Can you even have a vinegar stain? Normally we think of vinegar as a stain remover, not something that can stain our fabric, upholstery and carpet, but that is not exactly the case.
There are lots of types of vinegar, and the only one that is recommended for stain removal is white vinegar.
Other types of vinegar include apple cider, malt, red wine, and balsamic vinegar, all of which can cause spots, instead of helping to remove them.
Ironically, one of the best ways to remove such stains caused by vinegar is to use distilled white vinegar, along with some additional ingredients.
Step 1: Rinse the excess liquid from the fabric, and flush the stained area with cool water, being careful not to spread the stain further.
Step 2: Make a solution of half a teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent, mixed with a tablespoon of white vinegar, and a quart of warm water. Let the stained fabric soak in this solution for about 15 minutes.
Step 3: Thoroughly rinse the fabric with clear cool water.
Hint: Make sure the stain is gone after washing, but before you place in the dryer or you may set the stain. Repeat if necessary.
Special note for both red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar stains: These stains have a lot of tannins in them, which can be difficult to remove. Using a stain remover containing hydrogen peroxide and dish soap will often get them out, since this works well on red wine stains, and therefore on these similar stains as well.
To find out more about this homemade stain remover recipe, read my article here on home remedies for removing wine stains. This remover recipe will also work on upholstery and carpet, but instead of washing it out you must rinse and blot it out carefully after cleaning these non-washable fibers.
Step 1: Blot up as much of the apple cider, balsamic or red wine vinegar as possible, being careful not to spread the stain.
Step 2: Mix a solution of 2/3 of a cup of rubbing alcohol and one tablespoon of white vinegar.
Step 3: Using this solution, sponge the spot with a clean white cloth.
Step 4: Next, blot until the liquid is absorbed.
Step 5: Repeat steps 3-4 until the spot is removed from the upholstery.
Step 6: Now that the stain is removed you should get plain cold water and a new white cloth and sponge the area to remove the cleaning solution, and then blot dry.
Hint: Be sure to get the upholstery only as wet as necessary to remove the stain from the red wine, balsamic or apple cider vinegar.
You can get more information on how to clean upholstery here.
The instructions for removal of colored vinegar from carpet is the same as for upholstery.
However, if you don't have luck with this stain removal method above you have two options:
First, you can mix a solution of one tablespoon of ammonia with two cups warm water, and try that as a stain removal solution.
Second, try mixing a solution of one tablespoon of liquid dish detergent and two cups of warm water, and use this as a stain removal solution.
Hint: Please note that this dishwashing liquid solution may be milder on your carpet than the alcohol/vinegar solution, so you may want to try it first.
Like I said above, normally we think of white vinegar as a stain remover and cleaner, instead of causing stains.
You can submit your uses for vinegar for cleaning and stain removal here, or read lots of ways to use it that have already been submitted.
Are you a stain magnet like me? If so, check out the A to Z Stain Removal Guide which gives directions for how to remove over 100 types of stains from all kinds of surfaces.
Plus, follow me on Pinterest where I'm always sharing the latest tips and ideas.
Third photo by Word Ridden
Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.
I update the website all the time with tips, tutorials, cleaning recipes, reviews of products from readers like you, and tests I've done on various cleaners, removers and laundry supplies.
I'd love to give you a gift! When you subscribe to my free weekly newsletter you will receive a free printable laundry stain removal chart that you can reference as needed.
I hope you enjoy this gift, and stop by again soon!
CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.
Get Free Email Updates
(and get a FREE printable)