Is It Safe And Effective To Use Vinegar For Cleaning? This Is What You Should Know

Vinegar is perhaps the most popular homemade cleaning solution out there. Google anything about household cleaning products, and it’s almost guaranteed that vinegar will appear somewhere at the top of every list.

Why is it so popular? Vinegar has proved to be very effective at cleaning different household equipment. It also does a remarkable job disinfecting surfaces. Even more interesting is the fact that it does all the cleaning without leaving behind toxic chemicals. Therefore, it’s generally viewed as a more user-friendly cleaner that’s safer than the aggressive chemically-formulated products sold at the store.

With that said, you should know that there are limitations to where you can use vinegar. It’s also important to use the product carefully to avoid unnecessary complications.

It’s also worth pointing out that vinegar does produce some smell which some people find unpleasant. The scent is harmless and nowhere as toxic as the fumes from other cleaning products, but it’s nonetheless bothering. Luckily, you can easily avoid it by mixing vinegar with essential oil or using a scented vinegar solution like apple cider vinegar. This gets the job done without being harsh to your nostrils.

Why We Can Use Vinegar For Cleaning

A household cleaner that may be used for a wide range of cleaning tasks is vinegar. Acetic acid, which is used to make vinegar, is what gives it its distinctively sour flavor and strong aroma. Vinegar’s cleaning power is due to its acetic acid content.

Because acetic acid is a weak acid, it can disintegrate and dissolve some types of filth and dirt. Additionally, it is antibacterial, which means that some viruses and bacteria can be killed by it. Furthermore, vinegar is non-toxic and secure to use around kids and pets, making it a preferred option for homes that favor natural cleaning supplies.

To make a more potent cleaning solution, vinegar can be diluted with water or blended with additional all-natural components like baking soda, lemon juice, or essential oils. Vinegar is frequently used in cleaning to remove stains, cleanse, and deodorize surfaces including floors and counters.


Types Of Vinegar

Below are five of the most common types of vinegar on the market:

1. White Vinegar

Also known as distilled white vinegar, this versatile solution has a sharp flavor. It’s sometimes used for preparing mashed potatoes, salad dressing, barbecue sauce, and hard-boiling eggs.

White vinegar is also extremely popular for cleaning. It’s used on microwaves, coffee makers, floors and to soften fabric in the laundry. You can also use this vinegar for cleaning CPAP and other machines. In addition to cleaning the CPAP machine itself, the solution can be used on the machine’s accessories like the hose, humidifier, mask, headgear, and filters. You must be very careful while cleaning these items to avoid damaging them.

2. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is made from a grape must. It has a distinctly dark appearance and sweet flavor. It’s commonly used in making salad dressings, chicken marinade, sauce, etc.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

The vinegar is made from fermented apple juice, giving it a pleasant aroma. Apple cider vinegar is reportedly good for gut health and other body functions. It’s used in making shrimp, potato dishes, meatloaf, etc. It can also be mixed with olive oil to prepare salad vinaigrette.

Vinegar is also used to make skin and hair products.

4. Wine Vinegar

Red and white wine vinegar are commonly used to prepare Mexican salsa and some European dishes. The vinegar is made from fermented red or white wine.

5. Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is less acidic than the other types of vinegar. It comes from fermented rice wine and is commonly used to prepare dressings and dips and marinate meat.

Things You Can Safely Clean With Vinegar


Vinegar solutions can be used to clean windows, mirrors, and other glass items in the house. Mix two parts vinegar with one part water and spray the solution on glass surfaces as you wipe with a cloth.


Vinegar is used to clean hard water stains and calcium deposits from faucets. For the best results, mix vinegar with some salt. You may also have to spray the solution and tie the fixture with a bag overnight to get rid of stubborn stains.


Vinegar cleans and disinfects countertops. It also does a remarkable job of getting rid of any foul odors on surfaces. You can use vinegar and water alone or add some drops of dawn soap.

Take note that vinegar should not be used on marble and granite surfaces.


Vinegar can be used on certain types of floors, including ceramic tiles. However, it shouldn’t be used on hardwood.


Undiluted vinegar is very effective in getting rid of rings around the toilet bowl. Just pour two cups into the bowl and let it sit for two hours, then scrub the bowl.

Showers And Tubs

Mix vinegar with baking soda to form a paste. Apply the paste on the shower walls and scrub it off. You can also use undiluted white vinegar instead of the paste.


Pour one cup of vinegar into the rinse compartment of your dishwasher and let it run for a complete cycle.

Household Appliances

Vinegar is effective in removing stains and eliminating foul odors in household appliances like microwaves. Put a bowl containing 1 cup of water and ¼ cup of vinegar in the microwave and heat for several minutes.


Distilled white vinegar eliminates fabric stains and odors.

Benefits of Vinegar as a Household Cleaner

Using vinegar as a natural cleaning solution in your house has several advantages. Here are a few of the main advantages:

1. Non-toxic – It is safe to use vinegar around kids and pets because it is natural and non-toxic. Contrary to certain commercial cleaning products, vinegar doesn’t have any corrosive substances or hazardous odors.

2. Antimicrobial – Because of its natural antibacterial qualities, vinegar works well as a disinfectant. It is a popular option for homes that want to lessen their exposure to germs since it can aid in the killing of various varieties of bacteria and viruses on surfaces.

3. Cost-effective – You may reduce the cost of cleaning supplies by using vinegar, which is a cheap cleaning solution. A bottle of vinegar is frequently less expensive than cleaning chemicals sold in stores, and you can stretch it even further by diluting it with water.

4. Versatile – A variety of surfaces and household items can be cleaned using vinegar, which is a multipurpose cleaning solution. You can use vinegar to clean everything from floors to windows to appliances.

5. Eco-friendly -Vinegar is a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning agent that is environmentally friendly. By using vinegar instead of synthetic cleaning products, you are having a smaller impact on the environment.

6. Deodorizes – A natural deodorizer that can help you get rid of scents in your house is vinegar. You can use it to freshen up your refrigerator as well as your carpets and upholstery.

Made from acetic acid

However, vinegar has uses beyond cooking. Because acetic acid is used in its production, it also works well as a cleanser and disinfectant.

Vinegar gets its tart flavor and pungent odor from acetic acid, an organic compound with no color. Additionally, several store-bought household cleansers contain it as a component.

Vinegar has a very acidic tendency that can dissolve mineral deposits, filth, grease, and grime. It has the power to eradicate microorganisms as well.

Best Type of Vinegar to Use

The best vinegar for cleaning is white distilled vinegar because it doesn’t include any coloring agents. It won’t discolor surfaces as a result. Cleaning with vinegar that is of a deeper hue may leave stains.

Additionally, distilled white vinegar has an acidity of roughly 5%, which is comparable to the acidity of several common multipurpose cleansers.

About That Vinegar Smell

If you don’t like the smell of white vinegar, you can substitute apple cider vinegar.

Since it’s manufactured by fermenting apple juice, it has a little sweeter aroma and the same cleaning benefits as white distilled vinegar.

Because apple cider vinegar has a deeper hue than water, you should dilute it before using it as a cleaning agent.

If you use vinegar for cleaning, the stench may linger for around an hour. However, this can be a minor price to pay for a cleaner that is safe, natural, and eco-friendly.

Add a few drops of essential oil, such as lemon, lavender, or peppermint, to a spray bottle filled with vinegar and water to cover up the odor. Or, to assist the smell go away more quickly, open a window and let some fresh air in.

How Long Does Vinegar Need to Sit on a Surface to be Effective

Even under ideal conditions, vinegar is not as powerful a disinfectant as bleach or alcohol, requiring a specified period of time of up to 30 minutes to disinfect a surface. Although vinegar’s acetic acid can kill some bacteria and viruses, its best usage is as a straightforward cleaning to get rid of dirt, grime, and other buildup from surfaces. 

Things You Shouldn’t Clean With Vinegar

  • Anything containing bleach
  • Kitchen knives
  • Soapstone, granite, and marble surfaces
  • Metal surfaces
  • Solid wood furniture
  • Tech devices
  • Pet messes
  • Egg-based messes

Vinegar is generally safer than most cleaning products sold in grocery stores, but it must be used correctly. And if you are having a hard time dealing with the smell, mix it with lavender, peppermint, or lemon essential oil.


The use of vinegar for cleaning is typically regarded as secure and efficient. To handle a variety of household cleaning activities, vinegar is a natural, non-toxic, and adaptable cleaning solution. Its antibacterial qualities make it a potent disinfectant, and its capacity to disintegrate and break down particular kinds of grime and dirt makes it a superb stain remover. Additionally, vinegar is economical, environmentally friendly, and free of poisonous odors and harsh chemicals, making it a popular option for homes who wish to lower their exposure to harmful compounds.