Does Vinegar Get Rid Of Poop Smell?

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We’ve all experienced it – the lingering odor of poop that seems impossible to get rid of. But what if there was a simple solution? Enter vinegar. This humble household ingredient has been hailed as a miracle worker in the battle against unwanted smells. But does vinegar really live up to its reputation? In this article, we’ll explore whether vinegar has the power to banish the dreaded poop smell once and for all. Get ready to bid farewell to unpleasant odors and say hello to a fresher, more pleasant-smelling home.

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Does Vinegar Get Rid Of Poop Smell?

Table of Contents

The Science Behind Vinegar and Odor Elimination

How does vinegar work as an odor eliminator?

Vinegar has been used for centuries as a natural cleaning agent and odor eliminator. The main reason vinegar is effective in combating odors is due to its acidic nature. The acetic acid present in vinegar helps neutralize and break down odor-causing molecules.

Chemical reactions between vinegar and odor molecules

When vinegar comes into contact with odor molecules, it initiates a chemical reaction. The acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the odor-causing molecules, altering their chemical composition and reducing their ability to produce unpleasant smells. This reaction helps eliminate the source of the odor, rather than simply masking it.

Types of Vinegar and Their Effectiveness

Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar, often found in most households, is highly effective in neutralizing odors. Its high acidity level makes it a potent odor eliminator. It can be used on various surfaces and fabrics without causing any harm. Distilled white vinegar is particularly helpful in eliminating poop smells due to its ability to break down and neutralize organic compounds.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, known for its various health benefits, can also be used as an odor eliminator. While it may not be as potent as distilled white vinegar, it still possesses acidic properties that can help combat unpleasant smells. Apple cider vinegar can be particularly useful in removing odor from fabrics and carpets.

White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is another type of vinegar that can effectively eliminate odors. It has a milder scent compared to distilled white vinegar, making it a suitable option for those sensitive to strong odors. White wine vinegar works well in neutralizing smells in the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of the home.

Using Vinegar to Eliminate Poop Smell in the Bathroom

Creating a vinegar-based spray

To create a vinegar-based spray for eliminating poop smells in the bathroom, mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well to ensure the solution is thoroughly mixed. Spray the mixture directly onto surfaces such as toilets, floors, and walls, where the odor is present. Leave the solution to sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean. The vinegar will help neutralize the odor molecules, leaving the bathroom smelling fresh.

Applying vinegar directly to affected surfaces

For stubborn poop smells, applying vinegar directly to the affected surfaces can be beneficial. Pour some undiluted vinegar onto a clean cloth or sponge and wipe down the surfaces. Allow the vinegar to sit for a few minutes before rinsing with water. This method helps break down the odor-causing molecules at their source, resulting in a cleaner and odor-free bathroom.

Using vinegar in combination with other natural odor eliminators

For particularly strong or persistent poop smells, combining vinegar with other natural odor eliminators can enhance its effectiveness. Baking soda, activated charcoal, and citrus peels are all excellent choices for neutralizing odors. Sprinkling baking soda or placing activated charcoal near the source of the smell can help absorb and eliminate odors, while citrus peels can add a fresh scent. Using vinegar in combination with these natural odor eliminators can provide a multi-faceted approach to tackling unpleasant bathroom smells.

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Vinegar as a Deodorizer for Fabrics and Carpets

Pre-treating fabrics with vinegar

To eliminate poop odors from fabrics, pre-treating them with vinegar can be highly effective. Mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the fabric, ensuring it is evenly dampened. Allow the vinegar solution to sit for about 15 minutes before washing the fabric as usual. The vinegar will help neutralize and eliminate any lingering odors.

Using vinegar in the laundry

Adding vinegar to the laundry can also help eliminate poop smells from fabrics. Before starting the washing cycle, pour half a cup of distilled white vinegar into the detergent dispenser or directly into the water. The vinegar will not only help remove odors but also act as a fabric softener, leaving your clothes smelling fresh and feeling softer.

Sprinkling vinegar on carpets and rugs

If you have carpets or rugs that have been affected by poop smells, sprinkling vinegar on the affected areas can be beneficial. Dilute distilled white vinegar with water in a spray bottle and lightly mist the carpet or rug. Allow the vinegar to sit for a few minutes, then blot the area with a clean cloth or paper towels. This method helps neutralize the odor-causing molecules trapped in the fibers of the carpet or rug, leaving it fresh and odor-free.

Vinegar’s Effectiveness on Pet Odors and Accidents

Removing pet urine odors with vinegar

Pet urine can leave behind stubborn odors, but vinegar can effectively combat them. Blot up as much of the urine as possible using a clean cloth or paper towels. Then, mix a solution of one part distilled white vinegar to one part water and saturate the affected area. Leave the vinegar solution for a few minutes before blotting it up. Repeat this process if necessary. The vinegar will help neutralize the ammonia present in the urine, eliminating the odor.

Treating pet poop smells with vinegar

If your furry friend has had an accident and left behind a poop smell, vinegar can be a valuable tool for removal. Remove any solid waste and clean the area with warm soapy water. Afterward, apply undiluted distilled white vinegar to the affected area and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Blot the vinegar solution and then rinse the area with water. This will effectively eliminate the odor and prevent your pet from being drawn back to the spot.

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Is Vinegar Safe to Use for Eliminating Poop Smell?

Potential risks and precautions

While vinegar is generally safe to use, it is important to take some precautions to ensure safety. Vinegar has a strong odor that can be unpleasant for some individuals, so proper ventilation is crucial when using it. Additionally, vinegar should not be used on certain surfaces such as marble or granite, as it can cause damage. It is always recommended to test vinegar on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on larger surfaces.

Avoiding or managing vinegar allergies

Some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to vinegar. If you experience any adverse reactions, such as skin irritation or respiratory symptoms, it is best to discontinue use and seek medical advice. If you have a known vinegar allergy, it is important to avoid using vinegar as an odor eliminator and explore alternative options.

Alternative Natural Odor Eliminators for Poop Smells

Baking soda

Baking soda is a versatile and readily available natural odor eliminator. It works by absorbing odors rather than masking them. Sprinkling baking soda on affected surfaces or fabrics and allowing it to sit for some time before vacuuming or rinsing can help eliminate poop smells effectively.

Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is highly effective in absorbing and neutralizing odors. Placing activated charcoal in a bowl or sachet near the source of the odor can help eliminate poop smells. It is important to replace the activated charcoal regularly to maintain its effectiveness.

Citrus peels

Citrus peels, such as orange or lemon peels, emit a fresh scent and can help eliminate unpleasant odors. Place the peels in a bowl or simmer them in water on the stove to release their natural fragrance. The citrus aroma will help mask and remove the poop smells.

Essential oils

Essential oils, such as lavender or tea tree oil, have natural deodorizing properties and can effectively eliminate poop smells. Add a few drops of your preferred essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and mist the affected areas. The pleasant scent of the essential oil will help neutralize odors.

Tips and Tricks for Effective Use of Vinegar

Allowing vinegar to sit for optimal odor removal

When using vinegar as an odor eliminator, it is important to allow it enough time to work effectively. Whether it’s spraying vinegar in the bathroom or pre-treating fabrics, giving the vinegar a few minutes to neutralize the odors will yield better results.

Ventilating the area when using vinegar

Due to its strong odor, it is essential to provide adequate ventilation when using vinegar. Open windows or use fans to ensure airflow and prevent the buildup of vinegar smell in enclosed spaces. This will help maintain a pleasant environment while eliminating poop odors.

Using vinegar regularly as a preventive measure

To prevent poop smells from lingering, using vinegar regularly as part of your cleaning routine can be helpful. Incorporating vinegar-based sprays or adding vinegar to laundry cycles can help prevent the buildup of odors and keep your home smelling fresh.

Limitations of Using Vinegar for Poop Odor

Temporary masking of smells

While vinegar is effective in removing poop smells, it may only provide temporary relief. Depending on the source and severity of the odor, multiple applications of vinegar may be necessary to completely eliminate the smell.

Effectiveness on stubborn or deep-seated odors

Vinegar may not be as effective in eliminating stubborn or deep-seated poop odors, especially if they have permeated porous surfaces. In such cases, professional cleaning services may be required for a more thorough odor removal.


Vinegar is a versatile and effective natural solution for eliminating poop smells. Its acidic properties and ability to initiate chemical reactions make it an excellent choice for neutralizing odors. Whether it’s in the bathroom, on fabrics, or in the presence of pet odors, vinegar can be a reliable ally in creating a fresh and odor-free environment. With the right techniques and precautions, vinegar can be safely and successfully used as an odor eliminator for a variety of poop-related situations.