Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol to Clean Carpet?

I love carpets, but sometimes they irritate even me. This happens when the carpet becomes dirty and I can no longer pretend I didn’t notice it. These beautiful fluffy creatures under our feet easily catch dust, dirt, and mildew. Various stains often appear on their soft surface. Let’s see if rubbing alcohol can be used to clean carpets.

One way of cleaning the carpet at home is using rubbing alcohol for this. It is enough to spray some drops of rubbing alcohol on stains from chocolate, wine, or ink, and then blot them with a paper towel. The big advantage of this cleaning method is its reasonable price and safety. Rubbing alcohol can be used separately or as part of homemade cleaning mixtures. Read on to know the recipe for an effective homemade carpet cleaning solution!

What is Rubbing Alcohol? 

Rubbing Alcohol clean carpet

Sometimes my friends jokingly call me “a rubbing alcoholic”. In this way they want to stress the fact, that I use rubbing alcohol almost every day for cleaning and sanitizing my home. Before I share with you, what products this little helper can clean, I want to tell you a few words about it.

So, rubbing alcohol is a common name, which mostly stands for ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. It’s widely used as a sanitizer and de-greaser. Besides, it is good for cleaning various items in your household. I use isopropyl alcohol to clean the following products:

  • Makeup brushes
  • Window glass
  • Computer mouse
  • Computer and smartphone screens
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Jewelry

In this post, I want to focus my mind on cleaning carpets and rugs with rubbing alcohol.

Why Should I Choose Rubbing Alcohol for Cleaning Carpets?

I am sure, that not just me, but many other housewives prefer rubbing alcohol to many other home cleaning products, which we can buy in Walmart, on Amazon, and in many other online and offline stores. The main reason, why homeowners like to use rubber alcohol instead of specially designed home cleaning products is its low price. The other reason is its safe hypoallergenic formula. Rubbing alcohol doesn’t contain a huge amount of chemical components, which are hard to remove from the carpet pile. Using rubbing alcohol for cleaning various stains on the carpet surface is a great idea for the houses, where pets and children live. Rubbing alcohol is not just a perfect cleaner, but also a great disinfector. 


In the chemist’s or the nearest store, there are two kinds of rubbing alcohol concentrations: 70% and 99%. Although many homeowners choose the alcohol with a larger concentration to clean and disinfect their rugs and carpets, I advise getting a 70% isopropyl alcohol bottle. It contains more water, which makes this substance less aggressive for carpet piles. Besides, its sanitizing skills are as good as 99% isopropyl ones. The disincentive properties of alcohol fall after 80-85% of concentration. 

Does Rubbing Alcohol Remove Odor from Carpet? 

Odor Carpet

It is known that rubbing alcohol is a great deodorizer. It kills harmful bacteria, which are the reason for unpleasant odors on the carpet surface. To remove odor with rubbing alcohol, just make several dispersions of it on the carpet surface from the spray bottle. You can also dip a cotton pad/towel in alcohol and wipe the stain that spreads an unpleasant smell. Rubbing alcohol eliminates such types of odors as pet urine and the smell of spilled drinks/food.


Rubbing alcohol is very flammable, so I suggest spraying it in areas away from the fireplaces or grills. Also, do not smoke in a room where you have recently treated the carpet with alcohol.

Can I Put Rubbing Alcohol in My Carpet Cleaner?         

As a rule, rubbing alcohol can be added to your carpet cleaner. In combination with your favorite carpet powder or separately, rubbing alcohol will work as a great disinfectant and deodorizer. You can pour rubbing alcohol into the tank of your carpet cleaning machine. Alcohol will not harm the machine, but it will do an excellent job of removing dirt from the carpet. It can also help the carpet to dry out more quickly. It happens due to alcohol’s ability to evaporate fast from the carpet cloth. 


You shouldn’t add rubbing alcohol to bleach. The combination of these two ingredients causes the reaction, which results in the release of gases. They may do a lot of harm (like burnings) to your lungs, eyes, and a throat.

What Kind of Stains Can Rubbing Alcohol Remove from the Carpet?

I am sure, rubbing alcohol is a little miracle, which can remove various types of stains. Here’s the short list of stains, which will disappear after you clean them with rubbing alcohol:

  • Ink stains
  • Chocolate stains
  • Red wine stains
  • Coffee stains
  • Pet urine
  • Permanent marker stains
  • Stains, caused by mold
stains on carpet

I recommend using rubbing alcohol immediately after the stain was made. This substance easily copes with new fresh stains, but it will be much harder to remove old dry stains with alcohol.

Here are three easy steps, on how you can remove any kind of fresh stains.

Step 1.

Take a cloth or paper towel to blot the stain. Your task is to get as much liquid as you can from the carpet pile.


You shouldn’t rub the stain with a towel as in this case the stain will become even deeper and bigger. Just blot the stain gently trying to take it away from the carpet pile.

Step 2.

Take another towel or a cotton pad (it depends on the size of the stain and dip it into the rubbing alcohol. Then put the towel (cotton pad) with alcohol on the stain and rub it softly. The stain will become lighter and lighter. Rub it with the cloth saturated with alcohol till the stain completely disappears.

Step 3.

Use another dry towel/cotton pad to blot the wet area, left after the stain has gone away.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Ruin Carpets?

Many readers wrote to me, that they avoid using rubbing alcohol for carpet cleaning as they suppose, it can ruin the pile of their carpet, its color, structure, etc. 

I want to assure you, that rubbing alcohol will do no harm to your carpet fibers. If you need any proof, I can give them to you right now. 

cleaning carpet

Alcohol consists of molecules, which evaporate very quickly. This liquid will disappear from the carpet surface as fast as possible, so it will have no time to damage the carpet – either its structure or color.

But if you are still afraid, that alcohol will damage the color of your carpet, for example, if the carpet is too expensive and you worry a lot about it, then make a color stability test on some unnoticeable corner of the rug. 

In general, I advise you to use rubbing alcohol against some stains, mold, and mildew. But it is better to use a regular carpet powder for cleaning the whole surface of the carpet. 

Home Carpet Cleaning Solution, which Contains Rubbing Alcohol

At the beginning of this post, I promised you to share a DIY cleaning solution, which helps to refresh the look of your carpet and to take all dirt from its pile.

Home Carpet Cleaning Solution

To prepare this solution, take:

  • Warm water – 2 liters
  • Carpet powder – 3 tablespoons
  • Rubbing alcohol – 2 tablespoons

Here are the steps you should make to clean your carpet.

Step 1. Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients there. 

Step 2. Use a soft carpet rake to apply the carpet cleaning solution to the pile

Step 3. Rub the carpet surface gently with a rake

Step 4. Then use a towel or a piece of soft cloth to dry the carpet surface.

Step 5. Make sure, that the carpet got completely dry. Otherwise, use a fan to get the moisture out of its pile.

What To Do If Rubbing Alcohol Didn’t Remove the Stain from my Carpet?

I know that some stains are too hard to remove. Probably, you didn’t notice the chocolate stain, made by your kid at first. And when you finally saw it, it got completely dry and covered with the additional layer of dirt. Otherwise, your pet may have “an accident”, which you noticed just after several days had passed. Or one of your guests spilled some wine, which you couldn’t clean immediately. Thus, you have some permanent stains, which rubbing alcohol can’t completely clean. In this case, I advise you to spend some cash and take your rug to the carpet cleaning company. Thus, you’ll be sure that your carpet will look fresh and beautiful again.

Professional Cleaner Carpet

Final Thoughts

To conclude, rubbing alcohol is a great carpet cleaning solution. It easily removes ink, permanent marker, and other kinds of stains. Besides, it can remove odor from pet urine or mold from the carpet surface. This little helper is very effective and safe. It also costs very reasonably. So, I advise my readers to try this great carpet cleaning solution. 

Nancy Adams

I am a fan of home decor, I devote all my free time to this activity. One of the most important components of home comfort is carpets & rugs and at the same time, it is one of the poorly covered topics on the Internet. Therefore, I decided to share my experience and knowledge in this niche.

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