Housecleaning products can be expensive! It’s a huge market and companies are making a lot of dough from their products. And not only expensive but many cleaning products may be toxic. But you’ve got something in your cupboard that you can use that is natural and tough on bacteria, dirt and mildew. Vinegar. This little miracle cleaner is multi-purpose as well – you can definitely clean your house on the cheap with this. One container will take care of your kitchen, bathroom, laundry, even bugs and weeds.
Yep it’s what your grandmothers used to clean their home. As a matter of fact, I remember that’s what my mother got me and my sisters to use to clean windows with when I was younger.
Read on for 50 smart vinegar cleaning tips.
Note: plain white vinegar is best for cleaning (and it’s cheaper too!) Vinegar is used in 100% concentration unless otherwise specified.
We totally recommend getting two spray bottles (you can find them at your local dollar store). Fill one with pure vinegar and the other with a 50-50 vinegar-water mix.
Refrigerator: You certainly want to skip the toxic chemicals where you store your food. Wipe up spills and surface clean with a 50-50 vinegar-water mix.
Sinks or Garbage Disposal: Remove odors by pouring in a cup or more of vinegar. Do not rinse out again for at least an hour.
Drain: Pour vinegar onto a scrub brush small enough to get inside the drain. (An old tooth brush works great for this.) Sprinkle the brush with baking soda, then scrub a dub dub to remove odors and built-up grime.
For a clogged drain, first pour in 1/2 cup baking soda. Then add an equal amount of vinegar. When the mixture finishes bubbling, rinse with warm water. (Note: some garbage disposals do not react well to this cleaning method; check with the manufacturer first.)
Countertops: Super simple to clean your kitchen countertops. Just spray onto your surface, then wipe away with a warm, wet cloth. NOTE: If you have a granite or marble surface, avoid cleaning countertops with vinegar.
Cutting boards: Spray with vinegar, then rinse to clean.
Microwave: Get at hard-to-clean microwave stains by placing 1/2-cup vinegar and 1/2-cup water in a glass bowl. Microwave 2-3 minutes, or until it boils. In addition to removing any lingering odors, this will loosen any baked-on food from the microwave’s walls.
Stained plastic containers: Coat in vinegar. Let sit. Wash as usual.
Remove coffee or tea stains from china: Clean with a mixture of vinegar and salt.
Strong odors: Do you have jars that or containers that you want to use again but smell bad? Rinse jars with a half and half mixture of vinegar and water to remove garlic or other strong odors.
Boil water with several spoons of vinegar to remove the smell of burnt food from your kitchen.
Wipe your hands with vinegar after chopping. It will remove strong scents like onion and garlic, as well as stains from fruit juices.
General bathroom cleaning: Scrub away bacteria, especially around the toilet, where it can curb urine staining and odor. Just spray like you would any other cleaner.
Toilet: Pour a cup of vinegar in the bowl. Let sit overnight. In the morning, sprinkle with baking soda; scrub, then flush.
Tub or sink drain: Pour 1/2-cup vinegar around closed drain and let sit several hours. Scrub to remove buildup. Drain, then rinse.
Shower: Spray shower walls and shower curtain or door with vinegar to help prevent mildew.
For a good deep clean, bring vinegar to a boil, then use it to wipe down the shower door and walls. Keep them damp by wiping them down every 5 to 8 minutes for 30 minutes. Then, using a non-scratch sponge moisten with vinegar, sprinkle with baking soda, and scrub. Rinse. This takes a little more elbow grease but it will get rid of germs, water spots, soap scum and mold.
Showerhead: To remove corrosion or chemical build-up from showerheads, pour some vinegar into a plastic bag, and fasten it to your showerhead with a twist-tie or elastic. Make sure there’s enough vinegar so the bottom part of the showerhead is submerged. Leave the bag on overnight. Remove the next morning just before showering.
You can also remove your showerhead and soak in vinegar overnight.
Faucets: Clean with a mixture of 1 part salt to four parts vinegar to remove soap build-up.
Tile surfaces: Mix 1/2-cup vinegar with a gallon (16 cups) of warm water. Mop floors or scrub countertops with the solution and allow to air dry.
Mattress disinfectant: Mix white vinegar, a little rubbing alcohol, and some tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Lightly spray on your mattress to help fight dust mites, mildew, and odors. For a deeper clean, follow with a dusting of baking soda. Let dry, then vacuum.
Fabric softener: Add one cup of vinegar instead. Did you know that it softens clothes and removes static!
Keep colors from running: Soak in vinegar before washing.
Decrease lint on clothing: Add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
Remove stains: Gently rub stain with vinegar, then wash.
Make your brights brighter: Add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
Fresher cloth diapers: Add one cup vinegar to the rinse cycle. This will break down uric acid and remove both lingering stains and scents.
Remove scorch marks from an iron: Rub with a mixture of vinegar and salt.
Remove soap residue from the washing machine: Run an empty cycle with one cup vinegar added.
Remove the smell of smoke from clothing: Add a cup of vinegar to a tub of hot water. Let clothing hang in the same room for several hours.
Living & Dining Rooms
Glass: Use a 50-50 vinegar-water solution to keep glass tables sparkling.
Wood furniture: Use 1/4-cup white vinegar mixed with 1-cup olive oil — you can also add a few drops of lemon or orange oil if you wish — to clean and maintain wood furniture.
Floor wash: Add 1/2-cup vinegar to a gallon of water to clean wood, laminated, tile and vinyl floors.
Carpet spills: Use a sponge or cloth to soak up as much liquid as possible. Spray with a mixture of half vinegar and half water. Let stand for about two minutes, then blot with towel or sponge. Repeat as needed.
Persistent stains: Mix together 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap and 1 cup warm water. . Let stand for about two minutes, then blot with towel or sponge. Repeat as needed.
Carpet odor and dust mite remover: Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with some vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray lightly throughout. (We recommend you test in an inconspicuous spot first for colorfastness.)
Carpet rinse: To keep carpets cleaner longer, so carpets stay cleaner, after shampooing your carpet, rinse it using 1/2-cup vinegar per gallon (16 cups) of water. This lifts dirt-attracting soap residue.
Carpet pet odor remover: Wet spot with vinegar. Sprinkle with baking soda, and work the two together with a brush or your fingers. Let dry (overnight works best), then vacuum.
Air freshener: Add a 1/2-teaspoon vinegar to ½ cup of water, plus a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Spray away.
Window cleaner: Spray with 50-50 mix of vinegar and water. Wipe clean with either newspapers or cloth.
All-purpose cleaner: Mix 1-cup vinegar, 2 teaspoons borax, 4-cups hot water, 5 drops liquid dish soap, 10 drops tea tree oil, and 10 drops your favorite essential oil (optional).
Disinfectant: Use a 50-50 vinegar-water mix to wipe down telephones, doorknobs, faucet handles, and any other place that germs hide.
Ants: To keep ants away, spray vinegar along doorways, windowsills and countertops. If you find an ant trail, clean it with vinegar.
Remove stickers from furniture and other surfaces: Moisten with vinegar. Let sit for at least ten minutes, then remove.
Room odors: Place a bowl of vinegar in the room overnight.
Clean silver, pewter, copper, or brass: Dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in one cup vinegar. Add flour to create a paste (1/4 cup or more). Apply the paste to the metal item, and let stand for at least fifteen minutes. Rinse with warm water and polish with a soft cloth.
Clean wood paneling: Mix together 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 cups warm water. Apply to paneling with a soft cloth. Dry with a clean cloth.
Keep cats off windowsills or other surfaces: Spray surface with vinegar.
Remove skunk odor: Vinegar will take care of the smell better than even tomato juice. Use 50-50 vinegar and water mixture, rub the dog’s fur. Rinse with warm water. Repeat as needed.
So there you have it – 50 tips to clean your home with vinegar. Now you can save money on cleaning products and use a healthy, green alternative.
Do you have a favorite vinegar cleaning secret? We’d love for you to share in comments below.