15 Ways to Use Vinegar to Clean Your Home

15 Ways to Use Vinegar to Clean Your Home | The Happy Housewife

The following is a guest post from contributing writer Angie.

I have always been the kind of person that bought commercial cleaning products.  If it promised quicker or easier cleaning, I was going to check it out the next time I went to the store (and maybe even buy it).  Because of this, the area under my kitchen sink is packed with all sorts of nasty chemicals, all in brightly colored containers whose purpose is to entice me to buy them.

Just after my maternal Grandmother passed away, I noticed myself wanting to do some things that she would have done.  One of those was to start washing mirrors and windows with a mix of vinegar and water.  My mirrors and windows had never been so clean, and I was a believer!

Here are 15 uses for the wonderful, inexpensive product — white distilled vinegar:

1. Cleaning windows and mirrors – As I already mentioned, this is my favorite use.  Just mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and label.  (If you’re like my Grandma, you’ll use newspaper to clean the window or mirror.)

2. Laundry Rinse Cycle – This is actually the one that I use the most often.  I stopped using a commercial liquid fabric softener and have been using vinegar in its place.  It gets rid of odors, softens fabrics, and helps to get rid of static.

3. Clean Your ShowerMy friend, Jami, shared directions on how she cleaned her shower with vinegar with great results.

4. Get Rid of the Stink in Your Garbage Disposal – Make ice cubes with vinegar (full strength), and then run them through the garbage disposal.

5. Remove Build Up from Faucets – Use a mixture of four parts vinegar to one part salt as a scrub for these faucet areas.

6. Freshen Stinky Hands – If your hands are less than fresh from chopping pungent vegetables, pour vinegar over your hands to get rid of the odors.  (This was a life saver when I was a teenager working at Subway after we would work on prepping those strong onions.)

7. Cut Through the Grime on the Top of Appliances – Use a cloth and full strength vinegar to wash off that disgusting grime that can build up on the top of appliances like the refrigerator.

8. Get Rid of Germs – If you’ve had a lot of sickness running rampant around your house (as can happen during these cooler months), use full strength vinegar to clean areas that receive a lot of touches, such as door knobs or toilets.

9. Clean Your Microwave - A mix of two parts water and one part vinegar, heated to a boil in the microwave, will not only loosen stuck on food, but will also help to clear out undesirable odors.  (As with any time that you are bringing a liquid to a boil in the microwave, please be careful with this.)

10. Safely Clean Toys – A mix of vinegar and water is a great way to clean germy toys without harsh chemicals.

11. Remove Stickers and Decals - My children are finally old enough that this isn’t an issue around our house.  However, it wasn’t too long ago that I would find rouge stickers in the strangest places.  To help remove these, spray on some vinegar and let them stick for a few minutes before trying to peel them off.  Try again with the vinegar, if they can’t be peeled off after the first soaking.

12. Shinier Toilet Bowl – Instead of using harsh chemicals, try spraying vinegar into your toilet bowl and then clean with a brush, as you might normally.

13. Clean Mineral Deposits in Automatic Coffee Makers – If you’re noticing a build up in your coffee makers, you can run a cycle with vinegar to help clear that out.  Make sure to rinse well after that cycle, however.  (Be sure to check your owner’s manual to check for cleaning notes.)

14. Get Rid of (or At Least Deter) Ants - Using vinegar for cleaning might help to deter ants.  (Although, let me share a quick tip, as someone who has received the stink eye from an exterminator: If you are planning to call an exterminator because of a large ant problem, try to not disturb the ant trail, as it may make it difficult for the exterminator to find where they ants are coming from.) See another method for getting rid of ants with three ingredients.

15. Clear Shower Heads of Build Up – Take off shower heads and soak in vinegar overnight to remove build up.  If you can’t take off the heads (or just don’t want to), you can also soak a cloth in vinegar and wrap it around the shower head overnight.

Since there are, literally, thousands of uses for vinegar, what are some of your favorite uses that didn’t make this list?

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About Angie Kauffman

Angie, a domestically-challenged artist and writer, is a homeschooling mom to three children. She writes about everything that happens in their lives between all the loads of laundry at Many Little Blessings. She is also the founder of The Homeschool Classroom, Catholic Printables Online, and Catholic Mothers Online.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Comments

  1. I use a lot of the ones above. Another one I also use, which isn’t necessarily cleaning my house BUT…I wash my dog with a 50/50 vinegar water mix. He’s prone to yeast and it helps keep it at bay. Also, keeps his coat shinier.

  2. Heather says:

    My favorite use for vinegar is as a hair rinse. We wash hair with baking soda (1 tbs soda in 1 cup of water, pour over hair and scrub) then condition with vinegar (1 tbs vinegar in 1 cup of water, pour over hair and comb through with fingers). It gets rid of tangles and build-up from styling products. Our hair has never been healthier!

  3. apryl says:

    i clean up a lot of water deposits anywhere – especially on black appliances, my son’s retainer, in my homemade window/glasses cleaner, and in the rinse cycle of my dishwasher and. i think if you have vinegar and baking soda around, you can clean just about anything!

  4. mrsb says:

    Great for burns. Takes the sting out. Works on sunburn, too.

  5. Alexis R says:

    Can you use vinegar on stainless steel and if so, how? I use vinegar in my laundry and will be bookmarking this page for future reference!

  6. Hi. Thanks for this! How do you use it in the laundry rinse cycle? Just pour it into that area in the washer’s dispense?

    I use vinegar in my hair as well after baking soda to get out buildup. Seems to work well.

  7. Melissa Sloniker says:

    i love using vinegar for household projects! i put it in the downy ball in the washer (it’s important to add it during the rinse cycle. adding it during the wash cycle tends to ‘bake in’ the vinegar smell…yuck!). i use it to shine my stainless kitchen sink – just clean the sink and then rub with vinegar for a beautiful shine! i clean my coffeemaker with it. i use it to dampen a cloth and clean the dash of my car. i use it as a presoak for cleaning my tub.
    go vinegar!!
    melissa

  8. Amy says:

    Thanks for the extra tips! I use a few of these already. Over the summer we had a flash mob of ants in the kitchen and i was amazed how well vinegar worked to get rid of them. Sooo much better than using chemicals. :)

  9. Jeanne Blackwood says:

    I just bought a new washing machine and it came with a sample of a washing machine tablet cleaner that it says I should use once a month…to reduce the buildup of the HE detergent it says I must use….I did find another article that says I could use 1 cup of vinegar instead of the tablets to reduce the buildup….less expensive than the tablets!!!

  10. Some new ideas to me…thanks!

  11. Kelly says:

    Thank you for this post on the many uses for vinegar. I am always looking for ways to cut back on purchasing expensive cleaning supplies. That being said, I like to keep the Clorox wipes on each toilet for daily use, but they get expensive. I found a site today with a “recipe” for homemade wipes to use on the toilets using water, vinegar, and a few drops of tea tree oil with the wipes being cut from old t-shirts and stored in an empty baby wipe container. Dirty wipes go in with other cleaning rags in the wash and we save quite a bit of money!

    • Paula says:

      Kelly…could you send me the link to the site for the wipes…..that sounds like something i want to do but have not found what i wanted…..

  12. Ashley says:

    Once a year I always seem to have a gnat problem, so my brother told me to get a small container and to fill half with dishsoap and half with vinegar to catch them. It works like charm!! The gnats are attracted to the vinegar smell and then get trapped in the dishsoap!

  13. Sarah says:

    Use a mix of vinegar and water to rid your sidewalk of weeds this yaer! At my house, our patio smells like pickles, but at least I know it’s safe for my little ones to play around!

  14. lela says:

    Full stregnth in my sprayer for grass on sidewalks, salt also works but it wears down bricks.

  15. Kay says:

    I use vinegar and water to wash my floors. It helps with the buildup and the floor feel so much better.

  16. Heidi says:

    I use it in my dish washer insted of Jet Dry and it works great and I have a stainless steel dish washer in and out and it helps keep the hard water off it as well as making my glasses shine..

  17. Slawek says:

    I’ve been using a great cleaning service and my cleaning woman use vinegar and other natural products ( I am alergic to many of the chemical stuff) Important is to use the solution not the veinegar itself. When you clean your mirror always combine equal parts of white vinegar and water. Spray on the mirrow , wipe of with a cloth or old newspapers. Try their website and see their cleaning tips for cleanining services they offer-www.mycleaninglady.us

  18. Renata says:

    I totally agree! I wrote a blog about the effectiveness of cleaning with vinegar as well! http://simplenaturalsolutions.com/vinegar-as-a-natural-cleaning-solution/

  19. jb says:

    Thanks I have severe allerges and asthma and the chemicals were maing it unberiable for me to clean. Thank you for the tips.

  20. Charles says:

    Nice one Angie! Vinegar is a wonder for home cleaning. It is very useful if you want to avoid the harmful effects of commercial cleaning solutions.

  21. martin says:

    Can you use vinegar on woods as I read in other site that vinegar may damage the wood. Thank you.

  22. Dot says:

    I learned a lot on how to use vinegar and will help save money to. thanks everyone

  23. Marla says:

    White vinegar has 5% acidity. For an even better cleaning product look for extra strength vinegar. It has 9% acidity and works great for hard lime stains. I don’t use he salt when I do faucets. I soak a rag in the vinegar and let it sit on the faucet for about 5 mins or so then use the same rag to wipe the faucet. And speaking of hard lime stains, the 9% acidity vinegar works pretty good. I’ve never had much luck with the regular vinegar. By the way, The extra strength is hard to find but my local grocery store happens to carry it.

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