7 Ways to Get Slime Out of Carpet and Clothes

Clean slime from your carpet and clothes with items you already have around the house.

A child cradles blue slime in both hands above beige carpet.

A child's hands holding blue slime above beige carpet

Slime, a beloved children's toy, will inevitable end up in your carpet, but it can be cleaned with items you have around the house.

Slime — adored by kids and bemoaned by parents — is typically made with glue, a bit of water, and either borax or contact lens solution. It comes together quickly and gets it bright hues from food coloring. Youngsters love it, and you will find yourself cleaning it up when this beloved ball of goop gets ground into the carpet or stuck to your child's favorite T-shirt.

Homemade slime is pulled from beige carpet before a cleaner is applied

Spilled homemade slime on beige carpet

Homemade slime spilled on carpet can be removed with household cleaners.

We scoured the web for the best ways to clean slime and tested seven ways to get slime out of carpet and clothes. The initial steps are always the same: scrape up as much of the slime as possible with a spoon or the back end of a butter knife, and do all you can to remove the loose particles from the soiled item before applying a cleaning solution.

How to Get Slime Out of Carpet

Four ice cubes sit on top of a blue slime stain on beige carpet

Ice cubes rest on a blue slime stain on carpet

Homemade slime can be removed from carpet by freezing it with ice cubes and then scraping it up.

Ice Cubes: If the slime spill is still fresh, apply ice or ice packs for 10-15 minutes to freeze the slime and then scrape it out of the carpet and vacuum it up.

Results: I was shocked at how well this one worked. After removing the ice, I saw watery goop in the carpet and thought it could only go downhill from there, but it scraped up quickly and didn't seem to have any color residue. After leaving it to dry and vacuuming, it looked great.

Regular Carpet Cleaner: I tried carpet cleaner according to package directions.

Results: After allowing the carpet cleaner to sit for about five minutes, I scrubbed in small circles with a sponge dipped in warm water. I used the soft spongy side as well as the green scouring side, and it still looked a bit blue. Refreshing the sponge water appeared to help, but some blue residue remained. The carpet cleaner also created soap suds I had to soak up with a towel. The vacuum seemed to pick up the last few pieces of blue slime stuck in the carpet.

Club Soda: Remove as much slime as possible by scraping with the backside of a butter knife and vacuum up the loose pieces. Spray club soda on the stain and wait about five minutes. Blot with a cloth to absorb the excess soda water.

Results: After blotting with a cloth, it still needed scrubbing. The green scouring side of the sponge did the trick.

WD-40: Spray the WD-40 on the slime and allow it to sit for several minutes. Scrub with a brush, apply warm water and then blot with a sponge.

Results: After brushing, I blotted the spot with a sponge and warm water, but the slime stuck deep in the fibers wasn't moving whatsoever. After vacuuming, most of the blue particles came up, but the carpet felt very oily, and it definitely smelled like WD-40. When I moved the carpet, there was a very obvious greasy spot on the back. WD-40 worked, but it doesn't seem worth potentially damaging your carpet padding or dealing with the oily feel and the smell.

Goo Gone: Apply Goo Gone to the stain and scrub with a brush to loosen. Wait about 10-15 minutes before vacuuming.

Results: Of all the methods, this one left the most slime, and it didn't come up with vacuuming either. Like the WD-40, Goo Gone also left the carpet feeling oily. It did, however, smell nice because Goo Gone smells like oranges.

A bottle of vinegar sits to the left of a blue slime stain on carpet

A bottle of vinegar on a carpet next to a stain from homemade slime

Homemade slime can be removed from carpet with a vinegar and water solution.

Baking Soda and Vinegar: Mix a 2:1 vinegar and water solution. Sprinkle baking soda over the slime spot and then spray it with the vinegar and water. After 10 minutes, clean the stain with a scrub brush and wipe up the extra baking soda and slime particles with a paper towel. Dab warm water on the stain and allow it to dry before vacuuming.

Results: I think I'll always find the fizz of baking soda and vinegar really satisfying. Unfortunately, after vacuuming and drying, the spot cleaned with vinegar and baking soda appeared to be a bit brighter than the surrounding carpet.

Vinegar and Water: Mix one part warm water with two parts vinegar. Spray onto the stain, and use a soft brush to work slime loose from the carpet. Use a dry paper towel to dab at the stain. Vacuum it once dry.

Results: Brushing it immediately seemed to make the stain disappear. A bit of blue tint remained in the carpet after brushing, but it was gone after it dried and was vacuumed.

Dish Soap: Mix 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap with 2 cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray it onto the stain and wait 2-4 minutes. Spray the stain again and dab up the slime particles with a sponge or rag. Once the stain and slime are cleaned up, dab one last time with warm water and allow it to air dry.

Results: I used a dye-free, plant-based dish soap for this method. It worked just as well as ice or vinegar and water, but since it is dish soap, it generated soap suds that I needed to soap up with a paper towel.

Final Verdict

Beige carpet is gridded into 8 sections, each labeled with text.

Gridded carpet demonstrating what slime removal methods worked.

You can clean homemade slime from carpet with several household items.

For slime in your carpet, just use ice or vinegar and water. Both of those are natural ways to get the slime out of your carpet, and since they’re food products, it isn’t a big deal if you or your child or a pet steps on the still-wet carpet while you’re in the process of cleaning it up.

How to Get Slime Out of Clothes

A left hand uses a butterknife to scrape red slime from a t-shirt.

White t-shirt with a red slime stain

Homemade slime can be cleaned off a shirt by scraping it with the back end of a butter knife before applying a cleaning solution and then washing and drying the shirt. Plain ice or vinegar work the best for saving a T-shirt.

Carpet isn’t the only thing around the house likely to fall victim to slime. Your child’s favorite shirt is a prime target for this goop. The same methods that work on carpet generally work on shirts, too. I tried the methods — scrape up slime, apply cleaner and scrub — on a white T-shirt and then washed and dried the shirt.

Ice Cubes: Apply ice to the stain and wait about 10-15 minutes before removing the cubes and scraping up the rest of the slime with a butter knife.

Vinegar and Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda on the stain and then spritz with a vinegar and water solution. Wait 10-15 minutes before scrubbing the stain with a brush.

Goo Gone: Apply Goo Gone and work the slime particles loose with a brush.

Dish Soap: Squirt some dish soap directly onto the stain and scrub in a circular motion with a paper towel. I used dye-free biodegradable dish soap.

Laundry Detergent: Pre-treat the stain with laundry detergent and then scrub the fabric. I used a dye-free and scent-free detergent for this.

OxiClean: Spray Oxiclean stain remover onto the stain before scrubbing the shirt.

Final Verdict

I was skeptical about some of these methods, especially considering how the shirt looked prior to washing. However — all of the methods worked on a regular cotton T-shirt. I could not see any slime stains, nor could I see any oily residue from Goo Gone. I don’t know that I’d try baking soda and vinegar on a shirt that isn’t white just in case it affects the color. Otherwise, you can breathe easy — spilled slime is not the end of your favorite shirt.

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