Vinegar: (Almost) the Only Cleaner You'll Ever Need

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Cleaning with vinegar is powerful, natural--and cheap!
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Most cleaning products fall into one of two categories: toxic or expensive. While both types will clean almost anything (or at least, anything within their limited range of capabilities), there's a third option. It's inexpensive and not at all poisonous to humans. It's multi-purpose as well--one container will take care of laundry, kitchen cleaning, even bugs and weeds. This "miracle cleaner" is vinegar.

Vinegar is a weak form of acetic acid that forms through the fermentation of sugars or starches. It is completely edible, and cannot harm your stomach. And luckily for us, many things can be cleaned using it.

The uses of vinegar are nearly endless. In addition to cleaning, it is an excellent item for cooking and for home science experiments (remember the vinegar-and-baking soda volcanoes from grade school?). The health benefits are many as well.

In this article, we are focusing on the uses of vinegar as a cleaner. For information on some of its other uses, see the links at the end of the article. Note: plain white vinegar is the best for the following uses; cider and other vinegars may have unwanted side effects. Vinegar is used in 100% concentration unless otherwise specified.

Your Vinegar Spray Bottles
In addition to your regular bottle of vinegar, a really useful item is a spray bottle. Ideally, you want two--one with pure vinegar, the other with a half vinegar, half water combination. Having vinegar in a dispenser of this type makes its use much simpler in many cases.

All Around the House
1. To remove stickers that have been used to "decorate" furniture and other surfaces, moisten with vinegar. Let sit for at least ten minutes, then remove.

2. For persistent room odors, place a bowl of vinegar in the room overnight.

3. For spills on carpet, use a sponge or cloth to soak up as much liquid as possible. Then spray with a mixture of half vinegar, half water. Let stand for about two minutes, then blot with towel or sponge. Repeat as needed.

4. For more persistent stains, use a mixture of 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap, and 1 cup warm water. Proceed as suggested above. When finished cleaning, dry using a hairdryer set on low.

5. To clean windows, spray with half vinegar, half water. Wipe clean with either newspapers or cloth.

6. To clean silver, pewter, copper, or brass, dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in one cup vinegar. Add flour to create a paste (1/4 cup or more). Apply the paste to the metal item, and let stand for at least fifteen minutes. Rinse with warm water and polish with a soft cloth.

7. No-wax floors can be cleaned with a solution of 1 cup vinegar per gallon of water for a shinier surface.

8. To clean wood paneling, use a mixture of 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 2 cups warm water. Apply to paneling with a soft cloth. Dry with a clean cloth.

In the Bathroom
9. To remove corrosion or chemical build-up from showerheads, soak in vinegar overnight.

10. Remove stains from the toilet bowl by spraying with vinegar and spraying.

11. To remove soap build-up from faucets, clean with a mixture of 1 part salt to four parts vinegar.

12. Spray shower walls and shower curtain with vinegar to help prevent mildew.

In the Kitchen
13. To keep ants away, spray vinegar along doorways, windowsills, countertops - anywhere that ants are likely to appear. If you find an ant trail (path that ants use repeatedly), clean it with vinegar.

14. To remove odors from the sink or garbage disposal, pour in a cup or more vinegar. Do not rinse out again for at least an hour.

15. For a clogged drain, first pour in 1/2 cup baking soda. Then add an equal amount of vinegar. When the mixture finishes bubbling, rinse with warm water. (Note: some garbage disposals do not react well to this cleaning method; check with the manufacturer first.)

16. Wipe your hands with vinegar after chopping. It will remove strong scents like onion and garlic, as well as stains from fruit juices.

17. To clean wooden cutting boards, wipe with vinegar.

18. Remove strong odors. Rinse jars with a half and half mixture of vinegar and water to remove garlic or other strong odors. Boil water with several spoons of vinegar to remove the smell of burnt food from your kitchen.

19. Vinegar is an excellent cleaner for all kitchen surfaces - counters, refrigerators, stovetops.

20. To clean your microwave oven, put a microwave-safe bowl of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup water in the oven, and cook long enough to boil. In addition to removing any lingering odors, this will loosen any baked-on food from the microwave's walls.

21. To remove coffee or tea stains from china, clean with a mixture of vinegar and salt.

In the Laundry
22. To keep colors from running in the wash, soak in vinegar before washing.

23. To decrease lint on clothing, add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.

24. Many persistent stains can be removed with vinegar: coffee, chocolate, ketchup, jam, cola, wine. Gently rub stain with vinegar, then wash.

25. To make your "brights brighter", add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.

26. For fresher cloth diapers, add one cup distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle. This will break down uric acid and remove both lingering stains and scents.

27. To remove scorch marks from an iron, rub with a mixture of vinegar and salt.

28. To remove soap residue from the washing machine, run an empty (no laundry) cycle with one cup vinegar added.

29. To remove the smell of smoke from clothing, add a cup of vinegar to a tub of hot water. Let clothing hang in the same room for several hours.

Pet Care
30. To keep cats off windowsills or other surfaces, spray with vinegar. This will also keep them from scratching upholstery (spray an unnoticeable area of the fabric first to make sure the vinegar doesn't cause a stain).

31. To keep dogs from scratching their ears, clean with a soft cloth dipped in diluted vinegar.

32. If your dog should have a run-in with a skunk, vinegar will take care of the smell better than even tomato juice. Using vinegar diluted 50% with water, rub the dog's fur. Rinse with warm water. Repeat as needed.

Related items:

Noël-Marie Taylor is a freelance writer located in Columbia, Maryland. Her work has appeared in many magazines, including PC Magazine and The Mother Is Me. A stay-at-home mom to two children, she is also the designer of several cross-stitch kits for children.


Kenny's picture

I'm allergic to perfumes and fragrances even found in 100% natural hair gel. I've come across a great recipe by simply boiling flax seed in water, but it must stay in the fridge to keep it from spoiling.

I'm looking for a natural preservative that would allow me take my gel with me when I travel. I have read that essential oils will do the trick, but have no idea of what kind to try. Can any one help me? Please email me at

Selena's picture

My skillets, pots, and pans are notorious for getting food stuck on them, and many times I've burnt food in them (I'm newly domesticated...). One of the ways I clean up is by putting vinegar, warm water, and a small squirt of dish soap in, letting it sit for a few minutes, and then boiling it for a few minutes while stirring.

Also, to clean my sponges, I soak them in water with vinegar and lemon juice, then microwave them for about 1 1/2-2 min (KEEP WET! or they will ignite.).

Khulthum Russell's picture

Try grapefruit seed extract. It's a powerful preservative. You can also try adding some vitamin E. Vitamin E is also a natural preservative. Hope this helps :D

Amy Allen's picture

Hello.. i have found out that the cast iron scillet works wonders.... for a ninstick pan..... i was going to by those expensive pans but learned about those.... thank god... you use them everywhere on top of stove and in the oven,

Chaigirl's picture

You might try lavender or tea tree oil; both have antibacterial properties, but lavender doesn't smell so medicinal. But essential oils are what are usually used in 100% natural haircare products for fragrance, and those products bother you. White vinegar or grain alcohol (Everclear) might do the trick without affecting your allergies. Alcohol will evaporate when applied and won't leave a lingering "salad" smell like vinegar might.

Guest's picture

Grapefruit seed extract is used as a preservative in natural products. Grapefruit essential oil might work also.

Guest's picture

If you clean wood floors with cooking oil and vinegar or polish wood with cooking oil and lemon juice. Is it flammable because of wiring or anything? Or is it safe?

Meredith Lee's picture

Vinegar does not cut grease, and therefore does not remove germs/ soil the way soaps and detergents do. Most dirt is slightly acidic, while most soaps (even all natural) are alkaline, which is why they work. This is illustrated pretty easily if you have ever made salad dressing. Vinegar cannot dissolve or mix with oils. Most germs are removed (without sanitizing with harsh chemicals) through the breaking apart of dirt/ soils which allows them to be washed away by a cleaning cloth or sponge. This can only happen through an alkaline soap, not an acid. This process removes 99% of bacteria. If you wash everything with Vinegar, you remove NO bacteria. It is not a disinfectant, or surfactant.

All these natural cleaning sites and articles seem to have been written with zero understanding of basic chemistry. The most gentle and all natural cleansers are simply less alkaline-- but still alkaline-- so they are not so harsh-- but require a bit more elbow grease.

Vinegar is great for breaking down hard water deposits-- such as those on metals, in toilet boils (most toilet bowl cleaners are acids, which is why they should never be mixed with bleach). But it wont disinfect your toilet, or remove any lingering soils-- this can only be done by a soap. It works to unclog drains only when mixed with baking soda because of the fizzing action, not any grease cutting properties.

It is effective at removing the smell of bleach when added to wash in the rinse cycle (when no bleach is in machine). It helps remove other smells (but also has its own strong smell) but not as good as enzyme cleaners.

It is great for cleaning soap scum and calcium deposits which are salts that break down in acid. Often windows have water deposits and therefore vinegar is often used for cleaning windows. But ammonia is what cuts grease/ soil, as it is an alkaline, so it is much more effective on windows and for other dirt/ grease cutting jobs. It doesnt streak like soap, so that is why it works best on windows. If you dont want to use ammonia, use a surfactant window cleaner (mild soap like 7th gen or other all natural glass/ surface cleaner) and follow with vinegar to remove soap residue.

Vinegar is good for removing ring around the collar and other sweat stains, because those stains persist due to the fact that our sweat contains minerals and salts-- from our body and from deodorants and hair products. Vinegar is great for dissolving minerals and salts, so it works on these stains (or to prevent them as a pre-wash treatment).

But it doesnt cut grease or "wash" or dissolve dirt or sanitize. If you want a cheap non-harsh "green" sanitizer, try hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol. Disinfectants or sanitizers like these are mostly unnecessary if soap can be used to dissolve and allow 99% of dirt/ bacteria to be washed away in rinsing/ wiping.

Also, any acid full strength is toxic-- vinegar included. Getting full strength vinegar in your eyes or on your skin can be very bad. Ingesting quantities of it is also not good. Most of the vinegar we eat in food is diluted, or consumed with other foods. So it is not as dangerous as bleach, but having it around full strength requires the same safety measures-- keeping it labeled and out of reach of kids.

Guest's picture

I raised three children with asthma and they have used nebulizers for years and the instructions that come with the machines is to use vinegar and water to sanitize the machines. These nebulizers are used with medications that are used to open the airways of people with asthma attacks so they need to be sanitized daily. They are medical equipment so vinegar must be good for sanitizing or the directions for this medical equipment would not tell you to use it.

Guest 101's picture

Could you please explain more why vinegar removes stains? What is in vinegar that removes stains? Are there certain pigments in vinegar that can be found in laundry detergents as well? :?

Nth Order's picture

The acidity of vinegar helps to 'break up' acidic stains, generally.

Mags's picture

The reason vinegar is suggested to clean a nebulizer is because they use water to mist medications. Vinegar is excellent to break down water deposits, but apparently per other replies, it does not disinfect.

Guest's picture

In my microbiology class, we were told that vinegar was a good disinfectant and we used a vinegar wash to clean our work stations?

As for handmade soaps being alkaline? Mine are pretty neutral. We test ours. It is the surfactants that clean, not the acidity or alkalinity.

As the quote shows below, it all depends on what you are trying to disinfect. Do you live in a house with an AIDS patient or are you simply spraying a surface that is regularly cleaned?

The effectiveness of various concentrations depends on the demands. Undiluted bleach can be used to desinfect used syringes (used by intravenous drug users) and can inavtivate HIV completely, however acetic accid does not inactivate HIV. Less dramatic, 2% is sufficient to disinfect nebulizers used by patients with cystic fibrosis at home (these people often suffer from pseudomonas infections). A solution of 1% acetic acid can be used to decontaminate the surface of freshly laid eggs (to remove Salmonella etc. from the surface).

For decontamination of fresh parsley (known to have caused Shigella outbreaks) a dip in vinigar containing 7.6% acetic acid is sufficient. On the other hand, an acid drip of beef meat in 2% acetic acid for decontamination is largely ineffetive against E. coli O:157:H7 (the 'hamburger bug') because this organism is acid-tolerant.

In another study the effectiveness of 2% acetic acid to kill Listeria monocytogenes attached to stainless steel was found to be low, but could be improved by the addition of monolaurin (for use on food-utensils, for example).

Guest's picture

Bleach will oxidize steel, creating pitting that can later house viruses or bacteria. I would strongly recommend NOT using bleach on steel. If you must disinfect metal, use a very high proof rubbing alcohol. ;)

A doctor's picture

There are several errors in your assertion about the ineffectiveness of vinegar that need to be corrected.
1. Soaps don't cut grease because they are alkaline, but because they are long molecules that have a polar and and an non-polar end. One end dissolves in grease/oil and the other in water, thus pulling the grease dissolved into it into the water. (You can saponify an oil with a strong base, but that's a different discussion and you don't want to use strong bases in your house routinely.)
2. Yes, soaps mobilize bacteria so they can be rinsed away, but vinegar kills bacteria because it is acidic: 2 different approaches to the problem.
3. Acidity depends on the concentration of the acid and the strength of the acid itself. Not all acids are toxic at full strength: many amino acids are very weak acids and can be put full-strength on the tongue. Acetic acid full strength has a pH of less than 0.01 and will cut through skin and is flammable, but vinegar is only 5% acetic acid and won't do that. So, vinegar at "full strength" is only 5% acetic acid and has a pH of 2.4 (slightly less acidic than lemon juice, which isn't toxic), you don't want to get it in your eye, but isn't toxic to drink or get int he skin by any means.

Guest's picture

Normally vinegar is mixed with water when used as a cleaner so the 5% solution of acetic acid becomes more like a .5% solution. I don't think this makes a very good disinfectant. Also since vinegar does not break down oily substances, oily substances tend not to be rinsed off the surface when vinegar is used as a cleaner. In other words food for bacteria are left on the surface. All in all then, the vinegar isn't really a good germ killer (unless perhaps you spray it on full strength and just leave it there for a long time), and it fails to remove the nutirents that microbes can grow in. As noted, detergents (which tend to be neutral or only slightly alkaline) do remove grease and other soil particles, but the one writer is correct that acid really don't have much effect at all on greasy soils. Vinegar is not a detergent. It is good for breaking down alkaline soils such as mineral deposits or soap films.

Guest's picture

Um. How did you get from 5% acetic acid to .5%??? A dilution of 50/50(1/1) would yield 2.5%, while a 3/1 dilution would result in 1.5% acetic acid. To get to .5% you'd need to dilute it with 10 parts water to 1 part vinegar.

Also, it's not the percentage of acetic acid, rather the overall pH of the solution that determines how effective it will kill a given organism.

Guest's picture

Numerous studies show that a straight 5 percent solution of distilled white vinegar—the kind you can buy in the supermarket—kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses).

Organic distilled white vinegar is colorless with a neutral acidic flavor. The vinegar is created using 100% organic corn and rye as source material. All processing steps and the finished product itself conform to organic standards.

But companies can’t claim on their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since it is registered as a food product with the Environmental Protection Agency. However, it seems to be common knowledge in the industry that vinegar is powerfully antibacterial. The Good Housekeeping Institute also confirmed this.

GMH's picture

Just wanted to say that my boys just completed a science project
regarding which household cleaners work against bacteria. They made cultures from our kitchen sink and then placed blotter paper sensitivity squares soaked with different cleaners oner per culture. Bleach of course won with no bacteria growth, but Vinegar came in 2nd. which had only 2 very tiny colonies of growth, the other cultures were a total different story (we did 10 total cultures,(8 different cleaners & 2 controls). The cleaners tested & their bacteria colony counts were in order of effectiveness--Bleach(0), Distilled White Vinegar (2), Lysol All Purpose 4-in-1 (19), Windex Mult-Surface Antibacterial (26), Spic and Span Everyday (39), Tea Tree Oil (69), Seventh Generation (72), Eucalyptus Oil (75), Control #1 with no cleaner (128), Control #2 with no cleaner (130).
Just thought the results were interesting. Also, most Vinegar that you buy is already diluted. Ir seems good ole soap & vinegar are the safer of the options.

Guest's picture

It can cut grease and sanitize if you do the following: either
1) mix a few drops of dish soap in with a 50/50 ratio of white vinegar to water. Wipe down and then spray again with a different spray bottle of 50/50 solution with about 10-15 drops of a combination of tea tree oil & lavender oil. Then wipe down. It also helps to add a splash or 2 of rubbing alcohol to this last mixture so that it dries more quickly without leaving streaks.
2) sprinkle surface to be de-greased with baking soda first, scrub with soft cloth or sponge and water. Then spray with the 50/50 solution containing the essential oils and wipe down.

Problem solved. :)

eze123's picture

Thanks for this it is very helpful. I recently stopped using any form of soap to shower and deodorise except for diluted vinegar. I don't smell and as a deodorant it is the best and longest lasting I have ever used. I even use it diluted to rinse my face, but it as a rinse it makes my hair a bit lank. I use mostly vinegar and ammonia for all jobs. Ammonia is now becomming difficult to get and more expensive. Apparently it can be used to make bombs and this is why. Vinegar also got rid of a wart on the back of my hand.

Guest's picture

You are wrong about so many things. Vinegar does kill bacteria, it is not toxic to humans, but in fact used medicinally. I could go on but it would take to long to list all the incorrect statements here. Do your research before misleading others.

Mike's picture

Its grease-cutting/dirt-removing properties aside, vinegar is supposed to kill "bad" germs.

My bathroom/kitchen sinks used to smell a bit in the morning, because of moisture remaining from the night before. Since I've been spraying them with vinegar before I go to bed, there's been no smell at all.

Guest's picture

I live in Thailand and ride a bicycle. Dogs here are a problem as there are many that chase you while riding. I carry a spray bottle of vinegar and when chased by dogs I give them a spray of vinegar, it stops them in there tracks and it's the usually the last time they chase you.

Guest's picture

:grin: That's too funny and a great idea.

Guest's picture

Thanks for this tip

Guest's picture

I have been a profesional cleaner for many years & can offer one piece of advice...
if you dont have vinegar,a tooth brush & cotton wool in your kit, you deserve what you get! P.S. My speciality is cleaning up after parties & doing exit cleans for real estate agencies.

Guest's picture

To these ignorant (but well-meaning) people spewing lies, misinformation and exaggerating the virtues of vinegar as a cleaner, I have a few questions. Would you still go to your dentist if you know that he makes his assistant disinfect his equipments with vinegar? Would you eat at a restaurant if you know that that restaurant washes their cutleries and plates with vinegar? Would you send your sick loved ones to a hospitals that cleans their wards and sterilize their equipments with vinegar?

If not, then why not? You all make vinegar out as some holy grail of a cleaner.

I am just so angry because my mum totally bought into this vinegar as this 'effective', 'non-toxic', 'green' all-round household cleaner without any critical thought. She thinks that she is being environmentally friendly but it is costing our home its cleanliness. In fact, our kitchen, especially the hob area, is downright filthy. The wall behind the hob and area around extractor fan is seriously sticky and covered with gobs of sticky brown greasy droplets from years of buildup. At first I thought that nobody cleans it, until last night when I saw my mum gently wiping the area with cloth and vinegar then it became obvious that she's been cleaning it with vinegar for all these time and look where that's got us! Yes, I could just clean it but the minute I was going to blast it with a proper detergent and metal scourer, she stops me, claiming that 'I should take a rest on my off day, not clean', while gloating proudly that she 'doesn't use any chemicals' to clean the house. Well the state of the kitchen isn't exactly a testimony to vinegar's effectiveness!

It is disgusting and I haven't eaten anything cooked in our house in a few months.

Yes, I am going to put my foot down and tell my mum that I am not going to sacrifice the cleanliness of our home to her abstract, romanticist notion that not using detergents is going to save the planet, but before that I want people like you to stop posting misleading and unhygienic recommendations.

Also, Meredith Lee, can I just hug you? Like, really hard?

lindabright's picture

I worked as a Respiratory Therapist for many years. You said you wouldn't go to a dentist that disinfected his instruments with white vinegar or acetic acid. Funny, you wouldn't have known it, had you been a patient in our hospital, but we cleaned with white vinegar the entire room where we disinfected ALL of our equipment, after we used it on people who had every infection known to mankind, saliva, mucous, etc. It was tested by the epidemiology people in the hospital and was found to kill the most resistant of bacteria. So, if it's good enough for the hospitals, it's good enough for my kitchen and bathroom. I find it odd that you'd rather use harmful chemicals which account for countless Emergency Room visits every year, rather than a natural substance that is PROVEN to kill everything from lice and H1N1 to deadly microorganisms such MRSA or Pseudomonas. I guess you didn't go to college and take Microbiology.

Guest's picture

Dude, what's your beef with vinegar? Maybe you should move out of your mum's house. Then you can clean your own house with poison!

Guest's picture

There are certain ways to clean using vinegar, peroxide, lemon juice, 2 essential oils tea tree and eucalyptus, baking soda and or borax, and castile soap. There are mixtures you can make of all these to clean your home safe and effectively to remove grease and disinfect your areas to your needs. I use a castile soap made with tea tree oil which is a known disinfectant. I wash down first whatever surface I am cleaning with that then usually will go back over with a vinegar/lemon juice mixture let sit for a bit the wipe down to finish the job. This is just an example depends on what I am cleaning what I use and which combination. I use a set of brushes to do and clean almost everything as brushes are known to sweep away more virus and bacteria with whatever product I am using. For the most part vinegar is a good place to start and with a few other items there is no problem keeping and cleaning every surface in your home. It’s healthier for you and your family considering there is really no government regulation on what these corporations make cleaning products out of and how they affect the human body. It takes some time and knowledge to learn to clean naturally but it does work and is better for everything.

Guest's picture

: :grin: You sound very young, mid 20's maybe and you have never ever worked in restaurant or the hotel industry. Yes, the restaurants use vingelar all the time to clean with, its great on stainless steel, for polishing and cleaning, we use it on the floors and windows and all the stainless steel counter tops.
We used in the hospital kitchens well and the professionals house keepers use all the time.
Now fot the cleaness of your mothers kitchen,that could be a different story, hard, baked on dippings, etc, will not come off with just vinegar, it needs some scrubing power,and better cooking skills. My kitchen is pure white, walls, counter tops and cabinets, the floor is several shads of brown and I cook all the time in fact I have degree in Restaurant management. It's not the fault of the cleaning products many times, its how offen you clean and how you cook.
If your that concern in the cleaness of your mothers kitchen I would suggest you and her both get in there and clean, and then clean how to cook without making a mess. The stove, counter tops and floor has no reason to be a mess you one knew how to cook with out making a mess.
You would be suprised were and how the industry using vingear on daily bases and you as a comsumer have NO idea..

Guest's picture

I agree somewhat to your comments. Vinegar would not be appropriate to use as a disinfecting agent in places that see a vast amount of traffic from the public, nor in hospitals. In terms of the many possible disease and viruses, vinegar would not hold up.

But it is the perfect solution to an enviromentally friendly disinfecting agent in your home. It is also much easier on thoses who suffer reactions from perfumes.

I would suggest you investigate what happens when your try to rid your home (or lets say bathroom) of ALL possible bacteria. You will learn that this process will in fact cause you more harm then good. You will more likely be the one who "gets sick" often, as you will undoubtedly use restroom facilities in public places.

My cleaning kit includes the toothbrush, dishsoap, vinegar, and I do have a clean home both in what you can and cannot see lol.

If you are germaphobic, all I can say is keep doing what you are doing.... But please do not blow the uses of vinegar that have been mentioned here, out of porportion. Meaning, I dont think anyone mentioned that vinegar should be used in hospials and dental offices.

chefcleo's picture

I'm sorry to have to say this kiddo...but I think it's time to chat with Mum. Vinegar isn't claimed to clean grease off of a stove top/fan etc. It is said to disinfect. Elbow grease and a mild soap might be a better choice for cleaning grease. I think that there might be other hygiene issues going on there, and you should stand up...grab a scrubbie sponge & make a claim to cleanliness. Use the naturals + some elbow grease & you'll be surprised. Then you should cook your mum dinner.

Guest's picture

Then move out of her house and leave her a bottle green soap and baking soda.

Guest's picture

if it is your house then call the shots. If it is your moms house and you are an adult child living there, then hire a cleaning company in twice a month to do it as a gift for dear old mom and specify environmentally friendly cleaners pay them to buy them or buy them yourself. My house is ocd clean using natural cleaners. Maybe mom just cant keep up any longer. Or consider hiring them in twice a year for a good thorough spring and fall clean up Wh.ile You Take Mom For A Date For The Day.just be solution oriented and quit blaming vinegar for the ickiness Because my home is not any less clean than the white house i am certain.

Guest's picture

I just want you to know that I work in the medical field, in a hospital in the U.S. (and I'm not disclosing more info as to where) and our hospital has switched to using a vinegar based cleaner to clean patient rooms (especially the infectious ones that require isolation for staff to enter) because it really does work! Hospitals cannot use just any cleaner. It has to be proven to disenfect in order to prevent the spread of germs/infection and viruses. Cleaners have to be approved in hopsitals before they can be used. Your mom may not be using the correct mixture or combination to clean with. It's people like you that truly go beyond the line to say that people who use vinegar to clean are in the wrong. If you don't like what your mom uses, than move out and clean your own place with whatever you want. But don't sit here and tell everyone who chooses to clean with vinegar that we are wrong. My house sparkles from floors to windows to ceiling and I use my own home-made products that contain vinegar to do it. Microbiology lab tests (that I was required to perfom in my college course) proved that vinegar disenfects and cleans my house very well. If you don't like this article, then don't read it and don't sit here and leave comments that put down others. Simple as that. It was also nice of you to throw your mom under the bus.

Sweetpeach90's picture

Does ingesting a small amount of vinegar make urine clean for few prior to taking drug screen by a lab?

Dan C.'s picture

I'm going to have to disagree wholeheartedly with your view of vinegar as cleaner/disinfectant. I know people in the healthcare industry who do indeed use vinegar to clean and disinfect. I use it in my home and it works wonders.
Perhaps your mum's enthusiasm for vinegar is greater than her love to clean. If it's as grimy as you say it is then wait until mother is gone for the day or a few hours. Go get the cleaner of your choice and clean the kitchen to your own satisfaction. Once that is done start helping your mum clean the kitchen with the vinegar and test it for yourself. And an added touch would perhaps be to tell your mum you love her and give her a hug, not really hard. Cheers.

Guest's picture

Maybe your mom needs to scrub better. My kitchen is very clean from vinegar and yes I would go to the doctor or dentist who used vinegar. I am allergic to bleach. Vinegar is an excellent cleaner and as a nursing student, I used it in a lab to test on bacteria and it won along side chlorine (which I cannot test as I cannot touch/breathe) and Lysol. I am sorry about your mom's kitchen and she should make some changes, she could use something different but vinegar works great! My family doctor recommends it to clean doorknobs and faucets, other things that children come into contact with to kill the flu virus and other bacteria/virus that can be deadly. So clearly, he feels as many other people do. Vinegar is a very effective cleaner.

Lynn's picture

Nor does it claim vinegar cuts grease.

Vinegar available for home use is always diluted. "100% strength" refers to out-of-the-bottle.

I'm sorry about your mum. I suggest that her eyes mightn't be the best any more, as people with bad eyesight sometimes just don't see grime. Consider encouraging her to get her eyes checked.

My own best solution for those situations is a good, elbow-grease-filled cleaning with either soap or a citrus-based cleanser and--yes--a vinegar rinse to break down any soap residue if I've used soap.

I'm sure the two of you can come up with a good compromise on cleaning products. There are a lot more options than there used to be.

Guest's picture

How do i get whiteout of clothes especially black material

Guest's picture

I read on a pet site that using 50% water 50% vinegar solution "removes" the smell of pet urine so they will no longer want to mark there any longer. Is there any validity to this? I have already tried it do to the fact that I have recenlty bought a brand new home and my dogs which i love so much have been marking up a storm and im at my ropes end with them and my hard wood floors!!

Lynn's picture

The best thing for removing pet stains/smells is an enzyme-based product like Petzyme. As for keeping them from marking a spot, personally I've found any strong citrus smell repels animals, both cats and dogs. I've just laid down actual peels.

Sasha's picture

Thank you for your enzyme suggestion. Now, does anyone know what scent repels rabbits? The little buggers love citrus.

Guest's picture

yes it works. you must soak up as much as possible first. be persistant and dont get discouraged. Air drying is KEY. pets in a new home always mark, cus its there new home. you might want to mop any hard floors too in case there are any old pet smells that humans cant detect, and they will always mark over another dogs mark. lightly spraying all carpet and air drying like u would febreze might help with that on the rugs. by the way febreze is poison for dogs, and remember they lick their paws and are eating the poison if u febreze on the carpet!

GuestDebbie's picture

I've had dogs all of my life but I discovered white vinegar for floors and carpet only 5 years ago or so. It's AMAZING how white vinegar mixed with water gets urine stains out of carpeting. Even old stains disappear (sounds like a commercial right? But it's so true). I had about 1/8 of a cup white vinegar to about 1 cup of water. You don't have to be that particular about the ratio but too much vinegar means the smell will linger for a longer period of time. I sop up the urnine with an old towel (or tons of paper towels); I pour the white vinegar mixture right onto where the puddle was; I sop it up again. It really works; and no soap residue to sit there and collect more dirt and odor. I don't know about the marking of territory. I just know the smell and stain is gone. You can tell that I can't say enough because this really is a big problem for pet owners. It's so cheap too.

Guest's picture

I used vinegar on my carpet and did rinse it but it stank like vinegar for at least a week.

Young homemaker's picture

Hi, my fiancee and I rent out rooms in our home and our last roommates (who also had a beagle and chihuahua) trashed the carpet in the room with urine, throw up, food, spilled drinks, spilled ash trays, etc.

I cleaned the carpet (drying between cleanings)- once with dish soap and scrubber with bristles, vacuumed some purex laundry detergent through for the fresh smell, used Resolve spray for more stains, Woolite with scotch guard all over, baking soda and vacuuming twice.

Finally my fiancee read that you could clean and get the smell out with distilled white vinegar. We cleaned the stained walls and carpets with it. I've had two fans going for about a week now with the window open and it still smells like vinegar in that room.

I can't have a new roommate moving into that room if it smells like salt and vinegar potato chips in there. Is there anyway to get the vinegar smell out now? I tried baking soda again in hopes it would absorb the odor. It did not work and since we could have a new roommate any day now I might just have to by some Febreze or air freshener. But before I do that is there anything else I can do?

missy's picture

try oxy clean in a rug doctor, should do the trick

Guest's picture

why don't you call a carpet cleaner to do the JOB !!!

Guest's picture

:sick: vinegar smells really bad to spray around the house though

Guest's picture

The smell does not linger very long and will dry odorless.

Guest's picture

I remember reading an article in a magazine (First, I believe) that suggested removing pet odors with a white vinegar/water mix. After cleaning our carpets, I noticed that the house smells like Urine, thanks to our puppy. What is the ratio to mix and do I just spray it over the areas where he has his "accidents"?

Guest's picture

I accidently spilled a spot of grease on my suade slipper and don't know how to get it out. Also, through normal wear dirt spots occur. Will vinegar clear these suade slippers?

Lynn's picture

You may have to take them to a shoe repair place. But I don't really know for sure.

Young homemaker's picture

Since I last posted here on 4/14/10 it still smells like vinegar in that room. Today is 6/25/10.

That is a long time. Vinegar reeks something awful. Distilled white vinegar mixed with water does not work!!!!!!!!!

The stains only came out a little and now it stinks worse than the dog pee did. That's saying alot.

Don't use the stuff for carpet, walls, or windows. Certainly don't do a whole room with it. When you first spray it on the room is full of fumes that make you have to leave the room. It might be safer, but it is more over powering than other cleaners.

It makes you cough and then the smell never ever ever leaves. Find something 'green' that doesn't make your room smell like salt and vinegar chips. Those chips taste good once in awhile, but I don't want to smell it everyday. What a stupid idea to use vinegar. Take my advice.

Guest's picture

When ever I use vinegar to clean I squeeze a lemon in the bottle to provide a clean smell. Get something called FEBREZE TRUE AIR, get one for every wall in the room. Plug them in and let them run day and night with the door shut and open the windows for about 2 hours a day. That smell should go away.

This Febreze True air is an odor eliminator. It sucks the air in the room in, and then filters it and spits it out clean and fresh. No fragrances, but they may have the fragrant ones. THe filters last about 2-3 months, real cheap too. Take a spray bottle fill about 2 ounces of water then squeeze a whole lemon and spray it in there morning and night, covering all four corners of the room, vacuuming a couple times a week.

Young homemaker's picture

Thanks, I'll try that. I've tried febreze, but I haven't tried the plug ins. Thanks for the tip.

Guest's picture

I think you should try an air purifier, one with a hepa filter.
I have not tried this to get the vinegar smell out of a room before, but I do know that they work for me whenever I need to get a cleaner smell inside of my house.

Best of luck to you!

Mr Mike's picture

Another unmentioned negative about Vinegar in the Washing machine,that I personally discovered this afternoon. One of my neighbors asked me to look at her washing machine as it wasn't spinning when in spin mode. This same neighbor is,(or should i say was.) a big advocate for using vinegar in the washing machine.
She also has my wife using it in our washing machine. I removed the agitator on the 4 year old washer, and was suprised to see that the inner metal tub of the washer had totally rotted away were it should have been attached to the center spindle. Well, that explained why the washer would not spin. I have never seen this in a washer that,was only four years old. The acidity, and corrosiveness of the vinegar ate right through the inner drum of the washer. It will prove to be an expensive lesson for her ,and it compelled me to mention it on your site.

Lynn's picture

I would think it'd take a LOT of vinegar to do that--like, over-use. I used vinegar in my 30-year-old machine for 10 years and its metal was practically brand new when the motor finally broke beyond repair.

Then again, maybe they don't make washers like they used to.

Guest's picture

I bought a couch on Craig's list and when i got it into my home I realized it smelled like grease! I have used an obnoxious amount of fabric febreeze extra strength and still can not get the smell out. Any suggestions?

Guest's picture

For the grease smell in upholstry do not spray it with vinegar!!! It may not smell on the surface after it dries, but if it gets wet again it will smell like vinegar and what ever has spilled. Try using an enzyme cleaner. The same kind that you will use to remove pet stains. It has a pleasant smell and will also clean anything else that's hidden i.e. food stains. if there is actually grease stains try lemon, but be careful because it will take the color out of the material so try it in an inconspicuous place and let dry before using it. Dish soap like Dawn works full strength. Good luck!

Guest's picture

I've read with interest the various arguments and claims both for and against the use of vinegar as a cleaning product. It is certainly true that vinegar doesn't dissolve grease and it won't kill all bacteria. But that's a good thing. If we keep trying to kill all the bacteria in our environment we contribute to the 'superbug' effect (survival of the fittest) and at the same time raise a generation of people with weak immune systems who haven't had the opportunity to develop an adequate spectrum of antibodies. Getting sick is good for you!

Vinegar is not the be all and end all of natural cleaners but is very versatile, cheap and effective at many things. Add to you arsenal of cleaning products a large pack of baking soda. It scours, cuts grease and helps to zap out odours. I keep a flour shaker of this awesome stuff in my bathroom and kitchen. The key to keeping the oven clean is to clean it everytime it's used - just like your dishes, pots and pans. Don't leave grease to build up and bake on or you'll need a strong chemical cleaner to remove it! Hygiene 101.

Guest's picture

I have read that using vinegar in the washer rinse cycle will damage elastic in clothing. Is this true?

Chekky73's picture

:sick: I just rented a place and it reeks like animal pee really strongly how can I fix it?its so bad it makes me gag living room and bedrooms have laminate flooring kitchen and hallway have linoleum

clare jeffrey's picture

:( i made a home made curry the other day and got the curry oil on my work tops and the white sink. i just cant move it with cleaners, could anyone hellp me in this matter?. its really bad, all yellow yuk. thank you. :?

Guest's picture

:( Ok to everyone who claims the virtues of vinegar, I don't really care who uses vinegar on hard surfaces like floors (the smell is kind of gross but not that bad, and fades fast). At my work, they use vinegar on the bathroom floors, and the smell is no big deal.
HOWEVER, I stayed at a hotel in Europe and the smell of vinegar lingering in the sheets, pillowcases and towels was so sickening I literally gagged whenever I entered the room, I am not exagerrating. I couldn't sleep and complained to the front counter and asked to try changing rooms (who didn't care much and told me they are all full), so I was stuck with it. I literally had to hold my hand over my mouth when I entered the room. When I showered I felt like the towels will make me smell like vinegar all day. My hubby smelled it a bit but it didn't bother him, but my sense of smell is more acute then his. Today I got a shipment of cheap-but-cute tops I ordered on eBay and they reek of the same smell. It's disgusting. Don't risk offending guests in your home, hotel or business with the same sickening smell, even if your sense of smell doesn't pick up on it... Somebody else's might!

Guest's picture

Is it just me or does the person who is so unhappy with his/her mum and the cleaning powers of vinegar sound like a looney tunes who has been living in the basement a little too long? Sheesh. I've never seen anyone get so upset over a cleaning product. And if I were your mum I'd tell you to get off your lazy arse and clean it yourself!

Guest's picture

Oh how I agree with you! I couldn't have said it better myself!

Susan Allen's picture

There is a product called Urine-Off that breaks down the urine molecule. I couldn't believe how well it works. If you've cleaned with various cleaners and you still smell urine, use a black light and you'll be appalled at what your bathroom looks like. It works on carpeting as well.

mattieabc's picture

:) Hi I use my home made laundry soap with a few additions to clean my bath rooms and Kitchen. It works great in the shower and tubs on hard water. I rinse then spray and wipe with white vinegar. It works great. Vinegar alone does not work on every thing but is a good rinse when soap is required. I also use calgon and my laundry soap to wash my clothes using Kirks castile. I use white vinegar in the rinse. We have very hard non precip hard water. My towels look so clean and bright, they are soft nauturaly and works great on my clothes as well. I still use some shout diluted. The home made laundry soap recipes are on line. I plant to try substituing citric acid for calgon as it will complete the water softening. I am not sure shout enezyme stain remover should be used with the citric acid in the recipe especialy on natural fibers like cottens. Enezymes have been known to eat babies skin when they get wet. It seems items in the recipe will remove stains and the soaps are great on our dirt. I am going to try vinegar on some of these stains mentioned above . Any help with this would be appreciated. Thankyou mattie

Lizz's picture

I'm not claiming that Vinegar is the 'Holy Grail' of cleaners, or even a disinfectant but when an Aunty of mine was working at the cement works, she would finish work to find that her car was covered with a build up from cement dust.. The only thing that would get rid of the cement dust was white vinegar.. So it musn't be too bad a cleaner if it can cut through cement dust build up! That said, if sanitisation is a worry for you, Methylated Spirits works quite well as a cleaner, and also works great for streak-free window and mirror cleaner if diluted with water and put in a spray bottle.

Shaz's picture

My Mum discovered a long time ago that vinegar was great for cleaning my brothers clothes when he worked with cement. It appears that lots of brickies and cement people use it for the same reason as well as for cleaning their hands.

Astounded at the contradictions's picture

:? OK, I'm really really confused on how some of these people will be raving about the wonderful and "green" nature of vinegar as a cleaner, but will then suggest Febreeze in every room being sprayed on an automatic timer or other chemical based cleaners/air fresheners....Why wouldn't you just use a cheaper chemical based cleaner if you're obviously not worried about toxicity? Hope I don't offend, I'm just confused on the contradictory behavior.

Guest's picture

:jawdrop: lol

David's picture

I have heard that vinegar with water will help a person pass a drug test. Supposedly they did this in the army???? Is this fact or fiction??? If so what are the percentages. :)

Sweet peach's picture

Find out?

Guest's picture

A few people on this post have commented on how bad the vinegar smells on the carpet. If they followed #3 in the above post and used a 50/50 mixture of water/vinegar then I think that is too much and IMHO there is a mistake in the ratio guidance for #3.

If the below noted recipe is any indication of how little white vinegar you actually need then most likely too much was used on the carpet.

Window & Glass Cleaner
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1 quart warm water Spray Bottle

This means that this recipe is only 1% of the total volume used (1/100th). The carpet solution and washing solution is then most likely supposed to be only 5-10% of the overall mixture. 50/50 for carpet (as noted in #3 in the above post)seems like too much and would be for the washing machine as well. This seems to be corroborated further when #4 above says for "more persistent stains" to use a mixture of:

1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp liquid dish soap
1 cup warm water

This % of vinegar to water in the overall mixture of this recipe is only 2% so, as mentioned, I think there might be a mistake in #3 in referencing 50/50 as the mixture.

Athassrd's picture

I scrolled through and couldn't find an answer to my issue. I use a vinegar/water solution on my wood floors. They don't streak and they look great. However, after 3 or 4 applications the spray bottle quits spraying. I've tried 3 different bottles all with the same result.

Any ideas?

Hear Mum Roar's picture

I find it hilarious that people are stating it doesn't disinfect! It's alcohol! Apparently, that makes it a mid level disinfectant. The problem is, when people disinfect absolutely everything to death, they kill off the protective micro organisms, thus weakening their defenses against disease organisms.

a.smith's picture

Wait, what? Vinegar is not an alcohol in any sense of the word. This is totally false.

Guest's picture

Common white cheap vinegar used for cleaning is "distilled white vinegar" and is an alcohol. It's why I clean with it but only put cider vinegar in my food.

Guest's picture

Vinegar is 5% Acetic Acid aka Ethanoic Acid, which is NOT an alcohol. It is a carboxylic acid.

Guest's picture

This is for the one who said the fumes from the vinegar left them coughing. I suffer from COPD so I can't handle the smell from most chemicals, because they make me cough and choke, but I am using vinegar to get red of some odors in my house and haven't coughed one time. True its not the most pleasant smell but it is going away as it dries. :)

A Scientist's picture

Pure acetic acid is pretty harsh stuff. A 5% solution will kill bacteria. I use a vinegar solution to clean my stove, countertops and appliances. It does remove the grease and no smell remains once the vinegar is dry. It is a volatile compound and dissipates when dry. I like using it on the surfaces in which we prepare food and use daily even though I use other cleaners, like Pine Sol for cutting grease on the stove hood or cleaning painted wood works, for example. Another fact, like dissolves like, so being that vinegar is an acid it dissolves other acids. If you truly want to disinfect something (which is not always the best idea) you have to use steam/heat (121 C for 20 minutes) or ethanol at 70%. Bleach will work but it must saturate the site for 10-15 minutes. The only time I worry about disinfecting something is at work when I'm working with dangerous pathogens. It is completely unnecessary to disinfect your home. It can actually be dangerous, leaving you with strongly resistant bacteria and no beneficial bacteria to combat it (bacteria fight off other bacteria, that's where antibiotics come from). We've evolved to live in essentially filth, so unless you have a specific medical condition, I wouldn't worry much about it. You might actually be surprised that you end up healthier.

EmmasMama's picture

My bathroom sink was very slow to drain, plus, I kept smelling a strong mildew smell in the bathroom. I removed all the pipes & the sink drain, scrubbed them all out and cleaned out the overflow hole from the top entrance (as far as I could possibly stuff the cleaning rag down through there), and from the bottom of the overflow hole, as far up as I could (very difficult, since it curves around), then reinstalled everything. The problem I'm having is, that overflow hole STILL WREAKS!!!

I've read above, about using vinegar and baking soda for plugged up, I think, garbage disposals, but, not sure what I should do to get that wreaking smell out!!! I haven't yet attempted using vinegar or vinegar mixed with anything yet, as I want to wait for suggestions.

Would someone please...please...PLEEEEEEZE, help me out here?

Thank you in advance!!!

EmmasMama's picture

When using vinegar in a spray bottle, how long can it stay in the spray bottle, or should it be emptied after each use?


Kmont's picture

Can a mixture of vinegar & water be kept for a certain time frame, and if so how long; or is it best to mix as needed?

Guest's picture

I mix as needed, don't want anything sitting around my kitchen for days.

Shaz's picture

I have had white vinegar in a metal spray bottle for ages and have had no problem with it. Vinegar, bleach, ammonia and many other strong substances are sold in plastic bottles so I think that could be your guide to how it will affect your spray bottle.

Nth Order's picture

I have killed many spray bottles with weak bleach/water solutions in short order.

Bleach and Vinegar are corrosive to metal etc. Many spray bottles have metal parts.

Manufacturers can sell their super weak solutions in spray bottles because they are designed to be discarded after the product is used.

They do make specially designed large (1 gallon) sprayer for bleach. This specialized sprayer is on the market for a reason.

sal's picture

I am patching a rubber pond liner. Before applying the glued patch I sand the surface of the rubber to rough it up efore ap;plying the patch. Tbis is howw inner automobile tubes usded to be patched. In addition to this can I clean the rubber with vinegar? Will vinegar damage the rubber?

a.smith's picture

You can wipe it with vinegar, but that won't do anything besides make it smell like a salad.

To bond a rubber surface, you need to remove any trace of grease on it. Vinegar is not a degreaser. Use rubbing alcohol.

Guest's picture

I may have missed the topics above, but I was told
that mixing white vinegar with hydrogen peroxide will
clean mold from shoes and leather purses. Can anyone help me on this? Thanks

Chalk Paint Ideas's picture

My husband, kids and I had a blast unclogging our sink by cleaning with vinegar and baking soda! (We even made a video of it). We made "sink volcanoes", a safe way for the kids to help clean. We've also used vinegar to clean our strollers. Love it!

saja's picture

Ok, ok, i went out after reading all these great posts and bought my bottle of vinegar and a few spray bottles, and I have been dutifully cleaning my house with it.

My house STINKS!!!! And it doesn't go away, or at least fast enough for me. Any suggestions of what to add to this vinegar/water concoction to make it smell better?

My cats and i thank you.

Guest's picture

I use vinegar for cleaning and as a rinse aid in my washing machine. I have always bought essential or fragrance oils and added just a very small amount in my bottle (couple drops) and it completely eliminates the smell of vinegar. There's some nice Fragrance oils out there that smell like Tide and or whatever you like. Just thought I'd add my two cents cuz I've read so many posts where people dont like the smell of vinegar and that's what I've always done to mine.

Guest's picture

I put several drops of lemongrass essential oil into the spray bottle it helps

dada's picture

:? hi i have a toy poodle of 8 months,, i brought him home he was 1 month or so,,at first he did his wee wee on a pad, and last month he just stopped doing it on the pad and is peeing alover the house,,is there any thing that i can wash floor with that he hates the smell and just do his wee wee only on pad again???? pls hellppppppp!!!!!!!! :(

linwood1095's picture

Here's a solution I use for pet urine smells. Take an average spray bottle, 24 or 32 ounces, fill about 3/4 of the way with hydrogen peroxide, add an ounce of white vinegar, an ounce of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of dish washing liquid. Fill the rest of the way with water if you have any space left in the bottle. Soak up or clean up (as on non-carpeted floors) any urine you see. Spray the mixture on liberally, let stand for 10 or 15 minutes. If it's still wet (as on non-carpeted floors) finish drying it with your material of choice; like an old towel or paper towels.On carpet, you will have to soak the area of the urine really good and leave it until it dries. I've used other variations of this formula. Same amount of hydrogen peroxide, NO vinegar, NO alcohol, but still a few drops of dish washing liquid. This variation works better on thick carpet. Add some alcohol to this formula for thinner carpets. Here's what these different materials do: hydrogen peroxide is a strong disinfectant/oxidizer that will kill bacteria which is what makes pet urine smell. The vinegar being an acid of sorts will neutralize the ammonia in the urine. The alcohol will mix it all together and get it to evaporate faster AND is another disinfectant. The dishwashing liquid is a surfactant, in english, helps all this soak in by breaking down the surface tension of the liquid. By varying the amounts you can adjust how it works in different situations. If you can't stand the smell of vinegar, use less or none. Doesn't dry fast enough? Increase the amount of alcohol. A little at a time though, don't go overboard. Remember....everything in moderation!

circosan's picture

8) I started using vinegar as a general household cleaner 2.5 years ago when my daughter was born. I didn't want the noxious fumes of ammonia, bleach, etc. in the house (familiar odors of my mom's OCD habits)- just not healthy -and I also wanted to switch to something more low-cost. Vinegar does the trick over and over! I'm not sure why there are complaints of a lingering vinegar odor in several of these posts? A vinegar/water mixture would likely dispel it. 1/3 vinegar + 2/3 water in a spray bottle.

Guest's picture

I love vinegar in most things I eat. I use it with fried or grilled fish and other seafoods, mangoes, green apples, etc. I even drink what is left in bowl that I dip these foods in. It does not hurt you. I am quite healthy. I am 66 years old, and so far so good, I have no health issues.


We use vinegar to clean & sterilize catheters and equipment for my son. My mother's family has used it as a daily dosage to help with arthritis. Recently after swallowing (too late) something that had gone bad, I drank pickle juice (loaded with vinegar and tasted better) to help my churning stomach and kill the bacteria. Felt better afterwards and no effects of food poisoning. We use it to clean colored tile floors also.

Amused guest's picture

First off I do feel for the poor girl but her second post really cracked me up. She says when they first sprayed the room it was so bad they had to leave. Haha. I'd say this was clue number one that too much vinegar was used. Sounds to me like a classic case of 'operator error' more than a 'blame the vinegar' example. As for my use of vinegar, I first began using it to cut that mildew smell one can get if they leave clothing to sit in the washer for too long (silly me completely forgot I started some laundry, Ew). A SMALL amount of vinegar in the rinse cycle (I just splashed some in the bleach dispenser) is all it took and the smell was gone. I should mention that I have a very keen sense of smell. It is practically a party pleaser as my friends find it amusing that I can smell things nobody else can such as I can correctly name the deoderant Bob over there is using or the lotion Cindy used 10 hours ago. If you have a mysterious smell I can not only tell you what it is but locate it as well. That said, I now use vinegar in the wash regularly especially for towels as it will keep them softer and eliminate any nasty odor when the towel becomes wet (some of you may not be aware that your towels smell when wet but those of us with a keen sense of smell can promise you that your older towels do and we know it if we visit your house and use one). A small splash in the bleach dispenser is the answer, trust my nose on this one. I haven't used vinegar for much else ( the vinegar, baking soda & salt to clean sink smells is excellent and I did use this with MUCH success) but this interesting debate along with the actual scientific research done has convinced me to start. Just be warned that you need to use the correct amount and if it smells to strong then common sense says you've used too much. Then again I suppose common sense really isn't all that common...

Guest's picture

If nothing else can be agreed upon on this page let me say that the true thing I have found that it words wonders for is fleas on dogs. Mix a 50/50 combo of white vinegar and H2O and spray liberally on your dog's coat until saturated and then let to air dry. I have literally seen the fleas just fall off which is more than I can say from any retail flea spray. :)

Guest's picture

Can you also spray your carpets and such for with this for fleas? We have fought them in our house bad this year. No sprays so far have killed them out (I am treating my cats too)

Shaz's picture

As far as I know vinegar does not kill fleas. They don't like the smell or something and so run away. While the effect lingers on your pet it will work but not otherwise. Diatomaceous Earth - food grade - is said to work wonders.

Guest's picture

What do you say to someone like me who was using all organic cleaning methods and products and now has a husband with a chronic staph infection he can't get rid of? He has been hospitalized and is looking at going there again soon.

We have a two year old I stay home with and we are okay for now. She has rarely been sick depsite me using organic cleaners witout disinfectants in them. Well,for the last month of our house being Staphs-R-Us, I have been using Clorox wipes on all the counters, sinks, toilet seat, etc. I have also been using Lysol on the floors once a week now too. I don't know what to do. I feel backed into a corner because the docs say we should be disinfecting constantly to try and keep the whole family from this infection.

So, easy to say use vinegar and organic and be afraid of chemicals when you don't have Staph infection staring you in the face. I am one of the most chemical phobic people I know, but here I am now, a victim of unrelenting Staph infection :(

Lynn's picture

My oldest girl gets skin infections--a very particular staph infection that the cleanest house in the universe could not prevent, says the dermatologist. She has to take baths in a weak bleach solution every few weeks. Not really happy about THAT, either. But we do what we have to.

In terms of disinfectants for you, take a look at tea tree products; tea tree oil is anti-bacterial. But I Am Not a Doctor. Follow medical advice. Good luck!

Guest's picture

Thanks for commenting :) I feel better knowing someone else is dealing with Staph. I feel like we should be on a Leper Colony or something!

I came across the bleach bath thing myself the other day. The docs had my hubby using Hibiclens, but everyone says that the dilute bleach baths work better at decolonizing your body of stubborn staph. It said 2xs a week at first and then once a month for maintenance if you can keep it at bay. Like you say, we do what we have to. I was wanting to give my daughter and myself the bleach baths too, thinking it would prevent any infections in us. But now I am thinking as long as we seem healthy, we probably shouldn't irritate our skin. It would probably actually increase the risk of us getting it too. Going to get some good quality probiotics tomorrow too :)

I did read someone saying it is a hygiene issue (the staph infections). To that I say, somehow I managed to have good enough hygiene that no one in my family has had an infection in the 8 years we've lived here. Nothing changed recently, so like you say, even the cleanest house in the world can't prevent some of these new bugs. Ugghhh!

Lynn's picture

Staph is on everything everywhere. You'd have to live in a sterile facility with no one coming or going to avoid it. Most of us aren't bothered by it because we're healthy, but if something happens--in my daughter's case, degraded skin from psoriasis--staph can take hold. The new resistant staphs don't help, which is why antibiotic use must be curbed, especially in the food chain. It's why we don't use antibacterials at our house, either; we use plain soap, with the exception of Jo's occasional bleach baths.

Starlight's picture

Recently, I watched several videos on youtube about the MRSA health issue. (enter - MRSA in the search field there) and learned that we carry staph in our mouths and noses normally. When our health is compromised and our immune system is weak it can take hold and invade your bloodstream. What I got from all this was to build my immune system up with a good diet and to protect any scratches or skin lesions by keeping them clean and covered. The MRSA supposedly creates a great deal of lactic acid which can be addressed naturally while the antibiotics do their job -- and keeping the MRSA wounds clean and covered to prevent spreading. It is worth doing some research on this -- as it might ease your worries somewhat.

I have NEVER heard of using bleach on human skin and surely would research any such treatment before doing such a thing. Even using vinegar in a bath-- you should use only a little. Peppermint soap may be a good skin disinfectant. Please research anything you do to your body.

Guest's picture

Okay. So I'm 16 and I have always had horrible ear infections and am sick of goig to the docter about it I absolutly hat it help here :( like asap because I have on right now and it sucks I don't want my eardrum to burst open again

Nth Order's picture

At the first sign of an infection, I put a little alcohol in my ear and let it soak for awhile with my head tilted to keep it from dripping out.

Problem solved.


Guest's picture

:sick: My Chihuahua was dx with Epilepsy on Easter, after suffering a devastating seizure. The only thing different on that day is that we used Pinesol & Lysol to clean the house for company. I'm not saying these products caused his seizure, but I've recently learned they are known triggers. I want them out of my house just to be safe!

I want a safe cleaner for my house .... Has anyone else had this issue, and did it help to eliminate the seizure's by using vinegar?????? I'm desperate.... He's my baby!!!!

Guest Tami's picture

First I want to say I am sorry that your dog having seizures. I also know this post is months later. My 8 year old male Bichon Frise had petite seizures. We believe it was the steroid shot the 'wholistic' doc gave him. She did not tell me she was giving a shot. I mean he had small itchy hot spot for about a week. I was concerned because he was a young pup. We do all natural in my house. My dogs eat all raw, no kibble, etc. I also use vinegar and OxyClean...the original.

I found a good homeopath. She gave him a couple good remedies. At first the seizures were about once per month. The after the remedy they came more frequently for a short time....she told me to expect this. Then they grew further apart. I was prepared that he may need remedies all his life. I never expected them to stop, but they have. He hasn't had a seizure in 3 or 4 years.

I think it was the raw meat diet, fat and remedies that helped him. Sometimes you need a combo of things, but diet is the first place I look.

Hope this helps! I was searching vinegar to clean my silver and found this great forum.


Melina's picture

Mix a couple of drops of dish soap in about a 1/4 cup of vinegar and leave it on your countertop to trap fruit flies! Works like a charm!

Guest's picture

My son (3) has been diagnosed with a staph infection for the 3rd time. We know how he got it the first time, He had a friction burn on his elbow, which was open and weepy for a few days. However, after 3 rounds of antibiotics, it is back.

He is now on nasal antibiotics and antibiotic ointment, but I want to find a natural spray cleaning product which will kill the bacteria if it is on any of the surfaces in the house.

Will vinegar do this??

Guest's picture

i can recomend you buying a household ozone generator, cost about 17£, kills just about everything. mine has a timer, just switch on befor you go out and when you return the room will smell of sea air. ozonate water and wash youself with it to eliminate body smells and viruses. i wash my feet in it as it is good at removing verucas, you can even drink it for diarria and gut problems, rinse fruit and veg in it and it stays fresher longer.

Guest's picture

Although I did like the way this cleaner cleaned my showers, the vinegar smell was terrible throughout my whole house. I don't think I would do it again for that reason.

Guest's picture

I also read somewhere that vinegar would get rid of ants. I have had lots of problems with small red ants in the kitchen area and around the cat dish and have tried ant traps all over the house with no luck. I did not want to use those ant killing sprays in the kitchen or around our pets, so I sprayed vinegar around the baseboards, windows, and doors. The ants are GONE and have not come back for months! It really works!

AnnieO's picture

Ever since I found out the hotels in Spain use vinegar to was their linens and that it was germ-killing - I use it everywhere! The smell dissipates in minutes and just leaves 'fresh.' I cleaned my carpets with a vinegar/water solution and that smell lasted until they dried but I love cleaning without the chemical smells and fragrances!

Misty's picture

:grin: As for staph my husband had it for over a year but neither myself or my baby (who was not the healthiest little thing due to other medical problems ) never got it. #1 it must have something to do with your personal immune system which i don't think my husband's was ever right after he had mono as a teen #2 staph is everywhere! ( even your skin) Not to scare u but any infectious disease doc worth their salt will tell u that- but the worst culprits are - nostrils, nails, & buttocks . So most will give u the hibicleanse soap which kills bacteria on the skin for up to 4 hrs, and antibiotic cream for your nostrils as well as the appropriate antbiotic for your particular strain #3 just remember your mother was right - don't pick your nose - wash hands After the bathroom- & don't bite your nails! Also dont freak out & give yourself chemical pneumonia w/ bleach just use it sparingly & w good judgement & don't share personal items towels, wash cloths etc. i pray by the time u read this your bout w/ staph will be athing of the past. P.s. bleach in the bathwater is isn't neccessary with hibicleanse soap. Might i suggest just spraying tub/ shower w/ 1 part bleach & 10 parts water after use. Also ive been using more natural methods after getting over our bout for the past 5 yrs & we've had no reccurrence! GOOD LUCK!

GuestCory's picture

Years ago I was a health inspector, and I remember learning that one of the best ways to keep a kitchen/processing area etc. clean is to vary the kinds of sanitizers you use every couple of days etc. In my kitchen I usually switch from vinegar/water and water/bleach (don't use at the same time!!). And like other posters have said, soap and water do much of the work....getting rid of the substance is the first and best tactic. I also use the same spray bottles in the bathroom. Occassionaly using quat. amm. (disposable wipe sanitizers) too, but this should really be followed by a clean water rinse on kitchen counters (after a bit of time).

Guest's picture

So if you are all worried because you think soap is the ONLY way to kill bacteria and germs, put a few drops of dishsoap in with it. That way it cuts the grease, gets the residue up, and shuts up all of you dummies.

Britax's picture

I would think it'd take a LOT of vinegar to do that--like, over-use. I used vinegar in my 30-year-old machine for 10 years and its metal was practically brand new when the motor finally broke beyond repair.Britax

Guest's picture

Okay so this isn't that bad infact I think it smells clean. and for CAT PEE you have to use a Oxygen Based Chemical OxyClean will work on Cat Pee.

Guest's picture

that smell lasted until they dried but I love cleaning without the chemical smells and fragrances!Web Design Agency

Pat Krewe's picture

Another great thing about vinegar is that you can mix your own cleaning solution if you mix white vinegar and orange peels. Great all natural scented cleaning solution without other scented commercial cleaners that contain carcinogens. As part of a Phoenix house cleaning service i'm saving this post for future use.

Poppyjuice's picture

We love vinegar! It has so many uses and is very inexpensive. We make an all purpose cleaning solution out of orange peels and vinegar. It's very effective and is great for households with children and pets. You can find the recipe here -

Thanks for pointing out how versatile vinegar can be!

iammar's picture

i live in an older home, since we had so much rain this year.i now have found a few bugs in the house (i know there`s more in the walls). a friend told me that she saw a t.v. show saying to use vinegar to get rid of them. if it works, how would i use it????

Karol Podesta's picture

I cannot find where to buy only "white" vinegar. All stores, websites, etc. sell "distilled" white vinegar. Is it just not available? Many sites talk about the differences; white for cleaning, etc. distilled for food, etc. Can you help me? I live near San Francisco and find it hard to believe that "white" vinegar is not available in such a large geographic area.

Lynn's picture

White vinegar and distilled white vinegar are the same thing. :) They now make a white vinegar specifically for cleaning that has a higher percentage of acid, ie, it's not as diluted. It should be clearly marked as cleaning vinegar. There is also agricultural vinegar, which is so acidic it will burn you, but you can only get that through specialty nurseries and agricultural supply shops. We use it to burn blackberry bushes at our house.

Guest's picture

"Remove corrosion" HAHAHAHAA

Guest's picture

I can't take credit for it, but from another website, it recommended this treatment since vinegar enhances the removal of rust without scratching.

Norahs's picture

Will using distelled white vinegar in my fruit and vegetable wash kill the ecoli virus?

airkraft's picture

Dr Oz recommends Manuka honey as anti-viral/fungal/bacterial. I've seen video on youtube where NZ hospitals use the 24 grade (still edible) for staph infected wound dressings. Very little risk in trying this.

Mermaid's picture

Salt is highly corrosive to silver; are you sure letting a salt mixture sit on silver for 15 minutes is safe for the silver? The only de-tarnishing recipe I know (the one where you boil silver in a pot with aluminum foil & a salt mixture) really requires you to rinse the silver immediately, or it pits terribly. Salt & vinegar may work for other metals, but I'd urge extreme caution with silver.

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