How to Get Red Paint Out of Carpet

Getting red paint out of carpet is more challenging than getting white paint out of carpet--the colorants in red paint are more likely to contain staining dye.

The method you'll use depends on whether the paint is fresh or dried, the type of carpet and the type of paint. As long as it's water-based and still fresh, red paint should be fairly easy to remove without leaving any stain. As a last resort for dried paint, or paint stains that you simply can't get out, you can call a carpet cleaning professional, who should be able to remove the red. .

Prevent the red paint from drying immediately after a spill. Cover it with a wet rag or plastic while you get your cleaning supplies together. The more paint sets, the harder it will be to remove.

Blot, don't scrub. Rubbing or wiping paint on carpet will work it deeper into the fibers.

Soak a light colored towel in water (or paint thinner for oil-based paint) and put it over the paint. Use your hand or feet to blot the paint firmly. Move the towel slightly to a new spot, blot again. Repeat this until the paint is gone--this can take a while, especially for a large paint spill.

Use mild detergent to remove red stains once you've blotted up the bulk of the paint. Mix hot water with dish washing detergent or carpet cleaner and saturate the paint. Leave a towel over the stain for 20 to 30 minutes, giving the solution time to work.

Blot the stain again with a clean, damp towel. Use a white towel and inspect it after you have blotted the stain--if you don't see evidence of red or pink dye and the carpet looks clean, you have removed the stain.

Vacuum the carpet. It's easier to see if you've missed any spots or failed to completely remove the red paint after you've vacuumed.

Use a commercial paint-stain remover, available at most paint and hardware stores, for persistent stains. If this is ineffective, call a professional. They have strong cleaners and stain removers not available to homeowners.

Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Paint thinner
  • Mild detergent
  • White or light colored towels
  • Vacuum cleaner


  • Paint thinner or mineral spirits has no effect on latex paint, wet or dry, and can make the stain harder to remove.
  • Use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner or shop-vac on very large paint spills, re-wetting frequently and vacuuming until the paint is gone.


  • If using anything other than mild detergent and water, test a small area, such as inside a closet, to make sure the cleaner won't bleach or damage the carpet.

About the Author

Stevie Donald has been an online writer since 2004, producing articles for numerous websites and magazines. Her writing chops include three books on dog care and training, one of which won a prestigious national award in 2003. Donald has also been a painting contractor since 1979, painting interiors and exteriors.