Can You Use Vinegar To Clean The Carpet?

Vinegar is capable of doing so much more than people think it can. Other than having uses in the kitchen for cooking, it can also be used for cleaning it. But can you use vinegar to clean the carpet?

Can You Use Vinegar To Clean The Carpet

Before getting into whether you can use vinegar or whether vinegar is effective, let’s first get into how vinegar works to clean your carpet.

How Does Vinegar Work?

How Does Vinegar Work

Vinegar contains natural acetic acid. This acid works effectively as a household cleaner.

When diluted with water, this acetic acid in vinegar then breaks into hydrogen and acetate.

This hydrogen then breaks the structure of stains, whereas the acetate has extra electrons in it, which acts as a magnet.

Vinegar not only removes stains but also removes odors from the carpet.

However, always remember to add an equal amount of water and vinegar. Without water, the acid level could be too high for your carpet’s delicate fibers to handle.

This concentration of acid depends on which type of vinegar you are using.

For instance, apple cider vinegar is the safest vinegar type to use as it has the mildest concentration. To clean the carpet, you should always use white vinegar.

What Type Of Vinegar Should I Use To Clean The Carpet?

What Type Of Vinegar Should I Use To Clean The Carpet

The very first question that many people get is-“There are so many varieties of vinegar available in the market which one should I use to clean the carpet without damaging it?”

Vinegar comes in many options, like apple cider, balsamic, malt, and rice wine vinegar, but the ones that should be used for cleaning are:

1. Distilled White Vinegar

To clean the carpet without damaging it, you should use a balance of 5-10% acetic acid and 90-95% water. This concentration is readily available at your local store.

2. Cleaning Vinegar

A balance of about 20% cleaning vinegar and 80% water will do the job of effectively cleaning the carpet. Remember, this vinegar is not for consumption.

Is Vinegar Effective In Cleaning The Carpet?

Is Vinegar Effective In Cleaning The Carpet

The carpet is the most vulnerable and delicate thing in your home. In addition to providing warmth and a good environment, it also gives to bacteria, carpet beetles, and other types of harmful organisms.

However, the truth is vinegar does clean your carpet, it also acts as a disinfectant, but it doesn’t clean the dirt and dust from the carpet.

It is a very effective compound for cleaning the rigid stains from the carpet, but when it comes to cleaning the deeply ingrained dust and dirt in your carpet, then using a steam cleaner, carpet shampoo, or simply vacuuming the carpet regularly will do the job.

So overall, vinegar can’t be used to clean dirt and dust from your carpet, but it can indeed remove various tough stains from the carpet. Vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent if you are trying to get the milk smell out of the carpet.

What Not To Clean Using Vinegar?

What Not To Clean Using Vinegar

These are some places where you must avoid using vinegar as a cleaning agent:

1. Natural stone tiles or countertops

Using vinegar on natural tiles can disintegrate the material and further stain it. So avoid using vinegar on natural stones like granite, slate, and marble.

2. Electronics

Using vinegar on items like screens of television, mobile phones, and computer monitors should be avoided at all costs. It will result in damaging the anti-glare coating.

3. Unsealed grout

It can damage vulnerable grout or the area underneath it. It can make the grout wear over time.

4. Natural carpets and rugs

Not every carpet can be cleaned using vinegar, some rugs and carpets are not compatible with vinegar. So, do a patch test first before using it on the damaged area.

5. Unfinished leather and certain types of upholstery

Leather and upholstery are made from delicate fibers, and using vinegar, which is an acid, might damage them.

6. Unfinished wood

Cleaning waxed or unfinished wood using vinegar should be avoided as it will result in discoloration. You can use diluted vinegar or opt for a non-acidic cleaning agent.

What Can You Clean Using Vinegar?

Vinegar can be used to clean a plethora types of stains. However, it requires you to use the right concentration and the correct type of vinegar.

To clean the carpet using vinegar, you simply need to follow the following step:

1. Make a solution of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water in a spray bottle.

What Can You Clean Using Vinegar

2. Sprinkle this solution on the damaged area of the carpet.

3. Now gently rub the area using a brush with soft bristles or a toothbrush.

Pro tip: Remember not to rub the stained area virtuously.

Here are 10 uses you can use vinegar on the carpet to remove:

  1. Oil from the carpet
  2. Dog pee stains and smell from the carpet
  3. Cat pee stains from the carpet
  4. Coffee stains from the carpet
  5. Stains from the couch
  6. Red wine and BBq sauce from the carpet
  7. Acrylic paint from the carpet
  8. Permanent highlighter from the carpet
  9. Wax out of the carpet, and lastly
  10. The smell of puke from the carpet

Will Cleaning Carpet With Vinegar Make Home Smell?

Will Cleaning Carpet With Vinegar Make Home Smell

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Cleaning a carpet or any surface using vinegar will make your home smell like it.

It will emit a pungent smell like a pickle, but only for the time being when you are cleaning the carpet. Once the carpet dries, the smell will completely disappear.

You can also open all your windows and doors to let the smell out, and after that, your home will smell fresh, like a breeze.

Will Vinegar Discolor & Stain The Carpet?

Will Vinegar Discolor & Stain The Carpet

Vinegar is not compatible with all types of carpets like carpets that contain acid blue dyes can turn red when they come in contact with vinegar.

So, yes, for some types of carpet, vinegar can discolor and stain them further. However, before using the vinegar on the carpet, know the type of carpet you have, what it is composed of, and any guidelines given by the manufacturers to clean it.

Make sure to patch test on a small area before using it on the damaged spot.


So, can you use vinegar to clean the carpet?

Yes, you can use vinegar to clean the carpet. You just need to choose the right type of vinegar and follow the above-mentioned guidelines to make the right proportion of the solution.

You should never forget that vinegar is an acid, so before pouring the entire mixture on the damaged spot, first test a small area on the carpet.


Is vinegar and baking soda good for cleaning carpet?

The combination of the powerful acid of white vinegar and neutralizing baking soda gives you a very strong and effective cleaning agent. They both have the ability to remove challenging stains from the carpet.

Do you have to rinse off cleaning vinegar?

When you are using a combination of white vinegar and water, rinsing the area is not necessary. However, if you are using vinegar to remove the dirt, then grime and rinse it with some water.

Can you use vinegar and dish soap as a carpet cleaner?

Yes, mix equal amount of vinegar and water in a bottle and add several drops of dish soap and use it to clean any stain on the carpet.

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