Does Vinegar Remove Bleach Stains From Carpet?

Bleach is a great universal cleaner.

It is capable of destroying bacteria, but it also strips pigment from surfaces.

When it is properly diluted, it’s safe to use in laundry and cleaning, but when it’s not, it can leave stains, especially if bleach gets on your carpet.

Carpet can absorb stains quickly, and bleach will soak into the fibers.

If bleach has stained your carpet, you don’t need to panic or start pricing out new carpet.

Some people think you can use vinegar to remove bleach stains, but can you do so?

Can vinegar remove bleach stains from carpet?

Vinegar is a natural household cleaner capable of removing many types of stains, including discolorations. Although vinegar may not be completely effective against old bleach stains, it is still helpful against fresh ones. Make sure to neutralize the bleach before attempting to clean it up. Mix distilled white vinegar with water, and wet the area. Allow the vinegar to sit for about five minutes. Then, blot the area to remove the bleach stain, and dry the area thoroughly to prevent mildew in your newly cleaned carpet. 

Vinegar can help remove bleach stains from carpet.

Depending on the type of bleach, some bleach stains are permanent, and vinegar cannot remove permanent stains.

However, vinegar is a great way to remove discolorations, dirt, and stains, so it can remove bleach stains, especially if the bleach is still fresh. 

The most important thing to remember about bleach is that it is active until neutralized.

We recommend using a bleach neutralizer, which you can buy at most grocery stores or pet stores.

After neutralizing the bleach, you can use vinegar to remove the bleach stain.

How to use vinegar to remove bleach from carpet

You’ll need a few common household items to remove bleach from carpet using vinegar.

Now that you have everything you need, read on to learn how to use vinegar to get bleach out of carpet.

1. Mix water and vinegar

Mix a bowl of four cups of warm water and two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar.

You can increase or decrease the amount if you need more or less of this solution.

Just maintain the same ratio of two cups of water with one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar.

Make sure the solution is well combined.

Pro tip: If needed, replace the vinegar with liquid dish soap in the same ratio. Make sure the soap is fully dissolved before moving on to the next step.

2. Pour the solution over the affected area

Pour the vinegar and water solution over the affected area.

Ensure the site is wet without soaking it—too much moisture could lead to mildew issues later.

Allow the vinegar and water to soak into the bleach stain for about five minutes.

3. Dab the affected area after waiting five minutes

After five minutes:

  1. Dab the affected area with a sponge or cleaning cloth.
  2. Continue to rub and pat the stain until the bleach stain lifts. If the bleach stain has not lifted completely, you can reapply the water and vinegar solution and allow it to sit for another 5 minutes.
  3. Dab the area again to remove the remaining bleach stain from the carpet.

Pro tip:

  1. If the bleach stain is not coming out of the carpet with only the vinegar solution, mix two cups of warm water with one tablespoon of liquid dish soap.
  2. Pour that solution over the affected area, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Dab the area with a cleaning cloth or sponge to remove the rest of the bleach stain.

4. Rinse and dry thoroughly once Stain Is Gone

Once the bleach stain is completely gone, rinse the area with cool water.

Pat the area dry to remove the remaining water and vinegar.

You may need to rinse the area several times to eliminate the vinegar smell completely.

Once the carpet is completely dry, vacuum to remove any remaining particulates and restore the carpet’s fluffiness. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use vinegar to eliminate all the stains on my carpet?

When removing stains from carpets and other surfaces, you are trying to bring the affected area back to a neutral PH.

Vinegar is a popular household cleaner and is so effective because it is acidic.

Many common household stains, like pet urine or wine, are alkaline, so vinegar is perfectly adept at removing them.

Because it is acidic, vinegar is not suitable for eliminating acidic stains like ketchup.

Instead, you should use an alkaline cleaning product to remove acidic stains.

The vinegar may make these stains worse accidentally. 

Is there anything else I can do to cover up stubborn bleach stains?

If the bleach stain is old, vinegar may not be able to remove the bleach from your carpet thoroughly.

Even if the stain is permanent, you can still disguise it.

To do so, you will need a crayon that closely matches your carpet color.

First, make sure that you have removed all of the bleach.

Dab a damp cleaning cloth or paper towel onto the affected area until there is no longer any change in the bleach stain.

Then, take your crayon and color the affected area.

Rub the wax up and down each fiber, making sure to get down to the carpet’s padding. Initially, it may feel a little weird, but this method works well for old, minor bleach stains.

Once the affected area is completely colored, you will probably notice the color is slightly off.

To fix this, pat the area with a dab paper towel.

Doing this will gently spread the color to the immediate area around the stain, blending the colors.

You may need to apply your crayon and blend it several times to match the color of the carpet.

While the crayon will not be a permanent solution, it will help disguise the bleach stain for a time.