Household Cleaning with Vinegar


Household Cleaning with Vinegar

Cleaning with Vinegar

 Vinegar can clean those hard-to-clean items like hard cheese caked scrub brushes!


Cleaning with Vinegar

A few years ago I began to implement several money saving laundry and cleaning tricks.  A life saver (or, scum killer ;)) has been cleaning with vinegar.  I’ve tried many store bought cleaners for nitty gritty cleaning; I’ve found that nothing seems to work as well as vinegar. Take my nearly vomitus hard cheese caked scrub brush above. A certain sweet son should have used a metal scrubber to tackle this pan that was being washed. But, no fear, he’s trained in the fine art (snicker) of cleaning with vinegar.

Cleaning with Vinegar

It used to be that I’d have thrown a scrub brush away for this kind of gunk. I’m frugal enough to want to save the scrub brush if there’s anything I can do about it. In this case of the cheesy scrub brush attack all we had to do was fill a cup full of vinegar. We soaked the brush over night. By morning we had a useable, cheese free, scrub brush!

  • Soak in vinegar overnight
  • Rinse in the morning

Cleaning with Vinegar

Additional Household Cleaning with Vinegar


Scum, Grime and Slime: As I’ve mentioned before we have well water.  We don’t have iron in the water, but we have calcium. This causes a white, chunky, build up on our faucets. I soak paper towels in vinegar and wrap my faucets for an overnight vinegar bath. As you’ll in the picture below, by morning my faucets are as good as new.

For hard to clean items like my scrub brush above and calcium faucets, I don’t mix the vinegar with water. These are serious cleaning situations that need full force vinegar!! Cleaning with vinegar

All Purpose Household Cleaning: We keep two spray bottles filled with 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar for household cleaning. The kids wipe off table tops, counters, shelves, door knobs, showers, outside of trash cans, basically anything that needs a wipe down gets the vinegar spray at our house.

Toilets: As a mother of 4 boys (& we don’t know the gender of #6 as of yet) toilets get their own section in this post. 😉  I keep an additional bottle of spray water/vinegar by each toilet. It’s easy for the boys to spray the inside of the toilets with vinegar spray and give it a quick scrub with the toilet brush, and – thank you very much spray the floor around the toilet with vinegar spray, to quickly wipe up any messes.  And all the boy moms say, Amen!

Mopping: I often mop our floors with vinegar.  I use 1/2-cup of vinegar to a quart of hot water. It removes all kinds of funk (yes, funk is my technical term) from the floors painlessly.

Fabric Softner: You can use vinegar as a fabric softner as well. I also run a cup through my washing machine to clean out the hoses and hardware.

The smell: We’re honestly not bothered by the smell of vinegar cleaning. We leave our windows open 3 seasons of the year so that may help. I feel the benefits of cleaning with vinegar outweigh the scent. A Google search will bring up all kinds of creative ideas to overcome the odor if it bothers your family.

For  an in-depth look at natural cleaning Amy Bayliss did a wonderful series on 17 Days of Natural Cleaning.




  1. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a cheesy scrub brush, but we do use vinegar for a lot of things. Only thing for me is that the smell doesn’t dissipate as quickly as I’d like. I don’t like bathrooms that smell like pickles. But I use a vinegar shower cleaner anyway. It’s cheap, and I can make the kids do it because it’s safe. :-)

  2. says

    We use vinegar as well. I like the smell, but when guests are coming, I’m not a fan of the whole “boardwalk fries” atmosphere in my house. For special occasions, I keep a Mason Jar of White vinegar with Lemon rinds in it. Every time the jar is emptied, my husband buys lemons or oranges, I make something delicious with them (or we just eat them straight…) and the peel, pulp (from the lemons) all go into the jar! Smells fresh and citrus-y every time we clean with it! Much better than plain vinegar smell! :) And I have also noticed a bit more effective with some tougher things. I think the added acid content makes it more… corrosive. Which can be a good, and a bad, thing.

  3. Megan G says

    We’ve just switched to many things frugal and green……house cleaning as well as body care. Body care was the hardest but so glad we did! Dr. Bronner’s is the most versatile stuff! Amazing how easy it can be :) We did what the other lady suggested you can put a little salt (helps pull out the oils of rinds) and add orange or lemon rinds (juice already squeezed out) and let soak in a jar of vinegar for two weeks. It reduces the vinegar smelll and gives extra cleaning power! Can use as an all purpose cleaner and in the “rinse aid” section of dishwasher. We will always have some of this “brewing” under our sink because it’s Great stuff!!

    • Tara B says

      Thanks for sharing your note about the “rinse aid”. I absolutely hate the stuff they sell in the store, but I don’t like spots on my dishes either. I am really excited to try this out.

  4. says

    We are moving into a VERY old home next week, and get to start all over. No food, no cleaners, just our stuff. I am thrilled to say we are only buying vinegar, Dr. Bonner’s and baking soda for our cleaning mixes! But I had NO idea vinegar would work so well on nasty brushes, and the sink scum!! Very thrilling as there is one big scum mess on the house’s kitchen sink. I bet if you put some of the vinegar/water/citrus rind solution in the toilet brush holder, it would REALLY increase cleaning productivity!

  5. Shannon L says

    I use vinegar all the time. I spray 50/50 vinegar and water on the bed to freshen the mattress. Just make sure it’s dry before putting linens back on. Also, vinegar is good for cleaning an ant trail so the ants don’t know where to go. (Powdered cinnamon is a good repellent.)

  6. Michele says

    will be trying that vinegar on my scrubbies. They’re natural bristle though, so I am not sure how well they will take to being soaked!


  1. […] you, yours, or someone you know cleans your house, be sure to read this post, Household Cleaning with Vinegar, by my BEECH Retreat friend, Jamerill.  The before and after shots of her scrub brush alone make […]

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