Learn 3 Easy Ways to Clean Carpets Using Vinegar

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Carpets, like other decor in your house, should be kept clean. Having a sparkling, clean carpet improves your home’s ambiance and air quality while dirty carpets can be a breeding ground for dirt, germs, and bacteria. So you should keep your carpet in good condition. But what can you use to do this? Can vinegar clean carpets?

Yes, vinegar can clean carpets. Vinegar is a useful and natural substitute for carpet cleaners. 

It is a safe solution to clean carpets, especially if you have children and pets. Most importantly, vinegar is free of artificial fragrances, making it suitable for family members with allergies or asthma.

Curious how vinegar cleans carpet? You’ve come to the right place!

Is Vinegar Good for Cleaning Carpets?

There is a plethora of commercial products to help you remove carpet stains.

But did you know that one of the best stain and odor removers is probably already available in your kitchen cupboard? White vinegar is a remedy for various carpet conundrums.

Vinegar is an excellent cleaning product for carpet cleaning purposes. Due to its acidic content, it can help remove all sorts of stains, stubborn spots, and foul odors existing on your carpets. 

However, it is best to use vinegar on light-colored rugs as it may discolor dark-colored ones. If you do use it on dark-colored rugs, spot-test it first.

Does Vinegar Ruin Carpets? 

Is vinegar safe on the carpet, you ask? Well, generally, vinegar is safe and won’t ruin your carpets. However, note that while vinegar may be a great green cleaning product, it may not be recommendable for all types of carpets.

Vinegar rug cleaning solutions aren’t compatible with carpets with natural fibers like wool. So, check the material of your carpet before using vinegar.

What Types of Vinegar is Best to Clean Carpets?

There are many types of vinegar you can clean with, but the ideal vinegar for cleaning carpets is white, apple cider, rice, and balsamic vinegar. 

However, of all the options, white vinegar is the best cleaner for old and ugly stains because of its the diluted acidic content. 

But the acidic properties also make it not recommendable for some carpet materials. Don’t use vinegar on a carpet made from wool or natural fiber. These materials are delicate, and the acidity will damage the carpet.

How to Clean Carpets with Vinegar?


Before you dispose of your ugly carpet, try this cleaning method first. Here’s how you can clean carpets with white vinegar:

Things you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Essential oil (optional)
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Carpet cleaner


  1. Move aside some furniture that may interfere with your cleaning process.
  2. Vacuum the whole carpet. Don’t forget to vacuum the edges.
  3. Mix vinegar and hot water, then put the mixture in the reservoir of the carpet cleaner. If you want a fresh scent add your favorite essential oil to the mixture.
  4. Vacuum the side of the carpet to the center and back. Clean each section at a time by saturating the carpet. Make use of the suction to remove dirty water.
  5. If the carpet has stubborn dirt, rewash it but in the opposite direction.
  6. Once finished, dry the carpet entirely before putting back the furniture. 

How to Remove Carpet Stains with Vinegar?

When the carpet has stubborn stains or an invasive smell, vinegar alone may not be effective enough to clean the carpet thoroughly.

However, there’s a trick to removing tough stains, and that trick is by mixing the vinegar with baking soda. Baking soda is great for cleaning all types of stains on all types of carpets.

Things you’ll need:

  • 4 tbsp of vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. washing powder
  • Bottle/sponge


  1. Mix vinegar and hot water in a bottle. Then add baking soda and washing powder to the mixture. Mix the ingredients until the powder dissolves.
  2. Pour the mixture into the affected area. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
  3. If the above step did not clean away all the dirt. Use a clean sponge to apply the mixture to the stained area. Complete the cleaning process by vacuuming the carpet. 
  4. Wait until the carpet is dry. Then, complete the cleaning process by vacuuming the carpet. 

How to Remove Smells and Pet Odor from Carpet with Vinegar?

If you have pets, you know that, along with their loving personalities, they can leave a not-so-lovable odor. Pet odors are embarrassing, especially if you invite guests into your home and they can smell it.

To solve your problem, follow this guide to make a vinegar carpet cleaner for pet urine.

Things you’ll need:

  • 4 tbsp. of vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. of baking soda
  • Spray bottle


  1. Mix vinegar and baking soda in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the solution on the affected area. Leave it until dry. 
  3. Once dry, vacuum the carpet thoroughly. 

How Often Should You Clean a Carpet?

You need to clean your carpet at least once a week. If you have pets, you should clean your carpet almost daily.

However, your carpet needs deep cleaning (steam bath) at least twice a year. When removing stains or spot treating, clean the carpet as soon as possible.

What are the Pros and Cons of Using Vinegar to Clean Carpets?


Like any other carpet cleaning solution, vinegar can have advantages and disadvantages. Knowing them is vital before you use this substance on your beautiful carpets.



Vinegar can tackle dirt, stains, and odors commonly found on your carpets. You can also clean carpet mold with vinegar.

Once you mix it with baking soda, lemon, and other natural products at home, the solution can be more powerful and helpful for removing old marks on the carpet.


Since vinegar is versatile and cheap, it is usually available in your pantry. Hence, there is no excuse for not cleaning your carpets or any dirty objects at home.


Vinegar does not harm you, your kids, or your pets at home. Using this solution is not only suitable for your house but for the planet as well. But like any other cleaning agent, avoid getting this product in your eyes.


Strong Smell

Vinegar has a strong smell; thus, when you use it, make sure to ventilate or open a window in the room. Some materials can also temporarily absorb the odor in some cases.

May Not Clean Tough Stains

Cleaning tough stains on a carpet with vinegar alone may be difficult to do. As such, you need to mix it with other natural products like baking soda.

Not Suitable for All Carpets

Vinegar is not suitable for carpets made from natural fibers and wool. The acidity of this solution may damage these materials. Also, as mentioned earlier, using vinegar on dark carpets may cause discoloration.

Tips When Cleaning Carpets with Vinegar

  • Don’t mix vinegar and boiling water. Use cold or hot water instead.
  • Do not mix vinegar with store-bought products when cleaning carpets.
  • Before applying vinegar to the entire surface of the carpet. First, try blotting the solution in an inconspicuous corner.
  • Vacuum the carpet before spraying any solution on it. The vacuum cleaner will remove loose bits and dry dirt. 


After reading this post, you should know that vinegar is efficient in cleaning light-colored carpets. Thus, you can always count on vinegar if you want an affordable and non-toxic carpet cleaning product to clean floors and carpets.

The natural acidic property of vinegar is perfect for removing stains and foul odors. But for dark-colored rugs or carpets, spot-test the vinegar first.

To learn how to clean carpets with vinegar, use the three methods above once a week.

To find out what else you can clean carpets within your home, read our article – Can Hydrogen Peroxide Clean Carpet?