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Playdough is a fun, well-known way to occupy the kids for a short time. If you have or even know little ones in your life, you’ll see that it is a common occurrence for playdough to end up on the floor. It’s a fun, messy, hands-on art form that can be an absolute nightmare to remove from carpets and other fabrics. We’ve put this guide together to help you get playdough out of your carpet and prevent the terror that it can be!

Three parts to getting playdough out of your carpet

You’re probably here because of a playtime accident, and you need to know how to get playdough out of the carpet. That makes sense—playdough can get in places that are hard to reach. 

Sometimes it even gets stuck to the fibers of your carpet. Yikes! Fortunately, we have foolproof methods for getting playdough out of your carpets and rugs. All you have to do is follow the steps below, and your carpet will be free of playdough in no time!

You will need the following:

Part 1: Scraping off the Playdough

Get a butter knife or scraper and scrape the playdough off the carpet. If the playdough is dried out or has been on the carpet for a long time, you may need to use some muscle. Also, make sure you scrape down any ridges left from the playdough’s original shape—if you leave those there, they could be scratching up your carpet as you walk on it! Below are detailed steps on how to remove playdough from the carpet.

Part 2: Removing leftover stains with rubbing alcohol

If there are still stains after scraping off as much playdough as possible with a butter knife or scraper, simply mix rubbing alcohol with equal parts of water and rub it into the stain with a clean cloth. Then, simply blot out the rubbing alcohol stain with a clean cloth and then air dry the area. Below are detailed steps on how to remove playdough from the carpet.

Part 3: Drying the carpet

You can let your carpet dry naturally or use a fan or hair dryer to speed up the process. If there are any color changes to your carpet after drying, don’t panic—they should fade in time and won’t permanently damage your carpet. Below are detailed steps on how to remove playdough from the carpet.

How to get playdough out of the Carpet

Step 1: Let the playdough dry. Once it’s hard, you’ll know it has dried enough to pull them up from the carpet. It may seem counterintuitive, but stiff, dry playdough will be much easier to lift than soft, gooey playdough.

When faced with a playdough stain, you should never use hot water or soap! The heat from the water will only push the dough deeper into your carpet.

Cover it with a box or container if the playdough stain is in a high-traffic location, such as a hallway. This will stop people from accidentally stepping on it while they walk by (which would just push the playdough further into the carpet and make it more difficult to clean). You may want to tape a sticky note or piece of paper with a note so people don’t remove it.

Alternatively, if you want to make your playdough dry faster, try freezing the dough. Spray the stain with cold air from a can of compressed air (like you would clean a car’s interior) for 10-15 seconds. The cold air will either harden the dough like it would have if you had left it to dry on its own or speed up the drying process. It’s done when it looks frosted and frozen.

Be warned: This can be a very cold experience. As you spray, keep your fingers away from the cold air! The air is cold, and it could cause freeze burns to your skin. Follow safety instructions on the can carefully, and practice extreme caution.

Step 2: To remove hardened playdough from carpeting, use a butter knife. Scrape the dried playdough from the bottom of your carpet. One way to avoid a circular motion is to use a dull knife so that you don’t damage your carpeting.

Step 3: Vacuum up any pieces as soon as you remove them from the carpet. Be sure to use a butter knife and vacuum to remove loosened pieces of playdough from your carpet as you work. If you don’t, you will risk pushing removed pieces back into the carpet, which would mean all of your hard work would be pretty much gone.

Step 4: Try the following steps if the playdough stain is still there. Get a paper towel and pour some rubbing alcohol on it. Gently blot the carpet and only blot the stain to loosen any remaining residue. Be careful not to rub too hard because that can worsen the stain. Take a clean spot on your paper towel in between blots so that you don’t spread the playdough stain as you clean.

Take care not to pour rubbing alcohol directly onto your carpet. Transfer only a tiny amount to the carpet’s surface with a paper towel or towel. If it’s possible, test the alcohol on your carpet in a small, out of sight area before applying it to the playdough stain. If it does not damage your carpet, proceed with the instructions. To prevent a costly mistake, take this simple step. If the rubbing alcohol did not work, move on to step 5.

Step 5: Clean the residue with hydrogen peroxide and paper towels. Apply the peroxide with a clean towel to the stain and gently blot the carpets until the playdough is completely gone.

Hydrogen peroxide can be an effective tool to remove any discolorations, but it’s only safe to use on the white carpet. Hydrogen peroxide could bleach carpets with color or patterns, so you must be careful when using it.

Step 6: Apply some soap to the stain. Remove the cleaning solution and playdough with soap. Apply a small amount of soap to a paper towel and gently blot the carpet.

Step 7: To wash away the soap from the carpet, use cold water. Wet the area with a spray bottle of cold water, then blot the soap with a clean towel. Don’t soak your carpet! Apply several thin layers of water to the soap, blotting in between sprays, until all the soap has been removed.

Please use cold water to remove the playdough! Warm water could cause the playdough to melt back into your carpet fibers, which would be difficult to scrub out.

Step 8: To dry your carpet, cover the spot with paper towels and apply pressure to soak up any remaining water. Place some paper towels or a regular towel on top of the wet area and press down firmly.

Step 9: To dry the wet spot on your carpet quickly, use a hairdryer. Place the hairdryer about one inch away from the spot and allow it to run for about 15 seconds. Test the area with your hand to see if it is dry before proceeding.

The only downfall to this drying method is the playdough could re-enter the carpet. Make sure you have thoroughly removed all the dough from the fabric before using this technique.

Step 10: You may use a desk fan to dry the carpet when you don’t have a hairdryer. Place the desk fan on the floor, next to the wet spot of the carpet. Aim the wind from the fan directly over the damp area. Have someone hold the fan so that it’s as close to the wet spot as possible. Keep in mind that the closer the fan is situated, the more effective it will be at drying.

Additional care tips

If you’re still struggling to remove the play dough on your own, hiring a certified professional may be worth taking on the task. They’ll be able to get rid of the stain effectively, so you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Additionally, they will be able to provide you with any further advice you may need and if you have other substances stuck in the carpet, like blood or mud, they can help with these situations too!

FAQs about removing playdough from carpet

Does playdough come out of the carpet?

Yes. We have a detailed guide on how to remove playdough from the carpet here.

How do you get playdough out of the carpet with ice?

First, you should scrape as much of the playdough off the carpet as possible. Use a paring knife or a chisel. Once the playdough is scraped off, lay down a drop cloth or two and then fill a bucket with water and ice. Then, put the playdough-covered drop cloth into the ice water bucket. The cold temperature will harden the playdough so it can be picked up by hand.

How do you get out playdough stains?

You can try a pre-treatment spray, or you can soak the stain with a solution of warm water and dish soap. You may have to scrub a bit to remove the stain completely. Do not use harsh chemicals to clean the carpet, as this will cause the playdough to melt and spread throughout your carpet!