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Cleaning With Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar in a glass decanter with apples.

A frugal and effective natural cleaner is vinegar. It can be used to disinfect surfaces, soften and brighten laundry, deodorize and much more. This is a guide about cleaning with vinegar.

     

Solutions

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: 5 Vinegar Cleaning Tips

1. Clean your dentures with Heinz white vinegar by soaking them overnight and rinsing in the morning.

2. You can make your own furniture cleaner by mixing 1 part vinegar to 3 parts lemon oil.

3. Paint brushes can be cleaned by simmering in vinegar and washed with hot soapy water.

4. Brighten your wash by adding 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.

5. To clean your microwave, boil 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water. Leave in microwave till food is softened enough to just wipe out.

By sewingmamma

Tip: Removing Mold from Non-Bleachable Surfaces

Of course, we all know that bleach does a great job of getting rid of mold from any surface, but if you don't want that surface discolored (like carpeting, decking etc.), use vinegar. This will take the mold out without any discoloration!

By Beverly C. from Hanover Twp., PA

Tip: Use Vinegar for Cleaning Purposes

Many hospitals are now using white vinegar to clean and disinfect everything. With cut backs, it has become more economical. With germs (all over the world), that have become immune to cleaning solutions and antibiotics, vinegar has become the number one choice. Vinegar has a perfect PH balance, being neither acid nor alkaline. Germs operate outside this perfect balance and perish when their environment PH is changed.

I keep a spray bottle of 2/3 white vinegar to 1/3 distilled water in my kitchen and bathroom. Before I put away the cutting or chopping board, I spray the surface. After rinsing off chicken in the sink, I swoosh some soap around on the surface with my hands (also soaping up my hands), rinse it and then spray vinegar on it. I use this spray on every surface in the kitchen and bathroom. I put some in the toilet water a few minutes before I clean the toilet, as it neutralizes the water, killing germs. Wiping down door knobs and light fixtures will help prevent the spread of germs as well.

I also use only natural cleaners which have vinegar in them. It is very handy to spray and wipe down cutting knives before putting them away. Wiping down surfaces in the children's and baby's room not only deodorizes, but will help cut down the spread of germs. Spray and wipe children's lunch boxes or anything they bring home from school.

If you do not like the smell, add a few drops of peppermint oil. Want to add to the germ killing solution, add some rosemary, clove, or lavender oil. These will also leave a nice scent lingering in the room. Gardeners who do use pesticides, will plant lavender in and around plants and trees. Bugs and germs do not like lavender. Lavender, like garlic, wards off many unwanted pests and germs.

This can create a more healthy environment for your entire family and our environment.

By Trisha from West Vancouver, BC

Tip: Use Vinegar for Cleaning

Vinegar is a cheap and easy cleaning solution. Vinegar is naturally antibacterial. In my kitchen, I use one part vinegar to one part water to clean the counters and sink, and to disinfect. I use the same solution to clean my bathroom, except I use full strength vinegar on the toilet seat and bowl. I let it stand for a few minutes before I scrub the bowl and flush. On my floors, I use the same 1-1 solution, with a few drops of dish soap; I use this to clean both my laminate kitchen floor, my wooden living room floor, and my tile bathroom floor.

If you want a "clean" smell, add a few drops of lemon juice or a fragrance extract. Not only is it cheap, but it is safe for kids and pets. I began using this when I had my son, knowing that he would soon be crawling all over the floor.

As a warning, do not mix with bleach or ammonia; this can create dangerous fumes.

Just leave a window cracked to help filter out the vinegar smell.

Source: my depression-era grandmother

By MamaSarah from Lansing, MI

Tip: In Praise of Vinegar

Vinegar! White or apple cider are both wonderful cleaning products. If you have a smoke smell (like I recently did when my son started a fire on my range), I got out the white vinegar and scrubbed the bad odor and the smoke away. If you have a smoker in the house, it is also useful. Add it to your laundry detergent for curtains that sparkle. Wipe down walls and windows with it. It's antibacterial so you can use it in your medical appliances if you have any. It will change the ph for incontinent adults who are ill. Just mix about four parts water to one part vinegar and spray it on.

It will kill garbage odors and pet urine odor. Spritz it on straight.

The uses are nearly endless. If you have a baby, put it in the last rinse of baby clothes to remove all the left over soap. Wonderful stuff!

By Laurel from Rathdrum, ID

Tip: Use Vinegar and Newspaper for Cleaning Windows

Use vinegar and newspaper to clean those windows and mirrors. It does such an excellent, streak-free job! Vinegar also works for mopping floors, helping to eliminate that pesky separate-cleaner-for-each-job buildup in the chemicals cabinet!

By Davidicdancer from Spokane, WA

Tip: Use White Vinegar to Clean Scissors


White vinegar will not ruin the blades of scissors or rust the metal like water and soap will. Use a cloth soaked in white vinegar to clean scissors instead of water.

By

Tip: Clean Your House with Vinegar

I have stopped buying expensive and fume cleaning products and have gone to vinegar for everything. It is the oldest, safest and most effective cleaning product there is.

I read labels and just about all cleaning products contain vinegar, especially for glass cleaning and general cleaning. Works like a charm and very thrifty.

By

Tip: Reuse Pump Bottles with Vinegar

(format_html)I keep my large Germ X bottles or even the small ones. I fill one of the large ones with dish soap and keep it by the sink. I have another one I fill with white vinegar.

The white vinegar has many uses. It will do the following for you:

  • Shine the sink
  • Get soap residue off dishes

  • Disinfect dishes that the kids may have let the dog lick off of

  • Freshen the sponge or dish cloth

  • Freshen the drain

  • Makes drinking glasses shiny

  • Wash drinking glasses with vinegar around the rim to disinfect or clean

  • Is good to soak in when a bowl or pan needs to be soaked

  • Cleans the counters and disinfects them

  • Shines pans when they need to be cleaned

  • Pump some vinegar on the floor and wipe up to clean the kitchen floor

White Vinegar has an indefinite shelf life and does not have to be refrigerated.

If you are disinfecting with vinegar, let it sit on the counter for ten minutes to kill germs and bacteria. The same applies for cleaning baby items in vinegar, such as toys, etc.

Tip: Vinegar for a Non-Slip Bathtub

After a nasty fall in my bath tub, I became extra careful to not have it happen again. My first idea was to always just throw a facecloth in the tub to stand on. My latest and very effective method that keeps me safe as well as my family is to spray my vinegar/water cleaning solution on the bottom of the tub. Cream soaps and hair conditioners make our marble tub extra slippery. By keeping the spray bottle on the tub ledge, I can spray as needed and ensure other family member's safety by spraying between everyone's showers. This is also anti fungal so you can even spray your feet and armpits and rinse. I also spray my facecloth now as suggested by another Thrifty Fun user.

By

Tip: Add a Little Vinegar To Your Humidifier

A little vinegar in your humidifier will help freshen the air in your home.

By Robin

Tip: Clean Fireplace with Vinegar

Remove fireplace soot and grime with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Use a brush to scrub then blot the wetness and dirt off with a towel.

By duckie-do from Cortez, CO

Tip: Substitute Vinegar In Downy Dryer Ball

Fill a Downy Ball with white vinegar. Toss it into the washing machine with your clothes. Not only will they will come out static-free, but fresh-smelling as well. A big plus is that it's more natural than regular fabric softener and cheaper too!

By suicidalady from Salem, MA

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Questions

Here are questions related to Cleaning With Vinegar.

Question: Cleaning with Vinegar

What is the cleaning mixture for vinegar and water?

By Les from Vancouver, Canada


Most Recent Answer

By Ruth Counter04/02/2011

Dab a little vinegar on chapped lips several times during the day. I know this sounds awful, but it works great. That is, if you don't need to kiss anyone right away.

Avoid getting on your teeth as it is not good for tooth enamel

Question: Uses of Vinegar for Cleaning

I would like a list of various uses of vinegar in cleaning around the home. Also are there grades of vinegar to be used in the cleaning process?

John


Most Recent Answer

By christine M. Thayer03/05/2009

There is a really good book, "Vinegar", by Vickie Lansky that is good, I got it from amazon & it was cheap! If you use it on your scalp or for your hair, use white vinegar. A mix of 10% is good. Apple cider leaves a little residue, cause it comes from apples. Not a big deal, but I can feel it on my skin, so I use the white for anything on my skin. It's great for itchy skin or rashes.

Question: Cleaning with Vinegar

What scent can I add to vinegar base solution to make it smell better?

By Ginger from Whistler BC


Most Recent Answer

By Carol Swanson06/25/2012

Vinegar has no odor after it is used for cleaning purposes. That's what is so good about it. It removes bad odors and leaves things smelling fresh and clean.

Question: Using Vinegar for Cleaning

How do I not have the smell of vinegar when using it for the home cleaning remedies?

By Claudia


Most Recent Answer

By Vicki08/01/2012

The smell goes away in a bit. It is an awesome disinfectant since it kills over 90 percent of germs. And it is a wonder to remove wallpaper.

Question: Use Vinegar as a Natural Odor Eliminator

I am looking for a recipe for vinegar and water air spray.

By Connie from Winston-Salem, NC


Most Recent Answer

By Aldancer03/04/2010

I agree with Debbie52. I used it often in my home and when the kids & hubby are sick, and coughing up! Bring it to a boil and let it simmer slowly at your stove top. At first, you will smell heavy vinegar then it will go away! Good Luck!

Archives

Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Cleaning with Vinegar and other Frugal Tips

A few drops of vinegar in a pot of water, will help poached eggs hold their shape.

Make your own inexpensive furniture polish with one part vinegar and three parts olive oil or lemon oil.

Need to clean the bottom (as well as the inside) of a steam iron? Wipe the iron's bottom (make sure it is unplugged and cooled off) with a cloth soaked in undiluted vinegar. For the interior, periodically put some vinegar in the water holder and let it steam itself clean. Flush with water when done.

Try this to get rid of water lines in a vase. Place a vinegar - soaked towel in the vase so that it has contact with the sides and let it sit for a spell. You should be able to clean it with ease.

To remove decals "paint" them with several coats of vinegar, allowing it to soak in. Depending on the surface and the age of the decals, they may slide right off, otherwise a bit of elbow grease may be needed.

Sandra

More Vinegar Tips:

My Tips

Use a cloth, I use the disposable handi-wipes type ones for this, soaked with vinegar for sanitizing kitchen counters, stove, and bathroom surfaces. This is just as effective as the anti-bacterial products and does not promote resistant strains like the commercial products can, this is also a cheaper and greener way to protect your loved ones.

A vinegar soaked sponge microwaved for 60 seconds rids your microwave of odors. Use the hot sponge to wipe down the microwave after heating. The steam loosens the stuck on particles making the cleaning that much easier.

A little vinegar and salt cleans up discolored copper quickly with no scratching.

I use vinegar to sanitize my kitty's litter pan when changing the sand. It sanitizes and deodorizes at the same time and no harnful chemicals to bother kitty.

Run a cup of vinegar through your coffee machine to rid it of scale. Toss a bit of salt into the carafe along with the hot vinegar to remove any burnt on stains, rub lightly. Good for a thermos also.

Spray or wipe down your pet's feeding area once a week with vinegar to keep ants away from the area.

To remove haircare product buildup from your hair, rinse hair with vinegar and a little baking soda let set a minute then shampoo.

To clean jewelry place in hot vinegar with a little baking soda, this foams a lot, and let sit for 5 minutes. Lightly scrub with a soft toothbrush, to get in crevices, rinse clean and wipe dry with a soft cloth.

WARNING: Do not use with soft stones, pearls or glued pieces. (08/30/2001)

By Mrs Kathy Cohen Northfield,VT

Vinegar Cooking Hints

I have 2 cooking hints for vinegar... put a tablespoon or so in the water when you hardboil eggs. It will keep the egg from running out if is should crack while cooking. Bring eggs to a boil... boil exactly 1 minute, turn heat off and let set for 10 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water to cool. No more rubbery egg yolks.

And the second is not really a tip but a recipe for piecrust that will get you compliments EVERY time.

Never Fail Pie crust

Makes two single or one double crust pie.

Combine
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt.

Cut in

1 1/4 cups shortening until fine crumbs.

Beat 1 egg with
1/4 cup of cold water and
1 Tablespoon of Vinegar

Add gradually to the flour mixture until it forms a ball. This crust will be very tender and can be rerolled if necessary. If you want a prebaked shell, you will have to bake it with foil over the top and fill the foil with dry beans to use as a weight. Otherwise it will shrink as it bakes. (09/04/2001)

By Harlean

Vinegar Tea

A tablespoon of real cider vinegar in a tall glass of ice water makes the water taste wetter, is cheaper than a soft drink, and provides some overlooked nutrients. This refreshing beverage is called vinegar tea.

Vinegar tea is known to decrease susceptibility to colds. If you already have a cold, it can shorten the miseries.

Vinegar Cooking Hints

I have 2 cooking hints for vinegar... put a tablespoon or so in the water when you hardboil eggs. It will keep the egg from running out if is should crack while cooking. Bring eggs to a boil... boil exactly 1 minute, turn heat off and let set for 10 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water to cool. No more rubbery egg yolks.

And the second is not really a tip but a recipe for piecrust that will get you compliments EVERY time.

Never Fail Pie crust

Makes two single or one double crust pie.

Combine
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt.

Cut in

1 1/4 cups shortening until fine crumbs.

Beat 1 egg with
1/4 cup of cold water and
1 Tablespoon of Vinegar

Add gradually to the flour mixture until it forms a ball. This crust will be very tender and can be rerolled if necessary. If you want a prebaked shell, you will have to bake it with foil over the top and fill the foil with dry beans to use as a weight. Otherwise it will shrink as it bakes. (09/04/2001)

By Harlean

Vinegar Tea

A tablespoon of real cider vinegar in a tall glass of ice water makes the water taste wetter, is cheaper than a soft drink, and provides some overlooked nutrients. This refreshing beverage is called vinegar tea.

Vinegar tea is known to decrease susceptibility to colds. If you already have a cold, it can shorten the miseries.

Vinegar tea taken hot is a good gargle for a sore throat, and it also helps loosen clogged sinuses.

If you can't get used to the tea right away, you can add a little honey. Gradually, use less honey, and learn to savor the subtle undertones of the vinegar itself.

Cider vinegar added to pet drinking water can deter biting insects, such as fleas, from snacking on your canine or feline companion.

Vinegar tea is a very portable beverage. Put it into drink bottles, filling half way and freezing, and top off with some more just before you leave. It is so good while it is still cold, and it still is nicer than stale water when it gets warm. If you should decide to dump it out somewhere, you know you are not adding any pollution or attracting vermin. (09/04/2001)

By Rose B, mother of three, in NC

50 Vinegar Uses

I found and saved this list of 50 Things to use Vinegar for...

1. Kill grass on walks and driveways.

2. Kill weeds. Spray full strength on growth until plants have starved.

3. Increase soil acidity. In hard water: one gallon of tap water for watering rhododendrums, gardenias, or azaleas.

4. Deter ants. Spray vinegar around doors, appliances, and along other areas where ants are known.

5. Polish car chrome. Apply full strength.

6. Remove skunk odor from a dog. Rub fur with full strength vinegar; rinse.

7. Keep cats away. Sprinkle vinegar on areas you don't want the cat walking, sleeping, or scratching on.

8. Keep dogs from scratching his ears. Use a clean, soft cloth dipped in diluted vinegar.

9. Keep chickens from pecking each other. Put a little in their drinking water.

10. Tenderize meat. Soak in vinegar over night.

11. Freshen vegetables. Soak wilted vegetables in 2 cups of water and a tablespoon of vinegar.

12. Boil better eggs. Add 2 tablespoons water before boiling eggs. Keeps them from cracking.

13. Soothe a bee or jellyfish sting. Dot the irritation with vinegar and relieve itching.

14. Relieve sunburn. Lightly rub white vinegar; you may have to reapply.

15. Condition hair. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to dissolve sticky residue left by shampoo.

16. Relieve dry and itchy skin. Add 2 tablespoons to bath water.

17. Fight dandruff. After shampooing, rinse with vinegar and 2 cups of warm water.

18. Soothe a sore throat. Put a teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water. Gargle, then swallow.

19. Treat sinus infections and chest colds. Add 1/4 cup or more vinegar to the vaporizer.

20. Feel good. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, with a bit of honey added for flavor, will take the edge off your appetite and give you an overall healthy feeling.

21. Deodorize the kitchen drain. Pour a cup down the drain once a week. Let stand 30 minutes and then flush with cold water.

22. Eliminate onion odor. Rub on your fingers before and after slicing.

23. Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards. Wipe with full strength vinegar.

24. Remove fruit stains from hands. Rub with vinegar.

25. Cut grease and odor on dishes. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to hot soapy water.

26. Clean a teapot. Boil a mixture of water and vinegar in the teapot. Wipe away the grime.

27. Freshen a lunchbox. Soak a piece of bread in vinegar and let it sit in the lunchbox over night.

28. Clean the refrigerator. Wash with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar.

29. Unclog a drain. Pour a handful of baking soda down the drain and add 1/2 cup of vinegar. Rinse with hot water.

30. Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal. Make vinegar ice cubes and feed them down the disposal. After grinding, run cold water through

31. Clean and deodorize jars. Rinse mayonnaise, peanut butter, and mustard jars with vinegar when empty.

32. Clean the dishwasher. Run a cup of vinegar through the whole cycle once a month to reduce soap build up on the inner mechanisms and on glassware.

33. Clean stainless steel. Wipe with a vinegar dampened cloth.

34. Clean china and fine glassware. Add a cup of vinegar to a sink of warm water. Gently dip the glass or china in the solution and let dry.

35. Get stains out of pots. Fill pot with a solution of 3 tablespoons of vinegar to a pint of water. Boil until stain loosens and can be washed away.

36. Clean the microwave. Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. Will loosen splattered on food and deodorize.

37. Dissolve rust from bolts and other metals. Soak in full strength vinegar.

38. Get rid of cooking smells. Let simmer a small pot of vinegar and water solution.

39. Unclog steam iron. Pour equal amounts of vinegar and water into the iron's water chamber. Turn to steam and leave the iron on for 5 minutes in an upright position. Then unplug and allow to cool. Any loose particles should come out when you empty the water.

40. Clean a scorched iron plate. Heat equal parts vinegar and salt in a small pan. Rub solution on the cooled iron surface to remove dark or burned stains.

41. Get rid of lint in clothes. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.

42. Keep colors from running. Immerse clothes in full strength vinegar before washing.

43. Freshen up the washing machine. Periodically, pour a cup of vinegar in the machine and let in run through a regular cycle (no clothes added). Will dissolve soap residue.

44. Brighten fabric colors. Add a 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.

45. Take grease off suede. Dip a toothbrush in vinegar and gently brush over grease spot.

46. Remove tough stains. Gently rub on fruit, jam, mustard, coffee, tea. Then wash as usual.

47. Get smoke smell out of clothes. Add a cup of vinegar to a bath tub of hot water. Hang clothes above the steam.

48. Remove decals. Brush with a couple coats of vinegar. Allow to soak in. Wash off.

49. Clean eyeglasses. Wipe each lens with a drop of vinegar.

50. Freshen cut flowers. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar for each quart of water. (09/04/2001)

By pat31750

Vinegar Rinse

Vinegar in rinse water for dishes not only cuts soap, it also sanitizes. (09/19/2001)

By Anna

Spritzer for My Face

I like to mix 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 water into a spray bottle. I use it as a spritzer on my face. I also spray my underarms each a.m. and allow to dry before I put on my deodorant. It helps fight odor better than anything else. My last tip is to add 1 cup of the cider vinegar to my bath. It helps fight yeast infections. (You can also use the spray bottle and apply it to the vaginal area) (04/25/2002)

By dunndeanna

Soften Water

Vineger is also proven to help dissolve Uric Acid (why it can be used in the washing machine to soften the water and your clothes). Fantastic on pet stains, or soiled laundry. Also you can set out a small bowl of vinager to freshen the air in your house, and it's great mixed with water on no wax floors and will help break up any build up from commercial cleaners. I also like to put some in my carpet cleaner with water for geneal weekly cleaning & freshening. (09/12/2004)

By Jennifer

Cleaning With Vinegar

Use vinegar as another all around cleaner. Floors, windows, glass, and believe it or not, oven and microwave oven cleaners! (11/09/2004)

By Gloria Hussar

Which Vinegar Should I Get?

I have heard all the wonderfull things that can be done with undiluted vinegar including cleaning the church pews. However, I live in Birmingham, AL and I have not been able to locate any undiluted (only 5%). I have been to grocery store, hardware store, drug store...what am I missing? Can someone please guide me? (01/23/2005)

By Nancy

Hi Nancy,

When they say undiluted vinegar, they mean straight from the bottle. Don't worry about the percentage. What comes from the bottle is strong enought. (01/23/2005)

By Susan from ThriftyFun

Vinegar Tips For Bathroom Cleaning

Don't waste money on dangerous commercial mineral deposit removers for your tub, sinks & commode. When you can be sure to leave your sink or tub unused for about eight hours, lay a facecloth or dish towel on the stained area. Soak the cloth with undiluted vinegar. Cover with a baggie or plastic wrap.

To treat the commode, remove all or as much of the water as possible from the bowl. Pour in enough vinegar to submerge the stained area. After about eight hours, uncover the previously stained areas & scrub gently with a plastic scrubber & dish soap. Just flush the toilet as you would normally. The acidity of the vinegar neutralizes the alkaline minerals & allows them to be easily removed.

For stubborn rust deposits scour gently with "Barkeepers' Friend". (02/28/2005)

By Zaideh

Vinegar for Cleaning

I use white vinegar to clean so many things. I cleans my tile floors, my windows, my bathroom, tub, mirrors, counters. I also rinse my white clothes with it. It really helps get them clean and white. It will remove lipstick, crayon etc. from about anything. I don't use it on anything with color: re: clothes etc. (05/27/2005)

By Lisa

Washing Diapers

We had four children and was unable to buy expensive throw away diapers. We bought cloth diapers, washed them in detergent and rinse with 1 cup of vineagar, not one of our children had a diaper rash! (05/27/2005)

By granylou

Using White Vinegar

Use it to clean your mirrors, your floors, your tubs, rinse your hair, clean your glasses, put in your dishwasher rinse department, rinse your white clothes in it, gargle for sore throats, use as good antiseptic and many more uses. (06/20/2005)

By Sandi

Archive: Cleaning with Vinegar

Tips for cleaning with vinegar as well as some other uses. To clean your coffee drip machine or iron, run a 1/2 cup of vinegar through it. Then run 1 cup of water through it 2 times.

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