If you’re desperate for a cheap, non-toxic, chemical-free cleaner, do n’t send out a distress signal. Just open your kitchen cabinet, chances are there’s an unassuming bottle of white vinegar lurking in the back that can save the day! Simply grab a rag or microfiber towel, and start cleaning with vinegar. 

Here are 21 uses for vinegar to help keep your home clean, smelling fresh, and looking bright.

In the kitchen

  1. Refrigerator: To keep your refrigerator looking pristine, clean the shelves and walls with a mixture of 50% white vinegar and 50% water. 

  2. Cutting Board: Germs can build up on a wooden surface, so spray your cutting board at least once a week with pure white vinegar, rinse well, and dry completely.

  3. Microwave: To clean up stubborn splatters, mix 1/2 cup white vinegar and water in a glass container or measuring cup. Place it in the microwave and heat on high for 2 to 3 minutes until it boils. Let sit for a minute with the door closed and wipe down the inside with a sponge or soft cloth. 

  4. Countertops: Spraying and wiping daily with full-strength white vinegar helps remove spills, stains and odors and keeps countertops looking shiny and new. 

  5. Plastic Containers – Remove nuisance stains and odors from plastic containers by covering them with white vinegar and letting them sit overnight. 

  6. Tea or Coffee Cups: Are you embarrassed to invite friends over for coffee because of stains on your cups? Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and salt or baking soda. Rub the cups gently and rinse.

  7. Washing fruits and vegetables: Rinsing fruits and vegetables with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar added to a pint of water helps remove more pesticides than rinsing with water alone.

  8. Appliance Cleaner – It ‘s easy to remove buildup and keep your dishwasher and coffee maker running smoothly. Once a month, simply pour 1 cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher or coffee pot and run it through a cycle.

In the bathroom and bed

  1. Mattress Freshener: Fight pesky dust mites, mold, and odors with a solution of white vinegar, a dash of rubbing alcohol, and a few drops of tea tree oil. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, spray the mattress and allow it to dry completely before making the bed.

  2. Shower: For a sparkling clean shower, boil white vinegar and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the walls and glass door with the vinegar, keeping everything wet by spraying every five minutes for a total of 30 minutes. Rinse well.

  3. Tile: Mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with a gallon of warm water and mop the tile. Let air dry.

  4. Tub and sink drains: Close the drain and pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar around the drain. Let the vinegar sit for several hours, until it penetrates the hardened deposits and soap suds. Scrub the drain area with a non-scratch sponge, drain the vinegar and rinse well.

  5. Toilet: Pour a cup of white vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit overnight. Sprinkle baking soda in the bowl, scrub with a toilet brush, then flush the toilet.


  1. Fabric softener: For a chemical-free fabric softener, add a cup of white vinegar to the final wash or rinse cycle. One tip: Adding even 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle helps keep dryer lint from sticking to clothes and helps reduce static cling.

In the living room

  1. Glass Cleaner: To remove fingerprints and water stains from glass tabletops, clean with a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar.

  2. Furniture polish: Polish your wooden furniture to a nice shine by mixing 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 cup olive oil. Add a few drops of lemon or orange oil if you like. Wipe the solution onto furniture and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. 

  3. Carpet Stain Remover: Use 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and sprinkle with baking soda. Work the solution into the carpet with a brush. Let dry overnight and vacuum up the solution. 


  1. Weed Killer: Keep your neighbors happy by pouring white vinegar directly onto weeds in sidewalk cracks and your driveway. Saturate the weed well to make sure you get to the root.

  2. Window cleaner: To remove dirt and streaks from windows, mix 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol and 1/3 cup white vinegar in a 32-oz. bottle. spray bottle and fill with distilled water. Spray the windows and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth.

In pets

  1. Flea repellent: Help keep pesky fleas and ticks at bay by spraying your dog with a mixture of 1 cup of white vinegar per 1 liter of water.

  2. Litter box deodorizer: Eliminate odors by pouring 1/2 inch of white vinegar into an empty litter box. Let the vinegar sit for 20 minutes and rinse the box with water.

While white vinegar is a savior when it comes to a cheap, chemical-free way to clean your home, there are some times when it should be avoided. Don’t use white vinegar on granite or marble countertops because the acidity can etch the stone. The same applies to stone tiles and waxed surfaces. One last note of caution: don’t use white vinegar on egg stains. The acidity of the vinegar causes the egg to coagulate and be more difficult to remove. 

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