25 Ways to Clean With Vinegar

Heinz White Vinegar, Distilled Gallon Bottle Plastic, 128 fl oz

This post is for my mom.  She wanted me to write one about the many uses of vinegar. 

It definitely pays to have some vinegar around the house.  I need to go to the store to stock up on vinegar and baking soda.  I’ve had a mustard stain that won’t come out of my daughter’s clothes.  I think I need to try some vinegar or baking soda.  Both seem to be amazing, inexpensive, and safe products.  Definitely a thrifty choice!    

1.  Add 1/4 cup vinegar to laundry, along with the usual soap, to brighten colors and make whites sparkle.  This will also act as a fabric softener.  Also helps kills athlete’s foot germs on socks.

2.  Soak or simmer stuck-on food in 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of vinegar.  The food will soften and lift off in a few minutes.

3.  Remove ink stains from clothes by soaking them in milk for 1 hour.  Then cover the stain with a paste of vinegar and cornstarch.  When the paste dries, wash the garment as usual.

4.  Appliances sparkle if cleaned with a vinegar and borax cleaner.  Mix 1 teaspoon borax, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 2 cups hot water and put it into a spray bottle.  Spray it on greasy smears and wipe off with a cloth or sponge.

5.  Deodorize your sink drains: Pour a cup down your drain, let stand about thirty minutes, then run cold water.

6. Use vinegar instead of laundry softener.  Vinegar prevents your clothes from getting that waxy build up on them.  Vinegar is suggested for using to rinse cloth diapers to keep them absorbent. 

7.  Remove water stains from leather by rubbing with a cloth dipped in a vinegar and water solution.

8.  Loosen food grime and clean the microwave: Place a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water, 1/2 cup vinegar inside the microwave and microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes (it needs to boil). Keep your microwave closed for a few minutes to allow the steam to loosen the grime, then open your microwave, carefully remove the bowl, and wipe clean.

9.  Remove grease from kitchen walls: Put straight vinegar on a dishcloth to wipe grease off kitchen walls, or the stovetop.

10.  Prevent mold and mildew in the shower: Wipe down tile or Formica shower walls with a sponge or cloth dampened with water and vinegar. The vinegar will clean the walls and inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.

11.  An excellent toilet cleaner can be made from 1 cup borax and 1 cup vinegar.  Pour the vinegar all over the stained area of the toilet.  Then sprinkle the borax over the vinegar.  Allow it all to soak for 2 hours.  Then simply brush and flush.

12.  Add a cup of vinegar to your mop water or mop floors with vinegar and water after a normal mopping.  Vinegar removes the soap scum.

13.   Annie Berthold-Bond says her favorite window cleaning recipe is to combine 2 cups of water, 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar, and up to 1/2 teaspoon of liquid soap or detergent in a spray bottle.  Annie says the liquid soap helps remove the waxy residue.

14.  Boil vinegar and water on the stove to soak up bad smells from your house.

15.  Fill your water reservoir halfway with vinegar to clean your coffee pot.  Follow up by running 1-2 pots of clean water through to remove the vinegar.

16.  Vinegar also works as a safe degreaser.  No harsh fumes.  Use it on grease, undiluted.

17.  Clean vaporizers and humifiers by soaking unit in vinegar.  Soak unit and then run water through it.  I know, I got this tip from the actual directions that came with my vaporizer, but it really does help to remove the deposits and also to sanitize.

18.  After washing your whites with bleach, run another rinse cycle with vinegar.  The vinegar will help to remove the bleach smell.

19.  If you have fruit flies, put some vinegar in a jar on your counter.  (I wish I would have known this one a few years ago.  I had some fruit flies and bought an expensive fruit fly trap.  It probably just had vinegar in it.  Errrr!)

20.  If your puppy (or child) has an accident on the carpet, apply full-strength plain white vinegar for about 10 minutes and then blot dry. You may want to test an inconspicuous spot first.

21.  Adding a cup of vinegar to a dishwashing cycle will help clean your dishwasher and will also help prevent spots from forming on your glasses.

22.  Vinegar helps to kill bacteria.  Mix up a solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.  Keep it in your kitchen to spray your sink and countertops. 

23.  Use vinegar to clean your garbage disposal.  Run a tray of ice cubes with 1/2 cup vinegar poured over them.

24.  Use vinegar, hot water, and a little soap to clean baby’s toys.  Rinse well.

25.  I have Pergo floors.  I was glad to find this tip from Frugal Living.  Mix 1/3 part white vinegar, 1/3 part rubbing alcohol, 1/3 part water, and 3 drops diswashing liquid.  Mix this into a (recycled) spray bottle and you have the equivalent of the Pergo floor cleaner. Just spray and mop; also great for deodorizing a room and for a fast cleanup. I also use this on my tile floors with great results. Pergo is better off when water doesn’t sit on it too long, the alcohol is added to make it dry faster.

For more tips on cleaning with vinegar try The Vinegar Book, Housekeeping: About, and Whole Foods Market.

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    • http://babycheapskate.com Angie

      Hurray for #22. I bought that stinky Clorox daily sanitizing spray once and then read online that vinegar does the same thing. I’m so used to the smell it doesn’t even remind me of salt & vinegar chips anymore. I buy generic grocery store white vinegar by the gallon!

    • http://www.thriftymommy.com Karen

      I was wondering how that Clorox spray could be safe around food and children. Now I wonder if there is any vinegar in it. I need to go to the store today and I have baking soda and vinegar on my list. Did you see the post I had about baking soda?

    • http://www.thriftymommy.com kellys

      So glad to see you finally finished this post! You did a fab job as usually. My hat’s off to ya!

    • http://www.thriftymommy.com Karen

      Thanks Kelly. It has been on the back burner for a while because it was so time consuming. Plus there were the holiday posts that needed to be done.

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    • http://whitterer-autism.blogspot.com mcewen

      Golly. I have always loved vinegar but I had no idea it had so many other uses. I’ll try it on her T-shirt with the watermelon stains!

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    • http://funnyjunk.com tiffany

      this is awesome it gave me chance to see my floor tiles agin!thanks!!!!

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    • http://www.formerbrokemom.com Beverly

      I really like the tip on cleaning the toliet with vinegar and borax. Thanks for all the good info.

    • http://clothdiapersbusiness.blogspot.com Clothdiapermama

      Thank you for sharing this. I use vinegar in my laundry and to clean my coffee maker.

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    • tw

      you forgot that it neutralizes a chemical burn!

    • http://sunthoughts2007.com Sun

      Apple Cider Vinegar neutralizes acids in the body, keeps the system very healthy. But ONLY apple cider vinegar (organic, raw, unfiltered)

    • chad

      Vinegar had ZERO effect on my fruit flies. some of these things are inaccurate on the list or misleading. of course you can clean toys wiht vinegar, the question is, will it clean the bacteria & virus? not likely, use chlorox

    • TD

      In (South West) Britain I have found it really difficult to get vinegar other than Malt vinegar or wine vinegar and neither are appropriate for cleaning. I’ve tried health food/eco shops and hardware shops. The latter just want to sell hard core chemicals as cleaning products.

      Any good suggestions out there?

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    • http://bershirecleaning.co.uk bracknell cleaning

      Thanks for the cleaning tips, they are timeless, I like to use vineger for getting rid of the smell of nicotine.

    • http://innbrooklyn.com Noerah

      What a great post. Any idea on how much vinegar to put in the laundry machine instead of the softener?

    • Jessica

      I use vinegar as a laundry softener.It is easy as pie to make! 1 quart vinegar pour into mason jar then either use dried or fresh lavender 1 cup put that in with it.Let it sit for 1 week. Get the lavender out by straining add lavender oil .Store in the mason jar you can use 1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on your laundry size.I love it .We have hard water and it helps with that.Plus I hang clothes on the line all the time and it actually makes them soft. Plus it is cheap to make.

    • Thomas

      Steeping one’s feet in a mild mixture of vinegar and warm water for 20 minutes (watch tv or something) will deodorize smelly feet/rid athletes foot. I’m a firm believer in clean smelling feet.

    • Mystikan

      If you’re suffering from hiccups, take a tablespoon of neat vinegar. It’ll make you gag for a few moments, but your hiccups will be gone!

    • Joethemidnightplumber

      It won’t neutralize all chemical burns, only a burn caused by a highly basic substance (something that has a very low PH, like lye). It will not neutralize an acid burn (say from a car battery or a paint stripping compound).

    • http://www.thriftymommy.com Karen Weideman

      Sorry. I wish I had a suggestion for you. Most natural cleaners have vinegar in them. Perhaps you could try searching online for natural cleaners. Good luck.

    • http://www.thriftymommy.com Karen Weideman

      Vinegar kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of viruses. I use vinegar unless someone in our house has a virus and then I bring out the bleach. Vinegar is much safer for your family and pets.

    • http://www.thriftymommy.com Karen Weideman

      I usually just pour it into my laundry softener dispenser in my machine, but I’m guessing it’s about 1/2 cup.