Oops! You just accidentally knocked over your favourite glass of red wine onto your brand new carpet. What do you do now?
The problem is that you can’t afford a brand new carpet cleaner, nor can you pay for a cleaning service to come and fix your mistake.
But luckily, you may have some essential household items lying around that may be able to handle the task.
Baking soda and vinegar are two items typically found in every household cabinet.
Of course, you can pay extra to buy carpet cleaning products at the supermarket, but those are typically loaded with extra chemicals that may strip your carpet, or can be harmful to pets and children.
Here’s how to clean any carpet with baking soda and vinegar. Follow our step by step guide to using the baking soda and vinegar to clean correctly.
How to Clean Any Carpet with Baking Soda and Vinegar
In this guide, you will find that baking soda and vinegar are two powerful, multipurpose tools that can perform a majority of different tasks unrelated to baking.
There’s no need to hire professionals for a job that can be achieved through the use of simple household items. They can clean any carpet. Yes, that’s right, even those lovely and expensive wool ones.
Please note that as with any cleaning product, vinegar and baking soda should first be tested on a hidden corner of the carpet just to make sure it won’t cause any damage.
It’s highly unlikely that this will happen, but the risk remains.
What You Will Need:
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle or bowl
- Microfiber cloths
- Scrubbing brush
- Vacuum cleaner
Read Here : How to Clean your Carpet after a Party
1 Step One: Blot the Stain Dry
If the stain is still moist, grab a clean cloth and blot the stain dry. Do not rub the stain in, rubbing the stain can cause it to spread even more, or cause the stain to soak further into the carpet. Make sure the spot is completely dry before proceeding with the next step in our carpet cleaner guide.
2 Step Two: Grab the Vinegar
White vinegar is fantastic because it is a natural disinfectant that has been proven to kill many types of bacteria without the use of chemicals. Ethanol is produced during the fermentation process used to make vinegar, and is an ingredient found in many different cleansers on the market.
Compared to other household cleaning agents, vinegar isn’t dangerous if it comes into contact with your skin. Due to this, it is safe to use around pets and children. Vinegar will also not leave behind any residue or leave long-lasting odours behind.
If you happen to have an extra spray bottle lying around, this can come in handy for any future stains that may appear. It isn’t necessary to have, but it will help with the correct, desired amount of dispersion of vinegar onto the needed area. Don’t have an extra bottle available? A bowl or bucket will also do the job.
Vinegar is also highly acidic, the pH level of vinegar depends on the type of vinegar used for the task. White distilled vinegar has a pH level of 2.5, and is the best kind for household cleaning. If you are worried about the acidity level of the vinegar, dilute it with an equal part of water.
By mixing water into the vinegar, it can act as a form of hydration for the carpet. While the vinegar works to remove the stain, the water can add the needed hydration your carpet might lose in the process.
For super tough stains and smells, the use of 100% white vinegar without adding water to the mix is far more powerful.
3 Step Three: Saturate the Strain
Start by saturating the stain with the vinegar. Have a clean cloth readily available to start scrubbing. Carpet is composed of a thick fabric layer. You cannot remove the dirt if you just scrub it lightly.
But be mindful that excessive force can cause the carpet fibres to become damaged in the process. Scrub until you notice that the stain is not as visible anymore.
4 Step Four: Grab the Baking Soda
Baking soda, which can also be referred to as sodium bicarbonate, is a naturally occurring substance that is present in all living things. It is also a widely used product that has many different beneficial uses.
Since baking soda is a pure, natural product that is also a food, it is non-toxic, unlike many other household cleaners.
For one, it has plenty of health benefits, which also makes the use of baking soda safe and household-friendly for carpet cleaning.
Baking soda is actually an abrasive powder, although only mildly. This means it can be used for removing dirt and grime easily, as well as a scouring powder.
In addition to this, it can be used as a deodoriser, neutralising the smell. It does this by combining the acidic and basic odour molecules, thus creating a neutralised state.
5 Step Five: Pour the Baking Soda
Pour the baking soda over the area while it is still slightly damp. Then proceed to saturate the area with 100% pure white vinegar. When vinegar and baking soda are mixed, a new chemical is made, and this is called carbonic acid. It is a common ingredient in cleaning products.
This carbonic acid immediately decomposes into carbon dioxide gas, which will cause the solution to start fizzing. The fizzing indicates that the cleansing process is working. Take your microfibre cloth, and start pushing the baking soda further into the carpet.
6 Step Six: Leave the Area
Let it sit and dry overnight. Baking soda works best when given plenty of time to absorb moisture. By removing the mixture of vinegar and baking soda too early, you can cause the area to not effectively deep cleanse itself and you will have to redo the entire process.
You want the stain to absorb completely before proceeding with the clean-up process. Depending on the level of saturation, the drying process can sometimes take more than 24 hours to complete and you may need to top up the baking soda levels to get the carpet clean.
7 Step Seven: Grab the Vacuum and a Scrubbing Brush
After the area has dried, scrub the baking soda loose from the carpet with a brush. By doing this, it will make the vacuum cleaner’s job removing debris easier. After the debris has been loosened, take the wand of your vacuum and glide over the area.
As a result, the stain should now be completely removed from the area. If any residue from the baking soda remains, wipe it up with a damp cloth. It’s certainly a great carpet cleaner, as well as brilliant at removing stains.
Tip: If the smell of vinegar is too strong to handle, you can also add a few drops of essential oils to the mix in order to help reduce the smell. The smell of vinegar should subdue within a few hours
Can Baking Soda Damage Carpet?
No, baking soda doesn’t damage carpet, and the potential for it to do so is practically non-existent.
It’s very gentle on carpet fibres, making it suitable for use even on woollen ones. It’s absorption capabilities as well as deodorising mean that your carpet is sure to end up beautifully clean.
Does White Vinegar Ruin Carpet?
No, white vinegar won’t ruin your carpet. While some have raised concerns about its acidity, this is actually what makes it so good at tackling things like urine stains and wine. It is kind to your carpet and will even help to deodorise them.
Can I Leave Baking Soda on Carpet Overnight?
Yes, you can leave baking soda on the carpet overnight. In fact, severe stains and messes sometimes call for this to happen. It allows it to absorb as much moisture as possible from your carpet without damaging the fibres.
Does Baking Soda Ruin Vacuums?
Baking soda can ruin vacuums if the vacuum cleaner filter is not washed and cleaned after it has been used on the powder.
This is because the baking soda can clog up the filter’s pores, rendering it useless and potentially stopping it from powering on. As long as you clean the filter after using it on baking soda you should be just fine.
There are loads of powerful cleaners on the market, but using natural household ingredients can be just as effective as using name-brand items.
You won’t have to worry about your little ones or animals consuming these ingredients and causing harm; saving more money in the long run. Carpet cleaning has never been so easy.
Vinegar and baking soda can also be used for other areas of the household such as hard surfaces. They can also take residues off of pots and pans, and can leave your toilet bowl sparkling clean in the blink of an eye. White vinegar and baking soda can even be used to remove laundry stains and neutralise body odour.
Last Updated on March 19, 2021 by Gemma Tyler
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.