How to Clean Rugs with Vinegar

Using vinegar to clean rugsCleaning rugs can be an intimidating chore depending on the type of cleaning that is required.

For general, mild cleaning, simple vacuuming can do the trick. But for more intense levels of dirt, or even stains, something more powerful is called for. While there are many chemical agents available, many of these can prove too harsh for many rugs. Ideally, a proven natural ingredient would be the best solution.

Fortunately, vinegar is just such an ingredient, providing an easy and effective method for cleaning any rug.

This article will present several methods for cleaning your rugs with vinegar, thus eliminating both stains and odours at the same time!

Method 1: Simple spot removal

For those times that a simple spot removal is required, vinegar can be an absolute lifesaver.

Practicing the following steps will help you remove most stains with ease:

  • Always blot as much of the stain away as possible. Never rub the stain, always blot gently.
  • Mix together even amounts of water and vinegar into a spray bottle. One quarter cup each should do the trick.
  • Spray the stain area with the solution, getting it good and wet.
  • Blot the area to lift the stain and remove as much moisture as possible. Again, blot, don’t rub.
  • Repeat until the stain is gone.

Method 2: Stain scrubbing

Sometimes stains are more challenging than simple water and vinegar can handle.

In these cases, follow the steps listed below:

  • Blot the stain, removing as much as possible.
  • Combine vinegar and baking soda to form a paste. This paste will have the acidic qualities of the vinegar with the added abrasive qualities of the baking soda.
  • Using a toothbrush, gently administer the paste into the stain.
  • Leave the paste to dry. Once dry, vacuum the powdery residue away.

Method 3: Steam cleaning

When rugs require an overall cleaning rather than a simple stain removal, vinegar is still the go-to product. Added to a steam cleaner, vinegar will bring any rug up to a vibrant appearance without the use of harsh chemicals.

The steps for this method are as follows:

  • Vacuum the carpet first, removing as much dirt and dust as possible.
  • Acquire a steam cleaner with a cleaning agent tank.
  • Instead of using the cleaning agent, fill the tank with undiluted vinegar.
  • Perform the steam cleaning process, carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Method 4: Scrubbing the rug

When a complete cleaning is required, but a steam cleaner is not the answer, scrubbing the rug with a vinegar solution will do the trick.

Simply follow the steps listed below to scrub your rug back to a vibrant clean:

  • Vacuum the rug, removing as much dirt and dust as possible.
  • Mix warm water, mild dish detergent and between three to four cups of vinegar to create a cleaning solution.
  • Using a soft cloth, brush or sponge, scrub the rug with the solution, carefully following the grain of the rug to avoid causing any damage.
  • Make sure to clean the edge of the rug, including any fringe.
  • Blot as much moisture from the rug as possible.
  • Dry the rug by hanging it outside to air dry or by placing a fan in the room to help it to air dry indoors.


Whether you need to simply remove a stain or clean an entire rug, vinegar is an inexpensive and safe product that will provide top results.

Following any of the four methods listed in this article will ensure that you get your rugs looking like new again!