Getting Joint Compound Out of a Carpet

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Things You'll Need

  • Newspapers

  • Paint scraper, putty knife, metal spatula or butter knife

  • Vacuum cleaner

Protect carpets to avoid getting drywall mud on them.

Joint compound, also known as drywall mud, is a wet mud-like mixture used to patch holes and seams in drywall. It dries to a hard mass. If you or your workers accidentally drop joint compound on a carpet, or track it from the workroom onto the carpet of an adjoining room, it is fairly simple to remove. However, if you do it the wrong way, you can end up with more of a mess than when you started.


Step 1

Let the wet joint compound dry on the carpet before you attempt to remove it. If you try to wipe it up before it is dry, it will spread the compound out and drive it deeper into the carpet. Avoid walking on it while it dries.

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Step 2

Place a newspaper over any large lumps of dried joint compound on the carpet. Step firmly on the lumps to break them up.

Step 3

Scrape the dried joint compound that remains on the carpet fibers with a clean metal paint scraper or putty knife. Any straight-edged metal device will work, such as a spatula or butter knife. Use firms strokes and sweep side to side across the dried joint compound spot. Change directions after a few strokes by moving around the spot slightly. This motion loosens the dried joint compound from the carpet fibers. It will seem to have disappeared, but it has become dust and sunk into the carpet.


Step 4

Affix the brush attachment to your vacuum cleaner, and vacuum the area thoroughly to remove the joint compound dust you created by scraping.

Step 5

Repeat the scraping and vacuuming procedure until all traces of joint compound have been removed.


The best remedy is prevention. Therefore, cover your carpets with plastic drop cloths and secure with painter’s tape before the joint compound job begins to avoid getting the mud on your carpet in the first place.

Because of the colorless quality of joint compound, it should not stain your carpet permanently.

If the drywall mud spot persists, try using a portable steam cleaner that has a vacuum action. Blot the area gently with clean, dry paper towels after steaming. Vacuum again after the carpet has dried.


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