The Cleaning Lady

Vinegar – The Miracle Cleaner

Yes, it’s true, vinegar is a miracle cleaner. It kills germs, bacteria and mildew due to its high acidity content. I think today we are all trying to find ways to avoid using harsh cleaning agents, yet many of the “environmentally-friendly” products sold at the store can be pricey. Vinegar is a great option as it’s very affordable and can be used to clean just about every surface in your home.

I have been using vinegar, cut with water, for as long as I can remember to clean my kitchen and bathroom floors, counter tops and bathrooms. You can buy the big jugs of white distilled vinegar and your house will be spic and span. For the floor, I use a cup or 2 of vinegar in a bucket of hot water. For counter tops. I use vinegar cut with just a little bit of water, or straight up if the counters are really dirty. The only surface you should never use vinegar on is marble, as it can damage it. Here are some other tips for cleaning with vinegar (from

To shine chrome sink fixtures that have a lime buildup, use a paste made of 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar.

Make your own scouring cleanser by combining 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add just enough white distilled vinegar to give it a thick but creamy texture.

Clean counter tops and make them smell sweet again with a cloth soaked in undiluted white distilled vinegar.

Clean and deodorize a drain by pouring in 1 cup baking soda, then one cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let this sit for 5 minutes or so then run hot water down the drain.

Deodorize the garbage disposal by pouring in 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes then run hot water down the disposal.

Clean the microwave by mixing 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Baked-on food will be loosened, and odors will disappear. Wipe clean.

Clean the shelves and walls of the refrigerator with a half-and-half solution of water and white distilled vinegar.

To clean a grease splattered oven door window, saturate it with full-strength white distilled vinegar. Keep the door open for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping with a sponge.

For cloudy glassware, soak paper towels or a cloth in full-strength white distilled vinegar and wrap around the inside and outside of the glass. Let sit awhile before rinsing clean.

Remove the smell of spoiled food from a refrigerator by first rinsing the area with soap and water. Spray surfaces with full-strength white distilled vinegar and wipe them down with a damp cloth or sponge. Fill some containers with baking soda and place inside. Close the door and leave for a few days.

To remove a label, decal, or price tag, cover with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar. Leave the cloth on overnight and the label should slide off.

Renew sponges and dishrags by placing them in just enough water to cover them. Then add 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. Let them soak overnight.

Deodorize the toilet bowl by allowing 3 cups white distilled vinegar to sit in it for about a half hour before flushing.

To make the toilet bowl sparkle, pour in a cup or more of diluted white distilled vinegar and let it sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with the toilet brush and flush.

Clean up pet accidents by first blotting up the area and then adding a white distilled vinegar-and-water solution. Blot until it is almost dry. Then sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it dry. Vacuum up the residue the next day.

Create your own window cleaning solution by combining 1/2 cup non-sudsy ammonia, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a gallon of water.

Clean woodwork and walls with a mixture of 1 cup white distilled vinegar, 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup ammonia and 1 gallon warm water. Wipe on with a sponge or damp—not wet—towel.

Clean wood paneling with a solution of 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar, and 2 cups warm water. Wipe on with a soft cloth.

Get decals off walls or doors by letting undiluted white distilled vinegar soak into them for several minutes before trying to peel them off. Repeat if necessary.

Remove white water rings from wood with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and vegetable oil. Rub with the grain.

To kill germs, spray full-strength white distilled vinegar on doorknobs and then wipe them dry.


25 Responses to “Vinegar – The Miracle Cleaner”

  1. I use vinegar to clean my coffee pot!

  2. Cataria says:

    I use vinegar and water to clean up water spots off of my wood laminate floor. Works great!

  3. Debbie says:

    I am so pleased to find a cost effective alternative to harsh detergents that actually leave me feeling naseous and sometimes short of breath due to theeir fumes but Eco-friendly products in SA are very pricy!

    So thank you!!

  4. Cecilia Leffew says:

    I had no idea that there were so many uses to vinegar. I will be printing this list and giving it out to my friends. I can’t wait to try the one for the garbage disposal.

  5. Joyce West says:

    Thanks – this is great.

    I am looking for the way to clean silver – I know it takes aluminum foil and vinegar, but I can’t find it. Can you help?

    Love the show!

  6. Dolly T. says:

    I saw this show and I was interested in the solution she used to clean silver in the sink. I know she used foil and vinegar and forgot the porportions.

  7. Deb says:

    I use white vinegar and water in a spray bottle to clean the soap and water spots off of the shower doors

  8. Jean says:

    I had a very dirty top of my stove. My Husband watches your show and I told me about the vinegar and baking soda. I also put just vinegar in a bowl and put the burner tops and just one in at a time and put very little baking soda in and let it work . WOW it worked great!!
    I tried all sortsa cleaning products and nothing would clean them.
    I have a NEW stove again!
    Thanks so much

  9. michelle says:

    thank you c.l. and r.r. and fans for the vinegar tips for cleaning very sen to cleaners would love to find out more please keep posting.

  10. worksmart says:

    Ok. My question is how to cut the smell of vinegar. It seems to linger a bit longer than I would like.

  11. A.J Rose says:

    Can i use any of these solutions to clean a Bar-B-Q grill?

  12. koshea says:

    For white rings on wood tabletops… an easier way the Veg oil and vinegar is just to use mayonnaise. put it on the spot and leave it for a whilr wipe clean and the spot is gone ( mayo is a veg oil and vinegar mixture)

  13. nuza says:

    hello, may be you can help me with this problem. In my new car , my 2 year daughter has droped all the milk on the car. i’ve used many things to remove the smell on the car, but the smell is still there. i have also detailing the car but nothings has given me any satisfaction. so maybe you could help me how i can remove the smell on my car which has been there for 6months now. please. thankyou.

  14. Sandra says:

    I tried the ‘make your own scouring cleanser’ and it has been the most effective way to keep our bathroom clean! Everythings sparkles now!

  15. Brenda says:

    I clean houses, and some people wants their wood floors clean with different items, murphy oil, or just a little dish liquid, but most want vinegar and water. Damp mop only! I have been using vinegar and water for years to clean my own home. It kills 99.8% germs.

  16. krystal says:

    i am a new mother and ive always heard of vinegar being one of the best products to clean everything. it also saves you money which with the prices going up on everything is a great thing. i started using vinegar on my floors and bathroom and i love it. i dont have to worry about my 9mth old son getting any cleaning products that i left behind on his hands. thank you for the great tips! =)

  17. Connie Lawrence says:

    Thanks for the ideas to use white vinegar. There’s one more use that I read about and use it faithfully. Instead of fabric softner, use 1/2 cup of white vinegar. It’s amazing how the clothing, towels, and linen feel. There is no residue left on the matieral like fabric softern leaves. There is no odor left either.

  18. Karen says:

    Hey Racheal,
    I just wanted to say thank you so very much for this fantastic website. I’m trying to have a “greener home” by not using toxic chemicals. Every thing was easy to make and use.
    Keep up the great work everyone.

  19. Shirley says:

    Another great thing for cider vinegar(not white). I keep some on hand in the kitchen, if I get a grease burn, I pour vinegar in a bowl and soak the spot. It will stop the spot from forming a blister and will heal faster. If you can’t get the spot in a bowl, soak a cloth in the vinegar and keep it wet of the burn spot.

  20. Tammy says:

    I mix cider vinegar and water and soak my durable fruits & veggies before they go in the fridge. I just let them soak for 10 or 15 minutes, pull them out, rinse well & drain well. I have heard this will kill lingering germs, help remove external unwanted ‘cides’ (pesticides, herbicides etc) and it seems to help my grapes keep from molding! I call it my produce detox!

  21. Flo says:

    When the kids were babies, I used 1 cup of white vinegar in the rinse everytime I washed the their clothes. It got rid of milk stains and kept cloth diapers white. This was before disposable diapers so there was a lot of diaper washing, but I never had to use bleach. I now fill the bleach dispenser with vinegar when I wash sheets and those old blue jeans that were worn for a week! Any residual vinegar smell disapates in the dryer.

  22. Stephanie says:

    Anyone with pets as strange as mine should consider using vinegar to clean their bathrooms. My weird little kittens LOVE to lick the shower walls and sometimes the sink basin. Vinegar is a great non-toxic way to get things clean so I don’t have to worry about what they are ingesting!

  23. Linda says:

    I use vinegar in my dishwasher with my soap, and my washer instead of softner it makes the load smell goodand when you have bad smelling towels they come out great.

  24. Jonna says:

    I say a weed killer solution made with vinegar but I didn’t catch the mixing directions and would like to try it. Could some one be kind enough to send it to me? Thank you

  25. Stephanie says:

    Put a cup of white vinegar in your washing machine when you do a load of clothes, it will take any smells out of the clothing. I do this for my husbands work clothes when they smell like fuel, grease, and just good old work odors. Does the trick every time!

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