Path to Natural Living

The Amazing Cleaning Power of Vinegar

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Vinegar is my all time favorite cleaner around the house. I have a spray bottle of vinegar in every bathroom and the kitchen. It is great at killing germs, bacteria and cutting through the grease and grime. I use white distilled vinegar at full strength in the kitchen and dilute it to a 50/50 ration of vinegar to water in the bathrooms.

Mix vinegar with hot water and wash down those greasy kitchen cabinets – it will get all that grease off. I’ve used it to clean my carpets in a pinch – it does fairly well but not as well as my homemade carpet cleaner. Vinegar is one of the main ingredients in my homemade hard floor cleaner.

Use it in the kitchen and bathroom

Spray it on counters and in the bathroom, let it sit for 5-10 minutes (it is ok for it to dry on the surface if you forget too), then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth or paper towel.  It will make your plumbing fixtures sparkle. I use 1/2 a cup of vinegar in a sink half full of water to wash my fruits and veggies and get off any pesticides.Vinegar as Fruit and Veggie Wash

Have a little soap scum build up in your bathtub? Easy peasy. Spray it with your vinegar spray bottle and wipe with a microfiber cloth until the surface feels smooth again. If you have more soap scum built up try making a paste with baking soda and water then scrubbing it with a microfiber cloth. You will see the baking soda turn from white to a grey paste and the surface will wipe away clean. It should clean up easily as long as there is not a lot of build up, in that case you might have to do it a few times to get up all the soap scum.

Vinegar is safe to use around your family

The smell of cleaning with vinegar does take a little while to get used to although the smell dissipates quickly, of course it much better than breathing all the endocrine disruptors in store bought cleaners. It is safer for young children, since my cleaner is something you can ingest I worry less about my kids getting into the area under my sinks.  My kids are in to everything and they have never tried to drink it.

Essential oils to give you even more cleaning power

You can add a few drops of essential oils to the spray bottle to make it smell better and give it an additional cleaning and sanitizing boost. I used Lemon Essential Oil for a little while but noticed it was corroding my plumbing fixtures so you might want to just spray your counters and not your plumbing fixture. Your cloth will get damp from wiping up the vinegar on the counter and you can just use the damp cloth to wipe the plumbing fixture clean. I am notorious for getting distracted once I spray a bathroom so I’ve skipped the lemon E.O.. Instead I add a few drops of Melaleuca Essential Oil  (or tea tree E.O.) to the vinegar so I don’t have to worry about my plumbing fixtures. There are many other essential oils that clean and disinfect, Melaleuca just happens to be one of my favorites.

Vinegar cases at Sams ClubWe buy vinegar in bulk at Sam’s Club

We buy our vinegar at Sam’s Club in bulk of two gallons per box. It is very economical – coming to about $2 per gallon! So you can clean for pennies on the dollar. The box the vinegar comes in has some great tips on other uses for vinegar. Check this out!

Vinegar Uses

And here are the close up shots so you can read it a little easier

Vinegar uses 1-9             Vinegar uses 10-18

Here is the list of other great uses for vinegar:

  1. Glassware – 1/2 cup of vinegar added to a gallon of rinse water will remove soap film from glassware and make it shine.
  2. Toilet bowl – Clean and deodorize your toilet bowl by pouring undiluted vinegar into it.  Let it stand for about 5 minutes then flush. Stubborn stains may require scrubbing.
  3. Bathtub – Wipe down bathtub with vinegar and soda to remove film build up. Rinse clean with water.
  4. Grease – Filmy dirt and greasy residue can be removed from stove and refrigerator by wiping with vinegar.
  5. Chrome – To polish chrome and stainless steel, moisten a cloth with vinegar and wipe clean.
  6. Shower curtain – Rub a cloth dampened with vinegar to remove soapy, steamed in film from your plastic shower curtain. Then rinse clean.
  7. Coffee maker – To remove stale coffee residue, fill the reservoir with vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. When cycle is finished, run two cycles of water to rinse.
  8. Irons – Remove burn stains from your electric iron by mixing one part salt with one part vinegar in heated small aluminum pan. Use this mix to polish the iron as you would silver.
  9. Vegetables – Liven up slightly wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water and vinegar.
  10. Flowers – Add 2 tsp. of vinegar plus 3 TBSP. of sugar to a quart of warm water (100 degrees) to keep fresh cut flowers blooming longer.
  11. Cabbage – Add vinegar to the cooking water of boiling cabbage to prevent the odor from permeating the house.
  12. Meat – A marinade of 1/2 cup of your favorite vinegar and a cup of liquid bullion makes an effective meat tenderizer.
  13. Rice – A tsp. of vinegar added to the water of boiling rice makes it white and fluffy.
  14. Fish – Reduce fishy odors by rubbing fish down with vinegar before scaling it.
  15. Cheese – Keep cheese moist and fresh by wrapping it in a cloth that has been dampened with vinegar and sealed in a air-tight wrap or container.
  16. Eggs – To produce better formed eggs whites, add a tsp. of vinegar to the water.
  17. Onion odors – Quickly remove the odor of onions from your hands by rubbing them with vinegar.
  18. Pickling – Cider, red wine, balsamic and other dark vinegars are good for pickling, but may discolor lighter colored pickles such as pears, onions, and cauliflowers. In this case, a distilled or white vinegar may be preferred.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how easy it is to incorporate vinegar into your cleaning routine and how much money it can save you. Let me know how you use vinegar in your home!

12 thoughts on “The Amazing Cleaning Power of Vinegar

  1. Ananda

    Hi Shannon,

    It was nice to meet you from your website.your review on natural living is excellent.Till now I know vinegar will be used for cooking.You have given amazing information about cleaning power of vinegar.

    Your presentation over incorporating vinegar into cleaning is simply great.I can save money if I follow your Tips for cleaning .Thanks to you.

    Cheers,
    Pavaniananda

    1. admin

      Hi Pavaniananda – thanks for stopping by.

      You can absolutely save a lot of money cleaning with vinegar – Plus it does an amazing job at cleaning. I have had people ask me how I keep my chrome fixtures so clean and sparkly – and it’s just vinegar!

      Hope you encorporate it into your cleaning in the near future.

  2. Cathy

    Hi Shannon,

    Thanks for sharing such a useful list about vinegar. I have only ever used it in the kitchen and never really ventured into the cleaning part. But now I know.

    One thing got me curious. When you mentioned ‘flowers’, how exactly do you apply the vinegar mixture? Do you put in the vase or sprinkle on the petals?

    Thanks for the tips again.

    1. admin

      Hi Cathy! Thanks so much for stopping by. The vinegar goes in the water, I would not put them on the flowers themselves. Here is the recipe:

      Add 2 tsp. of vinegar plus 3 TBSP. of sugar to a quart of warm water (100 degrees) to keep fresh cut flowers blooming longer.

      Let me know how it works out for you 🙂

  3. Tiago

    Vinegar is indeed a very good cleaner!

    Thanks a lot for sharing Shannon! Nice website by the way! You are doing a great job! Keep posting this kind of engaging content please!

    Cheers!

  4. Ray

    Hi Shannon,

    That’s a great info! I didn’t know that vinegar can be used for so many stuff. My partner uses vinegar to clean the windows, also we sprinkle our dog’s “toilet area” in the balcony (to eliminate the pee smell), but that’s about it. So we have a lot of vinegar as well, we’ll start to use it more other things, this is great. Toilet – I’ve never thought of that. Coffee machine, shower curtain… By the way doesn’t it leave vinegar smell anywhere?

    I know you’re supposed to rinse it well, but if you continue to use it a lot, I was wondering if the whole house started to smell vinegary? Sorry if this is a silly question…

    You can use it to keep vegetable, cheese and all the food fresh is a good surprise too. I’m going to experiment now.

    Thanks again!
    Ray

    1. Shannon Post author

      Ray
      Sounds like you are already a seasoned vinegar user!
      The vinegar smell disappears once it evaporates so no worries your house won’t smell like vinegar.
      Yes you should rinse it well from a coffee maker. I let it evaporate when I spray a trash can to get the stink out.
      Plus it’s frugal:)
      Thanks for stopping by

  5. Tiffany

    Wow Shannon! I had no idea all the many uses for vinegar. I have a gallon of it in my pantry, that I assume was required for a recipe I tried once, but never knew when I would use it again. Thank you for all the awesome tips and surprising uses for me to try.
    I have heard that Apple Cider Vinegar is a great cleaning tool, have you ever used it and for what?

    1. Shannon Post author

      I prefer to use white vinegar for cleaning and I buy the Bragg’s Apple cider vinegar to drink and cook with. I like to drink a tsp in a small glass of warm water with honey or lemon. The honey helps to taste better – it is a great way to keep your immune system working well and to fight off sugar cravings.

      Thanks for stopping by Tiffany and for your great question!
      Shannon

    2. Jenny

      Shannon is right about Apple cider vinegar being good for things other than just clean, It is a great tip to drink a litttle in the morning. It has a whole host of other benefits too. I won’t mention them all, but I use it for my hair.
      Mix 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water into an atomiser spray bottle, then drench your scalp. Wrap your head in a warm towel and leave it to work for 30 minutes to an hour. Then just wash and rinse your hair as usual.
      A couple of times a week should be enough to allow this natural treatment to keep dandruff of your shoulders and make your hair look brilliant, shiny and full bodied.
      I use it as a skin toner too 1 pt ACV 2 PT water.
      It is also great as an insect bite calmer
      Jen

      1. Shannon Post author

        Jenny

        So many great tips on the use of apple cider vinegar. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

        I use apple cider vinegar as a rinse after washing my hair instead of conditioner but I have not let it sit on for 30 minutes, I will have to give that a try!

        I had not hear that it helps with bug bites – another great tip!

        Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing!!

        Shannon

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