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How to Eliminate the Lingering Smell of Vinegar From Your Carpet

| Steamy Concepts |

TL;DR: Vinegar is a powerful cleaning agent but can leave a lingering odor in carpets. This guide offers 8 solutions to eliminate the vinegar smell from your carpet, including using baking soda, white wine vinegar, essential oils, coffee granules, fresh air, onions, indoor plants, or seeking professional cleaning services. Each method is explained in detail, providing natural and eco-friendly ways to combat the vinegar smell and leave your carpet fresh and clean.

Cleaning with vinegar is a popular and effective method for tackling various household tasks. Its natural properties, affordability, and versatility make it a powerful cleaning agent. However, the vinegar’s main drawback is its pungent smell.

If you’ve recently cleaned your carpet with vinegar and are left with an unpleasant lingering odor, don’t worry! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with a range of solutions for how to get the smell of vinegar out of your carpet, leaving it fresh and odor-free. 

Why Does Vinegar Leave a Lingering Smell?

Before we delve into the solutions, let’s find the cause of vinegar’s pungent smell. 

Vinegar is a powerful acid that effectively breaks down dirt and grime, making it an excellent cleaning agent for carpets. However, its acidic nature also means it can leave a potent odor behind. The smell of vinegar is caused by acetic acid, which evaporates over time but can take a while to dissipate completely. 

This is why, even after cleaning with vinegar, the scent may remain in the air for some time. A carpet’s porous nature allows it to absorb vinegar, retaining the odor inside the fibers. As a result, taking specific actions is critical for effectively removing the vinegar odor from carpets. If you’re wondering how to get the smell of vinegar out of carpets quickly and effectively, keep reading!

8 Easy Solutions to Deal With the Smell of Vinegar in a Carpet

You can try a few different things to eliminate the vinegar smell from your carpets. While you might have most of these ingredients and items at home, you need to consider the type of carpet, too, as you can easily damage it while attempting to deodorize it from vinegar. Some professional cleaners like Steamy Concepts can help you remove all odors in minutes, but if you’re intent on doing it yourself, here are 8 of the easiest ways of doing it:  

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile and readily available household ingredient that absorbs odors. Its alkaline properties help neutralize the acidic smell of vinegar, making it an ideal solution for eliminating the lingering odor from your carpet. Here’s how to use it to remove carpet odors:

  • Preparation: Start by blotting the area affected by vinegar with a clean, white cloth to remove any excess moisture. Sprinkle a lot of baking soda over the affected carpet area. Then, push the baking soda into the fibers, ensuring it reaches deep into the carpet.
  • Waiting Time: Let the baking soda do its thing by sitting on the carpet for at least one hour. This way, it can absorb the vinegar odor effectively. For optimal results, consider leaving it overnight.
  • Vacuuming: After waiting at least one hour, thoroughly vacuum the carpet to remove the baking soda. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter if possible, as it will help capture any fine particles and allergens.

White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is an excellent alternative to distilled white vinegar for removing odors. It is a natural air freshener with antibacterial properties to help combat germs while neutralizing unpleasant scents. Here’s how you can use it on your carpet: 

  • Preparing the Mixture: Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white wine vinegar and warm water. Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients together.
  • Application: Lightly mist the affected carpet areas with the white wine vinegar solution. Be careful not to oversaturate the carpet. Allow the solution to sit for a few hours and neutralize the vinegar smell, eliminating any remaining odors. After those few hours go by, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any residue thoroughly.

Harness the Power of Essential Oils

Essential oils add a pleasant aroma to your living space and possess natural antibacterial properties. They can effectively neutralize odors, including the lingering smell of vinegar from your carpet. This is how you would use them:

  • Mixing the Essential Oil Solution: Choose your favorite essential oil, such as lemon, eucalyptus, orange, lavender, or peppermint. Add 10-20 drops of the essential oil to a spray bottle filled with white wine vinegar. Shake well to combine the ingredients.
  • Applying the Solution: Lightly mist the carpet with the essential oil and vinegar solution, focusing on the areas with the most pungent vinegar smell. Allow the solution to dry naturally, and let the pleasant aroma fill the air. Leave it for a while before vacuuming to remove the odor and any remaining residue.

Coffee Granules

Coffee granules are known for their intense aroma, which can effectively mask and absorb unpleasant odors, including the smell of vinegar. If you have some coffee granules you can space, here’s how to use them on your carpet:

  • Placing the Coffee Granules: Place a container filled with coffee granules or grounds near the affected area of the carpet. Since the grounds act as a natural deodorizer, they will absorb the vinegar smell when left overnight or at least for several hours.
  • Removing the Coffee Granules: After waiting, remove the coffee granules from the container and discard them. If you’d like, you can also use coffee-scented candles or wax melts to enhance the coffee aroma in the room further.

Embrace Fresh Air and Ventilation

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the most effective. Opening windows and allowing fresh air to circulate helps remove odors naturally. So, this is what you can do:

  • Ventilation: Create good air circulation by opening all windows and doors. If weather permits, consider leaving your rug or cushions outside on a sunny day to allow fresh air and sunlight to disinfect and refresh them naturally.
  • Air Purification: Use fans or air purifiers to enhance airflow and expedite the removal of odors. Regularly change air filters in your HVAC system to maintain clean and fresh air quality.

Onions, the Surprising Odor Absorber

Onions may bring tears to your eyes, but they can also help eliminate unpleasant odors, including the smell of vinegar from your carpet. If you’d like to try this method out, these are the steps to follow: 

  • Prepare the Onions: Cut an onion in half and place both halves near the affected carpet area. Leave the onions to absorb the vinegar smell for a day or two.
  • Monitoring the Results: Check the carpet after the waiting period to determine if the odor has dissipated or reduced significantly. Remember to remove the onions and discard them properly.

Indoor Plants

Indoor plants add beauty to your home and act as natural air purifiers. They can effectively remove toxins and odors from the air, helping to freshen up your living space. Although some plants are more effective in air purifying than others, here’s how you can use most indoor plants:

  • Choosing the Right Plants: Select indoor plants known for their air-purifying properties, such as snake plants or Boston ferns. Place these plants strategically near the affected area of the carpet to help eliminate odors.
  • Plant Care: Follow proper care instructions for your chosen indoor plants, including regular watering, appropriate lighting, and occasional fertilization. Regularly dust the leaves to ensure optimal air-purifying capabilities.

Call For Help

If all else fails or you simply want a quick solution to your smelly problem, consider calling a professional cleaner crew. They use modern technology and specialized equipment to eliminate any odors from all carpets. 

Final Thoughts on How to Get the Smell of Vinegar out of Carpet

Cleaning with vinegar is a natural and effective way to clean, but the lingering smell can be bothersome. By following our detailed guide, you can quickly learn how to get the smell of vinegar out of carpets and enjoy a fresh and clean carpet. Whether you use baking soda, white wine vinegar, essential oils, coffee granules, fresh air, onions, or indoor plants, each method offers a natural and eco-friendly way to combat the vinegar smell. 

The most reliable solution remains to ask Steamy Concepts for professional help. So, contact us at your convenience to schedule a visit and discuss your options. 



Why does vinegar leave a strong smell in my carpet?

Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is highly effective at breaking down dirt and grime. However, this acid can also produce a strong odor. The smell lingers because carpets are porous and can absorb the vinegar, trapping the scent within the fibers. This guide provides solutions to effectively eliminate the vinegar smell from your carpet.

Can I use any type of vinegar for cleaning my carpet?

Distilled white vinegar is the most commonly used type for cleaning due to its high acidity. However, white wine vinegar can also be effective in neutralizing odors. It’s important to dilute vinegar with water or other ingredients as recommended in the article to prevent damage to your carpet.

How long should I leave the solutions on my carpet before removing them?

The duration varies depending on the method you choose. Baking soda should be left on for at least an hour, or overnight for optimal results. White wine vinegar or essential oil solutions can sit for a few hours. Coffee granules can be left overnight. Onions should remain for a day or two. Ensure the solutions are completely dry before removing or vacuuming them.

Is it safe to use essential oils on my carpet?

Yes, essential oils are safe to use on your carpet, especially when diluted with white wine vinegar or water. Essential oils not only help neutralize odors but also add a pleasant aroma to your living space. However, be cautious with the quantity and ensure you follow the recommended method to avoid over-saturation.

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