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White Vinegar For Cleaning: 9 Best Uses & What Not to Clean

Using white vinegar for cleaning is not only useful and effective, it is also inexpensive.  Therefore, you get a lot of bang with not a big spend out.  From kitchen and bedrooms to laundry and weeds, let's find out all the amazing ways to use white vinegar to clean around the house. 

White Vinegar For Cleaning

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There are many products on the market today that are natural cleaners.  Some are actually made with clean ingredients while others just claim to be natural.  

In another post we will tackle which cleaners are the best non-toxic ones to use.  However, here we will discuss the actual product that we know to be safe as well as effective.  The many ways to use vinegar for cleaning make it the ultimate go to product to purchase and have on hand.

We love supplementing with vinegar cleaning sprays among our other used natural cleaning products.  It helps keep the cost down.  While sprays are a great way to use vinegar, there are so many other uses for the product.  Some of the ways may surprise you and hopefully with come in handy.  i have included the easy and simple solution mix formulas for your referencing.  Don't miss what not to clean with vinegar further below.

This post is all about the best and most useful ways to use white vinegar for cleaning, What not to clean, and the solution mix recipes for doing so.

TOP Ways to use white vinegar for cleaning

#1  Vinegar For Cleaning Refrigerator (stainless steel)

  • Use vinegar in a cleaning remedy for a grimy refrigerator.  You want to make sure that you use the correct ratio of vinegar to water, however.  This ensures that the vinegar will not be too harsh on the stainless steel.
  • Also, clean in the same motion as the grain of the refrigerator.  This allows for a nice, smooth and clean finish.

DIY Vinegar-Based Refrigerator Cleaner

1/4 cup White Vinegar

1 cup Luke Warm Water

1 tsp. Dish Detergent

Mix the solution together and use a microfiber cloth to clean the refrigerator.  Use a separate microfiber cloth for drying.  These are the microfiber cloths that we love.

  • This is the only thing we use to clean our refrigerator and it works wonderfully well.  
  • Helpful Tip: To make the refrigerator shine, use a little dab of olive oil on a cloth and wipe on gently, again, in the same motion as the grain of the refrigerator. 

#2  Vinegar For Cleaning Floors (But NOT Wood Floors)

  • Vinegar is a great base for cleaning the floors because it does not leave a sticky film residue.  However, vinegar does have a strong odor.  Therefore, you may use an essential oil with the vinegar cleaning solution to mask the odor.  
  • We don't mind the vinegar smell because it reminds me of clean.  If you are sensitive to essential odors and still don't like the odor, opening a window for some fresh air can lessen the vinegar smell.

Vinegar Cleaning Solution For Floors

1 Gallon Warm Water

1 cup Vinegar

20 drops of tea tree essential oil or lemon essential oil

  • There is controversy over whether one should clean hardwood floors with vinegar or not.  If you do choose to clean with the vinegar, make sure to lightly mop wood floors;  Do not saturate them with the vinegar cleaning solution.

#3 Cleaning Carpets 

white vinegar for cleaning
  • First of all, since vinegar has a vibrant smell, I do not use vinegar for whole carpet cleaning.  Although we have only a few throw rugs.  
  • Vinegar, on the other hand, is helpful for cleaning new stains.

Vinegar Cleaning Solution For Carpets With General & Mild Stains

1 Part Vinegar 

1 Part Water

Dip cloth or sponge into cleaning solution and lightly rub or blot the problem area.  Then rinse with a water solution and blot dry with a separate cloth or sponge.

#4  Vinegar for Cleaning Toilets

  • Toilet cleaners contain many nasty chemicals that leach into the air.  Using a safer method of cleaning whenever possible is helpful.  
  • Periodically pouring vinegar into the toilet bowl with the addition of baking soda is very helpful in maintaining the toilet before buildup occurs.

Toilet Bowl Cleaning Method

Pour 3-4 cups of vinegar into the toilet

Sprinkle 1/2 cup or so of baking soda into the toilet 

Let the solution set for 30 minutes

Scrub and Flush

Make sure to pour the vinegar and baking soda up around the toilet bowl as well.

#5    cleaning coffee Makers with vinegar

  • Vinegar works wondering for cleaning coffee makers.
  • Simply pour vinegar into the water basin in place of water and run a cycle through without the coffee grinds.  
  • After the vinegar cycles through, pour water into the water basin and run the cycle through again without the coffee grinds.
  • Do the water cycle two times to get rid of the vinegar smell.
  • This will make your coffee machine work better and more efficiently.

#6  White Vinegar for Cleaning Windows

white vinegar for cleaning
  • Vinegar can be used in a window cleaning solution as well.  It needs to be used in a correct ratio amount to provide the best streak-free shine.
  • When cleaning the windows, you can use paper towels, but to save on waste and not worry about paper debris. we use a squeegee which my husband loves.  You alternatively can use these microfiber cloths;  They also work well.

1/4 cup White Distilled Vinegar

2 Cups Water

A Couple Drops Dish Detergent

10 Tea Tree or Lemon Essential Oil drops for smell (Optional)

Mix the solution together and place in a spray bottle.  We like to use glass spray bottles similar to these.  

#7  Cleaning Clogs 

  • Your pipes can get clogged from particles or hot grease going down the drain and then hardening up.  
  • Many clogging solutions contain awful chemicals that will penetrate through the whole house as they sit in the drain pipe.  
  • First try using vinegar and baking soda.  
  • This remedy will work on minor clogs, but major clogs may require additional equipment such as the use of a snake or auger.

Clog Cleaning Mixture

1/2 Cup Vinegar

1/2 Cup Baking Soda

Mix the ingredients together and pour the solution down the drain.  Let the solution set in the drain for several hours and then run hot water through the pipe.

  • This is good to do periodically before a clog happens.  Especially if you are known for "accidently" pouring grease down the drain.

#8   White Vinegar to clean Paint Brushes

white vinegar for cleaning
  • Paint brushes usually stiffen up over time after several uses and cleanings.
  • To soften the bristles, soak them in vinegar for an hour.  You will need to boil the vinegar first.  The heat allows for the vinegar to do its job better.
  • The brushes should be left in no longer than an hour so the brushes are not ruined by the vinegar.  

#9  White Vinegar for Killing Weeds

  • Although this is not technically a cleaning use in the terms of disinfecting or wiping clean, weed removal does make a place look cleaner.
  • Therefore, it is important to include a natural way to remove weeds to keep your property looking spruced up.
  • This formula is especially helpful to use on weeds growing between cracks in stones, steps and sidewalk cracks.  It is easy to whip up, apply, and safe to use.  It is best to use on the hard to get weeds that cannot be easily pulled out.

Weed Killer Solution

1/4 Cup Vinegar

1 Cup Water

Mix up and put in glass spray bottle.  Simply spray on weeds.  

What Not to clean with vinegar

There are certain items which have controversial thinking on whether they should be cleaned with vinegar or not.  I am in the middle concerning some of them.  

Vinegar is still a strong cleaning product, therefore precaution needs to be taken before just spraying it anywhere.

Here is a list of the things to be cautious about when going about your cleaning routine.

Washing Machines

I am personally not against pouring vinegar into the washing machine during the last rinse cycle to help with static cling and use as a fabric softener.  However, some experts state that vinegar over time can cause damage to the hose lines of the washing machine.  

Vinegar also can be added to a washing machine and left on a soak cycle to clean a washing machine.

If you are a fan of doing this, just be cautious of possible hose replacement down the road.  Also, front loading washing machines do not recommend the use of vinegar at all.

Using vinegar to clean the outside edges of the washing machine is helpful for those that do not want to use the vinegar on the inside of the washer.

Wood Flooring

Some manufacturers do not cover the warranty of the wood flooring if vinegar is used.  Now, whether they can tell if vinegar is used is debatable.  But honesty should be the policy.

If you choose to use vinegar on your wood floors, just use a small amount and lightly wet your mop with the solution.

Here is a Safe and Natural Wood Floor Cleaner Alternative


You have to be very careful when it comes to mold removal.  Many websites claim the effectiveness of cleaning mold with vinegar.  This may be the case in certain instances, however, mold is something that is extremely harmful. This is especially the case if you are part of the population that cannot properly detox mold.  

I DO NOT recommend cleaning mold with vinegar unless there is some on tub tile or a sink.  Mold spores can spread very easily.  Especially do not use vinegar on sheetrock that contains mold.

Electronic Screens

Lastly, be careful when you are spraying your vinegar-based solutions that you do not spray electronic device screens.  The screens should not be cleaned with vinegar.  This can be harmful to the screens and ruin the features on them.

Instead, use screen wipes like these to safely clean electronic screens.

This post is all about the 9 best and most useful ways to use white vinegar for cleaning as well as what not to clean with vinegar.

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