Can I Use Malt Vinegar To Clean Carpet? A Full Guide

Are you looking for a natural and eco-friendly solution to clean your carpet?

You may have heard that vinegar is a great option for cleaning various surfaces, but what about malt vinegar?

While it’s commonly used in the kitchen, can it be used to clean carpets?

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using malt vinegar for carpet cleaning and provide some tips on how to effectively use vinegar to remove stains and odors from your carpets.

So, let’s dive in and find out if malt vinegar is a suitable alternative to white vinegar for carpet cleaning!

Can I Use Malt Vinegar To Clean Carpet?

Malt vinegar is a type of vinegar that is commonly used in the kitchen for cooking and seasoning. However, when it comes to cleaning carpets, it’s not the best option.

Malt vinegar has a strong odor and dark color, which can potentially stain light-colored carpets. Additionally, it may not be as effective as white vinegar in removing tough stains and odors from carpets.

While some sources suggest using malt vinegar for carpet cleaning, it’s important to note that white vinegar is a better choice. White vinegar is a purified vinegar that doesn’t have the strong odor or potential for staining that malt vinegar does.

What Is Malt Vinegar?

Malt vinegar is a type of vinegar that is made from malted barley and other grains. It has a brown color and a strong, distinctive aroma. This type of vinegar is commonly used in cooking and as a condiment, particularly in the UK where it is often paired with fish and chips. However, due to its strong odor and potential for staining, it’s not recommended for use as a cleaning agent for carpets. It’s important to note that while malt vinegar may have some cleaning properties, it’s not as effective or suitable as white vinegar for most cleaning tasks.

How Does Vinegar Clean Carpets?

Vinegar can be a useful cleaning agent for many surfaces, but when it comes to carpets, it’s important to understand its limitations. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and has the ability to break down and dissolve some types of grime and dirt. However, it’s not effective in removing embedded dirt and stains from carpet fibers.

When vinegar is applied to a carpet, it may help to mask odors temporarily, but it won’t actually clean the carpet. Vinegar can only remove loose particles of dirt on the surface of the carpet, but it won’t be able to extract the deeper embedded dirt that requires professional cleaning.

Some people recommend combining vinegar with baking soda for carpet cleaning, but this is not an effective solution either. The combination creates a salty paste that can further stain the carpet and will need to be removed from the fibers.

Pros And Cons Of Using Malt Vinegar For Carpet Cleaning


– Malt vinegar is a natural cleaning solution that is non-toxic and eco-friendly.

– It can be a cheaper alternative to other commercial cleaning products.

– It may work well for light stains and odors on carpets.


– Malt vinegar has a strong odor that can be unpleasant and difficult to get rid of.

– Its dark color may stain light-colored carpets.

– It may not be as effective as white vinegar in removing tough stains and odors from carpets.

– Using malt vinegar on carpets may result in a damp carpet that takes longer to dry, potentially leading to mold growth.

Tips For Using Vinegar To Clean Carpets

If you’re considering using vinegar to clean your carpets, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Test a small, inconspicuous area first: Before using vinegar on your entire carpet, test a small area that is not directly visible, such as under a piece of furniture. Wet a cloth with vinegar and rub it on the carpet, then wait 24 hours to see if any damage or discoloration occurs.

2. Use white vinegar: As mentioned above, white vinegar is a better choice for carpet cleaning than malt vinegar. It’s purified and doesn’t have the potential for staining or strong odor.

3. Don’t use vinegar on natural carpets and rugs: Some carpet and rug fibers aren’t compatible with vinegar, so it’s important to spot-check a discreet area before using a vinegar solution on your carpet or rug.

4. Vacuum first: Before using any cleaning solution, make sure to vacuum the area thoroughly to remove any loose dirt or debris.

5. Combine with dish soap: For tough stains, you can combine white vinegar with dish soap for a powerful cleaning solution. Make sure to test on an inconspicuous area first and use a mild dish soap.

6. Don’t use on hardwood flooring: Vinegar can eat away at the finish of your hardwood floors, so it’s best to avoid using it for cleaning them.

By following these tips, you can safely and effectively use vinegar for cleaning your carpets. However, keep in mind that for deeper cleaning and stain removal, it’s always best to hire professional carpet cleaning services.

Other Natural Cleaning Solutions For Carpets

Aside from white vinegar, there are other natural cleaning solutions that can be used to clean carpets effectively. One option is to use a mixture of salt, borax, and vinegar. Simply combine equal parts of each ingredient in a bowl to create a paste. Apply the paste to the stained area of the carpet, let it sit for a few hours until it dries, and then vacuum it up. If the stain persists, you can scrub with a wet rag and rinse periodically.

Another natural cleaning solution is a combination of white vinegar and baking soda. Apply a small amount of vinegar to the stain, followed by a sprinkle of baking soda. The vinegar works to saturate and soften up the stain while the baking soda does the lifting and deodorizing. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes or so before rubbing or blotting up the stain with a damp cloth. Afterward, let it dry thoroughly and then vacuum it up.

For specific types of stains, there are different natural cleaning solutions that can be used. For beer, coffee, and tea stains, spray the stain with a homemade detergent solution for natural fiber carpets, then blot with a dry white cloth. Repeat this step using vinegar solution until the stain is removed. For hard candy, chocolate, berries, juice, wine, soda, and milk stains, spray the stain with an ammonia solution before applying the vinegar solution.

Apple cider vinegar is not recommended for cleaning carpets as it has a brown coloring that can potentially stain light-colored carpets. However, it can be used to clean windows as a substitute for white vinegar.