17 Clever Vinegar Uses for Cleaning Around Your Home

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Check out all the white vinegar uses – there are more uses for vinegar than you think!

pouring white vinegar into bottle to make homemade vinegar cleaning solution

Vinegar can do all the things! 🙌

If you’re gearing up for some house for cleaning, skip the trip to the store for cleaning supplies because you might have the ultimate cleaning solution already in your pantry — vinegar! If you don’t have any on hand, fear not as it’s super inexpensive, especially when you factor in buying multiple solutions when you get the most out of just one.

I’m always surprised about how many uses for vinegar you can get accomplished with a bottle. The amount of vinegar uses you can get out of a simple, less than $1 bottle is astounding!

Here are our top 17 vinegar uses for cleaning around the house:

1. Descale your Keurig coffee maker.

A measuring cup sitting on Keurig coffee maker as a use for vinegar to descale coffee makers

One of the uses for vinegar you can try is cleaning and descaling your Keurig; simply fill the reservoir with 1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar and then brew it without any K-cups. (Keurig recommends descaling your brewer at least every 3 to 6 months depending on your water.) Keep hitting the brew button until you’ve cycled through all the vinegar/water solution and remove it. Then do the same thing using just water in the reservoir.

One reader actually mentions that you don’t have to discard this vinegar once you’ve cleaned your Keurig. Strain it if needed, and let it cool. You can then add it to a spray bottle and use it for additional cleaning purposes!

Note: Vinegar can work to clean other types of coffee makers as well, not just Keurig. Here are the differences between a Keurig vs. Nespresso.

2. Get rid of those fruit flies with the help of apple cider vinegar.

pouring apple cider vinegar into cup for fruit fly trap diy

How Home Stuff Works reports that setting out a bowl of apple cider vinegar along with three drops of dish soap can help catch those pesky flies. The flies are attracted to the scent and end up sinking into the mixture. We have an entire post about how to make a DIY fruit fly trap using this method!

3. Unclog your drain.

shower drain in a tiled bathroom floor

Another reader mentioned that, when looking for natural remedies to treat a clogged drain, she came across using baking soda and vinegar. Add the baking soda down the drain and pour the vinegar into the drain, causing it to fizzle up. Leave it for about 10 – 15 minutes, run it with hot water, and your drain will be unclogged!

4. Keep berries fresher for longer.

tons of red fresh strawberries soaking in bowl of vinegar

Soaking your summer berries in a vinegar and water solution is a great way to make strawberries last longer. It’s a popular tip that actually works very well! You can read more here on how to do it and we answered one very common question you’ll want to know the answer to. 😉

5. Erase pen marks from walls and hard surfaces.

ball point pen on top of a notepad

Remember the good ole days when erasable pens were commonplace? I’m sure we all miss those days especially if you have a little aspiring artist running around your home. 😬 Luckily, Reader’s Digest reports that a little dab of full-strength vinegar from a rag or sponge will magically erase those unwanted pieces of artwork.

6. Steam away the microwave mess.

a measuring glass with vinegar in a microwave with door open

Fill a microwave-safe bowl or measuring with half water and half vinegar (or all vinegar if you want extra cleaning power) and heat for about 5 minutes. You could even squeeze in the juice from half a lemon and toss in with the mix for some citrusy scent. Carefully remove the bowl and clean the inside of your microwave with a rag. This will steam any food splatters and stains making the microwave easier to clean.

7. No more rusty tools!

rusty tools on a metal surface

We all have those old tools in our possession that we know will come in handy one day. Bob Villa reports that soaking your tools, screws, and bolts for several days in full-strength vinegar will make them look brand-spankin’ new!

8. Clean and deodorize the fridge.

hand holding a blue sponge and wiping down a refrigerator shelf with vinegar

If your fridge could use a deep cleaning, vinegar does a great job at cleaning and neutralizing food odors. Just spray the inside using a solution of 1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar. Voila! 

9. Make homemade swimmer’s ear drops.

woman and girl sitting on white bench on porch with colorful pillows and tray of vinegar and rubbing alcohol

If you or your kiddos are frequent swimmers, then these drops will help dry out your ear canal which prevents bacterial growth. Plus, it’s so much more affordable than purchasing drops at the store – I’m talking just 12 cents to make a 1-ounce bottle compared to the almost $4+ medications you’ll find over the counter in the store!

To make your own ear drops, you’ll need half rubbing alcohol and half vinegar. Combine both ingredients into a dropper bottle and you’re ready to swim the day away!

IMPORTANT: If your child has ear tubes, please consult with your Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor before placing these drops in their ears.

10. Clean & deodorize pet stains naturally.

a dog laying next to a bottle of vinegar cleaning solution on carpet

If pet stains and odors are an issue in your house, first blot the area, then sprinkle baking soda over the soiled part of the carpet. Pour a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray over the baking soda. Let sit for a few minutes, and then blot and rub gently until dry.

11. Make your bathroom spotless thanks to this DIY shower cleaner.

holding DIY shower cleaner in spray bottle

Combining three ingredients, this DIY shower cleaner makes your bathroom tiles, shower, tub, and showerhead spotless! The cleaner combines distilled white vinegar, liquid soap, and baking soda, combatting water damage, grease, and any stubborn dirt. Sometimes, we even add some essential oil drops if the vinegar scent is too prominent.

12. Refresh smelly bath towels.

white folded stacks of towels on a dryer near a bottle of white vinegar

If your towels ever get a not-so-fresh sour smell, toss them in the washer and fill the fabric softener dispenser with white vinegar. Your washer will dispense it during the final rinse, and it will come out fluffy and smelling fresh. This also applies to clothes, like gym clothes with moisture-wicking material.

Psst… these are our team’s favorite bath towels ever – and they last!

13. Disinfect your wood cutting boards.

vinegar and a sponge on a wooden cutting board

Vinegar can easily disinfect a wood cutting board simply by wiping it down with a rag dipped in vinegar. If the cutting board has a sour smell, you can also put baking soda on the cutting board first, then rub it with vinegar. After completely drying, I like to use mineral oil on wood cutting boards to keep them from cracking or drying out.

Hip Tip: Speaking of cutting boards… food prep for me just got a whole lot easier with this popular and inexpensive cutting board I scored on Amazon!

14. Make a homemade all-purpose cleaner.

spray bottle with recipe for vinegar natural cleaner

Clean naturally with this easy and effective DIY cleaning idea of mixing white vinegar, water, and essential oils. Just grab an empty spray bottle (or buy one on Amazon) and pour equal parts distilled white vinegar and water. It’s perfect for kitchen counters and everyday cleaning.

You can really spruce up your homemade cleaner by adding some essential oils. Essential oils are a great way to disinfect naturally and they smell amazing! For my favorite spray, I’ll add just a few drops of both Tea Tree Oil to disinfect and Lemongrass Oil – both of these scents together smell super clean and refreshing. Ahhhh!!! 

15. Rid those pesky weeds!

Fiskars Xact Hand Garden Rake in garden raking soil

Hip reader Liz mentioned that she rids her unwanted garden weeds by combining a gallon of vinegar, a cup of Epsom salt, and 1/4 cup of Dawn Dish Soap. She then mixes and uses it in a sprayer for her garden.

16. Clean your dishwasher.

hand holding a bottle of vinegar over open dishwasher

Have a yucky-smelling dishwasher? Place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the upper rack of the machine. Run the washer on a HOT cycle. This will help get rid of any odors and grease inside your dishwasher.

17. Use it to get rid of stubborn ice.

broken up pieces of ice

If you live in an area with cold winters, you know how inconvenient and potentially dangerous ice can be. With a layer covering areas like a driveway, deck, or windshields, reader Breanna shares another helpful tip.

Fill a spray bottle with two cups of cold water and two cups of white vinegar. Apply to the ice area and leave it on for five minutes. From there, you’ll be able to easily scrape the ice! Breanna mentioned that this works like a charm since the vinegar has a lower freezing point than water!

No more wasted plastic – these food wraps are everything! 🙌

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 13

  1. avallet1

    Love my white vinegar! Hot water, white vinegar 50/50 with lemon essential oil and a tablespoon of alcohol is a fabulous cleaner for floors and kitchen counters. Inexpensive, easy, and cleans as well as any other products. My go-to for sure!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. acgold

    We only use alcohol, vinegar and water solution to clean and disinfect. We mix 1/3 of each and use in a spray bottle. We also make wipes with it. We buy Costco baby wipes, open the end of the package make a solution of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 alcohol and a little water. Pour over ends while fanning the wipes apart. We then store in a plastic wipes box. If you don’t like the smell of the vinegar, use any essential oil you like.

  3. Betty Boop

    Don’t throw out your vinegar & water after you are done descaling the coffee maker. Let it cool (strain it through cheesecloth if you see sediment) and pour it into a spray bottle. It’s perfect for cleaning windows/mirrors. Use any essential oil to mask the vinegar smell.

  4. Liz

    For those crawling pesky weeds, we use:
    1 gal of vinegar
    1 cup of epsom salt
    1/4 cup of Dawn dish soap
    Mix & use in a sprayer

  5. L. Bell

    We had a clogged drain late one night. My daughter looked up natural way to unclog drains.
    Baking soda, and vinegar. It worked great. Baking soda down the drain, poured some vinegar and it fizzed up. Left for 10-15 minutes, ran more hot water and it was unclogged.

  6. kadysiga

    Thanks for this post! I forget how many things vinegar can be used for – I am putting some in my shopping cart now!๐Ÿฅฐ

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yay! Ya it’s super handy to have on hand!

  7. Csandst1

    Baking soda and vinegar will not work on protein related clogs. Vinegar is ok for coffee maker but mine is cleaner with CLR. Removing rust from metal with vinegar didnโ€™t work for us. We soaked dumbbells completely submerged for a few days and there was no change. Use Iron Out instead.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for sharing your suggestions and experiences with vinegar, Csandst1! Good to know you’ve found some other products that work well! ๐Ÿ’•

  8. daria1963

    Vinegar and Dawn!! Best combo for your buck!! I just filled a glass jar with old orange peels and vinegar. Let it sit for a month and strain. BEST cleaner!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for sharing your DIY cleaning solution suggestion, daria1963! Glad to hear it works well! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’—

  9. brittney6374

    Vinegar makes an awesome cleaner for retainers too. Soak for a few hours, brush them with your tooth brush and tooth paste and theyโ€™re spotless

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