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How to clean your entire home with vinegar


Move away, baking soda, there’s a new cleaner at home and it’s vinegar. Here are some of the items you can clean at home with vinegar. 

white vinegar
© Getty Images

You don’t need expensive cleaning products to scrub your home from top to bottom. In fact, there’s something in your kitchen that you can use to clean almost every surface of your home! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is distilled white vinegar. This unassuming component is incredibly versatile, natural and not to mention, affordable.

How to clean the kitchen with white vinegar

1. Refrigerator

Once a month, take everything out of the fridge and give it a deep clean. Picture: Ross Campbell

The last thing you want in your refrigerator is the toxic chemicals from the cleaning chemicals. Vinegar’s a great safe alternative.

Step 1: Take everything out of the refrigerator. 

Step 2: Add 3 parts warm water and 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle. 

Step 3: Spray the vinegar mixture on the refrigerator surfaces, including the shelves. 

Step 4: Use a damp cloth and wipe everything down. 

Step 5: Dry it off with a clean towel. 

Read more: 10 easy hacks to organise your fridge

2. Cutting board

woman cutting apples
© Andrea De Martin | 123rf

You use the chopping board on a daily basis, so you’ll want it to be in its top condition. No one wants to cut their fresh vegetables on a dirty chopping board. 

Step 1: Spray the surface with vinegar. 

Step 2: Rinse the board with clean water before wiping it dry. 

3. Drain

a stainless steel kitchen sink drain, detail
© maroti | 123rf

For this, you’ll need vinegar’s best friend, aka baking soda, to complete the job. After all, baking soda’s also another handy item to clean your home with. 

Step 1: Pour a pot of boiling hot water down the drain.

Step 2: Next, you’re going to need to pour a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar solution (1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar)

Step 3: Cover the drain with a drain plug and let it sit for 10 minutes. 

Step 4: Pour boiling water down the drain again.

4. Plastic container

Reusable plastic container in the larder
© Weerapat Wattanapichayakul | 123rf

Yes, even your mom’s favourite plastic container can be cleaned with vinegar. But wait, there’s more! It helps to neutralise odour as well. Not even the fragrant, long-lasting scent of curry stands a chance. 

Step 1: Coat the entire plastic container in vinegar. You can either spray it or use a cloth to wipe it. 

Step 2: Let it sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing it with water. 

Read more: Your guide to creating a toxin-free home

5. Oven

© 123rf

With all the roasting and the baking, it’s only a matter of time before your oven gets all grimy. No worries though, you can clean it with your handy baking soda and vinegar pair. 

Step 1: Remove the oven racks

Step 2: Make baking soda paste. Mix three parts baking soda and one part water for the paste.

Step 3: Coat the interior surface with the paste and let it sit overnight. 

Step 4: Use a wet cloth to wipe away the dried baking soda paste. 

Step 5:  Put a little vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz everywhere within your oven where you can still see baking soda residue. 

Step 6: Finally, wipe the oven and glass door clean with a damp cloth. Allow it to dry completely before cooking. 

Read more: How to clean your oven naturally with baking soda and vinegar

6. Kitchen countertop

© 123rf

Think wiping it with a wet cloth is enough? Not even close. For a clean countertop, you need vinegar to remove all bacteria and viruses. But do note that if you have a granite or marble surface, you should never, ever use vinegar to clean it. 

Step 1: Spray vinegar onto the surface of the countertop

Step 2: Let it sit for a couple of minutes and wipe it down with a wet towel. 

Read more: Which kitchen countertop is best for you

7. Microwave

© Erinna Giblin

Perhaps one of the most used items in the kitchen, the microwave, is not only easy to use, but it’s also convenient. And it definitely comes in handy when you’re hungry in the middle of the night. Just heat up the leftovers in the microwave and you’ll be sleeping with a full stomach again. 

Step 1: Make a vinegar solution by mixing ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup water in a bowl. 

Step 2: Place the mixture inside the microwave and heat it for 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 3: Now you can wipe away buildups with ease. 

Read more: How to clean a microwave

8. Kettle

This small kitchen appliance may often be overlooked, but it’s, in fact, one of the most important items you should have at home. And the more you use it, the more mineral deposits it will gather in the kettle. Don’t fret, there’s an easy way to combat this.

Step 1: Make a vinegar water solution.

Step 2: Pour the solution into the kettle and boil it.

Step 3: Clean the exterior with a microfibre cloth dipped in vinegar.

Step 4: Scrub the inside with a small brush.

Read more: How to clean and descale a kettle in 5 steps

How to clean the bathroom with vinegar

8. Toilet

© Professor25/ GettyImages

We know it’s the last thing you want to tackle, but hear us out, there’s a simple and cost-friendly way to clean your toilet. And you don’t even need to get your hands dirty. For this, once again, you’ll need both baking soda and vinegar to do the job. 

Step 1: Pour a cup of vinegar in the bowl. 

Step 2: Let it sit overnight. 

Step 3: Next morning, sprinkle baking soda in the bowl and start scrubbing until it shines.

Step 4: Lastly, flush. That’s all you need to do. 

Read more: 6 ways to unclog a toilet without a plunger

9. Sink drain

Clean your sink drain the same way you clean your kitchen sink. And yes, you need baking soda to approach this as well. This method also works for your tub drain. 

Step 1: Pour a pot of boiling hot water down the drain.

Step 2: Next, you’re going to need to pour a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar solution (1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar)

Step 3: Cover the drain with a drain plug and let it sit for 10 minutes. 

Step 4: Pour boiling water down the drain again.

Read more: How to clean a kitchen sink in 5 steps

10. Shower

A modern quadrant shower enclosure with sliding doors
© 123rf

You clean your body in the shower every day but do you give your shower the same treatment? And here’s an extra tip: You should clean your shower once a week to keep it pristine. 

Step 1: Warm up a pot of vinegar.

Step 2: Soak a clean towel in the warm vinegar. 

Step 3: Wipe down the shower door and walls. Don’t forget to keep the towel damp. 

Step 4: Then, sprinkle the surfaces with baking soda before using a sponge that’s soaked with vinegar to scrub. 

Step 5: Rinse to remove moulds, water spots, soap scum and grime. 

11. Showerhead

© Getty

Don’t you hate it when the water pressure in your showerhead gets lower and lower by the day? No, your showerhead is not broken and you don’t have to fork out money to replace it. What you need is to unclog it with vinegar. 

Step 1: Pour some vinegar into a plastic bag. 

Step 2: Secure it to your showerhead with a rubber band. Make sure the showerhead is submerged. 

Step 3: Leave it overnight

Step 4: Rinse it off and your showerhead will work as good as new. 

12. Tiles

© Kate Hunter

Don’t let your tiles get all grimy and dingy. Dull tiles make the entire space look drab. Give them a scrub to revitalise those tiles. 

Step 1: Mix ½ cup vinegar with 3.5 litres of warm water. 

Step 2: Mop the tiles with the solution and allow to air-dry. 

Read more: How to clean bathroom tile grout until it sparkles

How to clean the bedroom with vinegar

13. Mattress

© 123rf

Surprise, surprise! You can use vinegar to clean your mattress too. For this, you’ll need vinegar’s partner-in-crime, baking soda as well as some other household ingredients. 

Step 1: Mix vinegar, rubbing alcohol and some tea tree oil in a spray bottle. 

Step 2: Spritz the mixture on your mattress to curb the mildew, dust mites and odours. 

Step 3: Sprinkle baking soda on the mattress and let it sit for an hour before vacuuming it. We heard this method is also effective against bed bugs. 

Read more: Bed bugs: How to identify bed bugs and how to get rid of them

How to clean the living room with vinegar

14. Wood furniture

You dust your wood furniture regularly, but it’s just not enough. Dark film and water stains tend to build up on the surface. To get rid of those annoying marks, you need vinegar. 

Step 1: Mix ¼ cup vinegar with 1 cup of olive oil. You can add a few drops of lemon oil into the mixture for the fragrant if you desire. 

Step 2: Dip a clean towel into the mixture and wipe the wood surfaces. 

Read more: How to paint wood like a professional

15. Carpets and rugs stains

close up of male cleaning stain on carpet
© dolgachov | 123rf

For those who have accidentally spilled a drink or worse, the dreaded sauces on the carpet – you would know cleaning and removing the stain can be a tormenting experience. Soap and water sure don’t help. If you want a simple solution, just follow the steps below.

Step 1: Mix one 1 tablespoon of mild dishwashing liquid, ¼ white vinegar and 1 litre of warm water. 

Step 2: Apply the mixture to the carpet stain and let it sit for 10 minutes. 

Step 3: Now it’s time to blot it. Remember, blot, not rub. 

Read more: How to remove every type of carpet stain

16. Glass furniture

Like wood furniture, glass furniture also tends to get tainted with stains and fingerprints over time. And as with wood furniture, vinegar’s your best bet to get it clean and spotless. 

Step 1: Mix 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of warm water in a bowl. 

Step 2: Dip a clean towel into the mixture and start wiping until they sparkle. 

When shouldn’t you use this cleaning agent?

Now that we know how amazing vinegar is, let’s find out what you should avoid with cleaning vinegar, especially when it comes to kitchen countertops. You should stay away from marble, granite or soapstone surfaces. If you use vinegar on them, the high acidity of the liquid will react with the natural stone and cause it to pit and lose shine. 

Another thing you should never mix with vinegar? Knives. You heard right. If you want to clean kitchen knives, better stick with soap and water. It’ll do just the job for you. 

Also, if you happen to spill eggs on the floor, don’t use vinegar to clean that. When the acid reacts with the egg, it will change the consistency of the eggs and you’ll have a much harder time to get them off. 

The iron is also another thing you should avoid. While you can use vinegar to disinfect your laundry and curb odour, it’s not a good idea to use it on the iron. In fact, it will damage the inside of your appliance permanently. 

Can you use distilled vinegar in cooking?

The short answer is no. Most cleaning or distilled vinegar has a warning label that is attached to the packaging to warn you. The reason is it has not been tested for impurities and can be dangerous if you ingest it. To avoid mixing up both cooking and cleaning vinegar, it’s best to store your cleaning vinegar far away from its cooking counterpart. 

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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