Sugar is a very dangerous thing to leave laying about in your house, because it attracts all kinds of nasty things. But unfortunately, sugar can be extremely good at sticking to surfaces and refusing to move, so sometimes you can be left in a bit of a pickle.
Syrups, for example, are extremely sticky forms of sugar that can become a real problem when spilt on carpet. The thick gloopy sugar sinks right into those carpet fibers and is not easy to remove.
There are actually a number of methods you can try to remove sticky syrup from your carpet, the easiest of which is just hot water! For tougher syrup stains, you can use cleaning agents like dish soap, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and even bleach to remove anything from maple syrup to corn syrup.
Read on to find out our top 5 ways to easily remove stains and excess syrup from your rugs and carpets.
Do Syrup Stains Come out of Carpet?
Yes! Although syrup stains can be problematic, there’s no need to worry that you won’t be able to remove it. Whether it’s pancake syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup or chocolate syrup, any syrup stain can be removed from any kind of carpet with a bit of work. Even if the stain is old and dried onto your carpet, you’ll still be able to get the job done.
Some situations call for more heavy duty chemicals than others and will take more time and effort, but you will be able to get your carpet spotless again with a bit of patience.
The main reason syrup stains are dangerous is the high amount of sugar present in syrup. Leaving sugar particles unattended in your home will result in nasty critters like ants and other insects, which is definitely something you don’t want to deal with. The sticky nature of the syrup stain will also attract dirt to your carpet.
The other main ingredient of syrup aside from sugar is water, which means syrup stains will result in trapped moisture within the fibers of your carpet. Left unattended, this will lead to molds and mildews forming on your rugs and carpets that can be costly to remove.
5 Easy Ways of Getting Syrup Stains out of Carpet
Below, we will introduce 5 easy methods to remove pancake syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup and other syrups from your carpets. We will begin with the simplest and mildest methods for fresher stains, and progress onto the more heavy duty techniques for more severe stains.
In general, the harsher the chemical, the more risks there are to your carpet. Bleaches like ammonia and chlorine bleach can cause discoloration and damage to your carpet, so we don’t recommend using them unless it’s necessary.
If you’re unsure of how much cleaning power you’ll need to remove your stain, we recommend starting at the beginning of the list and working downwards until you find a solution that works.
If you do this, however, you need to make sure to thoroughly rinse the carpet before trying a new method. Letting the different chemicals mix could cause a reaction capable of harming your carpet and yourself.
Dried Syrup vs. Wet Syrup
The methods below can all be used no matter whether your syrup stain is fresh and wet or old and dried. However, you will need to treat the stains a little differently at the beginning of the cleaning process. Here’s what you should do:
The first step to any of these methods is always to remove as much excess syrup as possible with a dull knife or spoon. Using too much cleaning agent and water to wash a carpet can be problematic because it can be damaging and difficult to dry. So instead of just using more cleaning solution and water to clean all of the stain, it’s better to get as much syrup off the carpet as you can with a dull knife, spoon or scraping tool first.
When the stain is wet, just use your spoon to slowly scoop up the maple syrup that hasn’t yet soaked into the fibers of your carpet.
If your syrup stain is already dry, you’ll need to rehydrate it. You can do this with a steam cleaner by applying steam to the stain on the lowest setting. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, you can use a clean cloth soaked in hot water, place it on top of the syrup stain and leave it to soak for 5 minutes. Once the stain has softened, you should be able to remove some with a knife.
Method 1 – Hot Water
Things you’ll need:
- Hot/warm water
- Clean cloth or paper towels
- Dull knife or spoon
If you’re used to washing the dishes by hand rather than in a dishwasher, you may be aware of how magical hot water can be when it comes to removing food from surfaces. If you run cold water over a plate covered in syrup, the cold water will have almost no effect on the syrup at all.
But if you heat the water up and try again, the hot water will almost instantly melt the syrup and wash it away, without you even needing to use your sponge! This is mainly because sugar particles are easily dissolvable in water, and the hotter the water is, the easier and quicker they can dissolve.
Syrup is thick and sticky because there’s a lot more sugar present than water, but if we increase the amount of water, the stickiness will almost completely disappear. This is why plain old hot water can do wonders with a syrup stain, and why it should always be the first method you try!
Remove excess syrup from your carpet with a dull knife or spoon. (Remember to rehydrate the stain first if it has already dried.) Make sure you have some paper towels and a bin bag nearby to dispose of the syrup without causing any more mess.
Soak a clean cloth in hot water. The temperature of the water should be below boiling, at about the temperature you would usually use to wash the dishes. When handling the hot water, it’s best to wear rubber gloves to avoid any discomfort.
Use the damp cloth to dab at the remainder of the stain. You should make sure to only use a dabbing motion, as scrubbing the stain will push the stain deeper into the carpet. Keep dabbing and changing the towel when necessary until all of the stain is gone, and if your warm water turns into cold water, make sure to swap it out for a new batch.
Since you only used water to clean the stain, there are no cleaning agents to rinse from the carpet, so all you need to do now is dry the carpet. Use a clean towel to soak up as much water as possible. You can make this process easier by standing on the towel to add weight and help it absorb the water quickly.
Afterwards, the best thing to do is let your carpet air dry overnight. If you are working on a rug that can be removed from the floor, you can dry it more quickly by putting it out in the sun. If your carpet is stuck to the floor, you can turn on a fan, air conditioning or a dehumidifier to speed up the process.
Method 2 – Dish Soap or Vinegar
Things you’ll need:
- Dish soap and warm water
- White vinegar and cold water and spray bottle
- Cold water for rinsing
- Dry cloth or paper towels
- Dull knife, spoon or scraper tool
Before committing to the harsh chemicals in methods 3, 4 and 5, we recommend trying a cleaning solution with dish soap or vinegar if hot water didn’t do the job. These cleaning agents are non-toxic and easy to use, but they are definitely still powerful enough to remove most syrup stains.
If you don’t have these things, you can also make a mixture with the usual sodas like club soda. Dissolving a half cup of club soda in a big bowl of water will make a decent solution for cleaning up the syrup, but club soda is not as strong an enzyme detergent as vinegar.
Remove excess syrup from your carpet using a dull knife, spoon or scraping tool. If your syrup stain is already dry, make sure to rehydrate it first.
Make a cleaning mixture either from warm water and a few drops of liquid detergent, or two parts cold water to one part white vinegar. The soap solution is best stored in a bowl, but the vinegar solution can be put into a spray bottle.
For the soap solution: dip a clean cloth into the water and use it to blot up the stain.
For the vinegar solution: use the spray bottle to cover the syrup with the vinegar and water mixture, and leave it to soak for a couple of minutes. Then use a clean towel to dab at the stained area.
Make sure to blot gently so you do not push the maple syrup further into the carpet. Although it may seem slow and inefficient, blotting is by far the best technique for removing stains from any kind of fabric.
Once your carpet cleaners have done their job and the syrup stains have been completely removed, you’ll need to rinse the carpet. If you used the soap solution, you’ll need to do this with a clean cloth dampened with water and use it to dab the affected area. If you used the white vinegar and water solution, you’ll need to rinse the carpet with a water and dish soap mixture.
Once all the soap or white vinegar has been removed, you’ll be able to dry your carpet. Use a towel to soak up excess water, and then leave your carpet to air dry overnight. If you have a wet dry vacuum cleaner, you can also use this to dry the carpet. You can put rugs out in the sun, or turn on air conditioning, fans or dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process.
Method 3 – Rubbing Alcohol
Things you’ll need:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Paper towel
- Dry cloth or white cloth
- Water and dish soap for rinsing
- Dull knife, spoon or scraping tool
Moving on to stronger cleaners, the first thing we recommend is rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is easy to get your hands on and not too dangerous for you or your carpet. But do remember to wear gloves and a mask while using it! The fumes can be quite strong, so it’s a good idea to open the windows, too.
Use a dull knife, spoon or putty knife to scoop excess syrup for your carpet. If the stain has dried up already, remember to soften it up with some warm water first.
Make the detergent solution for rinsing the carpet later on. Add a few drops of liquid dish soap to a bowl of warm water.
Soak a paper towel in rubbing alcohol and place it over the syrup. Apply some pressure to make sure the rubbing alcohol is making contact with as much of the stain as possible, then let the solution settle for a couple of minutes. During this time, the rubbing alcohol will break down the stain and make it easier to remove.
Remove the paper towelette and use a towel to start blotting up the syrup. You can also add some extra rubbing alcohol to the clean towel if necessary. Keep going until the entire stain is gone.
You’ll need to rinse the stain remover solution out of the carpet before letting it dry, so use the water and dish liquid soap mixture and another clean soft cloth to blot away the rubbing alcohol from the previously stained area.
Once the carpet is fully rinsed and clean, use a white towel to soak up excess moisture from the carpet. Then let the carpet dry overnight, with the help of some fans, air conditioning or dehumidifiers if necessary.
Method 4 – Hydrogen Peroxide
Things you’ll need:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Warm water and liquid dishwashing detergent
- Dull knife, spoon or scraping tool
- Spray bottle
Hydrogen peroxide can be damaging to carpets and cause additional stains, so you’ll need to decide whether it’s safe to use on your carpets or not before proceeding. Wool carpets and linen carpets will be especially sensitive to bleach and it could damage the carpet’s texture, so we do not recommend using hydrogen peroxide on wool carpet.
Dark colored carpets are also out of the question because any discoloration caused by the bleach will be instantly noticeable. With lighter colors, the discoloration would have to be far more severe before you could actually see it. For wool carpets and other types of sensitive fabrics, we recommend method 1, 2 or 3.
Having said this, hydrogen peroxide is an essential carpet stain remover for tough stains, so if you are having trouble removing syrup from your carpet, you can rely on this type of stain remover solution.
Remove excess syrup from the carpet with a scraping tool.
Make a warm water and liquid detergent mixture for rinsing the carpet later on. You will need to make sure you only use a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on your carpet, so if it makes it easier for you to control the amount, you can put the peroxide in a spray bottle.
To get syrup out of carpet with hydrogen peroxide, apply a small amount to a white cloth and use it to blot up the stain. Since hydrogen peroxide can be damaging to carpets, make sure to only apply the peroxide soaked sponge to the stained area of carpet.
Once the syrup has been removed, use a new white cloth dipped in the soap and water solution to rinse the carpet. Hydrogen peroxide will discolor your carpet if left on there too long, so you need to be very thorough when rinsing it away.
To dry the carpet, use a towel or absorbent pad to soak up excess water and then let the carpet dry overnight.
Method 5 – Chlorine Bleach or Ammonia
Things you’ll need:
- One tablespoon chlorine bleach or ammonia
- Two cups of cold water
- Towels or soft cloth
- Warm water detergent solution
- Scraping tool
Chlorine bleach and ammonia are basically stronger versions of hydrogen peroxide, which means these cleaning agents should also not be used with wool carpets and dark colored carpets.
Remove excess amounts of syrup from the carpet with a scraper tool or putty knife.
Make an ammonia or chlorine solution with one tablespoon ammonia or chlorine bleach, and two cups of cold water. You can keep these in a spray bottle, or a bowl. Make sure to stick to the measurements of one tablespoon bleach and two cups water to make sure that your solution doesn’t end up too strong and instantly damage your carpet.
To get syrup out of carpet, apply the ammonia solution or chlorine solution to the stained area either by spraying it or dabbing it onto the carpet with a soft cloth. Make sure the stain is fully covered, but don’t add too much. Leave it to settle on the stain for a couple of minutes (but not too long).
After a few minutes, you should find that the stain has disappeared. Use a soft cloth to blot up the solution and dissolved syrup.
Use the warm water and dishwashing fluid mixture to rinse the carpet of chlorine bleach or ammonia. Make sure to be extra thorough when rinsing the carpet, so you can avoid any nasty stains and discoloration.
Use a white cloth or absorbent pad to remove excess water from the carpet before leaving it to dry overnight. Alternatively, you can also use a wet dry vacuum cleaner if you have one.
Getting syrup on your carpet creates a sticky mess that can lead to ants, dirt build up and even mold if you don’t clean it up thoroughly. Luckily, there are a range of techniques you can use to remove syrup from carpet. The right stain remover for the job depends on the kind of carpet you have and how long the stain has been there, but it’s not a complicated process.
The main things you will need are some kind of enzyme stain remover, cool water, lukewarm water, cold water or warm water, dry cloth (preferably white cloth so you can see how well the syrup is coming out), and towels or absorbent pads for drying purposes.
Remember to be patient and only use blotting and dabbing motions to remove the stain, because scrubbing will always only make things worse. With methods listed above, you will definitely be able to solve your syrup spillage problem, so grab a dry cloth and get to work!