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Say No To Stink and Stains: How to Clean Dog Diarrhea Off the Carpet

At A Glance

Your dog may occasionally leave unpleasant surprises on your prized possession - your carpet. However, cleaning your dog’s diarrhea off the carpet does not need to be stressful. Keep disposable gloves, tissues, wipes, cleaning solutions, water, and vacuum/steam cleaners at hand to tend to emergencies.

  • When cleaning fresh poop, scooping, blotting, cleansing, and vacuuming can help you get rid of the mess without leaving any residue behind.
  • If diarrhea has dried up, you must scrub the affected area with a brush to get it cleaned thoroughly.

Last Updated on: Aug 22, 2023

So your dog has had an accident and left you a not-so-nice surprise on the carpet, stinking up the entire house. Dumping your carpet in the nearest dumpster is not sustainable and unreasonable, especially since cleaning it is somewhat easy.

Learning how to potty train your dog and creating a poop schedule can help eliminate the chances of accidental carpet poops. But an unwell pet has no control over its bowel movements.

Thankfully, you can get diarrhea (and other bathroom accident marks) off that beautiful rug you bought – Just hear me out. I’ll tell you how to clean dog diarrhea off the carpet so it leaves no trace (and stink) behind.

But you must get your ducks in a row before you even start. Prepare yourself for the fateful day when you might have a crappy (pun intended) job to do.

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Preparing to Deal with Your Dog’s Poopcidents

Finding poop on the carpet is every dog owner’s nightmare come true, and I cannot reinstate how important it is to stay prepared at all times. Mild diarrhea is common in dogs. It could occur due to stress, anxiety, food intolerances, and undetected medical problems.

That’s why I always keep my poo fighters (not to be confused with the rock band) at hand. To help you, I also drew up a list of things you would need to pick up during your next trip to the supermarket. These include:

Protective Gloves

Did you know your dog’s poop puddle is a paradise for harmful pathogens? Fecal matter contains intestinal worms, bacteria, and even parvovirus, which can harm other pets. Some of the pathogens found in it are zootonic and can easily infect you too.

So, slip those gloves on. I recommend going for a pair of heavy-duty gloves that cover at least half of your forearm. Kitchen gloves are a good choice because they are made of rubber and are tamper-proof. But if you do not prefer reusable gloves, go for a pack of surgical gloves. You can discard them after cleaning the diarrhea stain.

Slap them on before you start cleaning, and remember, this is not debatable. Do not handle any kind of dog poo or pee, certainly not diarrhea without protection.

Paper Towels

how to clean dog diarrhea from carpet with baking soda - paper towels

A kitchen roll or toilet paper will work well to absorb feces, but if you want to minimize wastage, you can use any old scraps of absorbent paper. If the diarrhea on your carpet is still fresh and wet, paper towels can come to your rescue.

A microfiber cloth is a good alternative if you have some lying around the house.


Sometimes, you may also discover dried diarrhea. To account for such cases, get some wipes. Any wet wipe will work, and it certainly does not need to be fancy because you’ll be scooping poop with it. Just ensure you have ample at hand so you don’t run out while cleaning.

I reuse old dog grooming wipes that have slightly dried out and can no longer be used on Dex. That way, I make sure my dog’s parenting habits are not wasteful.

Cleaning Solutions

A cleaning solution is a no-brainer; it cleans the mess without a fuss. And the best way to do that is to buy a commercial carpet cleaner/stain-removing solution containing soda ash, bicarb, or borax. These alkaline cleansers are the best at removing stubborn stains and odors.

That said, you can also create your concoction. Although that requires more effort, you can make some ahead of time and keep it ready in emergencies.

One of my favorite cleaning solutions is mixing equal parts of water with distilled white vinegar, commonly known as table vinegar. Take a cup of each in a spray bottle and shake it well before using.

Even pet lover Bea Kaaye explains, “I just use 25% vinegar in water, and it seems to take care of it. For poop, I use the same thing, unless it’s diarrhea, in which case I use Spray n Wash stain remover, and scrub. Then, I rinse with water, until the chemical is mostly out.”

You can also use Dawn dish soap, baking soda, or a hydrogen peroxide solution.

Brush (Optional)

Instead of trashing that old toothbrush with disfigured bristles, make it a part of your poo fighter kit. You can use the brush to scrub off any dried diarrhea from your carpet fibers.

This is an excellent way to repurpose your toothbrush, prolonging its lifetime and delaying its arrival at a landfill.


You certainly need water when cleaning dog diarrhea out of the carpet. Just fill up a spray bottle so that it is easy for you to use. Use cold to room temperature water; warm water is not good for removing stains.

Vacuum or Steam Cleaner

A power vacuum cleaner can suck up all the ugly debris your dog has left behind. So if you have one, it can be of great help to you. If you don’t have one, a steam cleaner is not that bad an alternative.

Nowadays, robot vacuum cleaners do a great job of cleaning stuff like dried-up dog diarrhea from fancy carpets. If you’re feeling up to it, you can invest in one. Robot vacuum cleaners are expensive, though. It may not be the best value-for-money purchase you make unless you treasure your carpets and hold them close to your heart.

Stepwise Guide to Cleaning Dog Diarrhea Off Your Carpet

how to clean dog diarrhea from carpet with vinegar - stepwise guide to cleaning dog diarrhea off your carpet

Armed with poo fighters, you need to get down and dirty (literally so). Here’s a 5-step guide to cleaning diarrhea off the carpet (or any other household surface):

Scoop the Poop

Pardon my simplistic rhyming skills, but a little attempt at humor never hurt anyone. Slap on your gloves before you start because the first step to cleaning dog diarrhea is scooping up as much poop as possible. A normal poop scooper with holes in it will not work if the stool is fresh, but a dustpan or something similar can make the work easy for you.

However, if the poop has dried overnight, pick up the larger pieces as much as possible. Collect all the messy bits in a garbage bag and set it aside.

You should also open all the windows in the room while you’re cleaning the pooplosion. It will help with getting rid of the otherwise no-so-pleasant smell. Wear a mask if you have to because diarrhea, whether fresh or dry, stinks.

Use the Wipes

Layer wipes or paper towels on whatever diarrhea is left on the carpet to soak it up. Refrain from scrubbing the carpet with the wipe even if not doing so seems counterintuitive. I did that once and ruined a carpet because the poop just sunk deeper into the fibers. What a hot mess it was!

Anyway, back to blotting diarrhea off. Once you’re confident that most of it has been blotted up, gently peel off the wipes/tissues and discard them.

You should repeat this process several times to soak up all the wet mess your dog has left behind. But you need to do it right because the next steps will get difficult if you don’t.

Spray A Cleaning Solution

You can simply spray some water on the affected area but using dish soap or laundry detergent like Dawn will be more helpful in treating the smell and stain.

If you’ve ever wondered how to clean dog diarrhea from the carpet with vinegar, here’s your answer. I mix one part Dawn with one part vinegar and two parts water to create a cleaning solution. Then I spray this on the carpet and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. I follow it up by blotting away any excess solution left behind.

If you’re dealing with dry diarrhea, wet a brush in the cleaning solution and gently scrub away to loosen bits of fecal matter stuck in its fibers. Then follow the same spraying and blotting as you would otherwise do. So far, this process has worked wonders for me every time Dex has had a little accident or puked all over the carpet.

Usually, repeating the process two to three times does the trick, but it all depends on how bad the case at hand is.

Suck Up the Remnants

dog laying in the carpet while his owner is cleaning

Now it’s time to start up the mortal enemy of most dogs and cats – the vacuum! Jokes apart, start your vacuum cleaner and simply suck up whatever little of your dog’s diarrhea is still left behind on your carpet. The vacuum is your best friend to get rid of dog poop from the carpet, wet or dry.

A steam cleaner works wonders, too, especially when dealing with dried poo. Just remember to use the vacuum or the steam cleaner after you have done the first three steps.

Remove the Stain

The last step is stain removal. While you could easily use a commercial stain remover made specifically for carpets, I highly recommend using baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. Both are easily available and can make even the most stubborn stains disappear when applied correctly.

Using Baking Soda

If you’re using baking soda, sprinkle a thin layer on the area of the carpet where your dog has pooped. Let the bicarb work its magic and absorb any lingering odor. You can also make a paste of baking soda with water, apply it evenly on your carpet, and let it dry.

You can vacuum it off after letting it sit for 15-30 minutes or until it dries up. I recommend using soda bicarb if you’re worried about using harsh chemicals on your carpet. Bicarb is a gentle abrasive, and it will not damage your carpet.

Using Soda Water

You could also use soda water if diarrhea has badly stained your carpet and you don’t have many cleaning supplies at home. Saturate the area heavily with undiluted soda water and layer some absorbent towels or wipes on top.

The soda water should be able to clean the stain and any odors off your precious carpet.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide

Another choice you have is to use hydrogen peroxide. It not only removes stubborn stains but also acts as a disinfectant. You can use a commercially available hydrogen peroxide solution and dab a few drops on the diarrhea stain or DIY a solution.

If you choose to do the latter, here’s how to proceed. Mix two parts hydrogen peroxide with one part water in a dark bottle and spray it over the stain. Leave the solution to work its magic for 10 to 15 minutes and dab it off with a clean cloth or tissue.

You could use commercial carpet cleaners after completing steps one to five as an additional step. It’s unnecessary but may just give you some mental peace.

Fun Fact: Did you know that hydrogen peroxide does not make stains “disappear”? It renders them colorless and therefore makes them invisible to the naked eye.

What You Should Do If You Have Woolen Carpets?

sick dog laying on the floor

Woolen carpets are particularly susceptible to stains and spills. That’s because woolen fibers are highly absorbent. So, if your Fido accidentally suffers a poopslosion on a woolen carpet, clean it up as quickly as you can.

Liquid dish detergents are particularly helpful in cleaning diarrhea stains. But you could also use fabric detergents made for washing woolens. Make sure that whatever cleaning solution you are using is bleach-free to avoid discoloration. Just be quick with the process. Otherwise, the stain will set.

How to Remove the Poop Smell from the Carpet?

Unfortunately, all the cleaning does not guarantee that there will be no lingering poo. I learned it the hard way. But these incidents have taught me to pay extra attention to getting the poop smell out of the carpet.

One of the best solutions to remove dog diarrhea smell from your carpet is lightly spraying the affected area with undiluted vinegar. Just take some in a spray bottle and moisten your carpet with a fine layer of white vinegar mist. Sit back, relax, and let it dry. As the vinegar works its magic, the nasty poop smell should slowly vanish.

“Vinegar recommended in other methods is not meant to clean. It is meant to neutralize the odor in order to make it less likely that the dog, or some dog, or any dog won’t use that area as a toilet spot again.” – Alice Howe, Animal Lover.

Another home remedy to eliminate poop and puke smells is using a dog-safe essential oil on the stained area. Do this after you have cleaned and dried the stained area. Pour a few drops of undiluted essential oil like lavender or chamomile on the spot where your pooch pooped and let it soak in. The pungency of the fragrance should kill the poop smell.

Do not rub or press the essential oil hard into the carpet fibers. Repeat the process again after two days and air your carpet out.

What To Do If Your Dog Gets Diarrhea?

sick dog laying on the carpet

If your dog is trained, accidental poop on your carpet could indicate health issues, leading to diarrhea. Since diarrhea can have a range of causes, the wisest thing to do is to take your dog to the vet. This is especially important if you’re new to dog parenting or your dog is suffering from diarrhea for the first since you’ve had your pet.

But before that, take note of the color, consistency, and amount of diarrhea you’ve spotted in the house. Taking a few pictures to show to your vet is also a good idea, even if it sounds gross. The color of your dog’s poop tells a lot about the symptoms it is suffering from. If it’s any other color apart from normal chocolate brown, it could be a cause for concern.

But you can do a few things to help your dog out if it’s diarrhea.

Fast the Dog

Don’t feed any kind of solid food to your dog for 12-24 hours if it’s suffering from diarrhea. But ensure it has access to plenty of fresh and clean drinking water. Fasting your dog can sometimes help it to recover from mild cases of diarrhea.

But remember that during this period, your dog cannot eat anything. That includes any kind of wet or dry food and treats. If your dog is a young adult and in good health, it may not require further medical intervention.

Feed It Bland Food

But if your dog is begging for food, try giving it plain boiled white rice that you’ve prepared at home. Boiled potatoes, pumpkin, and plain yogurt in tiny portions are a few other options you can try. Whatever you do, remember to keep your dog’s food allergies in mind.

Sometimes, pet parents worsen the condition by trying a home remedy that may cause food intolerances.

Whether you fast your dog or feed it bland food, don’t forget to monitor its activity level. Only mild diarrhea is treatable at home. If diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, or any other physical irregularity, it’s time for a vet visit. It’s best not to try over-the-counter medications in such cases as well.

Let It Rest

Your dog also needs lots of rest to let its body recover. Make sure there’s a cool and comfortable corner where your dog can sleep the day off. Letting your dog sleep on the floor instead of its bed, kennel, or crate is also smart. That way, you can easily clean up any mess your dog might make.

Don’t forget that TLC goes a long way in healing our furry companions when they’re in pain. So shower your dog with lots of cuddles and hugs.

Frequently Asked Questions


Should I Let Dog Diarrhea Dry Before Cleaning?

No, do not wait for fecel waste to dry before cleaning it because it is hard to remove dried poop from the carpet without damaging the fibers, especially if it is a woolen one.

It is easier to scoop and blot the diarrhea while still wet. If traces remain, you can let it dry overnight before using a cleaning solution on it.

What Absorbs Dog Diarrhea?

You can use a solution of Dawn dish soap with water and vinegar solution to clean dog diarrhea off carpets, couches, and other absorbent surfaces.

However, soda bicarb works as an excellent absorbent if diarrhea has seeped deep through the fibers of your carpet or rug. Sprinkle some on the affected area, let it sit for 2 hours, and vacuum the area for best results.

Can Vinegar Get Dog Poop Out Of The Carpet?

Vinegar is very effective in removing the stench that dog diarrhea or any kind of poop left behind. But when paired with soap and warer, it can also double up as a cleansing agent as well.

You can also make a paste of vinegar with soda bicarbonate and apply it on your carpet to deep cleanse it off dog poop.

How Do You Neutralize The Smell Of Diarrhea?

Use a solution of one part vinegar to one part water and spray it on the surface where your dog has pooped to neutralize offensive odors.

But if you’re afraid that vinegar might bleach your carpet, place some activated charcoal around the affected spot. A few drops of essential oil may also be helpful.

What Can Induce Diarrhea In Dogs?

From food intolerances to changing weather conditions, stress, anxiety, and underlying health conditions, many things can cause diarrhea in dogs. If your dog is suffering from the loosies, consult your vet immediately for the correct diagnosis of the problem.

And as an immediate precaution, ensure your pet’s food and water bowls are sparkling clean before serving them.


General how to clean dog diarrhea from carpet

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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.