Cleaning With Vinegar: Does It Work?

What Is Vinegar?

Vinegar is a fermented liquid that combines acetic acid and water. Although it is most commonly associated with cooking, vinegar’s acidic properties make it an excellent cleaning product. The properties in vinegar break down soap scum and residue without needing harsh chemicals or scrubbing.

Cleaning with vinegar is popular for those seeking an eco-friendly cleaning approach. Unlike other cleaning products, vinegar contains no additional chemicals and irritants. 

Vinegar is a great cleaning agent when cleaning a whole house. Its non-toxic formulation makes it ideal for general tidying up. Consider the house deep cleaning services in Toronto by Brihlo Luxury Home Services Inc. when you’re not feeling up to cleaning with vinegar by yourself!

Types of Vinegar for Cleaning

White distilled vinegar is the most popular type of vinegar to use while cleaning due to its accessibility, affordability, and colourless property. Apple cider, balsamic, and red wine vinegar are slightly less potent in acid and contain ingredients that may stain surfaces. While these kinds of vinegar are generally safe for cleaning, white distilled is the best option.

Standard Solutions for Cleaning with Vinegar 

The most common solution when cleaning with vinegar is equal parts water and white distilled vinegar. Consider adding one to two squeezes of lemon juice for a gentler acid and a pleasing citrus scent. Mixing vinegar, water, and a few drops of essential oil is popular for dissolving hard stains while providing a desirable fragrance. 

To remove stains in clothing or upholstery, consider mixing equal parts dish soap and vinegar as laundry or steaming pretreatment. Both ingredients contain grease repelling properties that make them ideal for a non-toxic approach to stain removal.

Best Household Spaces to Clean with Vinegar

When cleaning with vinegar, you want to ensure that your surfaces can handle the acidic elements. Some household surfaces, like metal and glass, are better suited for vinegar solutions than others. If you’re unsure, reach out to Brihlo Luxury Home Services Inc. for answers to your questions.

Stainless steel appliances

A vinegar solution is a great way to make your stainless steel appliances shine. You can also clean the interior parts of your machines with vinegar. For best results, spray a water and vinegar solution onto the appliances and wipe dry. 


If your dishes are not coming out clean after a dishwashing cycle, your dishwasher may need a good clean. To clean your dishwasher:

  1. First, remove your dishwasher filter and soak in white distilled vinegar for 30 minutes. 
  2. Then, brush away any excess debris with a sponge or rag, rinse, and place the filter back into the dishwasher.
  3. After cleaning your filter, fill a bowl with one cup of vinegar. Place the bowl on the top rack of your dishwasher without any other dishes, and run on the hottest cycle. The vinegar will dissolve any excess food particles and make your dishes sparkle like new.

Laundry machines 

Many fabric softeners contain waxy ingredients that coat your machines in residue and buildup. After some time, this residue can clog the machine and lead to mechanical issues. Vinegar is an excellent alternative to fabric softener, as the acid breaks down dirt and leaves your clothes feeling soft.

Vinegar is also helpful for cleaning your washing machine. Pour one cup of white distilled vinegar directly into the drum and run on a hot cycle. If your washing machine has designated slots for detergent and fabric softener, consider adding vinegar to clean them. 


Cleaning with vinegar is excellent for degreasing and deodorizing the interior of your microwave. By “cooking” the vinegar with water, the steam from the water vapour will spread all over the microwave. This method is an effective way to de-grime a microwave without the need for time-consuming scrubbing. 

To clean your microwave interior with vinegar:

  1. Put a bowl of two cups of water and two tablespoons of vinegar into the microwave
  2. Place the bowl into the microwave on high for 30 seconds
  3. At the end of the cycle, wipe clean for a fresh microwave

Faucets, showers, and tubs

Faucets, showers, and tubs accumulate soap scum and hard water stains due to their proximity to water and regular washing. To dissolve hard-to-remove stains, spray or soak the faucet in equal parts water and vinegar. Remove after 30 minutes and wipe away stains with a dry cloth.

To clean showerheads:

  1. Fill a zip-lock bag with vinegar
  2. Tie the zip-loc bag around the shower head, and leave for 30 minutes
  3. Untie the bag to drain the vinegar and reveal your bright new showerhead

When Not to Use Vinegar to Clean

While cleaning with vinegar is excellent for non-porous surfaces, some places around the house do not perform well after mixing with vinegar. Natural textures like wood and stone may blemish or decay when exposed to acidic properties. Make sure you know the composition of your household items before cleaning with vinegar. 

Wood furniture

Wood is a natural and porous material that may easily blemish with excessive moisture. In addition, the acetic acid in vinegar may warp the finish or stain your wood furniture and hardwood floors, leading to long-term decay. Therefore, to keep your wood furniture and hardwood floors in good condition, do not clean them with vinegar. 

Granite and marble countertops

Natural stones like granite and marble are incredibly absorbent and stain easily after coming into contact with certain liquids. Vinegar’s abrasive compounds are not suitable for the porosity of natural stones. 

Mixed with bleach 

Most importantly, never mix bleach and vinegar. The combination of liquid bleach and vinegar creates lethal fumes known as chlorine gas. If you accidentally breathe in this gas, you should leave immediately and breathe fresh air.

Non-Toxic Cleaning

Cleaning with vinegar is a great way to achieve effective results while maintaining an eco-friendly environment. For more questions about all things cleaning and to learn how to disinfect your home after a cold, contact Brihlo Luxury Home Services Inc. Call our experts at 416-923-3300 or email [email protected] to learn more about our service and schedule an appointment with us today. We guarantee exceptional results.