Cleaning With Vinegar

In residential cleaning, vinegar is very effective against stains from most alkaline materials such as hard water deposits. It has also been found to be a mild degreaser dissolving fats and oils (even perhaps cholesterol!) While it has a history of use as being very effective against microbes, it is not a biocide, which destroys all forms of life, it only reduces the microbe count on those against which it is effective. There is no hard and fast proof that it is a biocide and we don't use it, nor do we promote it as such. We do however promote it as a green alternative to bleach, which is a commonly used disinfectant and we use it often when we service the homes of our customers.


  • Chrome fixtures: mix 2 tbsp. salt with 1 tsp. vinegar into a paste, rub onto fixture and then wipe off.
  • Coffeemakers: fill water reservoir with equal amounts of vinegar and water and run through a coffee cycle (no filter or coffee) and then rerun a cycle with just water.
  • Cookware: wash as usual then wipe with vinegar (for tough stains- boil equal amounts of water and vinegar and soak cookware for a few minutes for washing)
  • Dishwasher Rinse Aid: Fill rinse aid compartment with vinegar for each load.
  • Drain De-Clogger: put a kettle of water to boil. pour 1 cup baking soda (all at once) down the drain. Add 1 cup vinegar. (It will bubble up a bit). Wait 10 minutes and then pour the boiling water into the drain.
  • Fruit Flies: mix 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (white will work as a substitute) with 1 tsp. sugar and 5 drops dish soap in a bowl on the counter top. This will attract the flies and kill them.
  • Grease Remover: mix equal parts hot water and vinegar, apply to greasy surface, allow to sit, then with a cloth dampened in the solution, wipe clean.
  • Hard Surface Sanitizer (cutting boards, counter tops): use all purpose vinegar cleaner (see recipes)
  • Microwave Cleaning: In a bowl, boil ½ cup vinegar with ½ cup water for 1-2 minutes. The steam left behind will allow you to wipe the inside clean.
  • Stainless Steel Appliances And Cookware: for appliances- dampen a soft cloth or microfiber with vinegar and apply in circular motion.


  • Glass And Mirror Cleaner: 2 ounces vinegar to 32 ounces water in a spray bottle. Spray on surface and wipe dry with newspaper, microfiber cloth or coffee filter. (for hard to clean windows, use heavy duty glass cleaner recipe in recipes section)
  • Hard Water Stains: soak paper towels with equal parts of water and vinegar, apply to the glass like bandages and let sit while cleaning the rest of the area (don't let dry on glass), wipe clean with newspaper dampened with glass vinegar solution. *to keep shower doors from getting future hard water stains, keep a bottle of half water/half vinegar in the shower and spray doors after each use.
  • Toilets: spray under the rim and inside the bowl with full strength vinegar. Let sit while cleaning the bathroom then apply vinegar to toilet brush and scrub bowl clean. If extra power is needed, scrub with pumice stone. Polish furniture: mix equal parts of vinegar and olive oil, wipe on with the grain of wood, and buff off with a soft cloth/microfiber. (will also remove water rings on wood furniture)

Laundry And Textiles

  • Blinds: with cotton cleaning gloves or a sock dampened with vinegar, wipe blinds from end to end, wrapping your fingers around both sides.
  • Silk Floral Pieces: mist with full strength vinegar until dust is gone and let dry.
  • Stain Remover: (clothing) soak in full strength vinegar before washing; (household) 1:1 vinegar to water, let sit on stain before rinsing (solution may be heated up for more stubborn stains)


  • Carpet Stain Remover: mix 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water in spray bottle, spray carpet, blot dry and repeat. For tougher stains, mix a solution of equal parts of water & vinegar, blot excess water and then sprinkle with baking soda and let dry then vacuum.
  • Floors: light cleaning for most floors: mix 1 cup vinegar to 3 cups water and mop clean (not to be used on natural stone flooring). For a deeper clean, use the floor cleaner recipe.
  • Grout: spray full strength vinegar onto grout brush or old toothbrush and scrub removing soap scum or bathtub stains: wipe full strength vinegar onto surface with microfiber, then sprinkle baking soda onto your scrub brush to clean.
  • Label And Gum Dissolver: Blot a mixture of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water onto the sticker, label or gummy substance; allow to sit to dissolve and then wipe clean
  • Varnished Wood (Repairing Cloudy Marks): as long as the moisture in the varnish is not down to the wood: mix a solution of 1 tbsp. vinegar and 1 quart warm water, dampen (not wet) a microfiber, rub into the cloudy area and then wipe dry with a clean microfiber.

If you would like to learn about vinegar click: about vinegar to learn more.

To get a few free green cleaning recipes using vinegar click: our vinegar recipes.