In this article we’ll discuss a few effective ways to remove coke stain (Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, soda drinks etc) from carpet.
It’s hard to believe that soft drinks were invented in 1767 when “Joseph Priestly figured out how to infuse water with carbon dioxide, creating the first carbonated beverage,” say historians at the Southside Craft Soda Company.
Originally used as cures for illnesses and sold at pharmacies, these beverages were just what the doctor ordered until 1876 when root beer debuted as a mainstream drink, followed by Dr. Pepper in 1885 and Coca-Cola in 1886.
These days soft drinks are such a huge beverage category, entire supermarket aisles are needed to stock products, but like other beverages meant to be consumed, glasses and cans of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola too often wind up spilled on carpet.
The faster it’s cleaned up, the easier it will be to remove the resulting stain, so a carpet looks as pristine as it did before the kids inadvertently dumped their soft drinks on your rugs.
Table of Contents
- How to Get Coke Out of Carpet with Chemical Products
- How to Get Coke Out of Carpet with Natural Products
- Can Old Coke Stains be Removed from Carpet?
- Can you Remove Coke Stains from Carpets with a Steam Machine?
How to Get Coke Out of Carpet with Chemical Products
Tannin stain remover:
This type of product is becoming a popular choice for folks with Coke-stained carpet because it has a low pH formula that tackles beverage stains without leaving brown spots like those alkaline-based products leave behind.
To use one of these formulations (if the label doesn’t stipulate specific application methods) apply undiluted product by lightly agitating stained areas with a carpet spotting brush, working out from the center.
Blot with a clean cloth towel and allow to dry. If stain remains, repeat as necessary.
- Removes pet accidents, grease, oil, ink, red wine, coffee, blood, rust, food, cosmetics, dirt, and grime
- Water-based, non-flammable and odor free
- VOC, solvent, and petroleum free
Last update on 2023-02-03 at 11:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
As Amazon’s most highly rated commercial carpet stain removing formulation, Folex gets rave reviews from consumers for its effectiveness on soft drink stains.
Marketed as a “water based, odor free, non-petroleum, non-flammable” product that contains no solvents, follow package directions for quick clean up since no rinsing, vacuuming, or waiting to see results is required, and Folex is safe for kids and pets, too.
OxyClean Carpet & Rug Stain Remover:
For folks on a budget, this popular chemical carpet cleaner is inexpensive and widely available.
OxyClean stain removers are made with hydrogen peroxide but the brand’s claim to fame is a proprietary oxygenation process.
To use it, blot up excessive soda, saturate the area with product and allow it to penetrate the area for 10 minutes.
Thoroughly blot the area with a clean cloth. You can repeat if you see stain residue after the area dries.
- INCREDIBLE CARPET STAIN REMOVER: Carpet cleaner breaks down a wide variety of tough, everyday spills, lifts out new and old stains & neutralizes odors, leaving carpet soft and smelling fresh. Our multifunctional supplies can be used on water-safe fabrics including furniture, clothing, automobile carpet, and upholstery.
- CARPET CLEANING POWERHOUSE: This spot and stain remover will clean the toughest dirt, stain, or odor from your floor. Together, Capture products offer the best, most effective portable household spot remover and neutralizer solutions on the market.
- PERFECT FOR PET OWNERS: When your little friends make a mess, clean it up with Capture! It's strong enough to work a miracle on stubborn dog and cat stains! No need to steam or shampoo. This handheld premist makes it a breeze to take care of pets.
Last update on 2023-02-03 at 11:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Follow the recommendations of folks who wouldn’t think of using another product to remove soft drink stains from their rugs.
To use, dispense Capture directly from the spray bottle, according to brand fans who say they’ve kissed pricey rug cleaning services goodbye after one use.
To clean the area, allow the solution to penetrate carpet fibers for 3 minutes. Working from the center of the stain, keep blotting the stain with a clean white cloth until it disappears.
Repeat as often as you like. Available from Amazon, pricing is on a par with Folex products.
You may have luck removing Coke stains from your rugs by using a liquid dish detergent product to do the job.
Mix 1 tsp. liquid dish soap into 2 cups warm water, working the mix gently into the carpet pile with a clean cloth.
Allow the solution to stand for a few minutes, rinse with clear water and blot thoroughly with a clean cloth to absorb remaining moisture.
Which brand of dishwashing soap gets the most rave reviews from homeowners? Any of the Dawn formulations.
How to Get Coke Out of Carpet with Natural Products
Salt and club soda:
Sprinkle the stain liberally with salt and pour club or seltzer water over the salted area.
Leave the salt/club soda on the area for at least a few hours (some recommend overnight).
Re-blot the area with a clean towel and vacuum to remove salt. This natural solution works best when the soda spill is fresh.
Club soda only:
If a soft drink stain is caught early enough, you may not have to use salt and club soda to do the job.
Simply pour soda water over a clean cloth and dab at the stained area from the center outward without rubbing or scrubbing.
Keep repeating until you notice that there is no color transfer on the cloth itself.
This inexpensive solution must contain at least 3-percent H2O2 to do the job, but since these products have a bleaching effect, don’t use it on dark rugs.
Preparation requires mixing 1 Tbsp. of hydrogen peroxide with 3 Tbsp. warm water before applying to soft drink spots on carpets using a clean cloth.
Experts recommend letting the hydrogen peroxide solution stand for about 30 minutes, covering the stain with a thick towel to block out light.
During that time, check the clean cloth for color transfer to see how much progress this solution is making on the stain.
Classified as a moderate alkaline, ammonia also has a bleaching effect, but you can mix larger portions of this soft drink-removing agent at a time by combining ¼-cup clear ammonia with 1 cup of warm water to tackle Coke or Pepsi stains.
Results are most impactful if you use a clean cloth soaked with the mix to tackle the stain area and then rinsing with warm water and thoroughly blotting to remove excess moisture.
Technically, vinegar is a chemical solution formulated by mixing an aqueous solution of acetic acid with trace compounds that are then fermented, but it’s almost always categorized as a natural stain removal remedy because it’s kept around for myriad uses.
The most often recommended application mix is ¼ cup of white vinegar to 1 cup of warm water.
This can be a tricky application because professionals advise against soaking the carpet, so you need to apply sparingly to avoid damaging the fibers and dry thoroughly when the process is complete.
Vinegar, dish soap and baking soda:
If the methods on this list don’t work on your Coke stain try sprinkling baking soda on the stain.
Allow the powder to absorb the stain and vacuum the residue. If nothing happens, add a new layer of baking soda, mix 1 tsp. clear dishwashing liquid, 1 tsp. white vinegar and two cups of water in a bowl.
Use a clean cloth to sponge the liquid mix on top of the baking soda. This could take longer than sticking to vinegar alone, but you might not care if it does the job.
Can Old Coke Stains be Removed from Carpet?
The older the stain, the harder the challenge, say folks in the carpet cleaning business who reveal the secret behind rehabilitating carpets with soft drink stains that have been around for ages:
“The trick is to rehydrate the original stain. It’s sort of like turning the clock back. Once you rehydrate the old stain, you can clean it as though it just happened,” say bloggers on the Scrub ‘n Bubbles Cleaning website.
Since soft drink stains are classified as non-soluble, professionals specifically recommend these options for old soft drink stains.
- Follow recommendations described above that call for a solution of water and dish washing soap since this is the least invasive application mix of all. You could get lucky, even if the soft drink stain is ancient. If not…
- Try a combination of water (2 cups) and 1 Tbsp. each of vinegar and dish washer soap, applying the solution with a clean white cloth. Allow the remedy to dwell on the rug for a few minutes before blotting the impacted area with clean water and allowing the area to dry completely before assessing the results.
- A baking soda/vinegar mix is another option. Sprinkle a layer of dry baking soda on the stain. Pour 1 cup each of white vinegar and water plus a few drops of dish soap into a spray bottle and swish to mix. Spray the stained area and allow to dry completely. Vacuum up residue left behind.
Can you Remove Coke Stains from Carpets with a Steam Machine?
This option is recommended for use on carpets that are stained with sticky and/or old soda stains by a professional carpet care company.
Your first clean-up step should be neutralizing the Coke stain by putting plain water atop the area and pressing down hard with a clean towel, so the neutralized soda is absorbed. Don’t scrub; just remove as much liquid as you can so mold doesn’t develop.
Choose a commercial carpet cleaning product that’s formulated for stain removal and follow the directions on the label.
Some steam machines are designed to work with specific brands of cleaner, so if one is recommended, use it.
For steam machines with no instructions or recommendations, you can mix your own: 1 cup warm water with ¼-tsp. of a gentle non-bleach stain-removal product or use a 1-to-2-part mix of vinegar and water.
Which steam cleaner? Professionals posting to the Bob Vila website recommend the Hoover Smartwash upright for overall performance, the McCulloch Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner for folks on a budget and testers for the site found PurSteam Pressurized Steam Cleaner to be best in the hand-held category.
This article is for informational purposes, not meant to replace professional carpet cleaning advice. To avoid glaring rug damage, always test the above methods on a remote carpet area. This site cannot be responsible for any harm to your flooring or carpet.
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