Think back if you can to the teen years. What comes to mind? Think about your face. What comes to mind? Yes, acne certainly made for some miserable times in front of the mirror. It seemed like a new pimple showed up about every half an hour. In the old days they used to talk about avoiding chocolate and oily foods. Oh, and wash your face often. Of course, none of those things really helped, and so you tried various soaps and solutions again to no avail. They were frustrating, embarrassing years for many people. Fortunately, most teenagers today can control acne with modern medicines. Over the counter medicines, like benzoyl peroxide, can control light cases. Antibiotics and prescription drugs can control the others.

I had a friend call the other day asking about how to clean up an acne medicine spill off the carpet. I provide carpet cleaning in Portland, Oregon. His daughter left a tube lying on the floor by her bed that night. She got up late for school and accidentally stepped on the tube. It blew up on the carpet by the bed and under the frame. Mom had scrapped up the bulk but wondered what to do from there.

For effective stain removal it always helps to know the chemical makeup of different products. Over- the-counter acne medicine has as it main ingredient a compound called benzoyl peroxide. When benzoyl peroxide mixes with water, it becomes hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach and can in some cases bleach your carpet leaving permanent color loss. You can imagine why this makes cleaning a challenge, since  most carpet cleaning spot removers involve water.

There are a couple ways to get around this problem:

  1. Use a dry cleaning product. See How to Safely Clean & Remove Acne Medicine. Test the dry cleaner on a scrap piece of carpet that matches your carpet. If you have no scrap, test in the corner of a closet. Never pour dry cleaning fluid directly on a carpet. Pour it on the rag. Make sure you open a window and turn on a fan. Take your time. Dry cleaning fluid evaporates quickly. You will need to keep a saturated rag on it for at least five minutes for it to work. Lay the rag over the spill. Blot gently. Don’t rub. After you have removed the medicine, you can use water or a water and liquid soap combination to remove the the cleaning fluid.
  1. You can use a reduction bleach to clean acne medicine. Chlorine bleach and peroxide bleach work by an oxidizing or adding oxygen to a stain. Reduction bleach sometimes called strippers take away oxygen from the stain. You can reverse the bleaching activity of an oxidizing bleach by countering it with a reducing bleach. They cancel each other. Use Sodium Hydrosulfite as a reducing bleach. You can find it at a pharmacy or water treatment store for hot tubs and pools. It usually comes in a powder. Mix it according to directions with water. The reducing bleach allows you to clean the acne medicine with water without bleaching your carpet.

Hope this information is helpful. Until next time….Sean!