Vinegar is a natural product you can use for cleaning. Surprised? You might have used it for cooking and salad dressings, but it’s very effective for cleaning purposes as well. Due to its acid properties, it can effectively clean almost everything around the house. You can use it to clean your bathroom tiles, the faucets, the showerheads, your brass items, the mould off the walls. You can even use it as a fabric softener to soften your towels.
It’s so effective that just a cup of vinegar can be used for many purposes. And the most important thing is that it is absolutely natural. So, ready to find out what’s the best vinegar to use for cleaning and how to use it?
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Benefits of vinegar as a cleaner
Someone might wonder: “Why should I turn to vinegar cleaning since there are so many effective products?” Because vinegar is a green cleaning “miraculous” product with many benefits:
- It’s a non-toxic cleaner.
- It can absorb odours around the house, fabrics, and cupboards.
- It’s a mild disinfectant.
- It’s the safest way to clean when pets and children are around.
- It doesn’t leave harmful residue.
- You can use vinegar as a multipurpose cleaner.
- It’s cheaper than other cleaning supplies.
Best type of vinegar to use for cleaning
You should probably have used at least one type of vinegar either in cooking or cleaning. And the chances are that most households have a bottle of white vinegar in the cabinets. However, there are several different types of vinegar, but not all are appropriate for cleaning purposes.
For example, balsamic vinegar derives from a blend of grapes from southern Italy. In contrast, wine vinegar comes from red or white wine grapes, apple cider vinegar from apple cider, rice vinegar from rice, etc.
White vinegar, a combination of acetic acid and water, doesn’t come naturally from grapes or other ingredients but is usually produced in laboratories. Its acidity levels make white vinegar the best natural cleaning solution. However, you shouldn’t use it for cleaning purposes as it might be too strong. You can dilute white vinegar with water or choose a milder vinegar like apple cider vinegar.
At most supermarkets in the condiments aisle, you can find white vinegar or cleaning vinegar in spray cans. You should keep in mind that cleaning vinegar has extra cleaning agents added, so don’t consume it. However, you don’t have to use cleaning vinegar for cleaning. Due to its high acidity might damage some types of surfaces like wood, granite and so on.
What and how to clean using vinegar
Now that you know why you should start cleaning with vinegar and what vinegar to use, the time has come to give some examples of what and how to clean them.
1. Kitchen sink
Mix equal parts vinegar and water and keep it in a spray can. Any time you want to clean and disinfect your kitchen sink, countertop and any other surface around the kitchen, spritz a small amount of that solution. It will clean and disinfect all the surfaces without using bleach. In case you don’t like the vinegar smell or if it’s very intense, you can rinse the surfaces with soapy water.
Instead of using special cleansers for the floorings, you can just use vinegar. Mix in a bucket equal parts water and vinegar and mop your floors. The cleaning vinegar solution will clean any grease and dirt from your floors. In case you have hardwood floors or laminate, avoid using pure vinegar. Always dilute it with hot water and wipe it immediately. For more details, check our guide on How To Clean Laminate Floors Without Damaging Them and how to clean stained linoleum floors.
3. Greasy hobs
Vinegar will work well on both surfaces, whether you have induction hobs or ceramic hobs. It will manage to remove any baked-on stain, grime, food splatters and limescale without the use of products containing chemicals.
- A spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Dish soap
- Warm water
- Microfibre cloths
Steps to follow:
- First, wash the surface with warm water and dish soap to clean it of any debris, grease and watermarks.
- Then, with a clean cloth, buff it.
- Sprinkle soda over the hobs and let it sit for a while.
- Meanwhile, fill the bottle with vinegar and spray over the soda.
- Let the solutions do their magic for 15 minutes. When vinegar contacts soda, a frizzing reaction is created. If there’s no such reaction, add more soda and vinegar. You need that reaction to break down the stains.
- Next, rub with a cloth until you break down the marks. Some elbow grease is required.
- Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the surface.
If you want to clean the inside of a microwave that is covered with food splatters, grease and grime, you can make it sparkle again with vinegar. Just fill a spray can with vinegar and spritz the inside of the microwave. Let it sit for 15 minutes, and then wipe it with a clean cloth.
5. Washing machine
We know it’s a bit weird to clean your washing machine; however, it’s absolutely necessary. Again, cleaning vinegar, along with some pinches of baking soda, can clean and disinfect your device without using chemical products like bleach.
- White vinegar
- A spray bottle
- Microfiber cloth
- Baking soda
- A toothbrush
Steps to follow:
- Add vinegar to the bottle and spritz the drum.
- Then, wipe it with a cloth to remove the limescale and soap scum buildup.
- Using a toothbrush, wipe the rubber gaskets, where soap scum, mildew and hair tend to stick.
- Next, pour 2 cups of vinegar into the detergent dispenser and set the longest and hottest cycle.
- Once it finishes, sprinkle ½ cup of soda into the drum and run the machine on the same settings again.
- When it’s finished, wipe the door’s both sides with vinegar and a cloth to remove any detergent residue.
Extra tip: Run a second rinse cycle to eliminate any soda and vinegar residue.
6. Coffee maker and kettles
Vinegar can clean coffee makers and kettles from mineral buildup. It’s pretty easy! Pour equal amounts of vinegar and water into the reservoir and run the device. Then, rinse very well with running water.
7. Glass shower door
Cleaning the glass shower door is a challenging task. So many water deposits and hard water stains on the shower door that even the best cleanser finds it hard to clean. But vinegar will come to solve your problem.
- A microwave-safe bowl
- A spray bottle
- Distilled white vinegar
- Distilled water
- Essential oil
- Microfiber cloths
Steps to follow:
- Place in the microwave a microwave-safe bowl filled with one part vinegar and three parts distilled water for 60 seconds and run the appliance.
- Let it cool down and pour it into the bottle. If you don’t like the vinegar smell, add a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
- Spray the cleaning solution onto the door and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Then, wipe down the door with a microfibre cloth, working from top to bottom,
- Finally, buff the door off streaks and leave it open to dry.
8. Cutting boards
Instead of washing the cutting boards, you can clean and disinfect them with vinegar. Again the vinegar-water combo will do the job. Just wipe the board down with the mixture, and that’s all. Your cutting board is clean and safe.
You can’t wash your carpets every time they get stained. But you can clean a stain with the best DIY cleaning product; vinegar. White vinegar can clean many tough stains off your carpet, such as red wine, pet stains and coffee stains. Combining it with salt, baking soda and dish detergent, depending on the stain, you can clean your carpet without paying a fortune to professionals.
10. Stickers from wood furniture
Removing sticker residue from surfaces is very frustrating and a tedious task, to do. However, you don’t need to be a magician to get rid of sticky labels since you have vinegar in hand. Just soak some paper towels or a cotton ball into vinegar. Let it fry for 5 minutes, and then place it over the sticker. Then, with your fingernail, wipe away the sticky label. Avoid using undiluted vinegar on solid wood furniture as it can damage specific finishes.
Things you should never clean with vinegar
Vinegar is an effective cleaning agent used as an all-purpose cleaner to remove grime, grease, oils stains, gunk and mineral deposits. However, there are some cases where you can’t use it.
- Avoid using cleaning vinegar or white vinegar to clean marble, granite, limestone, and any other natural stone countertop or floor as its acid properties can etch the surface.
- Don’t use cleaning vinegar to clean cast iron or aluminium pans and surfaces to pit the metal.
- Cleaning knives with vinegar isn’t recommended as it can pit the stainless steel edges. What’s more, if it isn’t diluted, don’t clean stainless steel appliances either.
- Don’t use it to clean finished or waxed wood floors or other wooden surfaces. The chances are that it will remove the finish.
- Avoid diluting or not cleaning vinegar on electronic screens as it can damage the anti-glare properties.
- Don’t clean eggs from the floor( accidents happen). Its acidity might cause it to harden, making it more difficult to clean.
- Grass, ink, ice cream and blood stains are some of the most stubborn stains set into the fabric, and acid can’t clean them. Thus, if you want to clean your carpets, stains from wood, or your mattress, you better try other cleaning methods.
Having said all these, we hope you’re convinced and give vinegar the chance to prove to you how effective cleaner and disinfectant is. Just one use will be enough to make you throw away all the commercial cleaning products. We promise you’ll be amazed by its effectiveness.