We can all agree that carpet cleaning isn’t anyone’s favorite activity. You can choose to give it to a cleaning company, but that can sometimes take a while. You’ve probably heard of using vinegar on your carpet as a good way to get the stains out.
Vinegar is something we all have in our homes, and it’s often used for a lot more than just salad dressings. People use it in combinations with other ingredients to get ink stains from their furniture or hard water stains off glass surfaces.
How to clean a carpet with vinegar? There are several ways to do this by combining it with different ingredients to get the best cleaning solution. However, its effectiveness depends on the stain and the mat itself.
Some things are easy to clean this way while others aren’t, but you don’t lose anything by trying. Continue reading to learn how to clean your carpet using this simple ingredient you always have in your home.
Cleaning Carpet with Vinegar Guide
Scoop up any solid matter off your carpet before you apply vinegar. Also, make sure to absorb all liquids before pouring vinegar on it. Spray little by little and blot it up with a clean cloth. Repeat this as many times as you like but make sure to let it dry once you’re done.
You have a steam cleaner, and it won’t remove the stain? Simply add vinegar the way you’d add any cleaning solution. It’s important you follow the instructions on how to use the steam cleaning machine. You can clean your entire carpet this way.
Don’t be surprised if the entire room ends up smelling of vinegar as you do this. The smell will quickly disappear when the mat dries, so don’t worry. No rinsing is required.
Mix two cups of warm water with one tablespoon of vinegar and one teaspoon of baking soda into a spray bottle. Shake it well and allow the mixture to stop bubbling. Lightly spray onto the stain. The strong smell will go away once the treated area dries completely.
Will vinegar stain carpet?
While this is an effective way to clean a carpet, it might cause some damage to its color. Test a small portion on a hidden area that’s not as visible. Wet a towel with vinegar and apply to the surface for a few minutes. Blot it to get any access out and wait for about 24 hours to see if there are any changes in the texture or color.
Step by Step Process
Vacuum the Rug
Before you start any cleaning process, you should make sure that there isn’t any loose dust or debris on the surface you’re treating. If you apply any liquid to a dusty rug, you may stain it even more which is why you should vacuum it first.
Vacuum the front and back of your rug thoroughly and in all directions. This will eliminate all dust and dirt so allowing you to focus on removing the stain.
The next thing you should do is create the right solution that will clean your rug. This is something you have to dedicate certain attention because too much might damage the rug, and too little might not do anything at all.
Combine three or four cups of white vinegar with warm water and mild dish soap in a bucket. Make sure to test the solution on a part that’s not as visible just to check if it will damage the color or surface of your rug.
Scrub the carpet
You can use a soft cloth or a brush for this. A sponge can also do, but it has to be a non-shedding one. Dip it into the bucket of the solution you made and scrub the stain gently using linear motions. Make sure to go in the direction of the nap.
It might take you some time if you’re cleaning your entire rug. If so, clean the fringes along the edges, too. Be patient and go slowly and gently from one end to another as many times as needed.
Rinse the carpet
Rinsing is a step you must not forget. Unless you rinse out all the solution, it might cause an even bigger stain than the one you were removing.
The best would be to take the rug outside and rinse it with running water using a hose. Hang it over your gate, two chairs or whatever you wouldn’t mind getting wet. Rinse until there’s no solution left within the rug.
If that’s not an option, you can also rinse it indoors. Simply use a clean cloth, dip it in clean water and rinse in similar motion you applied the solution.
Unless you do this, the water itself will stain the rug leaving ugly yellow marks everywhere. It might even smell.
If it’s big, it will become that much heavier once you soak it in water. If you can lift it and hang somewhere to dry, do so. If not, use a window squeegee to remove the extra water.
Just press the squeegee against it and pull in the direction of the fringes. Though this might take a while, do it until there’s no more water coming out.
Dry the rug
Even if you’ve removed all the excess water, the rug needs to dry. The best is to let it dry outside if it’s hot and sunny. The sunshine will dry out any kind of mat fast. Check on it from time to time to see if it feels dry. Flip it over from one side to another to make sure everything has dried completely.
If you can’t leave it outside, open the windows to let some air circulate in the room where the rug is. Using some fans to help it dry out quickly is also a good idea for indoors drying.
Using a Carpet Cleaner
Consider buying or renting a carpet cleaner that’s ideal for rugs and carpets. It looks like a vacuum cleaner, but it uses steam and cleaning solutions to clean the carpets.
Buying one is an investment, but it may be worth it if you’re already cleaning your carpets a few times a year. You might want to rent one if you don’t think you’ll use it as often.
Use the machine according to the instructions you received whether you rented or bought it. Fill the tank with water and a cleaning solution exactly how it’s explained in the instructions.
You might want to test it first if it’s your first time using it. Clean a little spot that’s not as visible, like behind your couch or another such discreet area.
Make sure to open all the windows if possible so that the carpet can dry faster. Start away from the door, working towards it, so you can leave the room without stepping on the carpet.
It’s best to let it dry overnight if you can. If it’s still dirty, you should wait for it to dry before going over it again, to avoid getting it too wet or even damaging it.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use it on wool. Instead, consider getting a vacuum for wool carpets because a carpet cleaner might not be the best for the job.
Wool is always tricky to maintain whether it’s a carpet or a sweater. For this reason, make sure to do it properly, more so because these carpets are often expensive and it would be a pity to ruin them.
Remove long hairs
Long hair is often tricky to clean regardless of whether it’s from a human or a pet. It takes some elbow grease to do it by hand, so you should consider getting a vacuum for long hair.
Some pet vacuums can clean hair easily, but make sure to double-check if this refers to long hair as well. In most cases, you need a specifically made vac to tackle this type of job.
These hairs are often quite annoying and persistent. Regular vacuums can’t help much because hairs tangle around brushes, accessories, and even interior parts. This could make some major trouble and even cause your regular vac to stop working.
Still, picking them up is crucial because they look horrendous on all floors. You might not notice them at first if they’re light, but that doesn’t mean you should leave them.
Pet hair is dangerous, so you should always try your best to remove it from your floors and upholstery because it’s there even if you can’t see it.
Vacuums for long hair are built differently, with parts and accessories specifically made for the job. The best thing is that these can often tackle short hair with just as much ease, so technically, you’d get a 2-in-1 machine.
People have been using vinegar to clean all kinds of stains from different parts of their homes for years. This ingredient is among the most popular home remedies along with baking soda and salt. It can clean rugs, furniture, glass surfaces and much more.
It’s a handy ingredient that will save you money and time on having your rug professionally cleaned every time someone accidentally spills something.
However, it’s important you test it out first to make sure it won’t cause any damage on the surface you want to treat. Also, remember to take time and do every step with care and attention. You’re only going to achieve the best results if you stick to the instructions.