How to Remove Vinegar Smell – 5 Quick Methods That Work

Vinegar is an acidic element which is quite good at diluting stubborn odor. Most of the homegrown cleaning solutions are made of white vinegar.

Though sometimes vinegar might leave a smell behind. But if you know how to remove vinegar smell, it can keep on being one of your favorite cleaning solutions.

Tip: Have an air purifier on hand

If you don’t already have a HEPA air purifier that has a carbon pre-filter, it could be time to get one. What you want to look for is a high air exchange rate. A higher air exchange rate is better, because it will help get rid of the vinegar smell more quickly. Also, make sure the square footage matches the size of your room.

5 Methods to Remove Vinegar Smell

Using too much vinegar during a cleaning task may leave behind a bad smell. The smell should disappear on its own in an open, well-ventilated place pretty quickly.

But the smell of vinegar can take several hours to vanish in a place with poor ventilation. Such as a room with closed doors and no windows.

It’s natural for many people to hate the smell of vinegar. You may be one of them. But do not worry. You do not need to stop using vinegar as stain remover.

Rather you might want to learn a few easy techniques to get rid of the vinegar smell.

How to Remove Vinegar Smell – 5 Methods That Work

Method 1: Applying baking soda

Baking soda is an excellent odor remover. This is because it is a substance that neutralizes odors by absorbing them. When combined with water, it can be used to remove the smell of vinegar from your hands or household items.

The solution of baking soda and white vinegar is a strong homegrown cleansing mixture as well. Their reaction can remove most stubborn stains without making the smell of vinegar too strong to irritate.

Applying baking soda on surfaces cleaned with vinegar will reduce the smell of vinegar.

You can sprinkle a little amount of baking soda on things that have been cleaned with vinegar.

For large surfaces, put a teaspoon of baking soda in 3 cups of water. Then, you can wipe down the cleaning surfaces with a cleaning cloth.

Then, cleanse the cleaning cloth with plain water.

How to Apply Baking Soda?

Baking soda is easy to apply. Make a dilute paste and put it on the surfaces that were cleaned with vinegar. Then wipe it with a wet cleaning cloth. It’s not necessary to use large amounts, which makes this solution budget-friendly.

After wiping down your vinegar-washed items, be sure to rinse them thoroughly with a towel dipped in clean water. This will reduce the vinegar smell or make it disappear completely.

Extra Tips

  • If you want to remove the smell of vinegar from your hands, mix baking soda with water and then apply the mixture to your hands. Rub your hands together for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly with water. 
  • Likewise, baking soda can absorb odors in your refrigerator if you put a small dish of it overnight. Try it out!

Method 2: Add Fresh, Fragrant Herbs to Your Cleaning Solution to Get Rid of Vinegar Smell

As you know, vinegar is an acidic element and can cut through many types of stains, odors and stubborn fog on plastic. Reducing vinegar in a cleaning recipe could make your cleaning process lengthier. That’s because the odor neutralizing and grease fighting properties can get too weak.

As a result, you usually won’t want to weaken your cleaning solution by reducing the amount of white vinegar. Herbs can be used to mask the smell of vinegar, all without affecting the strength of your cleaner.

Herbs like lavender and rosemary have a strong fragrance.

Herbs like rosemary and lavender have a strong fragrance that can overpower the smell of vinegar. That makes them a great solution for the vinegar smell problem. The smell of herbs are more clean and favorable. By giving off a better scent, they will be leaving a fresher, clean smell around your house.

All you need to do is adding a handful of fresh herbs in your vinegar solution, i.e., your cleaning solution. Their scent will do a terrific job of masking the vinegar smell. Moreover, adding herbaceous scents will mask it easily as well.

Masking the smell of vinegar with herbs can put a full stop in your vinegar smell issue.

Method 3: Try Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a good alternative to herbs, and the effect is the same. It can mask and neutralize that smell because it contains citric acid, that competes with the acetic acid in vinegar.

You will need lemon instead of herbs for this lemon juice method. Squeeze it well to get the lemon juice.

Pour two cups of water in the juice. Then, put it in a spray bottle.

Spray the mixture in surfaces that were cleaned with vinegar. Wipe it down with a clean cloth.

Try it and feel the difference. You should smell the fragrance of lemon instead of the smell of vinegar that seems to have disappeared.

How Does It Work?

All you need to do is grab a whole larger lemon (or two smaller ones – make sure they are fresh) and squeeze it into 2 cups of water (473 ml). This mixture should be poured into a spray bottle for easier application.

Now you can spray over the surface or objects you’ve previously cleaned with vinegar. The vinegar smell may not disappear entirely, but you should feel the difference anyway.

Method 4: How to Remove Vinegar Smell by Diluting the Cleaner

If you’re consistently overwhelmed with vinegar smell after a thorough clean, you may be using too much. Overuse of vinegar in a cleansing mixture can leave an irritating smell that linger on cleaned items. Reducing the amount of vinegar in cleaning recipes could sort out this problem.

For homemade sprays, cut vinegar in half when mixing it with water in spray bottles. You can also add more water (double the amount) to the mixture and thus dilute your cleaning solution. Either way, the goal is to decrease the ratio of vinegar.

While dilute cleaner can still serve its purpose, it will give off less smell after cleaning. This will prevent your cleansing mixture from leaving a strong vinegar smell in your home. Still, some people may find it irritating or overpowering. If you are one of them, try other methods.

5. Neutralizing the air

Neutralizing the air is a method to effectively remove almost all sorts of malodor.

Air Purifier

Your best bet is using an air purifier. A good air purifier is designed to remove doors from the air with its charcoal pre filters. You also get the bonus of allergens removed from the air with a HEPA filter.

The next method to neutralize the air in your home is to open all the windows and doors. That will allow a flow of fresh air into rooms and improve ventilation in your home. Enhanced air flow will decrease unpleasant smells. It is one of the easiest ways to remove the smell of vinegar. However, it can’t be used in bad weather. Though that will require a little more time than the other method above. You can use a fan to help move the indoor air out.

You can try putting a box of baking soda and keep it in the room. Baking soda will absorb the vinegar smell.

However, you can also use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier to neutralize the smell of vinegar from your room. Some of these machines can have a carbon air filter that removes doors. Otherwise, will get rid of the moisture in the air and help circulate the air in the room.

Air Conditioning

If simple aeration didn’t help, or if the weather doesn’t permit this, then you could use an air conditioner. Before starting air conditioning, close the windows to get the best results. 

Use the higher speeds and select ventilation mode to exhaust the vinegar smell out of your house in a short time. Run it for a couple of hours if needed.


You can also use a dehumidifier for neutralizing the vinegar smell. This device is usually used to improve indoor air quality in homes with high humidity levels. Dehumidifiers are often used when the relative humidity of the air in a home raises too high, causing condensation on windows and walls, dampness on floors, and even mold growth.

They work by pulling moisture out of the air and condensing it onto cold surfaces inside the machine. The moisture and odors then drip into a bucket or reservoir at the bottom of the device. So you will remove the smell of vinegar while controlling the humidity level in your home at the same time.

How to Remove Vinegar Smell

FAQ About How to Remove Vinegar Smell

You may encounter the vinegar smell in many household scenarios. It’s better to be without the concentrated odor of vinegar in your everyday life.

What Can Neutralize the Smell of Vinegar?

A few drops of essential oil can help neutralize the vinegar smell. Try different essential oils, including rosemary, peppermint, and lavender. They can instantly disguise the strong smell, which makes them a powerful tool for counteracting vinegar.

How do You Neutralize Vinegar Smell with Baking Soda?

Take baking soda and mix it warm water. Add it to a spray bottle or dip a cleaning cloth. Use this baking soda solution on a surface that is safe to clean. Afterwards, rinse the surface using a clean water spray and wipe, or cleaning cloth rinsed in clean water. This should make the smell of vinegar disappear.

How to Get Rid of Vinegar Smell in a Car

As you know, vinegar is a strong cleansing element as well a malodor neutralizer. You may need to use it to clean chocolate stains from your seat cover or dashboard.

If you have kids, he/she can pee in your car. In order to clean and remove the bad smell, vinegar seems the easiest solution.

But what if you hate the smell of vinegar?

Rinsing with a baking soda and water solution afterwards is a good option, as seen in Method 1 above. Do this step once you’re done with cleaning the car with vinegar. Vinegar and baking soda react to make carbon dioxide, water, and sodium acetate. All 3 of these are low odor, which means the baking soda help reduce and remove the vinegar smell.

You can also use herbs to mask the smell. But take care if you’re cleaning near some electrical components of your dashboard, getting water in it could harm them.

You can put an open box of baking soda in your car and the vinegar odor will get away. Also, you may put some herbs and dried lemon inside a net pouch and leave it inside the car. That will help to get rid of the bad smell of vinegar easily.

How to Remove Vinegar Smell from Clothes

You may often use vinegar to get rid of dirt or stains from clothes. However, you may not want to tolerate the smell of it.

The easiest solution for removing the smell is by drying the fabrics out in the sun.

You can also use baking soda to help. If you rub a little amount of baking soda in the vinegar washed cloth, the smell should take a leave immediately. However, do a test spot because some fabrics might fade in the presence of baking soda.

How to Get Rid of Vinegar Smell in Hair

Apple cider vinegar can be used to clean both the hair and scalp. Usually, the smell of vinegar remains until the hair gets dry.

Decreasing the amount of vinegar in hair treatments can help to reduce the smell. Less vinegar will produce less smell. Usually, people use a 50/50 ratio, though the ratio should be 20/80.

You also have the option to add fragrant herbal oil after washing the vinegar from your hair.


In this guide, we’ve shown you the most effective ways to remove vinegar smell. If you feel irritated or hate the smell of vinegar, following the methods above may help the smell disappear, along with your irritation of the vinegar smell.

One of the ways to remove or reduce the smell of vinegar is to use less of it for cleaning tasks. This might solve the problem with the unpleasant smell. Simply adjust your cleaning recipe by decreasing the usual amount of vinegar in the mixture.

If you’ve ever opened a new bottle of vinegar and got a whiff of the smell, you know how harsh it can be. This can be a problem for many people who love to clean with vinegar, which is why we’ve got a few tips on how to remove vinegar smell from your house.

Vinegar is a commonly used household item that has a lot of uses around the home. It can clean, sanitize and help you cook. However, vinegar can also produce a foul smell that is hard to get rid of, especially when you use it to clean the carpet or accidentally spill it on your rug. These are spots where it’s bound to stay for a while.

Vinegar has a distinct strong odor that can overpower other, better smells. The lingering smell of vinegar can affect the home environment while you’re trying to enjoy yourself. So if you often use it for cleaning, be sure to know how to remove vinegar smell in a pinch.

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