25 Things You Can Clean With Vinegar

Household cleaning is made easy with this common, inexpensive disinfectant, deodorizer and degreaser. From your coffee maker to your carpet to your kid's toys, learn how to clean items all around the home with white vinegar. Just a reminder: no matter what you’re cleaning, never mix vinegar with bleach because it produces harmful, potentially deadly fumes.

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August 20, 2020

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Photo By: Emily Fazio

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Coffee Maker

Keep your morning routine fresh with a clean coffee machine. Coffee reservoirs are ranked as one of the dirtiest places in the home, but you can keep bacteria at bay and help your brew taste as good as it did on day one. Add 4 cups of vinegar into your reservoir, allow it to sit for 30 minutes, and then run it through the machine like a normal pot of coffee so it cleans the entire system. Afterward, run plain water through the coffee machine to eliminate any loosened residue and to flush out any lingering vinegar.

Read More: How to Clean a Coffee Maker With Vinegar

Floors

Vinegar is great for mopping hard tile and solid surfaces, and it's an excellent solution for tackling dirt on floors at home. Use a higher concentration of vinegar to water for porcelain and linoleum, but opt for a more diluted concentration if you’re cleaning hardwoods, ceramics or stone floors, as too much vinegar can dull these surfaces.

Read More: Mopping Floors With Vinegar

Gas Range

Cinnamon, cloves and orange peels soaked in vinegar for two weeks create a powerful infused degreaser that's perfect for the stove. Keep a spray bottle of this DIY cleaner handy in the kitchen and use it for everyday cooktop upkeep, or when you need to treat the toughest grease spots on your gas range.

Watch the Video: Cleaning With Vinegar

Showerhead

Remove hard water build-up from your bathroom showerhead by slowly mixing 1/3 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar in a gallon-size bag. Attach the liquid-filled bag around the showerhead using rubber bands and let it soak overnight. When you remove it the next morning, use a clean cloth to wipe off any remaining residue and wash the showerhead clean.

Watch the Video: How to Clean Hard Water Stains

Dishwasher

Residue and deposits inside of your dishwasher build up over time, but a clean dishwasher makes all the difference in having spot-free dishes and glassware. To clean your dishwasher, fill a dishwasher-safe mug 2/3 full with white vinegar and place it upright on the top rack. The rest of the dishwasher should be empty. Run the dishwasher on the normal cycle with hot water. When the cycle is done, the appliance will be clean!

Microwave

Pour 2 inches of vinegar into a microwaveable bowl and heat for two minutes. The vinegar effectively steam cleans the inside of the microwave, so once you remove the hot bowl, you’ll be able to use a dry cloth to easily wipe all surfaces clean.

Read More: A Lazy Person's Guide to Cleaning a Microwave

Humidifier

Stagnant water left in a humidifier leads to the growth of mold and bacteria. Emptying it frequently and disinfecting the reservoirs is important upkeep. To do this, unplug the appliance and empty all water following the guidelines shared by the manufacturer. Pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the reservoir and shake-shake-shake for a few minutes to agitate any grime. Empty and rinse it with plain water. Lastly, use a vinegar-soaked rag to clean other areas of the system where water is passing or standing still.

Read More: How to Clean a Humidifier

Washing Machine

Cleaning a washing machine is most effective if you use both bleach and vinegar, but it’s important to note that they should not be mixed when cleaning. (Here, note that they’re used in two different steps.) Use a diluted bleach solution to pre-treat the inside of the appliance and allow it to run in a full cycle. In a separate cycle, repeat the process with diluted vinegar to leave the inside of your washing machine completely clean.

Read More: How to Clean a Washing Machine

Glass-Top Stove

White vinegar is a perfect solution for everyday cleaning or weekly deep cleaning of your glass-top electric or induction cooktop. A microfiber cloth moistened with vinegar makes daily cleaning a breeze, but if you need something with a little more cleaning power, sprinkle some baking soda onto the towel, too. Rub it onto the surface, allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes, and then wipe it away with a clean microfiber cloth.

Read More: How to Clean a Glass-Top Stove

Butcher-Block Countertops

Scratches on the surface of a butcher-block countertop are inclined to harbor bacteria, so cleaning these highly functional work surfaces well is important. Wipe down butcher-block countertops with a vinegar-soaked rag and leave for 15 minutes. Once the vinegar has dried, mix 1 cup of lemon juice with 1/2 cup of salt and rub the paste onto the countertops to remove any spots and further disinfect the wood. Finish by wiping the salt off with a clean towel.

Read More: How to Clean Butcher-Block Countertops

Iron

Synthetic fabrics and standing water can wreak havoc on your iron. Keep your iron clean inside and out by replacing the water in the reservoir with a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water and running it against an old towel at maximum steam output. Inside the machine, the vinegar cleans mineral deposits, and as it releases its steam, it’ll also clean blockages in holes. You can also use a vinegar-soaked rag to clean the outer plate of the iron and prevent build-up from transferring to your favorite articles of clothing.

Read More: How to Clean Your Iron

Laminate Countertops

Make your laminate countertops shine by cleaning the surface with a diluted vinegar solution. Combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 2 cups of water and spray it across the countertop. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe the counter clean. Vinegar can work for any number of non-porous countertops, but do not use it with granite as it can damage the countertop's sealant and lead to discoloration and erosion in the surface of the stone.

Read More: How to Clean Laminate Countertops

Wood Table

A homemade cleaning mixture containing dishwashing liquid, vinegar and water can work hard at removing build-up on wooden table surfaces. Combine 1 cup of vinegar and 4 cups of water, plus a drop or two of dishwashing liquid. Use a damp rag to wash the table using the solution, allow it to sit for a few moments and then wipe it clean. Wash over the surface once more with a cloth dampened with plain water and dry it thoroughly.

Read More: How to Clean a Wood Kitchen Table

Leather Couch

A 1:1 solution of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle can help cure smells in leather. It can be sprayed into creases and anywhere that seems affected by odors. Apply only a mist and avoid oversaturating the surface. Promptly use paper towels or absorbent cloths to wipe away the spray before it has time to soak in and do harm. As you should always do when cleaning specialty upholstery, test the mixture in a discreet area of the couch first.

Read More: How to Get a Bad Smell Out of a Leather Couch

Carpet

Deep clean your carpet without renting heavy machinery. Combine 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water to make a disinfectant that can be blotted on tough spots or sprayed on over a wide area. Use a scrub brush or a gentle cloth to massage the mixture into your carpet, and then use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot off the moisture.

Read More: DIY Carpet Cleaning Without a Machine

Garbage Disposal

The easiest way to clean your garbage disposal doesn’t involve any harsh cleansers, so before you resort to store-bought solutions, try making vinegar and lemon cubes. Cut up a lemon and divide the pieces into an ice cube tray. Top the container off with white vinegar and place the tray in the freezer. When your disposal needs cleaning, drop a few frozen cubes into the disposal and turn it on. The vinegar ice will bounce and agitate inside the disposal as it is chopped and thawed by the blades, disinfecting thoroughly, and the lemon will leave you with a fresh citrus scent.

Watch the Video: DIY Garbage Disposal Cleaners

Glass Pendants

Glass light fixtures and exposed light bulbs need constant cleaning to remove dust and dirt. Dusting is easy enough with a microfiber cloth, but heavy-duty cleaning is necessary at times, too. For that, use a 1:1 mixture of water and vinegar to either moisten a cloth or apply directly onto the glass fixture to remove build-up. Pro Tip: If you’re cleaning an ornate chandelier, hang an umbrella upside down from the chain so that if the liquid drips, the umbrella catches it.

Read More: How to Clean Lights and Shades

Outdoor Umbrella

Maintaining outdoor umbrellas prolongs the life of the fabric and keeps it looking new from year to year. Basic maintenance involves wiping the fabric down with a broom to reduce the build-up of pollen and dust, but when a deeper clean is needed, turn to this vinegar cleanser: 2 cups of warm water, 2 cups of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Wash the entire umbrella in the mixture using a scrub brush and then spray it down with a hose. Allow it to fully dry. Afterward, use a waterproofing spray on the outer surface to help guard the fabric.

Read More: How to Clean an Outdoor Umbrella

Shower Curtain

When was the last time you cleaned your shower curtain? Keep it mold and mildew free by committing to a quick and easy clean-up routine. For the initial deep clean, combine 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of vinegar and 4 cups of water. Mix it well in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into your tub (drain plugged) and then use a sponge to wipe it all over your shower curtain to loosen the build-up. For ongoing maintenance, combine 2 cups of vinegar, 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Douse the shower curtain often – daily is great but weekly will suffice – to keep your cleaning routine easy.

read more: How to Clean Your Shower Curtain (and Keep it Clean)

Baby Pacifier

Disinfect your baby’s pacifier between uses by submerging it in a 1:1 solution of water and white vinegar. Squeeze the mouthpiece to circulate the solution inside the pacifier to disinfect all areas that come in contact with your baby’s saliva and germs.

Read More: How to Clean a Pacifier

Grilling Utensils

Keep your grilling tools clean during use by keeping a cloth dampened with white vinegar nearby as you grill. It’s a convenient way to disinfect thermometer probes and utensils that tend to multiple meats being cooked at the same time. Pro Tip: If your grill has a side burner, fill a pot with water and a dash of vinegar and allow it to come to a slow boil. You can dip your utensils into the solution to sanitize as you cook.

Read More: How to Remove Grime From Grilling Utensils

Refrigerator

Make fridge upkeep part of your routine chores. The easiest thing to do is commit to cleaning one shelf each week, ideally when you’re bringing groceries home and reorganizing the space. You can whip up a homemade all-purpose cleaner by combining 1/2 gallon of hot water, 1/2 cup of clear ammonia, 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/8 cup of baking soda. Once it has dissolved, pour the solution into a spray bottle or use from a bowl with a sponge. This no-rinse formula is a degreaser that prevents mold and mildew, so spray it on and use a clean cloth to wipe down all of the shelves and drawers in the refrigerator.

Watch the Video: Refrigerator Cleaning Tips

Bath Towels

When your towels begin to feel scratchy, the easiest way to fluff them up is to run them through the wash with 1/2 cup of white vinegar. (Just put it into the fabric softener dispenser.) The vinegar will remove the extra detergent and make the towels feel soft.

Read More: What You Should Know About Your Towels

Window Panes and Windowsills

Quick to get dusty and dirty, it can be hard to keep your window panes and windowsills clean. Use a 1:1 mixture of water and white vinegar (and a drop of dishwashing liquid). Spray this solution onto the dirty areas and wipe to clean. Sprinkle them with a bit of baking soda if you have built-up stains or residue.

Read More: How to Clean Major Home Dust Collectors

Kids' Outdoor Playset

New outdoor toys are quick to look dirty when they’re covered with pollen, dirt, leaves and other outdoor elements. Keep kids' equipment looking clean with a 1:1 solution of warm water and white vinegar (plus a few drops of lemon essential oil for added cleaning power). Use a broom and rags to dust off the surface and a pressure washer or hose to rinse it down. Then, spray the surfaces with your homemade cleaning mixture and wipe it down to disinfect and refresh the plastic and wood surfaces.

Read More: How to Create an All-Natural Toy + Playset Cleaner

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