10 Cool Cleaning Uses for Vinegar!



It’s pungent, acidic, tangy, makes you crumple up your nose and tear up, or brings up memories of eating fish and chips out of newsprint.

Whether vinegar brings a smile or a scrunch to your face, you can’t argue the tons of household uses it has.

So because January is national vinegar month, somewhere in the world, I’m sure if I just checked Wikipedia I’d find it, I want to honour it by sharing 10 interesting cleaning uses for vinegar.  We know a lot of them already, so I decided to focus on some lesser-known tips for you.

That’s called value-added content people.  That’s value.

Here we go!

Scissor cleaner

 Whether they are in the kitchen, craft room or garage, scissors get grimy.   When your scissor blades get sticky, wipe them down with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar. Unlike soap and water, vinegar won’t ruin the blades or rust the metal.

Ooey, gooey stickers

When you get that great new thing from that store and it has a sticker on the bottom, rather than breaking every nail on scratching off the sticky residue left behind, simply rub some vinegar onto the sticky area, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then wipe it away.  Vinegar will break down the residue!

Clean the dishwasher, kettle & coffee pot

Give your large and small appliances a good cleaning by using vinegar to deodorize, break down and descale.  Simply add a cup of vinegar to the appliance (which uses water), let it sit, and then run a full cycle through.  Dump the vinegar and you are in great shape.  We have a video on each one of these topics.

Steam clean your microwave

Easy, quick and painfully effective, microwave cleaning will never be the same.  Simply add equal parts water and vinegar and microwave for 4 minutes.  Carefully remove the bowl with oven gloves and wipe the insides with a clean microfiber cloth.  The steam created will literally melt off any microwave mess and make clean up a piece of cake.

Naturally refresh fabrics and upholstery

We just did a holiday video on this, but it’s worth mentioning again, especially since you are willing to spend 6 bucks on a bottle of Febreeze.  All you need to do is add plain white vinegar to a spray bottle, Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water and use this to mist your fabrics instead.  It quickly neutralizes odours and the vinegar smell disappears in minutes.

Rejuvenate your bathroom tools

Your bathroom tools like loofas, pumice stones and razor blades need a cleaning too.  To do this, simply fill your sink with equal parts of vinegar and water, soal the items for an hour and then rinse and dry.  Soap residue, body oils and smells will be gone. These items will be cleaned with literally no effort on your part!

Defrost car windows

This trick need not apply to our friends in sunny parts of the world.  For the rest of you that know the drill of scraping ice off your car windows, try this next time the forecast calls for frost.  Before the storm hits, wash a solution of 3 parts vinegar to one part water over the windows.  Since the acidity of the vinegar prevents ice, you won’t have frosty glass after the storm hits.  Lovely, huh?

Replace dryer sheets & fabric softener

If you are ready to do away with fabric softener and dryer sheets, try this instead.  During the wash cycle, add in a half cup of white distilled vinegar.  Believe it or not, the acid reduces static and keeps dryer lint from sticking to your clothes. Further to that, it can also help brighten, soften and deodorize the clothing.  It’s a no-brainer!

Hand stank

If you like to cook but hate the smell of onions, garlic, meat, fish and spices on your hands or the dreaded red beet hand syndrome, try this.  Clean your hands with soap and water, and then rinse well with vinegar.  The vinegar will remove those strong odours and leave your hands looking and smelling clean afterward.

Clean your wood cutting board

I don’t cut any meat on my wood cutting board, but I cut everything else on here.  So, to keep it clean simply wash it with a vinegar-soaked cloth after each use and you’ll remove the bacteria.  You will also need to use an oil to condition your board from time to time, but we’ll discuss that in another video.

A couple of quick notes:

  • Don’t mix vinegar with Ammonia, unless you want to end up in the emergency room.
  • Never use white distilled vinegar on stone surfaces including limestone, travertine, granite or marble. The acid can damage the surface.
  • White vinegar, distilled white vinegar and full-strength vinegar (a stronger version of white vinegar specifically for cleaning) are the only kinds you should be using when cleaning.  Any other kind is for cooking, so don’t mix them up.

And that’s the size of it!

I’ve picked 10 interesting cleaning uses for vinegar out of a sea of vinegar cleaning tips, now it’s your turn..

What are your favourite vinegar cleaning tips? Leave a comment below!


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Melissa Maker is the host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube, editor-at-large of CleanMySpace.com, and founder of Clean My Space (a well-known Toronto-based cleaning service). She's been knee-deep in the cleaning game since 2006. Follow Melissa: @MelissaMaker on Instagram, SnapChat & Twitter!


  1. I have left a pair of scissors to soak in white vinegar and went to sleep. Remained there for 12 hours and now it’s almost all black and smells horribly.
    Did I make an irreversible mistake? Can I somehow fix it or should I buy a new pair of scissors? :'(

  2. 1/2 vinegar 1/2 water lightly sprayed on a microfiber cloth is magic for screens: TV, computer, phone, fronts of alarm clocks, black oven doors, calculator display window and on and on. I love it! My tv never looked so dust free.

  3. I’ve been in the steel business for many years and once in a great while I get a project that calls for the steel to be hot dipped galvanized. Just recently a project specified the galvanized item to have a coat of paint. Somewhere in the past I was told that the galvanized steel item should be coated with vinegar so the paint will adhere and stop the paint from peeling……..I hope it works as this will happen tomorrow.

  4. I would love it if you added a “print” plugin. I am trying to memorize some of these, cleaning with vinegar and cleaning with baking soda for example, so I have been printing them. It would be totally cool and easy if I could just click a button and print from there. Maybe??? 🙂

  5. Hi, Melissa! I’ve been using vinegar in my rinse cycle–1 cup per extra large load. (Since I don’t have a dispenser, I just add directly to the washer after it has begun agitating during the rinse cycle.) I have read elsewhere on the internet that use of vinegar can rot rubber hoses and seals. What do you think? Anything to worry about?

  6. I stopped using fabric softener and now use vinegar, works great and freshens those towels, so they feel like new and no your laundry will not smell like vinegar, also use vinegar in the toilet bowl, pour into bowl before bed, leave it overnite and scrub as usual in the morning.

  7. Your videos are really good and informative! Thanks Melissa ! A quick question- Is there any way to remove hair color stains from bath tub and wall tiles. Tried with baking soda and vinegar. Didn’t work. Would really appreciate some advise .

  8. What is the HEALTH difference between SYNTHETIC and NATURAL vinegar?? Stores sell both as food, and no warnings are on the synthetic vinegar bottles…………..

    For instance, in washing vegetables and fruit, and in applying to skin for cleaning and relieving mosquito bites or other minor irritations?

    Is synthetic vinegar made from petrolium as opposes natural vinegar made from vegetables??


  9. I used a parfait glass for rootnig a plant in water. After refilling the glass several times due to evaporation, the calcium build up was easily removed by filling the glass with a few tablespoons of vinegar to the mostly filled glass of water, an hour later I washed it and it sparkled as if new. I did the same to a stainless steel bowl I used for my dogs water water and it too had no build up around it. Cool…sparkling clean.

  10. I use the vinegar with baking soda to clean the exhaust pipes of the shower, the hot vinegar as a limescale, and with water for greasy hair of my daughter Melissa

  11. Hello from India, I was inspired by your video and started my hunt to find white vinegar. However, I could only find Synthetic Vinegar(made from acetic acid). Would you know if it’s safe for cleaning purposes?

  12. Vinegar is like a super product for cleaning! Just dilute it with equal parts of water and it will be very effective on those pesky white mildew stains in bathroom fixtures and tiles.

  13. I am looking for a way to clean my granite counter tops. I am looking for a homemade solution for disinfecting that is safe for granite. Please help! I have a homemade cleaner but it isn’t a disinfectant.

    • I found this online the other day

      Granite cleaner:
      1/2 C. rubbing alcohol
      2 C. water
      8 drops dish washing liquid (dawn good choice)
      Essential oil (of your choice for smell)

      Add all ingredients in spray bottle. Shake well and spray. Use soft cloth.

  14. Melissa, I have been enjoying learning about diy cleaning. You mentioned using peppermint essential oil in vinegar to offset the smell. Can I use any essential oil or is this the only one that does not react with it?

    Can I use alcohol and vinegar together?

  15. In another video, you said it was hard to find double strength cleaning vinegar. I’ve only seen it at Food Basics in North York (maybe they all carry it). Regular price is $2.99 for a 2.5L bottle. But every few months it goes on sale for $1.99! That’s when I stock up – usually buy 6-8 bottles, which last months .. until the next sale.

    I use that stuff for everything from fabric softener, to fruit wash. It’s the best.

  16. Thank you very much.it is very educational for me. I will start using vinegar from now on.

    Bye for now. Take care,
    Kind regards,
    Juvy from uk 6aseptember 2013

  17. I temper the “vinegar smell” by soaking lemon rinds in a pitcher of vinegar for a few days. This is my go-to cleaner for just about everything!

  18. Hey Melissa. Thank you so much for the wonderful tips! Your awesome = ) I have a question for you hehe. Can I spray vinegar on a microfiber cloth? I know vinegar cuts static. Will this damage the microfiber cloth? Should I use a regular cloth instead?

  19. I have been using vinegar for the past year and I haven’t looked back since! I use it for EVERYTHING. I am like the father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, only I have a spray bottle of vinegar, not windex!
    I recently read that you can clean/descale your kettle by adding 1cup of vinegar, 1cup of water and boiling it. Tip it out, fill with water, boil and pour it out. I tried it last week and my kettle is imaculate!
    It’s great for bug bites and stings, removing funky smells, cleaning ovens (make a paste with bicarb soda, smear it on, leave for a bit and remove- its amazing), cures hiccups, cleaning the bathroom…it’s top stuff! Thanks for the tips though- you mentioned a few I hadn’t heard of that I’ll be trying soon 🙂

  20. I use vinegar for all my household cleaning needs. I live in a house with 3 dogs and I use to have 2 cats, guest were always amazed that the house never smells of pets (though the Baking Soda was my biggest helper on cat smells!) I hate using chemicals, they tend to trigger asthma attacks for me, so I use what nature gave us. Here is a link to even more uses for vinegar: http://www.vinegartips.com/Scripts/

  21. […] If you can find ‘full-strength’ vinegar you are in even better shape.  Vinegar is a degreaser, a streak-free cleaning agent, a mild disinfectant, and a deodorizer.  It’s amazing for everything from cleaning windows to cutting heavy kitchen grease to a simple floor cleaner.  Check out all the things you can clean with vinegar here!  […]

  22. I also use white vinegar in my laundry. I have a front loader so I just fill the fabric softener spot full of vinegar instead. but I use it to help ensure all the dog hair (or other pet hair) is released from the clothes. my son loves to snuggle with our 2 long haired dogs and they love to lay on the towels on the ground. between the vinegar in the wash and the fabric sheet in the dryer, my clothes never still have hair on them when they come out dry and clean! p.s.-its also great for making your silver fixtures and faucets shine.

  23. ahahaahhahahah i had no idea that i should be using white vinegar!i always used vinegar from red grapes!THAT’S WHY IT WASN’T SUCCESSFUL!:p extra tip:deep clean your iron with vinegar!just put some vinegar instead of water and press the ”steam” button until there’s no more vinegar.you wouldn’t believe your eyes when you’ll see all the distgusting things that are packed in your iron!when you’re done just fill it up with water,press again the ”steam” button untl there’s water no more and voila!clean iron!

  24. Window cleaner- about 1/3 white vinegar, 2/3 hot water, and a couple drops of jet dry or any dishwasher rinse aide. I also keep a spray bottle handy with this mixture (obviously not the hot water part) and use it on just about everything!

  25. My tip is on how clean grout. Make a paste of white vinegar and baking soda, apply to the grout, leave for 10 minutes, this allows the paste to absorb all the dirt and grime, then wipe away with a damp cloth. The magic is in the fact that the paste absorbs the dirt rather than bleaching it. Its amazing, grout is as clean as when it was first applied.

  26. I had a mould problem on the upper part of my bathroom walls caused by lack of ventilation due to no outside windows. I had tried every mould remover on the market but they always left a faint blemish on the paint and the mould would return within days.
    I stumbled upon a solution online suggesting white vinegar, so I bought the laundry strength and applied it to the walls undiluted using a damp cloth and I am happy to say it not only removed the mould and left no marks but 8 months later the mould has still not returned.
    I also add half a cup to my towels wash once every month or so to keep them fresh and remove any build up. They come out fresh and soft… LOVE VINEGAR.

    • That is awesome I just used it on my coffee pot in my kitchen counters in my microwave and thought that was amazing now move to the bathroom

  27. Wow! This is like an OCD haven! I’m going to throw away all the crap under my sink. I can’t wait to try all these tips 🙂

  28. Hair rinse- about once a week or when I remember I pour about a cup on my scalp and massage then rinse. Leaves hair so clean and removes build up of shampoo’s and conditioners.

    Drain cleaner- Pour a cup of baking soda down drain and a cup of white vinegar followed by a chaser of boiling water

    Apple cider vinegar- sore throat remedy.
    The moment you feel the post nasal drip down the back of your throat grab either a shot glass of the stuff garagle then swallow or you can also make a tea of hot water honey and apple cider vinegar to slowly sip throughout the day as needed. The first method burns your throat and numbs it quick. The other tends to be soothing.

    • When I was as poor as a church mouse and had strep throat, my Auntie told me to drink a mixture of apple cider vinegar (4 oz.), HOT water (6 oz.), and honey (2-4 TBSP). Now I am an old lady and can afford a doctor. I still use my Auntie’s remedy in lieu of antibiotics. After discussing this with my doctor, she said “go for it” as she is aware of vinegar’s healing powers. One warning however, it does NOT affect staph infection of the throat. Vinegar, yup it’s a miracle of nature!

  29. Get rid of ants in your grocery cupboard (or anywhere inside your house for that matter) by wiping the shelves with dampened vinegar cloth. Unlike othrer insect repellents, it is not poisonous but very very effective!!

  30. I use white vinegar and water in a spray bottle to clean my bathroom mirrors. I fill up 1/4 of the bottle with vinegar and the 3/4 of the bottle with water. The mixture leaves the mirrors clean and streak free. I also use a microfiber towel because sometimes paper towels can leave a trail of lint. White Vinegar
    IS my new best friend!!!
    Kathy Cooper

    • Be careful with microfiber cloths, they are basically plastic which can scratch sensitive surfaces, such as eyeglasses & flat-screen tvs, etc. Otherwise, they are awesome!

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