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Sugar Stain Removal

Thomas Ferraioli

Cleaning stains is a fact of life, especially if children and pets are involved. Stains caused by beverages and foods are sometimes difficult to remove because of the multiple ingredients in them; sugar often being the leading culprit.

The problem with sugar is that not only is it invisible when dissolved, but if it is not fully removed from carpeting and upholstery it will make dirt stick to the fabric.

Remove excess spill

If dry sugar was spilled on carpet or upholstery, immediately vacuum the affected area. If no moisture is present to dissolve the sugar, then the area is clean. However, if the spill zone was wet, then treat the area the same as a food spill.

If the sugar is from a beverage or food item (such as pudding or ice cream), scrape up the solids, then blot the liquid with clean, dry, white towels. A white towel is preferred since colors and patterns in towels can transfer to the carpet or upholstery.

Apply spot cleaner

If a store-bought spot cleaner is not available, mix 1/4 teaspoon of dish detergent with a cup of water. Always test spot cleaners in an inconspicuous place on the carpet or upholstery. Allow to dry to make sure there is no color loss or other adverse reaction. Apply the spot cleaner to a towel, and then gently work it into the spot. Blot to remove excess moisture.


Spray a light mist of water and gently agitate, or dip a towel into clear water and work it into the affected area. Blot dry. If available, rinse with an extractor machine. It is important to remove the sugar from the area. Any leftover sugar will create a sticky residue that will attract dirt. If spots reappear, simply repeat the cleaning procedures.