Will Just Water And Dish Soap Kill Fleas On A Carpet?

Sharing is caring!

While you can trace the origin of the fleas in your home to your pets, once they are inside, these annoying little creatures can get anywhere. Therefore, you must address other parts of your house, including carpets, when getting rid of fleas.

To effectively get rid of fleas from your home, follow a multi-pronged approach. This includes treating your pets, vacuuming regularly, using insect growth regulators, and even seeking professional assistance.

What about your carpet? How do you kill fleas on your carpet? Will just water and dish soap kill fleas on a carpet?

Find out below.

Will Just Water And Dish Soap Kill Fleas On A Carpet?

will just water and dish soap kill fleas on a carpet


Water and dish soap will effectively kill fleas on your carpet. However, note that this method is only a temporary solution since it primarily targets the adult stage of the flea life cycle. It does not address flea eggs, larvae, or pupae hiding deeper within the carpet fibers or elsewhere in your home.

Nonetheless, despite not being the most effective or comprehensive solution against fleas, a water and dish soap mixture helps reduce the flea population temporarily. Why is water and dish soap effective against fleas on carpets, though?

Dish soap is designed to break down the surface tension of water. Therefore, adding dish soap to water reduces its surface tension, causing the water to become more viscous and capable of wetting surfaces more effectively.

When you spray or apply a mixture of water and dish soap onto your carpet, the soapy water coats the fleas. Since The fleas’ exoskeletons do not repel water effectively, the soapy water sticks to their bodies, making them unable to float or escape easily.

Related Posts:

Due to the reduced surface tension caused by the dish soap, the fleas won’t be able to stay on the surface of the water they sink into the soapy water. Once submerged, the fleas will have difficulty breathing and eventually suffocate and drown.

However, since fleas are resilient and highly adaptable, they can form resistance to common household dish soaps over time, further reducing the method’s effectiveness.

Also, note that this method’s effectiveness depends on the carpet type. For instance, killing fleas on a densely woven carpet or one with a thick pile is more challenging because the dish soap and water may not penetrate deep enough to reach the fleas.

Furthermore, synthetic carpets, such as nylon or polyester, are less absorbent, and the soap solution may remain on the surface longer, giving the soap more time to work on the fleas. On the other hand, natural fiber carpets, such as wool or cotton, are more absorbent and may require more careful application of the soap solution to prevent oversaturation.

Regarding the carpet condition, older, worn, or heavily soiled carpets may have more areas for fleas to hide. Therefore, ensure you thoroughly apply the treatment and even conduct repeated treatments.

How To Kill Fleas In Carpet With Dawn Dish Soap

How To Kill Fleas In Carpet With Dawn Dish Soap


Kill the fleas on your carpet using Dawn dish soap with these steps.



1. Prepare the Soap Solution

Before preparing the Dawn soap and water solution, select a bucket or container that is large enough to hold the amount of soapy water you’ll need to treat your carpet. Next, do the following:

  • Measure out the Dawn dish soap. You only need a small amount since excessive soap can leave a residue on your carpet. Generally, a few drops to a teaspoon of Dawn dish soap per gallon of water should suffice. However, the exact amount may vary depending on the size of your container and the severity of the flea infestation.
  • Pour warm water (comfortably warm, not scalding hot) into a container or bucket. Hot water can damage some carpet fibers.


  • Mix the dish soap and warm water thoroughly with a stirring stick or a spoon. Stir the mixture to dissolve the soap completely in the water.
  • Apply the solution in an inconspicuous area prior to applying it to your carpet to make sure it does not cause damage or color fading. Apply some of the solution to an unseen corner or edge of the carpet and leave it for a couple of minutes. Blot it using a white, clean cloth and check for unfavorable effects. If the test is successful, proceed with treating the rest of the carpet.

2. Vacuum Your Carpet

Before applying the soap solution, vacuum your carpet thoroughly to remove loose dirt, debris, and adult fleas from the surface. However, before you begin, clear the area you plan to vacuum, removing any small objects, toys, or items on the carpet that could obstruct the vacuum’s path.

If possible, use a vacuum cleaner that has a beater brush attachment because this attachment helps agitate the carpet fibers and dislodge fleas and debris more effectively.

3. Apply the Soap Solution

You can either apply the Dawn dish solution using a spray bottle or a cloth/sponge. Since both methods are effective, choose the one that is more convenient for you.

a) Using a Spray Bottle

If you opt for a spray bottle, fill it with the soap solution you prepared earlier, then adjust the nozzle of the spray bottle to create a fine mist rather than a heavy spray. Hold the spray bottle about 12-18 inches above the carpet surface and spray the soapy water evenly over the area to be treated.

Be careful not to oversaturate the carpet because too much moisture causes mildew and mold.

b) Using a Cloth or Sponge

If you prefer using a cloth or sponge, dip it into the soap solution and wring it out until it’s damp but not dripping. After that, use the wet cloth or sponge to apply the soapy water evenly to the carpet. You can work in small sections to ensure thorough coverage.


If you have a heavily infested carpet or one with a deep pile, use a stiff-bristle brush to work the soap solution into the carpet fibers. This will help ensure the solution reaches fleas hiding deeper in the carpet.

4. Let It Sit

After evenly applying the Dawn dish soap solution to your carpet using either a spray bottle or a damp cloth/sponge, allow the soapy water to sit on the carpet for about 10-15 minutes. This gives the soap sufficient time to break the water’s surface tension and trap the fleas.

While the soap solution is sitting, avoid walking on or disturbing the treated area. Walking on the carpet can spread the Dawn dish solution, and fleas may jump off the carpet to escape the soapy water.

As you wait, you may notice that some fleas become more active as they try to escape the soapy water. This shouldn’t worry you because it is a sign that the soap solution is working. Fleas that jump or move within the treated area are likely coming into contact with the soapy water.

You may be tempted to vacuum the soap solution immediately, but be patient and allow it to sit for the recommended time.

5. Vacuum Again

After the waiting period, vacuum your carpet again, making sure to get into all corners and crevices. This will remove the trapped fleas and any remaining soap residue.

6. Repeat If Necessary

You may need multiple treatments to kill the fleas completely. Doing so helps, especially when dealing with severe infestations or flea eggs and pupae, because they can resist drowning.

Before deciding to reapply the solution, monitor the situation over the next few days to a week after the initial soap solution treatment. Look for any signs of live fleas, such as itching in your pets or fleas crawling on the carpet.

If you continue to see adult fleas or suspect that eggs and larvae remain in your carpet, consider repeating the treatment.

7. Dispose of the Vacuum Bag or Contents

After vacuuming, empty the vacuum canister or discard the vacuum bag outdoors to prevent a re-infestation.

If you’re using a vacuum with a bag, check and replace it if it’s full. If you have a bagless vacuum with a canister, empty it into a trash bag and seal it tightly to prevent fleas from escaping.

Also, treat your vacuum cleaner bag or canister with a flea control product or a few drops of dish soap to kill any fleas that may have been collected.

8. Additional Flea Control

In addition to treating your carpet, address the source of the fleas, which is often your pets. Consult your veterinarian for flea control products for your pets. In addition, regularly wash their bedding.


Dish soap and water solution may not be a permanent solution against fleas. Still, it kills the fleas on your carpet, providing a temporary but much-needed solution against these parasites. However, remember that prevention is key to having a flea-free home, so consider year-round flea control measures for your pets to avoid future infestations.

Sharing is caring!