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Easy Homemade Vinegar Cleaner for Household Use

Jennifer L. Betts
natural mix for effective house cleaner

Have the sniffles hit your home? Rather than grabbing the bleach or Lysol wipes, you might reach for the vinegar instead. In addition to having multiple uses in the kitchen, homemade vinegar cleaners are a powerful tool to help wipe out those pesky bacteria and virus microbes trying to make you sick. Learn how to make a vinegar cleaner using what you already have in your home.

How to Make Vinegar Cleaners

When it comes to cleaning with vinegar, you don't need to get fancy. But you will need vinegar of course. While most will choose white vinegar because of its lack of color, the odor can be a bit overwhelming. In this case, you might choose to go with apple cider vinegar. Just remember that this has a rich brown color. While not usually a problem, it may stain specific white materials. For these recipes, you'll need:

  • White vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • Dawn dish soap (other dish soaps can substitute)
  • Castile soap
  • Lemon juice
  • Essential oils (cinnamon, thyme and tea tree have antiviral properties)
  • Spray bottle
  • Cloth

It should also be noted that vinegar is acidic. It is actually the acetic acid in vinegar that gives it its disinfecting power to kill viruses like influenza A and coronavirus. That acetic acid is also hard on marble, granite and other stone surfaces. Therefore, you'll want to use care when cleaning with vinegar.

Basic Homemade Vinegar Cleaner

When your materials are pretty much nonexistent, you just need a bit of vinegar to make a cleaner.

  1. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray areas to disinfect or clean.
  3. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
  4. Wipe down normally.

Apple Cider Vinegar Alternative

If you don't have white vinegar or you don't like the smell, don't worry. You can make this recipe with apple cider vinegar too. Just remember, apple cider vinegar is a bit more on the pricey side. However, since you're using this for cleaning, you don't need to fork out the extra dough for the mother. Any apple cider vinegar will work.

  1. In a spray bottle, mix one-part ACV to four parts water.
  2. Spray the areas you are looking to clean.
  3. Let sit for 5 or more minutes before wiping.

Since AVC is made from apples, it has a sweeter smell than white vinegar that can appeal to some people.

woman cleaning a table at home

DIY Vinegar Cleaner With Dawn

If you are looking for a powerful disinfectant and grime remover than look no further than the disinfecting power of vinegar and the grease fighter of Dawn. It's a literal one-two cleaning punch. To get cleaning, just follow these steps.

  1. In a spray bottle, mix equal parts vinegar and Dawn.
  2. For a tamer mixture, add 1/2 cup vinegar, a teaspoon of Dawn and 2-1/2 cups of water.
  3. Shake to mix.
  4. Spray and let sit for at least 5 minutes, but it could sit for a few hours in areas like the bathroom.
  5. Rinse and wipe.

Homemade Vinegar Cleaner With Lemon

Vinegar and lemon juice are typical ingredients that you can find in most kitchens. While they work great in recipes, they also work as cleaners. For this recipe, follow these steps.

  1. Mix 2 cups water, 1 cup vinegar and 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  2. Shake the mixture.
  3. Spray and let sit 5-10 minutes. More for heavily soiled areas.

You can also substitute 10-20 drops of cinnamon or thyme essential oil for the lemon juice to create an essential oil vinegar cleaner.

Vinegar Cleaner Recipe With Castille Soap

If you are a DIYer, then the likelihood of you having some castile soap at your house is pretty high. Castile soap makes a great cleaning agent when mixed with vinegar. For this recipe, you'll:

  1. In a spray bottle, mix 1/2 cup castile soap, 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of vinegar.

  2. Shake and spray the mixture.

  3. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before you rinse and wipe.

Cleaners for Specific Stains or Areas of Your Home

While the covered recipes make great all-purpose cleaners for your home, if you are looking to tackle a pet stain on your carpet or clean your tile floors, vinegar is great for that too. You can also use vinegar to:

How to Make Vinegar Cleaners

When it comes to cleaning with vinegar, there are a ton of ways you can do it. Whether you just have vinegar or want to give it a little extra zest, you have the power now. Now, it's time to get disinfecting.

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Easy Homemade Vinegar Cleaner for Household Use