Cleaning with Vinegar

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Cleaning with vinegar is much safer than using commercial products. White distilled vinegar is best for cleaning. Here are some suggested ways to use vinegar for cleaning. If in doubt about using vinegar on any surface, test a small area first.

Window Cleaner

Use a quarter cup vinegar in a quart of water to clean windows. When you use vinegar in water to wash windows, dry with newspapers. Your windows will sparkle!

You can also keep a solution of 50/50 white vinegar and water in a spray bottle to use for cleaning windows.


Using white vinegar mixed with water to rinse dishes after washing removes soap and leaves dishes squeaky clean.

You can also pour 1/4 cup vinegar to your dishwasher rinse cycle for streak free, sparkling dishes every time!

Or use vinegar to clean your coffee maker. Half fill the water reservoir with vinegar and run the coffee maker as you normally do. Then run it again filled with water.

Floor Cleaning with Vinegar

Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a gallon of water and use on your vinyl no-wax floors to keep them clean and shining.

You can use the mops with the detachable, washable heads to squirt distilled vinegar on the floor, mop it up, and squirt more as needed.

Here’s a cheap cleaning solution for tile floors:

1/3 part white vinegar
1/3 part rubbing alcohol
1/3 part water
3 drops dishwashing liquid

Mix all ingredients into a (recycled) spray bottle and you have the equivalent of a floor cleaner for tile floors. Just spray and mop; also great for deodorizing a room and for a fast cleanup. The alcohol is added to make it dry faster.

Carpet Spot and Stain Remover

Fill a trigger spray bottle with one part white vinegar to seven parts water. Fill a second spray bottle with one part white, non-sudsy ammonia and seven parts water. Saturate stain with vinegar solution. Let sit for a few minutes and blot thoroughly with a clean, white cloth. Then go over the area with the ammonia solution, let sit and blot again. Repeat until the stain is gone.

You can also use distilled vinegar in a steam vac to rinse your carpets after shampooing. It removes detergent residue, and the carpet will stay fresh longer. Use a quarter of a cup vinegar per gallon of water.

Remove Water Stains

Remove water stains from leather by rubbing with a cloth dipped in a vinegar and water solution.

Remove Stains from Flower Pots

Staining that occurs in clay and plastic flower pots and their saucers comes right out–no scrubbing needed. Just fill the kitchen sink with two parts cold water and one part plain white vinegar. Soak pots and saucers until they look clean (sometimes takes an hour). Wash with soap and water before reusing.

Clean Wood

White vinegar can also be used to clean wood, such as a wooden cutting board. Pour straight vinegar onto the wood and then use a sponge to push the dirt away. Be sure to wipe in the direction of the wood grain, starting at one end and working to the other. This way the dirt you are trying to get rid of won’t be pushed back into the wood grain.

Whirlpool Tub Cleaning with Vinegar

Once a year, pour one gallon of white vinegar into the water of your whirlpool tub and run it. This will keep the jets from clogging up from soap scum, etc.

Hard Water Deposits

Use vinegar to get rid of the hard water deposits around your sink. Soak paper towels with vinegar and place them around the area that needs to be cleaned. To clean the faucet you can soak the towel and wrap it around using a rubber band to hold the towel in place. Do this overnight and the next morning wipe clean.

Microwave Cleaning with Vinegar

To clean your microwave, use one tablespoon vinegar, one cup of warm water, and one or two drops of dish soap in a small microwave safe bowl. Put it in the microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, and then let stand for 15 minutes. Then wipe the microwave out with a damp sponge. The steam and vinegar loosens the build up in the microwave.

Furniture Polish

Make a furniture polish using equal parts of white vinegar and vegetable oil. Wipe it on the furniture and buff with a soft cloth.

Remove Rust from Cast Iron

Cleaning with vinegar is also a great way to remove rust from cast iron pans. Use a white vinegar solution with two parts vinegar to one part water. Soak the pan overnight in the vinegar solution to dissolve the rust. Very rusty pans many take an extra evening. Don’t leave it too long or you will not have a pan; the vinegar actually dissolves the metal.

Tarnished Copper and Brassware

On heavily tarnished copper or copper-alloy, use a paste made of salt and vinegar.

To clean brassware without scrubbing, soak in one part white vinegar to ten parts water. To clean brass lamps, unscrew sections, soak in bucket. All green and black tarnish comes off in no time. Please click here to read more about cleaning with vinegar.

Updated: February 13, 2014 — 11:08 am

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