color of the pastels, but it takes a little while. If you were to go over the carpet with carpet cleaner immediately, a lot of the color would be lifted. So don’t do that.

It’s not **perfect** but MAN, it looks a lot better than it did. If you sat and inspected it, the carpet seems to have a few discolorations. But that’s nothing compared to huge yellow, pink bleach stains!

How to get bleach out of your carpet



How to get bleach out of your carpet


How to get bleach out of your carpet


How to get bleach out of your carpet

The Pastels I used – from Michael’s

Let me know if you guys have had the same problems and what you do solve it! And let me know if you try this technique!!!

Added cleaning bonus: We cleaned the whole apartment using Scrubbing Bubbles and a Magic Eraser together and HOLY COW! I will NEVER deep clean with any other products! Seriously, this stuff combined was amazing… I cleaned our fridge and freezer out in less than 5 minutes using them together!

Hope all is well in your world and as always, have a beautiful, repurposeful week! xo- Court


This post was featured on The Makers Link Party

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