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How to efficiently clean your house with vinegar

Updated: May 30

Cleaning your home can quickly become expensive, especially when you consider the variety of specialised cleaning products available for different surfaces and appliances: oven cleaner, window cleaner, shower cleaner, toilet cleaner, limescale cleaner, floor cleaner, furniture polish, and so on. Beyond the financial cost, many of these cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that negatively impact the environment. These chemicals can contaminate soil, rivers, and streams, posing risks to wildlife and even to ourselves through prolonged exposure and inhalation.

Cleaning the House with Vinegar: Budget-Friendly and Environmentally Safe

To reduce our use of harmful cleaners, switching to more environmentally friendly or ‘green’ cleaners is an excellent choice. Using common ingredients like white vinegar not only helps protect the environment by reducing packaging waste but also saves money. White vinegar is a well-known green cleaner that is both cost-effective and environmentally safe. It is also a natural disinfectant. By following these seven steps, you can effectively clean your house using white vinegar, an affordable and environmentally friendly solution that keeps your home smelling fresh and clean.

Always use the right solution of vinegar to avoid any damages of the surface

1. All-Purpose Cleaner

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle to create an all-purpose cleaner. This solution can be used to clean countertops, sinks, and other surfaces. Its mild acidic nature helps break down grime and disinfect surfaces without the need for harsh chemicals.

2. Window and Glass Cleaner

Combine one part white vinegar with one part water to make an effective window and glass cleaner. Spray the solution onto windows and mirrors, then wipe with a microfiber cloth or newspaper for a streak-free shine.

3. Bathroom Cleaner

White vinegar is excellent for tackling bathroom grime. Use it to clean showerheads, tiles, and grout. For showerheads, fill a plastic bag with vinegar and tie it around the showerhead. Let it soak overnight to remove limescale build-up. For tiles and grout, spray a vinegar solution and scrub with a brush.

4. Floor Cleaner

For hardwood or tile floors, mix 1/4 to 1/2 cup of white vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Mop the floors with this solution to clean and disinfect without leaving a residue. Ensure the mop is damp, not soaking wet, to avoid damaging the flooring.

5. Odour Neutraliser

White vinegar is also effective at neutralising odours. Place a bowl of vinegar in rooms with strong odours, like the kitchen or bathroom, and leave it overnight. The vinegar absorbs the odours, leaving the room smelling fresh. Additionally, you can use vinegar to clean and deodorise your garbage disposal by pouring a cup down the drain.

6. Hardwood Floors Cleaner

When it comes to cleaning hardwood floors, using the right solution is crucial to avoid damage and maintain their beauty. Here's why and how vinegar can be an effective cleaning agent for hardwood floors when used correctly:

  • Mild Cleaning Agent: Vinegar, specifically distilled white vinegar, is a mild acid that can effectively break down dirt and grime without being harsh on most surfaces. When diluted properly, it can clean hardwood floors without causing harm.

  • Safe for Finishes: When used in the right concentration, vinegar won't strip the finish from your hardwood floors. This is important because the finish protects the wood from damage and wear.

  • Cleaning Technique: Mop the floor, making sure to cover the entire area evenly. Avoid leaving puddles of water on the floor, as standing water can damage the wood.

  • Drying: Open windows or use fans to facilitate airflow, helping the floor dry quickly. This step is crucial to prevent water damage or warping.

To enjoy your sofa and carpets longer, treat urine stains from pets on time

7. Cleaning Pet Urine from Carpet and Upholstery with White Vinegar

Pet urine on carpets or upholstery can leave a strong and unpleasant odour, particularly from cats, which can persist for months if not properly cleaned. Fortunately, you don’t need expensive cleaners loaded with toxic chemicals; white vinegar provides a cheaper and more eco-friendly solution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to effectively remove pet urine and its odour using white vinegar:

  • Absorb Fresh Urine: If the urine is fresh, immediately blot the area with paper towels or rags to absorb as much of the urine as possible. Press down firmly to soak up the liquid but avoid rubbing, as this can spread the urine further into the fibres.

  • Prepare the Vinegar Solution: Mix one part distilled white vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil if desired to help mask the vinegar smell.

  • Apply the Solution: Spray the vinegar solution generously onto the affected area, ensuring it penetrates deep into the carpet or upholstery fibres. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to break down the urine and neutralise the odour.

  • Blot the Area: Blot the area again with paper towels or rags to absorb as much of the vinegar solution as possible.

  • Apply Baking Soda: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the treated area. Baking soda helps to absorb any remaining moisture and further neutralises odours. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes, or longer if possible.

  • Vacuum: Once the baking soda has had time to work, vacuum the area thoroughly to remove all the baking soda residue.

  • Test First: Before applying the vinegar solution to a large or visible area, test it on a small, inconspicuous spot to ensure it doesn’t damage or discolour the fabric.

  • Deep Cleaning: For particularly stubborn odours or older stains, consider using professional carpet cleaner with an upholstery attachment for a more thorough cleaning. You can use the vinegar solution in place of commercial cleaning solutions.


Switching to white vinegar for household cleaning is a simple and effective way to save money and reduce environmental impact. It minimises the need for multiple cleaning products and the associated packaging waste, while providing a safe and natural alternative to harsh chemicals. By incorporating white vinegar into your cleaning routine, you contribute to a healthier home and a cleaner environment.


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