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Clean with Vinegar

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Where cleaning is concerned I would qualify as a lazy tyrant. I want a clean house but I don’t want to clean my house. With that in mind, I am always looking for the house cleaning path of least resistance. I believe I’ve found he easiest way is to Clean with Vinegar. Particularly, Cleaning Vinegar.

Learn How to Clean with VinegarLearn How to Clean with Vinegar

How to Clean with Vinegar

I was originally looking for a product that would clean my stainless steel refrigerator. I had put furniture polish (per the geniuses on Pinterest) on my fridge; while it did keep handprints to a minimum it didn’t do well when a drop of water got on it. The water would cut through the furniture polish and there would be a huge drip on the fridge. This drip could not be wiped away, either. Because it was waxed on, the only way to get rid of it was to apply another layer of furniture polish. #neverhappening

So, like forever, I was stuck with a stainless steel fridge with perpetual water spots and drips with the occasional reapplication of furniture polish done in desperation. I tried just about everything out there to, first, get the furniture polish off of my stainless steel fridge AND, second, keep it relatively shiny.

Then the clouds parted and I discovered how to clean stainless steel with Cleaning VinegarNote: You’ll also want a microfiber cloth for the polishing part of this method because cotton doesn’t really work as well and will leave streaks. More on this later. Right now I want to sing the praises of cleaning vinegar.


Here’s why Cleaning Vinegar is so amazing!

Basically, cleaning vinegar has 6% acidity while regular vinegar has 5% acidity. That doesn’t seem like much of a difference, however, that 1% bump in acidity really changes the cleaning power of vinegar – making it somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20% more powerful! I think that extra boost of cleaning strength is what makes it ideal for keeping stainless steel so clean. It cuts right through those oily handprints. And, it is still mild enough to handle without wearing gloves.

I wish I had some before pictures to show you my hand-printy/water-drippy stainless steel fridge, but {holla’} they don’t exist. #thankyoucleaningvinegar

However, I do have this disgusting toaster oven that gets lots of use. It sits near the stove so it has plenty of opportunities for greasy splatters and spots. I wipe it down from time to time with soap and water, but the greasy stains stay put.

Learn How to Clean with Vinegar

Enter Cleaning Vinegar. Using about 1 T. of cleaning vinegar and 45 seconds of time I achieved this. Not out-of-the-box perfect, but good enough for my imperfect kitchen. It’s splatter free in less than a minute.

Learn How to Clean with Vinegar

Now, my stainless appliances are pretty much in a state of perpetual shiny-ness because this is just plain fast and easy.


Cleaning Vinegar Steps

Disclaimer: ALWAYS test a small area first. The side of the door would be a good place to start.

Step 1:

Pour a bit (2-3 t.) of cleaning vinegar onto a microfiber cloth. I do this by removing the lid and pouring a dab on one corner of my microfiber cloth.


Alternative Option for Big Messes:

Disclosure: This portion of the post is sponsored by Swedish Wholesale. All opinions are my own. 

Learn How to Clean with Vinegar

I was recently introduced to Swedish Dishcloths as another alternative for this process. I’ve found them to be especially effective when heavier cleaning is called for. They are ideal for cleaning something like an oven door with spatters from food and oils.

These unique flattened, sponge-like sheets are highly absorbent. Because of this, they allow you to evenly distribute the vinegar and avoid drips.

They also have a textured surface which makes cleaning baked-on food stains a little easier. If used properly, they won’t scratch your appliance but will allow you to gently remove drips and splatters.

I’ve found the best way to use them is to put the cleaning vinegar on the Swedish Dishcloth and then apply to the appliance surface. Wipe away with a microfiber cloth following the directions below.

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Step 2:

Wipe against the grain of the stainless steel. That’s the key – wiping against the grain of the stainless steel with a soft microfiber cloth.

Step 3:

Wipe off excess with with the grain using a dry corner of microfiber cloth. That way you won’t have a wet streak.

Step 4:

Grab your keys, go the salon, and get your nails done ‘cuz you got lots of time.

Learn How to Clean with Vinegar

Awesome ways to use Cleaning Vinegar!

Kitchen and Bathrooms

So, once my stainless problem was resolved (and never to return), I began using cleaning vinegar and a Swedish Dishcloth everywhere. Yep, I splash a bit in my stainless steel kitchen sink and it makes it so clean and shiny. I use this method to clean the bathroom sinks, tubs, tile floors, mirrors, you get the idea. It even gets rid of hard water spots on shower glass.

Cutting Through Grease

Cleaning vinegar is especially awesome at cutting through grease. I found this out the hard way when I dropped an entire jar of ghee on my tile floor. It was like the ghee wanted to marry the tile and stay together forever. Soap and water didn’t cut it, but a little cleaning vinegar made it all disappear -including the ghee that wanted to live forever in the grout.


Where to Find Cleaning Vinegar

So, where do you get Cleaning Vinegar. I find mine on the vinegar aisle at Walmart. As a matter of fact, I’ve started using Four Monks because I can pick it up at Walmart or order it online. And, I love the spray bottle. Spritz a bit on a Swedish Dishcloth and go to town.

Best of all, it is inexpensive. I’m sure regular vinegar will get you similar results, but probably will require a little more elbow grease – which is why I use Cleaning Vinegar.


A word of caution – when cleaning with vinegar there are a few Vinegar Don’ts.

Use White Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can stain!

Marble and granite are porous and can be worn down by acid such as vinegar. Instead, use a gentle cleaner made specifically for stone to avoid corroding the surface.

Do not wash natural stone floor tiles with vinegar. The acidic nature of vinegar could damage the stone.

Be cautious when cleaning cast iron or aluminum pans with vinegar. If left too long, the acid could corrode the metal and damage the pan.

Do not add vinegar to an egg stain. It can cause the egg to coagulate and make it harder to clean.

Do not clean the inside of an iron with vinegar.

Do not clean waxed wood with vinegar. It can ruin the finish and leave a cloudy mark.

Do not mix bleach and vinegar. These two common cleaning agents should never be used at the same time, as it will emit toxic vapors.

Do not scrub grout around ceramic tile with vinegar. The combination results in an acid, which could be potentially corrosive and irritating.

Do not use vinegar to clean your smartphone and laptop monitors. Both have a thin layer of oleophobic coating that limits fingerprints and smudges, and acidic vinegar can strip this coating, causing the layers below to be exposed.

Do not use vinegar when cleaning pearls. The vinegar can dissolve the pearls.


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42 Comments

    1. Will cleaning vinegar remove the wax from Citrus Shine? It was recommended by my appliance dealer and I regret using it! It is like the polish that you said you had on your appliances. If I follow your directions with cleaning vinegar and rub against the grain first with microfiber cloth and then with the grain with dry microfiber cloth, will that take that waxy coating off?

      1. I’ve never used Citrus Shine so I couldn’t tell you. But you might find a smaller household appliance such as a toaster or coffee maker with stainless steel and apply the Citrus Shine then try removing with vinegaru using this method.

  1. Thank you!! I’ve been so frustrated with cleaning my stainless frig. I tried everything to get the water marks and grandkid smudges off to no avail. Oh they would work somewhat but not completely. The latest thing I tried was water/vinegar mix….why didn’t I think to use straight vinegar? I didn’t have any cleaning vinegar so just got done using regular and it worked!! So I will be trying the cleaning one!!

    This just made my day! 😉

  2. Didn’t know there was such a thing. I use regular vinegar for cleaning, but I am also a lazy tyrant! Will have to try this for sure!

  3. Am with you on the “lazy tyrant” bit 🙂 And also on the vinegar, it’s brilliant on stainless steel, although do also love my stainless steel cloth which for day to day cleaning is all I need.

  4. Ha ha ha ha ha….lazy tyrant and having lots of time to get ones nails done.
    I will have to try this, for the sink and also my shower doors–which are frosted…um, I’m not so sure they are “glass”. but I’ll try a corner and see what happens.

    But how do you clean the tile? You don’t need a microfiber cloth for that, or do you?

    And when you say you put the vinegar in the rinse cycle of your laundry….you do that with your clothes in there? If yes, does it make them smell like the vinegar? How much do you add to the rinse cycle?

    Thanks in advance!!

    1. Hey Kyle,

      I use 1 cup of 10% vinegar, 1 cup of HOT water, and 1 drop of dish soap. I mix everything in the bottle and spray on the cloth for cleaning. Works great on EVERYTHING!!! ( bathrooms, kitchens, windows, floors, stainless steel…you name it ). Also, I use vinegar as my dishwasher detergent. Normally, 1/2 of cup of vinegar and 2 drops of dish soap will do the trick. Just place the mixture on the bottom rack and run the cycle. You will have clean and disinfected dishes and your machine will be thankful too 🙂 I recommend to try it. It is super cheap and so effective!!! My daughter has some sort of skin problems, so I can’t use most of the products from the store. Same for laundry. You add vinegar for last rinsing program with the clothing in the washer machine, and not only clothes will be free from your laundry detergent, but you WILL save the colors!!! NO VINEGAR ODOR will be left once you open the washing machine. I’m sure that once you try it, you will love it. Good luck!

    2. Kyle,
      I have used White Vinegar for fabric softener for a very long time. It removes ALL of the remaining soap from the fabric. The clothes do not smell of vinegar, just a fresh clean smell; and the clothes are supposed to last longer by getting thoroughly rinsed.

  5. I use vinegar for lots of cleaning stuff, but didn’t know that they make one specificity for cleaning. Thanks for the great post.

  6. I use white vinegar to clean, something we did in the 60’s but never heard of cleaning vinegar, sounds like a gimmick. Thanks for sharing at the #WWDParty. Happy Summer Solstice 2014!

    1. I read in Pinterest to use vinegar and dish washing detergent in a spray bottle to clean the inside of the shower including the shower door. It has worked wonders. I no longer have to scrub my shower. I keep a bottle inside the shower and squirt the shower and door
      right after my bath.

  7. I’ve never heard of or seen cleaning vinegar, but I do have a big jar of pickling vinegar for cleaning with (never pickled a thing in my life!) I’ve not tried it on stainless steel but out bathroom bin is a mess so there’s a job for later today! I remember reading that you can clean stainless steel with baby oil but I found it got kind of sticky after a while – this sounds much better.

  8. Thanks for the advice! I haven’t ever used cleaning vinegar and will have to look for it to get my faucets looking better.
    Nice post 🙂

  9. Well I learned something today! I didn’t know there was such a thing as cleaning vinegar. I use vinegar and Dawn to clean bathrooms – so the cleaning vinegar should make it that much better.

    Thanks
    Stacy

    1. Cleaning vinegar is 1% more acidic making it 15-20% stronger at cleaning. It’s great for grimy jobs.

  10. I love this post and the tutorial. Thank you. I stumbled, pinned and want to share on my fb, but I couldn’t find it – I’m ditzy. Thank you so much for linking up at Wonderful Wed Blog Hop. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

  11. “I’m a lazy tyrant traveling down the housework path of least resistance.” LOL!!! You and me both, sister! Gonna have to look for cleaning vinegar the next time I go to the store. I’ve only recently discovered vinegar in my laundry. Amazing the difference in the smell of my towels! Thanks for sharing via Family Fun Friday.

  12. Ladies,

    My daughter has some sort of skin problems, so I can’t use most of the products from the store. I’ve saved lots of money by using vinegar! I use 1 cup of 10% vinegar, 1 cup of HOT water, and 1 drop of dish soap. I mix everything in the bottle and spray on the cloth for cleaning. Works great on EVERYTHING!!! ( bathrooms, kitchens, windows, floors, stainless steel…you name it ). Also, I use vinegar as my dishwasher detergent. Normally, 1/2 of cup of vinegar and 2 drops of dish soap will do the trick. Just place the mixture on the bottom rack and run the cycle with dishes. You will have clean and disinfected dishes and your machine will be thankful too 🙂 Same mixture works on microwaves…especially if you left some spilled food and got very hard to remove. You place a glass bowl of 1 drop of dish soap and 1 cup of 10% vinegar and cook it for 10 min. Open, walk away for 2 min and come back with a clean cloth to wipe out the inside of the microwave. Not only you will kill the odor, but it will be super easy to get EVERY dry food out without the muscles! I recommend to try it. It is super cheap and so effective!!! Same for laundry. You add vinegar for last rinsing program with the clothing in the washer machine, and not only clothes will be free from your laundry detergent, but you WILL save the colors!!! NO VINEGAR ODOR will be left once you open the washing machine. I’m sure that once you try it, you will love it. Good luck!

  13. I always pour a little apple cider vinegar into my dishwasher, each time I open my dishwasher it has a nice pleasant smell. Apple cider vinegar is also good at removing soap scum helping to make your machine last a lot longer
    Best regards! Seven Sisters Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  14. Vinegar is good for sanitizing and killing germs, but most mirrors and glass don’t need that very often. Personally, I don’t like smelling it, so I don’t use it. But if you’re using it on a damp clean rag (or piece of newsprint), a swipe won’t hurt your mirror or glass. It is more environmentally friendly than other chemicals that could be used, I suppose. Don’t let it stand for a long time on your products because it can pit your hardware and even the glass over time. So follow it with a wipe of a damp cloth to wash it off.

  15. I found cleaning vinegar at Home Depot. Didn’t know it was cleaning vinegar and not the regular until I got it home. I didn’t know what the difference was. Now I know!

  16. Thank you sooooo much! Bought every stainless steal cleaner out there..and some at a high price. Had regular vinegar in the house and also microfiber cloths. My fridge, micro, stove and dishwasher are sparkling! Thank you again, so easy.

  17. What store did you purchase the vinegar from? Even though I live in the greater Los Angeles area, I have a hard time finding certain products. Vinegar is one of them. Many thanks!

  18. You don’t have to buy a cleaning vinegar for this purpose. Just grab a regular vinegar and mix it with water. You will have the same results.

  19. Thanks for sharing the recipe. You can try cameo powder cleanser to clean stainless steel sink. It is safe and will not scratch anymore. I think this works actually for pots and pans only.

  20. Thank you, thank you! It just totally made my day. I am so happy to have stumbled upon your cleaning method
    Totally works. I couldn’t stop cleaning because of the difference it made. My appliances are shinier than from the day they were purchased. May you be blessed.

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