7 Clever Ways to Clean with Vinegar!


I have long touted the benefits of cleaning with vinegar. Most of us know it’s a great cleaning product, and even though it makes us wrinkle our noses, it works! So, it’s hard to argue (and it’s super cheap). Put on your adulting pants and get over the smell—and if you really can’t handle it, I’ve got a trick for how you can make vinegar smell better. So, here are 7 ways you can sneak vinegar into your home and help clean and deodorize where you need it most. Quick note, I’m talking about plain 5% white vinegar here, nothing fancy!

clean fridge

Fridge Deodorizer

Baking soda in a fridge works well to keep odors under control. But, let’s say you’re putting something extra stinky in there (i.e. fancy cheeses, salting a roast or chicken, sliced onions, .etc) you can help manage that pungent odor by placing a bowl of vinegar in the fridge. All you need is about a cup’s worth, the vinegar eats those odors like a hungry camper. It’s like a booster shot of deodorizing power!

loading the dishwasher

Dishwasher Rinse Aid

It’s never fun to unload the dishwasher only to find less than stellar results—streaky and spotty glasses and cutlery being the primary culprits. Rather than spending money on rinse aid, just fill the dishwasher and fill a dish or cup (upright) with vinegar and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Then, load and run through your dishwasher as usual. The vinegar will be distributed as the dishwasher does its work. Vinegar will help break down grease and grime and prevent hard water marks from staining your glasses and cutlery.

clean stainless steel

Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner

If you battle the stainless steel fingerprint army as much as I do, you’ll want to use vinegar as your new secret weapon. Mix one part vinegar and one part water in a clean spray bottle, spray it on your stainless steel and wipe greasy, soiled areas clean with a microfiber cloth. The vinegar is safe to use on the surface and removes grease, leaving a gorgeous sheen to your appliances (for now…).

Stay Clean While Cooking

Eliminate Cooking Odors

I love the smell of a home cooked meal…but sometimes, sometimes, you don’t want your whole house reeking of fried fish or eggplant parmesan—especially since it can get into your upholstery, clothing and hair!  To easily combat cooking odors, boil a pot filled with one cup of vinegar and two cups of water and allow it to bubble away until it is mostly evaporated. The vinegar helps trap those dispersed odors and neutralize them, so your house smells like home again (and not the backside of a restaurant).

chrome faucet

Chrome Polish

If you notice chrome fixtures (faucets etc.) look lackluster at times, mostly from water marks, soap scum, and our own dirty hands—grab your vinegar and get ready to shine!  Simply dip a dry microfiber cloth into white vinegar and wipe faucets clean (use a dry part of the cloth to remove moisture and reveal a shine). If you notice a particularly stubborn watermark or hard water deposit, wrap the cloth around the fixture and allow the vinegar to penetrate, breaking down the minerals (about an hour up to overnight). Then, remove and wipe clean to a shine.

Shine cutlery

Sparkling Cutlery

When I used to work in restaurants, one of the tricks we used to get the cutlery water-mark free was to soak clean cutlery in a bath of one part vinegar to three parts water (we would do this in a bucket) and use a microfiber cloth to shine the cutlery before placing in the bins for table settings. If you’ve ever noticed a brown mark or some strange discoloration on cutlery, try this trick—it’ll get rid of it right away and make your cutlery look brand new!

laundry tips

All Natural DIY Fabric softener

To soften fabric, fluff towels, get rid of odours and brighten colours, add a cup of vinegar where you’d normally add your fabric softener to your washing machine. While it sounds simple, sneaking vinegar into your laundry load makes a big difference!

Here are some other posts on cleaning with vinegar:

There are hundreds of ways to clean with vinegar and use it around the house!  I hope you now have a few more ways you can sneak vinegar into your cleaning routine – let me know your favourite ways to clean with vinegar in the comments!

cleaning with vinegar

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.