Will Vinegar Clean the Carpet? (7 Simple Steps)

Carpets are woven floor coverings that provide insulation, comfort, and style.

Also, it is available in a variety of colors and designs. But, proper cleaning is necessary to maintain the carpet’s beauty.

As you know, carpets withstand a lot of wear and tear, from pet accidents to everyday dirt.

So, you are thinking about it and looking for a suitable solution.

Can you search for a natural cleaner? Not to worry, we have a solution which is called vinegar.

Now you might think, “Will vinegar clean the carpet?”

The short answer is Yes. Vinegar is a natural acid that works to break down dirt and grime from your carpet.

It can also be used as a natural deodorizer, leaving your carpet smelling fresh and clean.

In this article, we’ll explain how to clean your carpet using vinegar.

By the end of this journey, you’ll know whether vinegar is the new best friend of your carpet or not.

What Makes Vinegar So Special?

Vinegar is special because it is so versatile. It has that tangy taste because of acetic acid, and it can make your food last longer, like pickles.

When mixed with water, it helps remove stains and germs.

A mixture of vinegar and baking soda produces interesting chemical reactions. It’s more than a condiment; vinegar can be useful.

Will Vinegar Clean the Carpet?

Yes, vinegar is suitable for carpet cleaning. Why? Because, It is a natural, non-toxic substance that breaks down dirt and grime.

Also, it contains acetic acid, which kills bacteria and helps to neutralize odors.

Moreover, it is biodegradable, making it an environmentally friendly carpet cleaner.

What Type of Vinegar Should You Use for Cleaning Carpets?

When it comes to carpet cleaning, white distilled vinegar is your best friend. It’s clear, colorless vinegar that won’t stain your carpet.

Mix one part vinegar with ten parts water for a safe and effective cleaning solution.

Using this mixture, you can remove stains, odors, and even some germs from your carpet.

Then, test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it won’t ruin your carpet.

Also See: What Is Vinegar and What Makes It a Good Cleaner?

Pros and Cons of Using Vinegar to Clean Carpet


  • It’s a natural product that can be safe for use around children and pets.
  • As a cleaner, it kills bacteria and other germs and removes dirt and stains.
  • It can be used on a variety of surfaces.
  • It will make your carpet smell fresher and cleaner.
  • It’s better for the environment, and you can reuse it.


  • Vinegar has a strong smell, which usually dissipates as the carpet dries.
  • It’s important to do a patch test first because vinegar might affect carpet color.
  • It works for many types of stains, but may not work with oil-based stains.

Steps to Clean Your Carpet with Vinegar

Step 1: Preparing Your Carpet for Cleaning

You must prepare your carpet before you begin cleaning it with vinegar. Remove all furniture and objects from the carpeted area.

Next, vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove loose dirt and debris.

This ensures that the vinegar solution can penetrate deeply into the carpet fibers.

Step 2: Mixing Vinegar with Water in the Right Quantity

Put equal parts hot water and vinegar and pour into your carpet cleaner’s bucket.

Mix one cup of white vinegar with two cups of water for synthetic carpets.

For natural fiber carpets, mix ¼ cup of white vinegar with ¼ cup of water. But remember, don’t forget the spot test.

First, perform a spot test on a hidden area to ensure the vinegar solution won’t damage your carpet. Then you proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Choosing the right tools

  1. White distilled vinegar
  2. Warm water
  3. Spray bottle
  4. Vacuum cleaner
  5. Paper towels or white cloths
  6. Soft-bristle brush

Step 4: Applying the Vinegar Solution to the Carpet

Applying the vinegar solution to your carpet is quick and easy.

Mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle; this allows you to apply it evenly. If not, a clean cloth works too.

Now spray the solution on the stained or dirty carpet area, being careful not to oversaturate.

If you have a large area of carpet, you may need to work in sections to ensure thorough coverage.

Also, you can use a cloth by dipping it in the mixture and blotting it.

After a few minutes, gently blot the area with a white cloth or paper towel, making sure not to rub. You can repeat the process if the stain persists.

Step 5: Allowing the Solution to Sit

After applying the vinegar solution to your carpet, you should let it sit for a few minutes.

It gives vinegar time to work on the stains and odors. It usually takes a few minutes.

So, be patient and let the solution sit before proceeding.

Step 6: Scrubbing the Carpet

The carpet should be scrubbed after the vinegar solution has been applied.

By doing this, dirt and stains will be loosened and will be easier to remove.

Using a brush or cloth to rub the solution into the carpet is best. This helps lift the stain without causing further damage.

After vacuuming, check for any leftover stains or dirt and remove them with a damp cloth.

step 7: Vinegar Extraction and Rinsing

Once the vinegar solution has soaked into the carpet stains, it’s time to remove them.

After that, you should use a clean, white cloth or paper towel to gently blot the treated area.

But remember, do not rub the area; just press down to lift the stain.

Afterward, rinse the area with plain water and blot it dry to remove any remaining vinegar.

It helps eliminate any lingering vinegar smell or residue from your carpet.

Common Mistakes Avoid

#1 Overusing Vinegar

Vinegar overuse is one of the most common mistakes people make while cleaning carpets.

As a result, the carpet’s fibers can break down, causing it to look old and faded.

Also, too much vinegar can leave a sticky residue that attracts dirt and grime.

#2 Not Rinsing Properly

Not Rinsing properly, is another major mistake. It is important to rinse the carpet properly after cleaning it with vinegar.

Because it helps to remove the remaining vinegar smell and any soap residue left behind.

After rinsing the carpet, dry it thoroughly to prevent mold growth.

For the carpet to remain clean, regular vacuuming and spot cleaning are required.

#3 Not Testing First

When you did not test the vinegar solution before applying, it may cause the carpet fibers.

So, you should test vinegar on a small inconspicuous area before beginning to clean the carpet with it.

If the vinegar does not cause any discoloration or damage to the carpet, proceed with the rest of the cleaning.

#4 Aggressive Scrubbing

Hard scrubbing is another mistake that people make.

In the case of a stain on your carpet that you want to remove, you can soak it in vinegar and scrub gently.

If you scrub aggressively your carpet will be damaged and the colors may fade.

Always use a light touch when scrubbing. If needed, use a brush or a soft sponge.

#5 Avoiding Professional Help

You should always consult a professional carpet cleaner if you have stubborn stains.

With their expertise and advanced tools, they can handle even the most challenging carpet problems.

Alternative Cleaning Products

Baking Soda: Carpets can be easily cleaned with baking soda, which is natural and easy to use.

In addition, baking soda leaves no residue behind and is a safe product for pets and children to use.

Also, you can use it to absorb odors and clean light stains as well. Moreover, baking soda is cost-effective and easy to find. 

Lemon Juice: When it comes to removing odors, lemon juice is excellent.

By mixing it with water, you can use a spray bottle to lightly spray your carpet with it. Let it dry, and it will retain its fresh lemon scent.

For stubborn odors, you can add a few drops of essential oil to the lemon juice and water mixture.

This will intensify the lemon scent and help to completely remove the odor.


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