Should You Use Vinegar for Carpet Cleaning?

vinegar clean

Most people who have been living alone and taking care of their homes for a while will probably agree that vinegar is a magic product. It can be used for cleaning the sink, the toilet, any stains or spills you have on your countertops and in the microwave and so on. But here comes the question: can it be used to clean your carpet?

At first glance, it might make sense to use vinegar for carpet cleaning: it is great for cleaning and disinfecting, it’s eco-friendly and causes no damage whatsoever. Nevertheless, there are some points to consider, and in order to understand them, let’s break it down from the very beginning.

Firstly, all kinds of substances are either acidic or alkaline. Acidity and alkalinity are complete opposites of each other and are determined according to the ph scale. The scale goes from 0 to 14, with 0 being perfectly acidic, 14 being perfectly alkaline, and 7 being in between (known as ph neutral). When you clean some sort of a surface with a substance, you are in actuality trying to neutralize the stain’s ph by bringing it to ph neutral. According to that logic, cleaning agents that are acidic will work well on alkaline substances, and alkaline cleaning products will work best for acidic stains.

So being as acidic as it is, vinegar works pretty well in terms of cleaning alkaline stains. However, it will not be able to neutralize acidic stains, like ketchup or soy sauce. Moreover, it will worsen the situation by making the stain even more acidic and therefore harder to clean.

Keeping all of this science at the back of your mind, take into account that the ph of different substances is not the only problem. You should also consider the material of your carpet before attempting to use vinegar on it. Carpets made out of natural fiber, like wool or silk, are very delicate. They better not be exposed to highly acidic substances, as those may cause permanent damage to the carpet.

The way you clean your carpet is also very important. Any solid matter should be picked or scooped up immediately, while liquids should be absorbed. It is best to simply blot up any spill or liquid as soon as possible until it bonds deeper into the carpet fiber. If you have still decided to use vinegar as a cleaning agent, keep in mind that it should always be diluted with water. You can spray a half water and half vinegar solution on the stain and leave it for five to ten minutes before blotting it gently with a paper towel. Remember that rubbing is absolutely prohibited unless you want to spread the stain and make it worse.

As you can see, vinegar is not always a good idea when it comes to cleaning carpets. It can be used as a stain remover at best, and even that can cause some problems if performed incorrectly. So make sure that you are knowledgeable enough on the matter before attempting to use vinegar on your carpet, or you can simply use professional cleaning services and call it a day.

Lloyd’s Chem-Dry in Denver, Colorado offers deep carpet cleaning to remove bacteria and dirt. Our solutions are much more powerful than vinegar and leave carpets healthier than before. Learn more:

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