Did you know that plain white vinegar is a very useful tool around the house? It is great for cleaning sinks, toilets, counter-tops, and even your microwave. Vinegar is very acidic and has a pH of about 2.4 (compared to a neutral pH of 7). This acidity means that vinegar has natural antibacterial properties as well as being antimicrobial, antiseptic and will kill mold. Vinegar will also loosen and lift dirt from surfaces.
Today we are going to look at using vinegar to clean carpet stains and odors. Unlike some commercial cleaners, vinegar is pet safe and completely eco-friendly as well. It is also very inexpensive to buy and can be an economical way to keep your house looking great in between deep cleaning.
Using Vinegar to Clean Carpet
With any cleaner, you should test a small inconspicuous portion for color safeness, on a hidden area in a closet for example. Moisten a towel with vinegar and apply to the carpet. Let it sit for a few minutes before blotting it up. Check back in twenty-four hours for color fading or changes in texture of the carpet.
White vinegar can be helpful in cleaning fresh stains from carpets including food spills, pet messes or muddy footprints. It is always best to treat any messes as soon as it happens, before it has a chance to set into the fibers of the carpet. The longer the stain sits the more it bonds with the fibers making it difficult to clean, so get to it quickly.
Any solid matter on the carpet should be scooped up and the liquid absorbed. Use a color-safe towel to blot up any liquid. Once the liquid has been absorbed, a 100% solution of vinegar can be sprayed onto the spot. Blot up with a clean cloth. Repeat as necessary until the stain is no longer visible. Allow to dry fully.
Plain vinegar can also replace chemical cleaners in a home steam cleaning machine. You can simply replace vinegar for the cleaning solution and follow the manufacturers instructions. The entire carpet can be cleaned just as usual. The room will smell of vinegar during the cleaning, but once the carpet dries the smell will completely disappear. No rinsing is necessary.
To deodorize a carpet pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 cups of warm water into a spray bottle. Shake well. When the mixture stops bubbling, lightly spray onto the carpet. It will smell strongly of vinegar at first. Allow it to dry completely. When it dries the bad odors should be gone.