Vinegar is a versatile household product that can be used for a variety of uses, from cooking to cleaning. Cleaning your carpet can be a tedious process but using vinegar can make it easier. We’ve put together this simple guide on the do’s and don’ts of cleaning carpet with vinegar.

cleaning carpet with vinegar

How to Spot Clean Carpet with Vinegar

Vinegar is a wonderful option as a cleaning product and is often used to clean different kinds of surfaces, including windows, clothes, floors, etc.

Though it is usually fairly simple to use vinegar for cleaning, carpets are expensive and often made from sensitive materials that may not tolerate vinegar as properly as other hard surfaces.

You don’t want to damage your carpet and leave it more stained than before by using vinegar in the wrong way. Vinegar can be used to make the general cleaning process easier, but its primary use in cleaning carpets is to remove stains.

You can use vinegar to spot clean your carpet in order to remove stains by following the steps below:

Step 1

Before you use any vinegar to spot clean your carpet, make sure that it is clean from any loose particles of dust, hair and other debris. If there is any other substance on the carpet when vinegar is applied to it, it can create more staining than before.

You can use a vacuum cleaner to clean the carpet’s surface thoroughly so that treating it with vinegar does not leave any new stains because of other substances.

If you are treating the stain of a particular substance, make sure you have removed any solid parts of the substance from the carpet and all that is left is the stain.

Step 2

You have to make a vinegar solution that will be suitable to clean the carpet. A vinegar solution that is too strong might lead to discoloration of the carpet, while a vinegar solution that is too weak might not clean it at all.

Make sure only to use plain, white vinegar that does not have any pigments as other kinds of vinegar can cause new stains rather than cleaning.

A standard solution is to use one part white vinegar with around three parts water. First, test the solution on a small part of the carpet that is not usually visible to make sure that the solution is not damaging the fabric.

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Make sure that the stain you are trying to remove is not caused by an acidic substance. Using vinegar on an acidic stain can actually worsen the stain rather than removing it.

Then go ahead and apply the solution to the stained area with a spray bottle. It is important not to scrub the site as that can spread the stain and allow it to seep deeper into the carpet fabric.

There are two ways to go about stain removal using vinegar. You can spray the solution liberally and let the carpet rest for five to ten minutes before you soak up the vinegar solution with a clean cloth.

how to spot clean carpet with vinegar

Another way to go about it is to keep spraying small quantities on the stained area and soaking up the vinegar solution with a clean cloth until the stain fades away.

Step 3

Make sure to remove all of the vinegar solution from the carpet. You can do so by either blotting out all the vinegar solution with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Or you can also use a little bit of water to rinse out the treated area and then allow the water to dry thoroughly. If the vinegar is not removed from the carpet, it can lead to the development of a stain.

Then, you have to lay out the carpet under the sun and allow it to dry completely. If the solution does not dry thoroughly, it can lead to the formation of another stain.

If you don’t have access to an outdoor space with sunlight, you can also dry the carpet indoors. It can take a long time but you can make sure there is enough ventilation or use a fan to speed up the process.

Read also:
How Can I Get My Carpet to Dry Faster?

Cleaning Carpet with Vinegar FAQ’s

Will Vinegar Bleach or Stain Carpet?

Vinegar can bleach or stain the carpet under certain circumstances if you are not careful. If you are careful and keep the following things under consideration, there is no reason why the vinegar should bleach or stain your carpet.

Make sure to use plain, white vinegar. If you are using any vinegar besides white vinegar, the pigments in the vinegar will stain the carpet.

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Even if you are using plain, white vinegar, using it improperly can lead to the formation of stains on your carpet.

Do not use vinegar to treat stains caused by acidic substances. Vinegar contains acetic acid and it can easily clean up stains caused by alkaline substances since the acid in the vinegar will neutralize the substance and balances its pH levels.

However, if the stain is caused by an acidic substance such as ketchup, treating the stain with vinegar can make it more acidic and the stain can become even more stubborn.

will vinegar bleach or stain carpet

Make sure to create a suitable vinegar solution with water and never apply vinegar directly on the carpet.

If vinegar is applied directly to the carpet without dilution, it can bleach the carpet or lead to the formation of vinegar stains.

It is essential to be careful about the use of vinegar in carpets made from natural fibers such as wool and silk that can tend to be more sensitive. Using vinegar can leave such fabrics damaged and more so if the vinegar is not suitably diluted with water.

The vinegar should be applied to the carpet only after the substance that caused the stain has been thoroughly removed from the carpet. You must also make sure that any other dust and debris have been completely removed from the carpet before you treat it with vinegar.

The presence of the other substance on the carpet when vinegar is applied to it can lead to staining.

When the vinegar is applied to the stain, the technique with which the carpet is cleaned is also important in ensuring that there is no stain. When using vinegar to clean a stain, make sure to gently blot the stain rather than scrubbing the carpet.

Scrubbing the stain can lead to the pigments spreading into the other fibers of the carpet and it might become more stubborn to remove. As a result, make sure to blot out the vinegar solution gently while cleaning. After cleaning, make sure to remove the vinegar altogether, either by rinsing or blotting.

blotting out vinegar on carpet

Despite following these instructions, the vinegar might not be suited to the fabric of your carpet and it is best to test it out first.

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To ensure that the vinegar is not going to stain the carpet, test out the solution on a small part of the carpet by applying it there and then leaving it for up to a day.

How Long Do You Let Vinegar Sit On Carpet?

Vinegar should be allowed to sit on the carpet for five to ten minutes to avoid staining.

Can You Spray Vinegar on Carpet?

Yes, you can spray vinegar on your carpet to remove stains. You can mix vinegar with equal parts of water, spray it gently on the carpet and then blot it out.

Another method, known as deodorizing, involves mixing a small quantity of vinegar and baking soda in water and then spraying it on the carpet.

Can You Steam Clean Carpet with Vinegar?

Yes, you can steam clean your carpet with vinegar. When using your steam cleaner, mix vinegar in the water instead of your regular cleaning liquid and then steam clean your carpet as you would normally.

Can You Use Vinegar in Carpet Cleaner?

Yes, you can use vinegar in your carpet cleaner. Simply use a solution of vinegar and warm water in equal parts instead of your carpet cleaner solution. The carpet might smell of vinegar while cleaning, but the smell will go away once it dries.

Does Vinegar Kill Germs on Carpet?

Vinegar has natural germ-killing properties and will kill many germs on your carpet such as various disease-causing bacteria. However, it is not as effective as a chemical disinfectant or even certain other home remedies such as rubbing alcohol.

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Clean Carpet?

Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar to clean your carpet through some methods. Though white vinegar is preferred, apple cider vinegar can be used to give your carpet a vinegar wash or to spray it with vinegar.

For spot removal of stains, you should use plain white vinegar to avoid further stains.

Bottom Line

Vinegar is an excellent product for cleaning carpets, especially when it comes to removing stains.

However, one needs to follow certain guidelines about the type of vinegar, the cleaning technique, etc., to ensure that no new stains are formed during the cleaning process.

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