How to Clean With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar is an easy, inexpensive way to kill 99-percent of all germs without toxins or harmful chemicals. The key ingredient and the thing which makes white vinegar especially good for cleaning and disinfecting, is acetic acid. The acid gives vinegar its acidic taste, but more importantly, it's also the thing which the Heinz company says kills salmonella, shigella or E. coli bacteria.

Distilled white vinegar does more than disinfect. Mixed with baking soda, Cream of Tartar or salt, it also becomes a polish and metal cleaner. If you or someone in your family has allergies, you should be buying vinegar by the gallons, because it neutralizes allergens created by dust mites.

Supplies Needed To Clean With Vinegar:

  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Soft cloth or clean rags
  • Sponge
  • Plastic or glass bowl

Step 1: Prepare the Vinegar

Pour your undiluted white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle, a glass or plastic bowl or directly onto a sponge or soft cloth.

Step 2: Apply the Vinegar

Use the spray bottle to spray faucets, sinks, counters, cutting boards or any surface you want to disinfect with vinegar. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then wipe with a clean rag, sponge or paper towel. If using a sponge, dip it into a bowl of undiluted vinegar, or pour vinegar directly onto a cloth or sponge and wipe the area you want to clean or disinfect. Allow it to sit.

Step 3: Rinse And Dry

After wiping up vinegar with a sponge or cloth, follow up with a cold water rinse to eliminate streaking, then dry with another dry cloth.

Tips for Using Vinegar to Clean

  • Use the 5-percent white vinegar available in your local grocery or convenience store for cleaning.
  • Rinse vegetables from your garden or the grocery with white vinegar to kill salmonella, shigella or E. coli bacteria on leaves and vegetables.
  • Vinegar neutralizes dust mite allergens. Use white vinegar to wipe down walls and surfaces, to mop floors and wash clothing.
  • Don't dilute vinegar if you want full-strength cleaning.
  • Vinegar will clean mold, mildew and soap grime in bathrooms. Spray on, let it soak and rinse it off.
  • Vinegar will also clean shower heads. Soak your shower head in a bowl of vinegar for several hours, then rinse. If you can't get the shower head off, then fill a strong, leak-proof bag with vinegar and secure it to the shower-head (dip the shower-head in the bag) and tie up with strong twine.
  • Mix vinegar with 1/4 cup baking soda and a tablespoon of dish washing detergent to create a scouring or scrubbing cleaner.
  • Clean your microwave. Mix 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup of water into a microwave-safe bowl. Bring to a boil for 20 to 30 seconds and then allow to stand for another minute. Remove bowl and wipe out microwave. Great for getting rid of fish odors.
  • Clean metals, such as brass, copper, and pewter, by mixing Cream of Tartar in equal amounts with salt. Add enough white distilled vinegar to make a creamy paste. Rub on metal and let dry. Rub off, rinse and dry.