Getting Out Pet Stains with Vinegar

Vinegar Cleaning Tips

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?

How to Use Vinegar to Remove Pet Stains

Vinegar is an effective cleaner to use in the removal of pet stains, 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. When choosing vinegar as a household cleaning agent, white distilled vinegar is best. 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

  • 1 quart warm water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Steps to Remove Pet Stains with Vinegar

The type of stain you are treating will require different first steps in the process. For example if your pet has vomited or deposited a pile of feces, the first step will require picking up any solid matter. Then the following steps can be followed:

  1. Before you start, test your vinegar solution on the surface to be cleaned to check for color fastness. 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 carpet, a corner works well for this.
  1. Before you apply the vinegar solution, 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. 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 other surface to be cleaned.
  2. For tough stains, that are small spray your white vinegar solution directly onto the stain until it is saturated. If the stain covers a large area, dribble the vinegar mixture onto the stain until the entire area is wet. Let the vinegar soak in for about one minute followed by more blotting with a clean, dry towel. Continue this process until the stain is visibly gone.

If the stain is still visible after it dries, try a mixture of vinegar with baking soda added in a spray applicator. Baking soda reacts with the vinegar to help lift the stain.

Pros and Cons of Getting Out Pet Stains with Vinegar

  • Cost - The first and most obvious benefit for using white distilled vinegar is that it is inexpensive.
  • Natural disinfectant - the acetic acid in vinegar works as a natural disinfected and deodorizer.

The biggest draw back 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.

More Tips for Cleaning with Vinegar

Interested in finding out what else you can clean with vinegar?

Getting Out Pet Stains with Vinegar