How to Remove Old Stains from Carpet with Vinegar?

How to remove old stains from carpet with vinegar

Carpets, like other accessories to a house’s d├ęcor, should be kept sparkling clean.

Having a clean carpet at home improves the air quality and makes it a pleasant family environment.

Dirty carpets can be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. That alone should be a good enough reason why you need to keep it clean.

Old stains are a disturbing sight, and most people run to them with water and soap, which won’t work on tough stains.

It gets nastier with time, as it will integrate with the carpet fabric, making it harder to remove.

What vinegar is best for cleaning?

Different vinegar types include White, Wine, Balsamic, Rice, Apple cider, among other kinds of vinegar.

Many people wonder which vinegar is best for cleaning the old and ugly stains from the carpets.

Of all the options, white vinegar is the best alternative for cleaning tough stains because of its main ingredient, diluted acetic acid.

This makes it an excellent absorbent for most stubborn carpet stains.

Can you use white vinegar to clean the carpet?

For old carpet stain, whether from a wine spill or a grease stain, the first question for most people is, “Can you use white vinegar to clean carpet?”

Due to the acidity, not every carpet material should be cleaned using white vinegar.

Don’t use white vinegar on a carpet made from natural fiber or wool because these types of carpet are delicate, and its acidity will ruin it.

Techniques of how to remove old stains from carpet with vinegar

Before you throw away that carpet due to the old ugly stain, it is important to try one of the techniques discussed below. Different methods work for different types of stain, so it is important to try more than one to determine which one best work for your type of stain.

Method 1: Using white vinegar and baking soda

A combination of white vinegar and baking soda is an excellent cleaning agent for various stubborn old stains such as wine spills, blood stains, coffee stains, and fat stains.

What you need

  1. Spray bottle.
  2. Baking soda.
  3. Vinegar.
  4. Warm water.
  5. Vacuum cleaner.
  6. Hand-held Scrubbing brush.
  7. Piece of dry cloth.

Steps to take

  1. Sprinkle the baking soda uniformly over the stained area and leave for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 1 liter of warm water in a spray bottle.
  3. Vacuum the stained area to get rid of the excess baking soda. Spray the vinegar solution on the stained area. Leave the mixture to rest for one hour, giving ample time for the vinegar to react with the baking soda, thus softening the stain.
  4. Gently scrub the stained area with the scrubbing brush and wipe off the mixture with a dry cloth piece.
  5. Vacuum the area to remove any baking soda and vinegar residue. For this task, I would recommend using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner.


  • Baking soda and vinegar are readily available.
  • The solution is not known to have an allergic reaction to human skin.
  • The solution is highly effective in cleaning even the nastiest stains.


  • Due to the combination’s high concentration, it is not advisable to use soft fabric carpets such as woolen carpets.
  • With potent contaminants, this method has to be done several times.

Method 2: Using vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap

This combination works best for stains such as pet urine, bloodstains, and coffee spills.

What you need

  1. White vinegar.
  2. Clear dish soap.
  3. Warm water.
  4. Baking soda.
  5. Clean and absorbent cloths.
  6. Spray bottle.

Steps to take

  1. Mix 1 cup of warm water, two tablespoons clear dish soap, two tablespoons of white vinegar in a spray bottle, and shake the mixture carefully.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain and leave for 30 minutes.
  3. Spray the vinegar and dish soap solution on the baking soda and leave to bubble. Wait for the bubbling to subside before proceeding to the next step.
  4. Gently rub the stained area with the cloth until the stain dissolves.
  5. Rinse the area with cool water, and dry off with the dry clean cloth. You can use a spray bottle for better control of how much water to use.


  • Cheap cleaning options.
  • Easy to clean with this method.
  • Availability of the materials.


  • May not work on dried up stains.
  • It needs thorough rinsing since the residue can leave a soap stain.

Method 3: Using vinegar, dish soap, and steam iron

This combination will work well on old and tough stains.

What you need

  1. A cup of warm water.
  2. White vinegar.
  3. Clear dish soap.
  4. A clean white piece of cloth.
  5. A steam iron.

Steps to take

  1. Mix 1 cup of warm water, two tablespoons of vinegar, and two tablespoons of clear dish soap in a dish and stir.
  2. Soak the white piece of cloth in the mixture and place it on the stain.
  3. Steam the stained area by placing the iron on the cloth for a few seconds.
  4. The stain will start integrating with the cloth. Repeat this procedure until all the stain from the carpet is absorbed.
  5. When all stain is removed, dry the area with a dry towel.


  • An excellent option for cleaning old and tough stains.
  • An easy DIY procedure.
  • Easily available materials.


  • Stem iron equipment is an expensive item.
  • This method can be time-consuming if the stain is very tough.

Method 4: Vinegar and tap water

This method applies to soft old stains on carpets. These include pet pee and coffee spills.

What you need

  1. Warm water.
  2. White vinegar.
  3. Clean pieces of cloth.

Steps to take

  1. Mix 2 cups of warm water with four tablespoons of vinegar.
  2. Spray the water and vinegar solution on the stain and leave to dissolve for 30 minutes.
  3. Use the piece of cloth to blot the area gently until the stain gets absorbed into the fabric. If the stain is a little bit tough, scrub gently.
  4. Repeat these steps until the stain is no longer visible.


  • It is the easiest DIY method.
  • A cheap solution.
  • Readily available materials.


  • This method will only work on soft stains.
  • This method does not work on woolen carpets.

Additional tips

  1. With children and pets around the house, stains on the carpet are inevitable. The best trick for stains is to clean them when still fresh by blotting with a clean cloth mixed in either vinegar or dish soap until the stain is absorbed.
  2. Cleaning old stains can be problematic, especially for carpets made of soft fabric since highly concentrated chemicals are not advisable. It is important always to check your carpet for new stains.
  3. For comprehensive carpet care, it is advisable to thoroughly vacuum clean areas of the house with high traffic, such as corridors. This prevents the accumulation of dirt particles, which form stains in the long run.
  4. Avoidance is better than cure. Avoid staining your carpet or acting immediately to avoid long-lasting effects.

About the author: Garrick, the visionary behind Cordless Vacuum Guide, brings over a decade of hands-on expertise in cordless vacuum testing to his insightful reviews showcased on this platform. Beyond his passion for empowering consumers with informed choices, he cherishes precious moments with his family, exploring global cuisines and exploring different horizons with his beloved wife and son. Follow him on Youtube, Tiktok, Facebook, and Instagram.