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How to Remove Red Stains (Kool-Aid, Gatorade, Powerade) From Carpet

Last Updated: March 7, 2023


In this post, I’ll show you EXACTLY how to remove red stains (Kool-Aid, Gatorade, Powerade, and other) from carpet.  

Sometimes red stains can be removed by simply cleaning the stained area with a good spotter. 

Other times, the red dyes from beverages like Kool-Aid will permanently bond to carpet fibers resulting in a permanent red stain in your carpet.


Regardless of whether you are dealing with a removable red stain, or a permanent red stain, I'll show you how to get either out of your carpet in this post.


- Step 1 - Remove red stains from carpet with a spotter

- Step 2 - Remove permanent red stains from carpet

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Step 1 - Remove Red Stains Using a Spotter

Remove Red Stains From Carpet With a Spotter

When someone asks me how do I remove [insert random spot/stain here] from my carpet, the first thing I always tell them is to start with a really good spot removal method. 

Spot removal is the process of using a cleaning agent (spotter) to get the contaminants that cause stains (sugar, dyes, pigments) out of the carpet.

Basic spot removal can be done with common store bought spotters like Folex Instant Carpet Spot RemoverTriNova Spot Remover, ResolveSpot Shot, or even a homemade spotter. 

If you are looking for a "really good" spot removal method, I recommend using a good spotter with a mini wet/dry vacuum to suck up and extract the spot/stain from the carpet. 

If you want to learn my homemade spotter recipe and how I use it with a mini wet/dry vacuum, check out my How to Remove Spots From Carpet Just Like a Professional Carpet Cleaner article. 

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Step 2 - Remove Permanent Red Stains From Carpet

How to Remove Permanent Red Stains From Carpet


Now that we have completed step 1, we've hopefully removed all of the sugars and lose dyes from the carpet. 

Depending on the type of red dye and the stain resistance properties of your carpet, you may be left with a permanent red stain. 

This stain is caused by millions of tiny dye molecules that have become permanently attached to the carpet fibers. 

We are going to remove the remaining red stain by using a chemical reaction to destroy the red dyes that are permanently stuck to the surface of the carpet. Once the red dye molecules have been destroyed, the stain will become invisible. 

The stain removal method that I am going to show you is similar to methods that are commonly used by professional carpet cleaners. 

This stain removal method will remove many different kinds of stains from food, beverages, soda, juice, urine, vomit, and many more!

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Step 1 - Most professional carpet cleaners use 6% hydrogen peroxide on every single job. Hydrogen peroxide is a highly effective stain remover and it is the primary ingredient in removing red stains from carpet. I recommend using 6% salon grade hydrogen peroxide, also known as 20 Volume Clear Developer. 

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Step 2 - Spray the 6% hydrogen peroxide liberally around the stained area. 

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Step 3 - The second and final key ingredient is Household Ammonia Cleaner. Household Ammonia has a high Ph and it is needed to activate the hydrogen peroxide. Spray each stain 2 to 4 times with household ammonia cleaner. 

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Step 4 - Cover the stained area with a piece of plastic wrap.

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Step 5 - Place a pot of hot tap water on top of the plastic wrap. The water temperature should be no hotter than 50C - 70C (122F - 158F). The hot water will help activate the hydrogen peroxide.

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Step 6 - Check the stain removal progress every one to two hours. This stain took a total of 90 minutes to come out of the carpet. 

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Step 7 - Using a white cotton towel, or a mini wet/dry vacuum, extract/absorb the remaining hydrogen peroxide  and household ammonia from the carpet. 

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Step 8 (Optional) - 1 rinse with water can be done to flush out the remaining hydrogen peroxide and household ammonia. This is optional as hydrogen peroxide and ammonia both break down and evaporate. 

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Step 9 - Allow the carpet to fully dry and voila!


  • Do not dilute the 6% hydrogen peroxide or household ammonia. 

  • Do not use this method on fine materials such as wool, silk, or other natural fibers. Contact a professional cleaner when cleaning such materials. 

  • test this method in an inconspicuous area on your carpet before using. This can be done on a piece of scrap carpet, or in the corner of a closet. 

  • Do not use this method in direct sunlight. Close the blinds in your home before using hydrogen peroxide on your carpet.

  • When using household ammonia, it is best to open a window for ventilation. Household ammonia has a pungent odor and can be slightly irritating on the eyes. 

  • The odor caused by the household ammonia will disappear quickly as it dries and evaporates. 

  • Household ammonia does not have to be rinsed from the carpet after cleaning because it completely evaporates (turns into ammonia gas) and escapes to the atmosphere. 

  • Hydrogen peroxide does not have to be rinsed from the carpet because it completely breaks down into oxygen and water. 

  • Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia will leave zero residue in the carpet after using (which makes this method very safe for children, people, and pets) 

  • Never mix household ammonia cleaner with bleach. This mixture produces a toxic gas called chloramine that can cause shortness of breath and chest pain. 

  • Use these methods at your own risk!

  • Let me know if you have any questions by using the contact me page, or by commenting on the YouTube video above. I'm always happy to help!

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