Twelve Ways to Clean with Vinegar

When we think of all-natural cleaning, the first ingredient that comes to mind is vinegar!  White, also known as distilled, vinegar is a great staple to keep around.  It's dirt cheap and has so many uses.  Just make sure to keep it away from marble, granite or anything sensitive to acids.  Here are a few ways to use vinegar to clean around the house.  Note, the recommended mixing ratio is water and vinegar. 10:1 would be ten parts water and one part vinegar.  You can change these ratios when you feel a little more or less cleaning power is needed.

  1. Give windows a streak-free shine-10:1, Vinegar dries faster than water, which will help leave windows, glass and mirrors streak free.  If your windows have any residue on them, you may want to add a few drops of dish soap to the mixture.
  2. Remove water spots from glass shower doors- We suggest vinegar straight from the bottle for this task.  You can put it in a spray bottle and shine the glass with a microfiber rag.
  3. Add a disinfecting punch to your cleaning products- Vinegar has some disinfecting properties, similar to bleach.  Use it in place of bleach for a natural alternative.
  4. Use vinegar to replace your fabric softener-
  5. Brighten dull clothes and remove stains- Ketchup, chocolate, wine, and jelly can be removed with vinegar.  Left it soak on the stain for a few minutes and then wash as usual.
  6. Remove mildew or sweat odors from clothing- 2:1 Let clothes soak in a bucket or sink of vinegar and water for fifteen minutes (or longer if you have time).  Then machine wash as usual.  You can also add a cup or vinegar straight in the washing machine.
  7. Clean the washing machine- Put two cups of vinegar in the washing machine and run it, empty, on a hot cycle.  The combination of hot water and vinegar will help remove hard water buildup, kill bacteria and mold and remove odors.
  8. Eliminate odors around the house- 2:1 You can spray a vinegar mixture on or in shoes, trashcans, upholstery or anything else that has gotten a little musty.  You can also use it to clean and freshen your refrigerator or carpets.
  9. Kill and remove bacteria and mold in bathrooms and kitchens- With ceramic an porcelain tile, you can use use vinegar straight from the bottle to disinfect your bathrooms and kitchen.  Use a toothbrush to get in corners and grout.
  10. Clean your coffee maker or coffee pot- 10:1 Mix vinegar and water and run it through the coffee maker, as if making coffee.  Run it again with just water to make sure it's rinsed and let it dry completely before using it again.  To clean stains from the carafe, mix one part vinegar and four parts water and let it soak overnight.  Wash with dish soap and rinse well.
  11. Mop floors- 4:1 You can mop tile floors with a mixture of one part vinegar and four parts water.  For messier jobs, you can increase the amount of vinegar.  Hardwood floors can also benefit from an occasional cleaning with a mild vinegar mixture (10:1).
  12. Clear slow drains- Put half a cup of baking soda in a slow drain, followed by one cup or vinegar.  Wait five to ten minutes and then rinse with very hot water.  For more detailed instructions, see here.

Let us know in the comments if you've tried any of these tips!  If you have any vinegar cleaning tips that we missed, we'd love to know!  Leave a comment!


  1. Combining a vinegar solution in a spray bottle with a steam cleaner is unstoppable!

  2. Combining a vinegar solution in a spray bottle with a steam cleaner is unstoppable!


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