Copy of How to Use Vinegar for Household Cleaning

Co-authored byIlya Ornatov

Vinegar is a mild acid, which makes it a great multi-purpose cleaner for around the house. As a household cleaner, vinegar can be used to do anything from removing stains, to unclogging drains, to disinfecting, to deodorizing, and it can even be used to remove stickers. You can use it undiluted, combined with baking soda, or as an ingredient in a homemade household cleaner, and every room in your house can benefit from vinegar in some way.

Make an all-purpose disinfectant. To make a versatile disinfectant with vinegar, simply mix equal parts white vinegar and water and store the mixture in a spray bottle. You can use this mixture to clean:

  • Telephones, doorknobs, and other surfaces: spray on and wipe off

  • Mirrors and glass: spray on and wipe dry with a rubber squeegee blade

  • Freezer and refrigerator: soak a cloth with the solution and wipe the surface to clean and remove odors

  • Microwave: fill a small bowl with the solution and microwave on high for two minutes, then wipe down the inside of the microwave

Make an all-purpose cleaner.This all-purpose cleaner recipe is more diluted than the disinfectant, but it’s still great for many cleaning jobs around the house. Just spray the cleaner on and wipe down things like counters, walls, toys, tables, blinds, and other surfaces. To make the cleaner, combine:

  • 3 cups (705 ml) of water

  • 1 cup (235 ml) of vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of lemon juice

  • 10 drops lemon essential oil

Use vinegar to make a floor cleaner. A basic floor cleaner is more diluted than all-purpose cleaners and disinfectants. Make this cleaner as necessary when it’s time to clean the floors. This solution can also be used on counters, tiles, and for other minor cleaning needs around the house.

  • In a large bucket, combine ½ cup (118 ml) of vinegar and ½ gallon (1.9 L) of warm water.

  • Soak a mop or sponge in the solution, wring out the excess, and wipe the floor.

  • Allow the floor to air dry.

Create a mattress cleaner.Mattresses are difficult to clean because they can’t go in the washing machine, can't be taken to the dry cleaner, and are too large and unwieldy to wash in the normal ways. But you can make an odor-killing disinfectant with vinegar:

  • In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup (235 ml) of vinegar, ¼ cup (59 ml) of rubbing alcohol, and 10 drops of tea tree oil.

  • Remove the sheets from the mattress and spray the solution over the entire mattress.

  • Let the mattress air dry throughout the day.

Polish metal with your own cleaning paste.Polishing tarnished metals with cleaner is a smelly job that requires care because commercial metal cleaners are strong chemical solutions. You can make your own polish for copper, pewter, and brass instead. To make and use this paste:

  • Combine 1 teaspoon (6 g) of salt, ½ cup (118 ml) of vinegar, and enough flour to make a paste

  • Apply the paste to the tarnished metal with an old toothbrush or jewelry brush

  • Leave the paste on the metal for about 15 minutes

  • Rinse under warm water

  • Buff the metal with a dry microfiber cloth

Make an all-purpose stain remover. A vinegar-based stain remover can be used to remove stains and tough dirt from carpets, clothes, upholstery, drapes, and even dishware. Simply spray the cleaner on the affected surface, let it soak for two minutes, and then blot the area with a cloth.

  • To make a stain remover for fabrics, combine 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of liquid laundry soap, and 1 cup (235 ml) of warm water in a spray bottle.

  • To make a stain remover for hard surfaces, combine 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of liquid dish soap, and 1 cup (235 ml) of warm water in a spray bottle.

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