Dual-energy CT provides a promising solution to identify tagged fecal materials in electronic cleansing (EC) for fecal-tagging CT colonography (CTC). In this study, we developed a new EC method based on virtual colon tagging (VCT) for minimizing EC artifacts by use of the material decomposition ability in dual-energy CTC images. In our approach, a localized three-material decomposition model decomposes each voxel into a material mixture vector and the first partial derivatives of three base materials: luminal air, soft tissue, and iodine-tagged fecal material. A Poisson-based derivative smoothing algorithm smoothes the derivatives and implicitly smoothes the associated material mixture fields. VCT is a means for marking the entire colonic lumen by virtually elevating the CT value of luminal air as high as that of the tagged fecal materials to differentiate effectively soft-tissue structures from air-tagging mixtures. A dual-energy EC scheme based on VCT method, denoted as VCT-EC, was developed, in which the colonic lumen was first virtually tagged and then segmented by its high values in VCT images. The performance of the VCT-EC scheme was evaluated in a phantom study and a clinical study. Our results demonstrated that our VCT-EC scheme may provide a significant reduction of EC artifacts.