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How to Get the Smell of Vinegar out of Carpet

A carpet may smell like vinegar for several reasons. One common reason is if vinegar has been used as a cleaning agent on the carpet. Vinegar is often used as a natural, non-toxic cleaner due to its acidic properties that can break down dirt and grime. However, if the vinegar is not rinsed thoroughly or if too much is used, it can leave a strong smell that lingers in the carpet fibers. Another reason a carpet may smell like vinegar is if there has been a spill of a vinegar-based liquid, such as a salad dressing or pickling solution, that was not cleaned up properly. Over time, the smell can become more noticeable, especially in warm or humid environments. It’s important to address the issue promptly to prevent the vinegar smell from becoming permanent or attracting pests.

Regardless of the reason your carpet smells like vinegar, it is important to take the right steps to getting rid of the smell.

eyeliner on carpet

Steps to get rid of vinegar smell in carpet


  • Paper towels or a clean cloth
  • Bowl
  • Baking Soda
  • Warm water
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • Carpet cleaner or wet/dry vacuum (optional)
  • Fan (optional)
  • Vacuum cleaner


  1. Begin by ventilating the area by opening windows and doors to let fresh air in.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda over the carpet, focusing on the areas where the vinegar was used. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can absorb and neutralize the smell of vinegar.
  3. Let the baking soda sit on the carpet for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for best results.
  4. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove the baking soda. You may need to go over the carpet several times to make sure all the baking soda is removed.
  5. If the vinegar smell persists, mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl.
  6. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the vinegar solution and wring it out thoroughly so that it’s damp but not soaking wet.
  7. Blot the affected area with the vinegar solution, working in small sections. Be sure to blot from the outside of the stain towards the center to prevent the stain from spreading.
  8. Rinse the area with clean water to remove any remaining vinegar residue.
  9. Allow the carpet to dry completely. You can speed up the drying process by using a fan or opening windows to increase air flow.
  10. Once the carpet is dry, vacuum the area again to remove any remaining debris or dirt.

What neutralizes the smell of vinegar?

The smell of vinegar can be neutralized by using basic substances that can counteract its acidic odor. One of the most effective neutralizers is baking soda, which is a natural deodorizer that can absorb and eliminate unpleasant odors. To use baking soda, sprinkle it over the affected area and let it sit for several hours, then vacuum it up. Another effective neutralizer is hydrogen peroxide, which is a strong oxidizing agent that can break down the chemical compounds responsible for the vinegar smell. To use hydrogen peroxide, dilute it with water and apply it to the affected area using a clean cloth or sponge, then rinse with clean water and let it dry. Other options for neutralizing the smell of vinegar include using essential oils, such as lavender or citrus, which can mask the odor with a pleasant scent, or using commercial odor eliminators that are specifically designed to target vinegar smells.


In conclusion, getting the smell of vinegar out of carpet can be accomplished using simple steps that involve common household items. By soaking up any excess vinegar, mixing a solution of white vinegar and warm water, blotting the carpet, rinsing with clean water, and allowing the carpet to dry, the vinegar smell can be effectively removed. Adding baking soda or hydrogen peroxide, using essential oils, or using commercial odor eliminators can further help neutralize any remaining odor. By following these steps, you can keep your carpet smelling fresh and clean, and prevent the vinegar smell from lingering or becoming permanent.

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