Homesteading: Cleaning With Vinegar

>> Thursday, August 28, 2014

I just stocked up on yet another gigantic container of incredibly inexpensive, non-toxic white vinegar. We use vinegar mostly for cooking and cleaning purposes in our home. It's a simple solution made up of mostly acetic acid (produced by fermented grain) and water.


#1: All-Purpose Cleaner -- Just fill up half a spray bottle with vinegar and the rest with water and maybe a few essential oil drops. Give a good shake and use for cleaning countertops, tabletops, and -- really -- anywhere else.

#2: Window Cleaner -- I add a bit of alcohol to the all-purpose mix (a few tablespoons works -- I make a smaller spray bottle of it for this purpose) and that helps windows stay streak-free!

#3: Dish Rinse -- I mentioned in our 5 Green Cleaners That Actually Work post that we make our own dishwasher detergent. We fill our rinse basin with vinegar mixed with essential oils. Works like a charm.

#4: Deodorizer -- Instead of spritzing air freshener around, we rely on vinegar to take tough odors out of our spaces. You can leave a cup of vinegar in a room overnight for tough odors or even spritz on carpet or other gross smells. The initial vinegar smell does go away! (And here are more ways to deodorize with vinegar.)

#5: Laundry Boost -- I often add 1/2 cup of vinegar to our laundry loads. It helps preserve colors, works as a fabric softener, helps rinse detergent clean, and even  lessens static cling!

#6: Drain De-Clogger -- If I notice a slow drain, I combine 1 cup of baking soda with 2 cups boiling water plus 1 cup vinegar. You'll get some bubbling action that might encourage those clogs to stay clear.

#7: Pots + Pans Cleaner -- We have a few stainless steel pots and pans, and they're always attracting burn marks and grime. I'll do a separate post on this one, but I put around 1 cup of vinegar with a couple tablespoons of baking soda and additional water in the pan and bring to a boil. Then I wipe it out with a cloth!

#8: Microwave Cleaner -- We pulled our microwave back out again now that we have space. And cleaning it is easy! I put 1 cup of water plus about 1/4 cup of vinegar inside and heat for around 5 minutes on high. Then I just wipe out with a cloth.

#9: Disinfect Cutting Board -- This is a biggie! Instead of using my all-purpose cleaner on our cutting boards, I use full strength vinegar to disinfect after each use. A little splash goes a long way.

#10: Sticker Stopper -- Have a sticker stuck on your floor or someplace else? Soak the thing with vinegar for 15 minutes and then remove with your nail, a coin or credit card.

#11: Bathtub Cleaner, Etc. -- I also use full-strength vinegar in our bathroom for most cleaning (tub, tiles, shower surround, sink. For tough jobs, I combine with our natural scouring scrub.

#12: Freshen Clothes -- I wrote an article titled You're Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What To Do Instead), and ever since -- I've been going longer between loads. If I've only gently worn something, I sometimes spritz it with a mixture of 1 part vinegar, 3 parts water and essential oils of my choosing. It acts like a fabric softener. Again, the initial vinegar smell dissipates.

#13: Veggie Wash -- If you don't like the Castile Soap Method for cleaning fruits and vegetables, you can make an easy spray wash using around 3 parts water, 1 part vinegar (hmm, sounds a lot like the dilution above -- score for multi-purpose!)

#14: Cat Deterrent -- I'm not 100% sure this works yet, but we've started using a little vinegar spritz as a deterrent for our cats to stay off our leather couch and dining room table. I hear it also works outdoors in gardens, etc. Here's where I found this trick.

#15: Ant Deterrent -- I discovered this trick when I was researching an article for Wise Bread. Basically, if you see a trail of ants entering your home, spritz the path with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water to erase their scent trails.


You can pick up a big jug of distilled white vinegar at your grocery or hardware store. I actually found our cheapest bet at Lowe's the other day -- and it was specifically a cleaning grade kind. Otherwise, you might notice a lot of spritzing and spraying.

3-pack of 24-ounce Sprayers -- This pack is helpful if you want to have a couple different dilutions at your disposal. For example, you could make one up of the all-purpose cleaner, the laundry/veggie wash in another, and window cleaner. Just label clearly so no mix-ups!

Glass Spray Bottle -- If you'd prefer to go the glass route, this bottle looks like a great buy. It has two different spray settings (mist or stream).

Essential Oils -- Pretty much any essential oil will go well with vinegar. Yeah, the vinegar adds another note to the scent. I like using lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus. I use lots of essential oils in cleaning to enhance the antimicrobial properties and add pleasing scents, and it only take a few drops!

What's the craziest way you use vinegar in home cleaning?


DIY Natural Lotion Cubes
Powerful DIY Laundry Detergent
5 Green Cleaners That Work
5-Minute Homemade Deodorant
8 Ways We've Eliminated Plastics
Cleaning Produce The Natural Way
Chemical-Free Clean With Castile Soap

Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About This Blog Registered & Protected

© 2009-2014 by the (never home)makers
All content on this blog is copyrighted.

Want to publish our pics, tips, or tricks?
Contact us! []

We value transparency. Links on this page may contain affiliates. In addition, please see our disclosure policy regarding sponsored posts.

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP  

Blogging tips