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How to remove carpet stains with vinegar

Updated February 21, 2017

Carpet stains are a part of life. Fortunately, common household vinegar can remove them as easily as they came about. Vinegar can remove even the toughest stains, including alcohol, perfume, cola, coffee and pet mess.

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  1. Get a clean water spray bottle.

  2. Fold several (five to eight is ideal) clean paper towels into a square stack.

  3. Pour one part white vinegar with two parts cold water into the bottle, seal and shake.

  4. Test the solution on an inconspicuous part of your carpet. Spray the solution and blot dry to verify that the vinegar doesn't discolor your carpet.

  5. Remove excess stain-causing liquid by blotting the stained area on the carpet with paper towels.

  6. Spray the mixture onto the stain generously. Allow it to soak into the carpet for a few seconds.

  7. Press the paper towel stack against the stain and blot so that the staining ingredient will lift onto the paper towels.

  8. Continue spraying the carpet with the vinegar solution and blotting carpet until no stain remains. To ease handling, you may choose to spray the paper towels with the solution before blotting as long as you continue to spray the carpet, too.

  9. Allow the carpet to dry. The scent of vinegar should fade away while it evaporates.

  10. Tip

    For large stains, mix the solution and pour it into the detergent part of a carpet cleaning machine. Clean with the machine as usual. For tough stains, leave a fresh stack of paper towels on top of the stain and place a heavy item like a weighted trash can over it. Leave overnight as the vinegar solution soaks up the extra stain-causing ingredient.


    Do not use home cleaning products that contain lanolin or bleach on your carpet. Doing so could cause damage to your carpet. Avoid rubbing the stains. Do not spray enough vinegar onto the carpet for it to soak into the carpet's padding.

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About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.

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