How To Clean With Vinegar


Want the ultimate natural cleaning experience? Turn up your nose and take another sniff of common, household vinegar! For a “green” environmentally friendly product, you can’t get anything better than vinegar. It might not look green though. Most vinegars are white, yellowish, shades of amber, red and almost black. For cleaning purposes, we use white vinegar.

Where Does Vinegar Come From?

Vinegar may be derived from several sources – most common are fruits and grains, such as apples and rice, but it is even made from wood and roots. You are probably familiar with vinegars made from fruit juice. The juice contains sugar that ferments into alcohol, changing the juice into wine.

What a surprise to the cook who stores a bottle of wine under the kitchen counter then opens it to find the sweet wine has turned to vinegar! That’s the natural process it takes – given the right conditions, the alcohol in the wine changes to vinegar – hence, the name, “wine vinegar”.

Vinegar Is a Germ Fighter

The germ fighting properties of vinegar are legendary. In fact, the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, is said to have treated his patients with vinegar for all kinds of ailments – in 400 B.C.! My Vermont-born great-grandmother relied on a drink made from vinegar, honey and warm water to begin her day. Whether it contributed to her longevity or not, I don’t know (she lived to a ripe old age of 90!) but it certainly awakened her taste buds and sharpened her tongue!

A Natural Cleaning Product

White vinegar is great for household cleaning. It is very versatile and, while it does leave an odor that quickly disappears, there are a lot of advantages in using vinegar as a household cleaner. It is non-toxic to humans and pets. However, it is a mild acid,and should not be used on items that could be damaged such as crystal. NEVER USE VINEGAR ON MARBLE OR NATURAL STONE SURFACES.

If your glassware (not crystal) has soap film that leaves them cloudy, try soaking it in a solution made of a half cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. Leave it for a half hour, then remove and rinse well.

You can clean and deodorize your toilet bowl by pouring a couple of cups of undiluted white vinegar into the bowl. Allow to stand for several minutes, then scrub and flush.

Vinegar will also remove greasy dirt and drops from your stove and refrigerator. Simply moisten a paper town or household sponge with vinegar from the bottle, and wipe. Works on chrome and stainless steel, as well.


We recommend that you “shower your shower” with vinegar – provided your shower is constructed of porcelain tile, glass, fiberglass or other man-made materials.

You can keep your shower stall clean and shining by just exercising a few simple techniques and perhaps a change in bath soap! Natural “castile” soaps, such as coconut castile, are made from vegetable oils rather than waxes. Natural oils are easier to dissolve and rinse away. A natural astringent, vinegar is non-abrasive and cuts through greasy soap scum build-up with a little scrubbing.

Coffee Pot

Freshen your coffeepot and remove coffee stains from the glass pot by filling the water container with vinegar and running it through a cycle. Then, rinse well and run through two cycles using fresh clean water.

Hardwood And Linoleum Floors

Add vinegar to warm fresh water, then dampen your sponge mop and damp mop your hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors. It sanitizes and dissolves greasy dirt, and leaves your floors shining.

Cleaning And Sanitizing Bathrooms

You may use vinegar full strength on bathroom counters and fixtures. It actually shines chrome and cuts through soap scum. If you have water spots on your sink and fixtures, dampen a paper towel with vinegar and allow to lay on the affected area for 10 minutes or so. Then go back and wipe clean. This will work if the water spots have not already etched into the porcelain. At any rate, it will improve the appearance and sanitize the fixtures.

Use vinegar full strength on a soft clean cloth to clean your toilet. Add full strength to the water in the toilet bowl, allow to set, then scrub and flush.

Use a cloth dampened with vinegar to remove soap film and mildew from your shower curtain. Rinse well and allow to hang dry.

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