What is Cleaning Vinegar and How to Use It

You want to clean your home, but you don’t want to use harsh chemicals. Many commercial cleaners contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful to both people and the environment. In addition, they often have synthetic fragrances that are expensive and potentially unsafe.

Cleaning vinegar is a great alternative to these products because it’s made from all-natural ingredients like distilled water and acetic acid found in household vinegar. It’s also inexpensive compared to other commercial cleaning solutions – one bottle will last you months. 

Read this article to learn more about cleaning vinegar and how it works.

What is Cleaning Vinegar?

While many types of vinegar are used for cooking and salad dressings, cleaning vinegar is entirely a different product. Other types of vinegar include balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, and distilled vinegar.

The only difference between cleaning vinegar and distilled white vinegar is that cleaning vinegar has fewer additives. But they’re both made through a process where alcohols are distilled from the grain. The grain is then allowed to ferment as microorganisms process the alcohol into acetic acid, water, and vinegar.

On a lighter note, cleaning vinegar is 20 percent stronger than white distilled vinegar in tackling chores. While you can use distilled white vinegar for cleaning, do not use cleaning vinegar for salad making and making pickles. This is because it may contain impurities that are not approved for consumption and the acidity level is too strong to be tasty.

Do not confuse industrial vinegar with cleaning vinegar when purchasing at hardware or a large improvement store. Professional landscape crews use industrial vinegar to kill weeds. It contains up to 20 percent acetic acid and is dangerous for indoor cleaning because it emits fumes harmful to inhale.

Why Use Cleaning Vinegar?

Vinegar is a very popular household cleaning product because it is inexpensive and works well on almost all types of surfaces. It is effective for cleaning glass, tile floors, fiberglass bathtubs, sinks, and chrome faucets and toilets. In addition to being an excellent disinfectant, vinegar kills dust mites that live in your carpets.

Vinegar is also an effective odor fighter, helping to take the musty smell out of your basement or garage when cleaning these spaces. If you plan to paint a room in your home, clean all surfaces with vinegar before applying paint for the best results.

Cleaning vinegar is a good product for homes where people are sensitive to chemicals because it is natural and non-toxic. This type of vinegar can be used to clean your kitchen, bathroom, or any other area in the home. It is also safe for pets and children when regularly used in small amounts.

Concentrated white distilled vinegar contains acetic acid, a powerful cleaner that will cut through most dirt and grime. It will not work on tough stains, such as rust or bloodstains, but it can clean almost everything else in your home without harming the environment or leaving streaks and sticky residue behind.

Vinegar also works great as a cleaner for shower doors and other surfaces exposed to hard water as it works well to remove soap scum. However, don’t use vinegar to clean glass surfaces because it will leave a foggy residue on the surface.

How to Make All-Purpose Cleaner Using Cleaning Vinegar

Save some money by making your cleaner with this natural cleaner. Get a spray bottle and fill it with two parts vinegar and one part water. Shake and use like any other multi-purpose spray.

Also, cleaning vinegar doesn’t have the most pleasant smell, so adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil will help it smell better. Five drops of liquid dish soap and ten drops of tea tree oil will leave you with an all-purpose cleaner.

How to Use Cleaning Vinegar on Floors

Cleaning vinegar can be used to clean floors, including hardwood floors and laminate wood floors. To remove carpet odor and dust mite, mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with some white distilled water in a spray bottle, then spritz lightly throughout.

How to Use Cleaning Vinegar on Floors
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To remove unpleasant pet odors from your carpets, wet the spot with vinegar and sprinkle with baking soda. Use your fingers or brush to work on these two, and ensure you wear gloves to protect yourself from skin irritation. Let it sit overnight, then vacuum.

How to do Laundry with Cleaning Vinegar

You can use cleaning vinegar in laundry to deodorize mildew-ridden towels, stinky gym clothes, and pet accidents. It’s also a natural fabric softener and can remove pet hair and lint.

How to do Laundry with Cleaning Vinegar
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All you need to do is add one-half cup to one full cup of cleaning vinegar to your washing machine during the final rinse cycle. Your clothing won’t smell like vinegar, but you can throw some essential oil into the load if you’re worried about the vinegar smell.

You can also use this vinegar as a natural alternative to bleach for brightening up your whites, such as socks, rags, and towels. You can achieve this by boiling water in a pot, then adding a cup of cleaning vinegar and letting it soak overnight for best results.

How to Clean with Cleaning Vinegar

To clean sinks, tubs, countertops, and fixtures, vinegar works effectively. It is acidic; therefore, you should not use it on marble or natural stone surfaces. You can add ½ cup directly into the sink, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then wipe clean.

To remove soap scum from ceramic tile, you can use a spray bottle, fill it with vinegar and dishwashing liquid, and then spray directly onto the tiles. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes before wiping clean. 

You can also combine baking soda and vinegar to create a paste. Let the vinegar sit for several minutes then scrub away thick soap scum and mildew from your showers and tubs.

For kitchen appliances such as stovetops, microwaves, and sinks, fill a bowl with vinegar and water and place it on the surface. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then wipe clean with a paper towel or sponge. Try to clean refrigerator surfaces with white vinegar. Use a cloth dampened with a vinegar cleaning solution of equal parts vinegar and water.

To remove the drain, pour vinegar on a scrub brush small enough to get inside the disposal. For cutting boards, spray the surface with straight vinegar then rinse to clean. For cleaning windows, a window cleaner that includes rubbing alcohol and vinegar will do the trick.

How to Clean Faucets Using Cleaning Vinegar

You can also use vinegar to clean your faucets. All you need to do is combine two teaspoons of vinegar and one teaspoon of salt to remove calcium deposits on faucets and fixtures. To get rid of those tough stains, spray your fixtures and faucets with vinegar and then tie a plastic bag filled with vinegar around the fixtures and let it sit overnight.

How to Use Cleaning Vinegar on Toilets

Pour two to three cups of cleaning vinegar into the toilet bowl and let sit overnight. Next morning, sprinkle with baking soda or borax powder, scrub with a brush and then flush.

How to Clean Tiled Surfaces with Cleaning Vinegar

To clean tile bathroom surfaces, mix half-cup white distilled vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Mop bathroom floors and scrub tile countertops with vinegar cleaning solution and allow to air dry.

Clean Your Bedroom with Cleaning Vinegar

Disinfect your mattress by mixing distilled white vinegar with a little rubbing alcohol and tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Lightly spritz on your mattress to get rid of dust mites, mildew, and general odors. You can follow with a dusting of baking soda for a deeper clean.

Clean Your Dining Room and Living with Cleaning Vinegar

Mix distilled white vinegar with olive oil or lemon essential oil to clean wood floors and place in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the floor and wipe clean. Buff with a soft cloth until dry.

To clean area rugs, mix one teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid in a quart of warm distilled white vinegar. Soak a cloth in the mixture and wring out. Wipe over the rug, going with the grain of the fibers, then vacuum as usual.

When Not to Use Cleaning Vinegar

While vinegar cleaning is great in the kitchen and every room at home, it’s not good for cleaning everything. Never use it to clean marble, granite, limestone, and natural stone countertop and floor. Acetic acid can cause natural stones to pit and lose shine.

You should also never use it on solid wood furniture because it can harm the finish. Do not use white vinegar to clean cast iron and aluminum pans because the acid in the vinegar will strip the seasoning away.

Avoid using vinegar cleaning on any spills and messes involving eggs because it will react with the egg, making it smell worse. Finally, never use it on silver or bronze that’s not solid because you can remove anodized coatings.

FAQS on What is Cleaning Vinegar and How to Use it

Can you cook with cleaning vinegar?

You should never cook or consume cleaning vinegar. Unlike the cooking vinegar, which is indicated on the label, white vinegar may not be tested for impurities that can be harmful to the human body. You can avoid confusion by storing it with other cleaning supplies and not food products in your pantry.

What is the difference between cleaning vinegar and regular vinegar?

Regular vinegar is a weak acetic acid solution made from diluting acetic acid and water. Cleaning vinegar is a much more potent ethanoic-based solution used to remove stains and mineral deposits.

Final Thought on What is Cleaning Vinegar and How to Use it

Cleaning vinegar is not only for your laundry room; it’s an eco-friendly and inexpensive household cleaner. Plus, it’s fresh smelling and safe to use around people. You only need to mix vinegar with water and commence with your cleaning chores.


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Victoria Grant