7 Sneaky 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.  Put on your big person pants and get over that smell!  (And if you really don’t love it, I’ve got a trick for how you can scent your vinegar, check it out here).

Here are 7 more 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!

Deodorize your fridge when something stinky goes in.

Baking soda in a fridge works well to keep odours 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) you can help manage that pungent odour by placing a bowl of vinegar in the fridge.  All you need is about a cup’s worth, and the vinegar eats those odours like a hungry camper.  It’s like a booster shot of deodorizing power!

vinegar in fridge

Eliminate streaks and marks on glasses in the dishwasher

It’s never fun to unload the dishwasher only to find less than stellar cleaning results.  Rather than spending money on rinse aid, just fill dishwasher safe cup with vinegar (1-2 cups) and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher.  Then, load and run through your dishwasher as usual.  The vinegar will help break down grease and grime and prevent hard water marks from staining your glasses and cutlery.

Fingerprint eraser for stainless steel appliances

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 over 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…).

Eliminate cooking odours

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 odours, boil a pot filled with  one cup of vinegar and two cups of water on the stove and allow it to bubble away until it is mostly evaporated.  The vinegar helps trap those dispersed odours and neutralize them, so your house smells like home again (and not the backside of a restaurant).

Shine your chrome sink fixtures

If you notice these look lacklustre 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 water mark 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.

Sparkling cutlery (no more discolouration)

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 discolouration on cutlery, try this trick – it’ll get rid of it right away and make your cutlery look brand new!

Shine cutlery

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:

How to Clean Baby & Kids Toys

Full strength vinegar?

Laminate floor cleaner

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

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.