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You probably have used white distilled vinegar in a recipe, but did you know that you can clean your home with vinegar? Vinegar is a tried and true jack of all cleaning trades that can kill weeds, clean your floors, and get rid of mildew in your shower.
Vinegar is created by the oxidation of alcohol into acetic acid, which is the magic ingredient that makes it such a versatile cleaning machine. The smell is pungent at first but completely disappears once dry. Adding essential oils to your vinegar will help mask the smell until the vinegar dries.
Below is a list of 28 ways to clean your home with vinegar.
Be prepared to be amazed.
Clean your Home with Vinegar – Room by Room
Window Cleaner – just add vinegar, water, and rubbing alcohol to a recycled spray bottle and you have yourself a non-toxic, effective window cleaner.
Clean Chrome and Stainless Steel – lightly mist appliances with undiluted white vinegar and buff.
Steam Clean your Microwave – place a glass bowl filled with one cup water and 1/4 cup vinegar inside the microwave and “cook” it for 3-5 minutes. After cooling, use the liquid to wipe down the interior.
Fruit and Veggie Cleaner – this fruit and veggie cleaner will not only remove the bacteria and little critters but up to 98% of the pesticide residue on the outside of your produce.
Disinfect and Deodorize Wood Cutting Boards – wipe your wood cutting boards with full strength white vinegar after each use to disinfect and clean. To deodorize your wood cutting boards, spread some baking soda over it and spritz on undiluted vinegar. Let stand for 10 minutes then wipe clean with a wet cloth.
Clean your Coffeemaker – hard water minerals can build up in your coffee machine. Fill the reservoir with equal parts of water and vinegar. Brew a full pot of the water/vinegar mix and then brew a pot of plain water to rinse. Cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar will keep it in tip-top shape.
Dishwasher – Vinegar is an excellent rinse agent. Just give the rinse compartment a good squirt and keep your glassware spotless. Eco-friendly bonus points if you use it after this non-toxic DIY dishwasher detergent. To keep your dishwasher clean, pour a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of an empty dishwasher to get rid of the lime and soap build-up.
**Warning** Vinegar and marble are not friends. The acid in vinegar may damage stone surfaces.
All-Purpose Bathroom Cleaner – put equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle to clean counters, tile, and toilets. You can strengthen the cleaner by adding essential oils. Vinegar is super effective at getting rid of hard water stains.
Remove Mineral Deposits from Shower-heads – place removable shower heads in a gallon of hot water with 1 cup vinegar for 15 minutes to clear away blockages and mineral deposits. If your shower-head is not removable, fill a gallon size baggie with 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar and tape the bag around the shower-head. Let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then remove the bag and wipe the shower-head clean.
Clean Shower Door Tracks – those things get funky. Pour straight vinegar into the tracks and let set overnight. Rinse with hot water to remove the funk and then brush the rest away with an old toothbrush.
Clean and Shine Bathroom Fixtures –make the bathroom fixtures shine by pouring undiluted vinegar on a soft cloth and wiping down the faucets, towel racks, and doorknobs.
Clean Mirror – just add vinegar, water, and rubbing alcohol to a recycled spray bottle and you have yourself a non-toxic, effective mirror cleaner.
Remove Toilet Water Rings – Undiluted vinegar will help keep your toilet looking and smelling clean. Pour in 2 cups and let set overnight to keep those annoying water rings at bay.
Clean and Disinfect Washing Machine – pour 2 cups of undiluted vinegar into your washing machine and run a full cycle to clean out soap scum and get your washer sparkly clean.
Remove Lint and Static from Clothes – add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to keep your clothes static and lint free.
Brighten Clothes – adding 1/2 cup vinegar to the final rinse cycle will brighten those clothes.
Remove Mildew Smell – ever find a wet towel at the bottom of the hamper or worse yet, your kid’s backpack? Add 2 cups of vinegar to a load of mildewy items and wash through one cycle. Wash a second time like normal and the musty smell will be gone.
Kill Bacteria – if you are washing cloth diapers, add a cup of vinegar to the load to kill any bacteria that may be present.
Softens Clothes – adding a cup of vinegar to the wash will soften and freshen your clothes. Which is great because you can skip the chemical-laden fabric softener perfumy dryer sheets.
Remove Carpet Odor – spray undiluted vinegar on your carpet – you can mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil to mask the vinegar smell – and spray the trouble areas.
Clean Porcelain or Tile Floors – add 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water and mop porcelain or tile floors. If the grout is dirty, make a baking soda paste and gently scrub. Rinse the grout clean before mopping.
Pet Odor Remover: pour vinegar on the trouble area and sprinkle with baking soda. Scrub the area and let dry for at least 4-5 hours. Vacuum up the baking soda and viola(!), smell gone.
Floor Cleaner – mop with 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water. No rinsing required. Keep in mind that vinegar and stone do not mix.
Kill Weeds on Driveway and Sidewalk – spray undiluted vinegar on weeds and pull them up after they wither away. It usually takes 2-3 days for the weeds to completely die.
Clean Rust from Garden Tools – spray garden tools with vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. The rust will wipe right away.
Freshen Up Cut Flowers – add 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar for each quart of water and your cut flowers will stay fresher, longer.
Clean Bird Baths and Feeders – clean with undiluted vinegar and rinse well. Soap will leave an unhealthy residue behind.
Increase Acidity of Garden Soil – Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Hydrangeas, and Gardenias prefer higher soil acidity. Water once a week with a white distilled vinegar solution. A cup of white distilled vinegar to a gallon of tap water is a good mixture.
If cleaning with vinegar isn’t your thing, here are some good quality, non-toxic cleaners you can buy.
As you see by this list, it’s totally worth it to buy stock in white distilled vinegar and keep gallons under your sink, in your bathroom closet, and in your garage. Ok, don’t go crazy with it, but vinegar is cheap, versatile, and non-toxic, making it a great alternative to those expensive and harsh cleaning chemicals.
How do you clean your home with vinegar?