Home > House Cleaning Tips > Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning With Vinegar: the Miracle Cleaner!

Cleaning with vinegar provides an economical, natural alternative to expensive and toxic chemical cleaners.

White vinegar is a natural disinfectant and you won't have to worry about the effects of harsh chemicals on your hands, your household surfaces, or the environment .

Cleaning with vinegar

I use vinegar to clean the counters and stove every night after dinner - I just pour some on an old cloth and wipe everything down. It works like a dream! Cuts right through grease and does not leave any streaks.

I also use it in the bathroom: cleaning with vinegar makes the faucets and counter tops look as clean as new - and it is so easy!

I buy white vinegar by the gallon for cleaning. Fill spray bottles with half white vinegar and half water and keep one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom for quick clean ups.


Vinegar and water is all you need. Never mix with bleach as it is hazardous.

Cleaning with Vinegar

  • In the kitchen: Filmy dirt and greasy residue formed on the tops and sides of stoves and refrigerators come clean with a wiping of full-strength vinegar. Cleaning with vinegar works on sinks and counter tops, too.
  • Refrigerator: Use a solution of one part vinegar and one part water to clean the inside of your refrigerator then rinse with water.
  • Coffee Pot: If your coffee pot is running slow from mineral build up just pour a cup of vinegar through it with a clean filter. Run two or three pots full of water through after cleaning with vinegar to remove the vinegar taste and smell. 
  • Reduce dust: Keep exhaust fan grills, air conditioner blades and grills dust free and blowing clear, clean air by sponging away grease and dirt with a sponge dipped in full-strength vinegar.
  • Garbage disposal: To keep your disposal clean and fresh-smelling, mix one cup of white vinegar in a sufficient amount of water to fill an ice cube tray. Freeze the mixture and run the cubes through the disposal. Rinse with cold water for one minute.
  • Windows and mirrors: Use ¼ cup vinegar in one quart of water for cleaning glass. If it is especially dirty, add a drop of dish soap to the mixture (shake well before using).
  • Furniture: Mix one part olive oil and one part vinegar in a bowl and apply to furniture with a soft cloth to clean.

Vinegar may not be suitable for all surfaces such as marble and other natural stone. If in doubt, check with the manufacturer first.

Cleaning with Vinegar - Bathrooms

  • Shower heads can get clogged with mineral deposits from your water. Remove the deposits by mixing 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 quart water in a large bowl or bucket. Remove the shower head and soak it in vinegar solution for 15 minutes. For plastic shower heads, soak for 1 hour in a mixture of 1 pint vinegar and 1 pint hot water.
  • Loosen soap scum on shower doors and walls by spraying them with vinegar. Let dry, then respray to dampen. Wipe clean. If needed, reapply and let it sit for several hours. Then dampen and wipe clean again.
  • Shower curtains or liners can become dulled by soap film or plagued with mildew. Keep vinegar in a spray bottle near the shower, and squirt the shower curtains once or twice a week. No need to rinse.
  • Sometimes mildew will leave a stain on shower curtains if not promptly removed. To remove these stains, mix borax with enough vinegar to make a paste, then scrub the stained area.
  • Pour vinegar into the toilet and let it sit for 30 minutes. Next sprinkle baking soda on a toilet-bowl brush and scour any remaining stained areas. Flush. Pour full-strength in the toilet and let stand overnight and then swish with a toilet brush and flush. Keep a spray bottle of vinegar and water under the sink for wiping down surfaces. Wipe down your shower with vinegar and rinse with water to get rid of soap scum.

Carpet Cleaning

For general cleanup of problem areas on carpets or rugs, use equal parts vinegar and water. Lightly sponge the solution into carpet, rinse, and blot dry. Let the carpet dry before using the area again. For carpet stains, vinegar sometimes is your best bet. Here's how to remove some specific types of carpet stains with vinegar:

  • Coffee: Coffee spilled on a rug should come out easily with plain water if you get it immediately. If not, mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, and sponge the solution into the rug. Blot up any excess, and rinse until the brown color is gone.
  • Cola: Immediately blot a cola spill with paper towels, then clean the area with 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate stains can be cleaned with 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water. Sponge on the mixture, and blot the stain with lots of clean cloths until it is gone.
  • Chewing gum: To dissolve chewing gum stuck in carpet or any cloth, saturate the area with vinegar and let it sit briefly. (For faster results, heat the vinegar first.) Carefully tug at the gum to remove it.
  • Ketchup: Remove ketchup from a rug by sponging a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and 2 cups water into the rug. Frequently wring out the sponge until the stain is gone.
  • Glue: A well-dried spot of white school glue can be taken out of a carpet with vinegar (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water). Just sponge on the mixture and blot. If spot is stubborn, cover it with warm vinegar and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. When glue has softened, either scrape it up by using a dull knife or blot it with paper towels.
  • Ink: An ink stain on a carpet or rug should be treated immediately by blotting and spraying the stained area with hair spray. Once the ink spot is gone, work a solution of half vinegar, half water into the area to remove the sticky spray.
  • Mildew: Once mildew gets into a rug, it lives and grows. Kill it with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. Make sure the rug dries completely. You may want to use a hair dryer set on low to speed the drying time.
  • Red wine: Immediately blot up all moisture from the spill, then sprinkle the area with salt. Let sit 15 minutes before cleaning with vinegar. The salt should absorb any remaining wine in the carpet (turning pink as a result). Then clean the entire area with a mixture of 1/3 cup vinegar and 2/3 cup water.

Cleaning Hard Surface Floors

Whether it's ceramic tile, linoleum and vinyl, or wood, cleaning with vinegar can make your hard-surface floors sparkle. Here's how:

  • Vinyl floors: Scrub a vinyl floor with a mixture of 1 gallon water and 1 cup vinegar. If floor needs a polish after cleaning with vinegar, use club soda.
  • Wood: Add a cup of plain vinegar to a gallon bucket of water, and mop lightly onto hardwood floors (do not saturate). There's no need to rinse. This will keep the floors shiny and remove any greasy buildup.

More Pages You Might Like:

Green and Frugal Homemade Cleaning Products

More Non-Toxic Cleaners

Home > House Cleaning Tips > Cleaning With Vinegar

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Share this page:
Please help spread the word about Frugal Living Now: Here's how..

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.