How to Remove A Vinegar Smell From Carpet

By Jeneva Aaron Updated January 25, 2021

Deodorize your carpets after removing stains with vinegar

How to Remove A Vinegar Smell From Carpet

White Vinegar is one of the most popular domestic cleaning solutions due to its strong stain-removal properties and instant action. It can be used to eliminate mold, dissolve soapy residue from the bathroom surfaces, remove stains from carpets, and disinfect germs.

However, with all these fantastic benefits comes a little side effect. Vinegar, being 5% acetic acid(1), has a pungent smell that is hard to ignore. I’d be genuinely surprised if someone told me they liked the smell of vinegar.

So, how do you get rid of this smell? Here’s an easy way to deodorize vinegar odors for smell-free cleaning experience.

What You’ll Need

Here are the supplies you’ll need to remove the unpleasant odor of vinegar from the carpets.

Step by Step Instructions

Follow these steps soon after using vinegar to remove a stain from a carpet. The sooner you deodorize the surface, the better.

Step 1: Blot the Area

Start by blotting the area with a clean cloth. Only do this step if the carpet is still damp with vinegar. If the liquid has dried, you can move on to the next step.

By blotting the surface, you remove the excess vinegar from the carpet fibers, reducing the smell’s intensity.

Step 2: Sprinkle Baking Soda

Now, sprinkle baking soda onto the damp area of the carpet. Let the deodorizer sit for half an hour to an hour, depending on the extent of the smell.

Step 3: Vacuum

Once the baking soda has done its magic, vacuum the carpets, removing all traces of the deodorizer. If the smell persists, follow the steps again until the odor is completely gone.

Step 4: Use Vodka

If baking soda isn’t doing the trick, you can always use the good old vodka to remove the vinegary smell. Vodka can remove odors and kill bacteria living in your carpets.

It effectively removes strong odors like pet urine and vinegar. You can also use it to remove the urine smell from your cat litter. Before using vodka, do a spot test on one corner of your carpet.

If the liquid doesn’t discolor the carpet fibers, apply it to the affected area. Let it sit for up to 15 minutes and then remove the excess moisture using paper towels.

Alternatively, you can sprinkle baking soda on the vodka-soaked carpet to ensure it dries completely. Then, follow up with a thorough vacuuming session.

How to Mask the Smell of Vinegar?

Since prevention is better than facing the consequences later, why not mask the smell of vinegar while you’re cleaning? When you’re making the cleaning product, you can add a deodorizer to mask the smell of acetic acid. Here’s how to do it:

  • Mix equal parts of water in equal parts vinegar.
  • Add a few drops of lemon juice in the mixture.
  • Pour this solution into a spray bottle.
  • Finally, use it on the affected area without experiencing the vinegary smell.

Although lemon is one of the commonly used deodorizers, you can use other options too. However, make sure they’re strong enough to overcome the strong smell of vinegar. Some other deodorizers include tea tree leaves essence, rosemary oil, and eucalyptus oil.

Tips and Warnings

Sure enough, vinegar can make your carpet clean as new, but it also leaves behind a nasty odor. While removing this smell, keep the following tips and warnings in mind.


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  • If you don’t have any deodorizer at home, you can eliminate odors by ventilating the area. Open the doors and windows in the house for an hour or so until the vinegar smell dissipates.
  • Try tending to the stain with another cleaner before using vinegar. If the stain can be removed with an odor-free cleaner, prioritize using it.


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  • Always do a spot test before using any deodorizer on your carpets. The substance should not fade or discolor the carpet.
  • Vinegar can irritate the eyes and cause redness(2) if you come in close contact with it. While using vinegar, be careful. If you wear contact lenses, consider removing them.

Final Words

If you’re worried about the potential toxicity of commercial cleaners or want to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle, consider using household items as cleaning agents.

Among all the natural cleaning solutions in your pantry, vinegar is possibly the most potent and effective option. However, it has a strong scent that lingers in the air and on the carpets after use.

In this guide, I’ve discussed a few ways to neutralize or mask the vinegar smell to keep your carpets smelling fresh. If you’ve got a stain to tend to, get the vinegar bottle out and let me know:

  • Was this guide helpful?
  • Do you have any tricks for removing the vinegar smell?
  • How often do you use vinegar for cleaning?

Let me know in the comments below.

Jeneva Aaron

About the Author

Jeneva Aaron

Jeneva has over years of passion for home decorating and cleaning. She is the founder and CEO of where she provides honest and objective reviews on home and cleaning products.

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