How to Spot Clean Your Carpet Using Vinegar

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A spilled glass of fruit punch, a pair of muddy footprints, or a new puppy's accident is enough to make any homeowner cringe when it happens on their carpet. With the considerable expense that carpet often represents, most homeowners do their best to keep their carpeting clean, fresh, and in good condition as long as possible. When you find yourself without commercial carpet cleaner or you want to avoid the use of toxic chemicals, you can use vinegar to spot clean many carpet stains.


Vinegar is an effective carpet cleaner that most people have on hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Borax

  • Absorbent Cloth

  • Baking Soda

  • Carpet-Cleaning Machine

  • Butter Knife

  • Distilled White Vinegar

  • Spray Bottle

  • Salt

  • Paper Towels

  • Dish-Washing Detergent

  • Water

Vinegar and Water Spray Method

Step 1

Use paper towels or an absorbent cloth to blot up as much of a fresh spill as possible. Use paper towels to remove as much solid material as possible. Use a butter knife to scrape up additional residue.


Step 2

Prepare a mixture of half distilled white vinegar and half water in a clean spray bottle.

Step 3

Saturate the stain by spraying it repeatedly with the vinegar and water mixture. Allow the solution to sit on the stain for 10 minutes.

Step 4

Blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth.

Step 5

Repeat the process as many times as necessary to remove the stain.


Additional Methods

Step 1

Create a mixture of 1/4 cup of vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of dish-washing detergent, and two cups of lukewarm water, for greasy stains. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it on the stain. Blot the stain and repeat as necessary.

Step 2

Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar, 1/4 cup of salt, and 1/4 cup of borax, for set-in stains. Apply the mixture onto the stain, allow it to sit until it dries, then vacuum it.


Step 3

Combine half white vinegar and half hot water for use in a carpet-cleaning machine. This solution will help dislodge stains that require the force and pressure of water to remove them.

Step 4

Create a paste from vinegar and baking soda to remove set-in stains. Rub the mixture into the stain and allow to sit for two hours. Blot the stain repeatedly with water and an absorbent cloth until all residue is removed. Blot the spot dry and vacuum to restore the natural nap of the carpet.


Always test a small part of your carpet in a hidden area, like a corner or closet, before you use any stain remover in a high-visibility spot.