How to Steam Clean a Carpet With Apple Cider Vinegar

Gladys K. Connelly
As a HouseKeeping Technical Writer, Gladys actively enjoys writing guides and tips about housekeeping for Thehousewire's audience. She's a professional housekeeping specialist with just shy of 9 years' experience to boast. That, combined with seven years prior experience in teaching, helps her create content that is both captivating and insightful.
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Updated October 27, 2023

Make your carpet as good as new

How to Steam Clean a Carpet With Apple Cider Vinegar

Before you head out to buy cleaning supplies, walk to your pantry, and you’ll find several natural cleaners readily available for use. For carpet cleaning, most people use white vinegar as it’s cheaper.

However, if you want instant results without bearing the astringent vinegar odor, apple cider vinegar is the best alternative.

Although a bit more expensive, it’s quick, easy on your nasal receptors, and a multipurpose cleaner.

If you want to save money and time, you can make a vinegar cleaning solution at home for the steam cleaner.

What You’ll Need

While vinegar is the main component, you need a little more to clean your carpets effectively.

Step by Step Instructions

Once everything is ready, you can start cleaning the carpet in the order mentioned below.


Yes, I know this is a guide for steam cleaning, but you have to vacuum before steaming the carpet.

Use your stick or upright vac to remove debris and larger particles from the carpet. If you’ve put furniture on the carpet, make sure to clean around their legs too.

Alternatively, you can remove the furniture from the carpet during cleaning.

2.Prepare the Carpet Cleaner

In a bottle or small container, mix a gallon of hot water with a one-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar. Make sure the water is as hot as your tap water possibly gets.

Pour this mixture into the steam cleaner’s receptacle.

3.Turn On

Turn on the steam cleaner, but don’t use it immediately. Let it run for two to three minutes. Doing this will heat up the water even more.

4.Steam Clean

Now, start steam cleaning the carpet by squeezing the trigger and pushing the steam cleaner in a gentle, slow motion.

Repeat this step until you’ve covered the whole carpet. Besides being a cleaning agent, vinegar is also a disinfectant, so it will effectively remove microbes residing in your carpets.


After cleaning, leave the carpet overnight for drying.

Tips and Warning

Although apple cider vinegar is much safer than other cleaners, such as chlorine and hydrogen peroxide, there are still a few warnings.

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  • Wear gloves if you have sensitive skin as apple cider vinegar may cause itching and irritation on your skin.
  • Do not mix equal parts vinegar and water as apple cider vinegar is extremely concentrated and can damage your carpet if used undiluted.
  • Mix vinegar and water in the quantities mentioned above – or ten parts water to one part vinegar – for filling the reservoir of your steam cleaner.
  • Do not mix apple cider vinegar with baking soda or any other cleaner as they can clog the steam cleaner’s tubes. Instead, use straight vinegar with water.
  • If the smell is too strong for you, add a few drops of essential oils or Dawn dish soap in the steam cleaner.
  • Let the carpet dry thoroughly before use. A wet carpet is a breeding ground for mold and mildew.



Although water alone works fine for deep cleaning a carpet, I wouldn’t suggest it if your carpet is soiled. In such cases, you need something with full strength, like vinegar.

While white vinegar makes a perfect addition to a washing machine full of stained clothes, apple cider vinegar can clean and disinfect a carpet at once.

In this guide, I discussed a simple method to clean with vinegar without extra effort. Now, it’s time for you to tell me:

  • Have you used apple cider vinegar for cleaning before?
  • Did I explain the cleaning process well?
  • Were you aware of these tips and warnings?

I’d love to read the answers to these questions and your feedback in the comments.

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