Yes, really!
Advertisement
Vinegar with Cleaning Supplies
Credit: Getty Images

Vinegar is by far one of the most versatile items in the house. What else can clean your showerhead, stop laundry from fading, add a kick to barbecue sauce, and make a delicious pie? We're not sure there is another ingredient in your kitchen that can be so useful. Plus, we bet there's almost always a bottle on hand in your home.

When it's not being used to make mignonette sauce, vinegar is a non-toxic, eco-friendly alternative to the myriad of commercial cleaning products available and really gets the job done. Not to mention, it's very affordable. We spoke to cleaning experts to help put together a list of items you can get sparkling clean with white vinegar. So, if you've got a bottle of vinegar in your pantry, read on to find a list of 13 common items in your home you can clean with the simple household item.

Drains

"Sprinkle a handful of baking soda down the drain. Pour half a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain. Let is sit for 5 minutes. Pour a kettle-full of hot water down the drain. If it's still gurgling, repeat," suggests Sacha Dunn, founder of eco-friendly soap company, Common Good.

Microwaves

"We put 1/2 a cup of water and 1/2 cup of vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl then turn the microwave on for 1 minute. Then use a sponge to clean the internal panels of the microwave," recommends Adriana Aziz, the operations manager at MaidForYou house cleaning agency.

Stainless steel

"Clean fingerprints and light marks from stainless steel with a mix of water and white vinegar: Mix half a cup of vinegar into 2 cups of water. Wet a soft cloth (an old t-shirt is great for this) with the vinegar mix and wipe over stainless surfaces. Follow with a soft dry cloth, polishing with the grain for a streak-free clean," suggests Common Good's Dunn.

Dishwasher

"If you have accumulated soap scum in your dishwasher, add a cup of vinegar to the rinsing compartment and let the dishwasher run through a whole cleaning cycle," suggests Dean Davies, a household cleaning expert, working for Fantastic Cleaners.

Toilets

"Pour 3 cups of undiluted vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit for about 3 hours," says Davies. "After that, scrub thoroughly with your toilet brush and flush. Vinegar will easily deodorize your toilet and remove the accumulated rings around the bowl."

Vinyl Fences

"Scrubbing white vinegar into the fence will kill bacteria and get rid of mold/mildew, and it won't harm the integrity of your vinyl like other harsh chemicals will," says Jeremy Yamaguchi, the CEO of Lawn Love, a company that's bringing high-tech solutions to the lawn care industry.

Pots and Pans

"Have any pots and pans in very nasty condition? All you have to do is boil some water and vinegar into it and all the stains will soon come off," says Alicia Johnson, founder and owner of Cleaning Green LLC, a professional cleaning company.

Tubs and Showers

"Spray undiluted white vinegar on your shower walls and tub. Let the vinegar sit for about 5-10 minutes, scrub and rinse afterwards," recommends Davies. "For tougher stains, try combining vinegar with baking soda."

Glassware

"We've found that if hard water is ruining your glassware and leaving them cloudy you can actually soak them in a sink with some vinegar for a few minutes," say Ray Brosnan of Brosnan Property Solutions, a residential and commercial cleaning company. "The vinegar works to dissolve the minerals accumulated on the glass from the hard water, leaving you with a sparkling clean glass."

Blenders

"Vinegar can easily flush food stains and smells stuck in blenders and food processors," says Cleaning Green's Johnson. "Combine vinegar and water in equal amounts and pour it into a spraying bottle. Spray the solution on the item and clean thoroughly."

Floors

"Why use expensive cleaners when you can just use vinegar and water?" asks Johnson. "Combine vinegar and water in equal amounts mop your floors to disinfect them thoroughly."

Laundry

"You can remove stains and bad odors with distilled white vinegar," says Fantastic Cleaners' Davies. "Simply add a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle and make sure not to use dark vinegar, because you will surely stain your clothes. 

Kettles and Coffee Makers

"Kettles and coffee makers will collect minerals at the bottom, which will prolong the boiling process," says Johnson. "Just fill them with one part water and one part vinegar and boil the solution to get rid of it."