Vinegar– one of my favorite natural cleaners. I am continually amazed at the endless possibilities of this fabulous substance. When transitioning to using natural cleaners, vinegar became my “go-to” for so many cleaning and other household needs. So here I thought I would share some of the many uses I have found for vinegar: 

  1. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar to your washer’s rinse cycle. It not only aids in a cleaner rinse of laundry detergents, but it helps to kill bacteria because of vinegar’s acetic acid content. (I actually use a “Downy Ball” for this purpose. Works great!)
  2. Make a mixture of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water in a spray bottle for a great all-purpose cleaner. (I use this all of the time in my kitchen.)
  3. Clean your dishwasher by putting 1/2 cup white vinegar in the bottom of the machine and running an empty load (no dishes or detergent).
  4. Clean your washing machine by pouring 1 cup white vinegar into the machine and run an empty load (no clothes or detergent).
  5. After shampooing, use one tablespoon vinegar (white or apple cider) dissolved in 2 cups of water as a hair rinse. Repeat until hair is smooth and silky feeling.
  6. Some like to take raw apple cider vinegar as a dietary supplement. Dissolve 1-2 teaspoons in a glass of water. Sweeten if desired with maple syrup or raw honey (Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegaris what I use!).
  7. I have heard of people putting a little splash of vinegar in their rinse water after bathing their pets. It is helpful for skin health and it is especially good for horses to alleviate the nuisance of flies.
  8. To help with athlete’s foot, rise feet 3-4 times a day with undiluted apple cider vinegar.
  9. Drain cleaner – put 3 Tablespoons of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup white vinegar. After the bubbles die down, rinse with hot water.
  10. Grout cleaner – dip an old toothbrush in undiluted white vinegar and use to scrub/clean grout lines.
  11. A safe and effective way to clean your toilet is to pour 2-3 cups of vinegar in the toilet bowl, being sure to cover as much of the sides of the bowl as possible. Allow to sit overnight, scrub and flush.
  12. Clean wooden cutting boards – after washing with hot soapy water, rise with either undiluted white vinegar or a solution of equal parts water and vinegar.
  13. Kitchen floors – put about 1/2 cup of white vinegar in a bucket of hot water and mop for a residue-free floor cleaner. Or simply use this solution as a rinse after your usual mopping. It will remove soap scum for a shiny finish.
  14. Sparkling dishes – fill the rinse-aid compartment in your dishwasher with vinegar for residue free dishes.
  15. Windows – use a spray of equal parts vinegar and water. Spray windows and wipe with old newspaper for a shiny, streak-free surface.
  16. Add one cup of raw apple cider vinegar to a warm bath to enjoy a detox bath. An apple cider vinegar bath is great to reduce inflammation and rid the body of excess uric acid. (Always take caution with detox baths. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after any detox type bath, as detoxifying your body can be dehydrating, and know that you may be tired afterwards).


I hope this inspires you to buy a gallon of vinegar the next time you go grocery shopping for a little over $2 instead of a tiny bottle of cleaner for close to $4. Not to mention, vinegar is able to be diluted and make much more than one gallon of cleaning solution, and it is also infinitely safer than conventional store-bought products. If you have any other ideas for vinegar that you use in your home…please share!

From the archives: originally written October 11, 2010.