Using Vinegar Effectively for Pet Stains and Odors

Updated January 5, 2022
Using vinegar to clean pet stains and odors

In your quest to use natural products that are safe for your pets, the environment, and your family, you may have considered getting out pet stains with vinegar. Is this an effective cleaning solution? Yes, it is. The acidic nature of vinegar makes it great for getting rid of bacteria and eliminating those irritating pet stains and odors.

How to Use Vinegar to Remove Pet Stains

Vinegar is an effective cleaner to use in removing pet stains and urine odors from mattresses, couches, and other materials, but it is still important to treat the stain as soon as possible. The longer you let it sit, the more likely it is to set. You want to avoid this if at all possible because a set stain is much more difficult to get out and may take several treatments, which will require more of your time and energy. In some cases, the stain may lighten, but it will be permanent.

Vinegar makes an ideal cleaning solution because it's inexpensive and easy on the environment. White distilled vinegar is best when choosing vinegar as a household cleaning agent. It's convenient, too, because you can find it on just about any store shelf. In order to mix a solution that is effective for pet stain removal and also deodorizes, add a few teaspoons of baking soda to your cleaning solution.

Basic Vinegar Cleaning Solution

Now, it's time to get down to business and create your solution. Here's what you need.

Using spray white vinegar dilution in long hair fur carpet for cleaning and stain removal

Test your vinegar solution on the surface to be cleaned to check for colorfastness. Even though vinegar is a natural product, some fabrics may react to it and cause a light spot. Test your cleaning solution on a hidden, out-of-the-way area. If the stain is on the carpet, a corner works well for this.

Steps to Remove Pet Stains With Vinegar

The type of stain you are treating may require different steps but typically, you:

White vinegar and baking soda
  1. Remove any solid matter such as feces or vomit.
  2. Use a clean cloth to blot the stain, don't rub it. Absorb all the liquid you can but avoid rubbing the stain. If you scrub it, the stain filters deeper into the fabric.
  3. When you blot the stain, any liquid is absorbed upward and out of the fabric. Instead of pressing it into the fabric, you are wicking it up from the carpet, mattress, sofa, or another surface.
  4. For tough stains that are small, spray your white vinegar solution directly onto the stain until it is saturated.
  5. If the stain covers a large area, dribble the vinegar mixture onto the stain until the entire area is wet.
  6. Let the vinegar soak in for about one minute, followed by more blotting with a clean, dry towel.
  7. Continue this process until the stain is visibly gone.
  8. If the stain is still visible after it dries, try the mixture with baking soda added in the spray applicator.

  9. Baking soda reacts with vinegar to help lift the stain.

  10. Voila! Enjoy your cleaned area.

Pros and Cons of Getting Out Pet Stains With Vinegar

White vinegar is an effective cleaner with a few pros when it comes to using it for cleaning around your pets.

  • Cost - The first and most obvious benefit of using white distilled vinegar is it's inexpensive.
  • Natural disinfectant - the acetic acid in vinegar works as a natural disinfected and deodorizer to get pee smells out of couches, mattresses, carpets, and other surfaces.

The biggest drawback of getting out pet stains with vinegar is the smell. While it is a natural deodorizer, the lingering smell of vinegar isn't a favorite. To neutralize the smell, sprinkle the area with baking soda after cleaning the stain. Let it sit until the stain is dry, and then vacuum up the baking soda.

White Vinegar for Pet Stains

White vinegar is a natural alternative when it comes to cleaning up pet stains. It's cost-effective, but the smell can be too much to bear for some people. There are ways to get around the drawbacks, so you can use this safe and effective cleaner that doesn't harm your pets.

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Using Vinegar Effectively for Pet Stains and Odors