7 MORE Ways You Can Clean with Vinegar
Updated: Apr 21
Simple, non toxic solutions to every day problems is one of the things that lights me up in a weird, proud hippie kinda way. It makes me feel confident that I’m giving my family the cleanest indoor air environment possible. It’s completely possible (and easy) to clean your entire home without any chemicals.
As you probably know, my absolute favourite all-purpose cleaner is Thieves Household Cleaner- in my opinion it works the best and doesn’t leave the chip-truck and pickles smell that vinegar can leave (don’t worry, it does dissipate). However, I wanted to offer you some ‘in a pinch’ cleaning solutions with something that is most likely already in your kitchen- vinegar! There are also some things vinegar can do that I don’t use Thieves for, so I’ve included those things here.
Vinegar is a wonderful non toxic, versatile and economical cleaning solution for many things in our home. White vinegar is what I use around my home but you’ll also see it as distilled vinegar- it’s the same thing. Vinegar is typically a 4-7% acetic acid and water solution. Vinegar is the result of the fermentation of grain alcohols. When grain alcohols oxidize (are exposed to air) they produce acetic acid which vinegar makers reduce down with water to give us vinegar. Since vinegar is a solvent, it makes for an amazing non-toxic alternative to harsh chemical-based solvents. This is why I love vinegar so much- it takes a lot of the scrubbing effort out of cleaning if you allow it to soak for some time.
In my recent YouTube video, I shared 7 ways you can clean with vinegar so this post accompanies those ‘hacks’ if you will. And, to make your life nice and simple, I’ve created a free downloadable guide with all the recipes from the video and the blog post for you here.
How to Clean With Vinegar
1. Shower Heads
Do you ever notice the hard white build-up that can be found on your shower head? If left, it will clog the sprouts and prevent a steady flow from the shower head. This is calcification from hard water and it’s more common for those of us on a well. It’s the build-up of minerals like calcium, silica and magnesium.
To clean a calcified shower head simply get a plastic bag and fill it halfway with vinegar. Place the bag over the shower head and secure it with a rubber band or hair tie. Let it soak overnight (the longer it soaks, the less scrubbing required) and then simply scrub any remaining residue with an old toothbrush or scrub brush.
Whether you’re painting your home or your kids just finished an art project- a hardened paintbrush can be salvaged with some vinegar. Simply heat up 1 cup of vinegar and place the paint brush into a cup with the vinegar until the brush becomes soft again. Wash the paintbrush with warm soapy water to thoroughly clean it.
3. Toilet Bowls
Like the shower head, toilets can develop build-up over time. To avoid build-up altogether, do this once a week: add 1 cup of vinegar to the toilet bowl, allowing it to sit for 2-4 hours then gently scrub the bowl with a toilet brush and flush. If your toilet bowl already has a generous amount of build-up, double the amount of vinegar and allow it to sit overnight before scrubbing and flushing.
4. Minor Scratch Removal
Minor scratches on wood surfaces don’t necessarily need to be buffed out with a sander. Instead, mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts olive oil and using a microfibre cloth, gently rub the scratched surface. You may need to do this a few times before you see the scratch disappear.
5. Greasy Stove Tops
As mentioned earlier, vinegar is an acid so it cuts grease really well. You’ll need a spray bottle for this one, but simply mix 50:50 water to vinegar and add a squeeze of fresh lemon or 5 drops of lemon essential oil (a fabulous degreaser). Spray on your stovetop and wipe clean.
6. Coffee Makers
I recommend cleaning your coffee maker at least once a month if you use it daily. Water can get trapped in places you can’t see and form mould. Run 1 cup of vinegar with as much water as your coffee maker permits on a regular drip cycle. Then, run it again with just water to avoid vinegary coffee the next day. Once it’s done, discard the water and lay down a tea towel. If possible, flip your coffee maker upside down to allow any leftover water droplets to dry or drip out. Leave overnight to ensure the coffee maker is completely dry.
You’ll need a spray bottle for this one, but simply mix a 50:50 solution of water to vinegar and add a squeeze of fresh lemon or 5 drops of lemon essential oil. Remove everything from your fridge; produce, cartons, jars etc. Take out all the shelves and drawers. Run them under some hot water and then spray them clean with the water and vinegar solution. This is a great way to ensure that nothing toxic is coming into contact with the food you eat.
There you have it! These are my favourite, easiest, most economical ways to clean your home with vinegar. Share your thoughts and your favourite ways to use vinegar around the house.
Grab ALL the recipes I mentioned here PLUS the ones from my YouTube video by downloading your free Guide to Cleaning with Vinegar.
Yours in non-toxic living,