White vinegar is more than just a kitchen staple; it’s a potent cleaning agent that offers a natural and eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemicals. Below are some of the best ways to use white vinegar to clean and deodorize around your home.  Curious about how to use baking soda for cleaning? Check out this post.

1. DIY Cleaners

White vinegar is used in many DIY cleaning recipes because it cleans, has disinfecting properties, and removes mineral deposits. The only place you shouldn’t repeatedly use it is on granite or marble – it can etch the stone surface over time. My favorite DIY cleaning recipes are the Glass & Mirror Spray and the All-Purpose Disinfecting Spray. Vinegar can also be infused with citrus peels or herbs for a fresh take on the pickle smell. See all of the Clean Mama DIY Recipes on the blog here.

2. Descaling Kettles and Coffee Makers

White vinegar is excellent for removing limescale build up in kettles and coffee makers. Fill the kettle or coffee maker reservoir with equal parts vinegar and water, let it sit for an hour, then boil and rinse thoroughly. Your appliances will not only be scale-free but also operate more efficiently.

3. Fabric Softener

White vinegar can be used as a natural fabric softener that also helps to remove soap residue. Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of your usual fabric softener. Towels and clothes come out soft and fresh, and it’s especially beneficial for those with sensitive skin as it is hypoallergenic.

4. Cleaning and Deodorizing Drains

Pour half a cup of white vinegar down the drain. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before flushing the drain with hot water. This not only clears minor clogs but also neutralizes odors, leaving your drains smelling fresh.  Follow with the Nightly Sink Scrub Routine and your sink will be fresh and clean!

5. Removing Soap Scum and Mildew

White vinegar cuts through soap scum and mildew effectively. Spray or pour vinegar on a microfiber cloth and apply to affected areas, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then scrub and rinse off. It’s particularly useful for faucets, bathroom tiles, and glass shower doors.

6. Dishwasher Maintenance

To clean and deodorize your dishwasher, run a hot wash cycle with a cup of vinegar placed upright in a dishwasher-safe bowl on the top rack. This helps to remove grease and odors and keeps the machine running smoothly.

7. Eliminating Odors

For smelly kitchen odors (like a dinner smell that won’t go away), pour 1/4 – 1/2 cup in a small bowl and let it sit uncovered on a counter for 24 hours. You can also mix a 50:50 ratio of white vinegar and filtered water and pour in a spray bottle for cleaning out especially tough odors, let sit and wipe clean.

8. Weed Killer

For a non-toxic way to fight weeds, spray pure white vinegar directly onto the weeds in your driveway or garden paths. The acetic acid in the vinegar will kill the weeds, but be careful to avoid spraying your plants as it can harm them too.

DIY Recipes and Tips

Combining white vinegar with other natural ingredients like lemon juice or essential oils can boost its cleaning power and provide a more pleasant scent. By incorporating white vinegar into your cleaning routine, you can maintain a clean, fresh, and eco-friendly home. Explore these uses to discover just how versatile and effective white vinegar can be!