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How to Clean with Vinegar

Using vinegar is a great way to naturally clean surfaces in your home from carpet to couches. It’s also inexpensive and typically something you already have on hand to use on a dime. For any part of your home, discover how vinegar can be your go-to for cleaning!

Bottle of cleaning vinegar, box of baking soda, dish sponges, measuring cup, gloves, and bowl on carpet

Why is Vinegar Good for Cleaning?

There are several different types of vinegar from balsamic vinegar to apple cider vinegar. For cleaning purposes, white vinegar is a recommended choice because of its clear color and acidity. Its high acidic levels make it a strong cleaner against soap scum, breaking down grease and grime, and for cleaning special areas of the home like windows and mirrors. With that, white vinegar is still usually diluted with water so it’s not too harsh to clean with. 

Vinegar vs. Bleach

When it comes to overall safety, vinegar is a great option compared to bleach. While bleach is known for being a strong disinfectant, it can also cause skin irritation and be harmful to breathe in. Bleach can also be extremely toxic when mixed with the wrong solutions like ammonia. Since vinegar is non-toxic, it’s not only safe for the environment but for children and pets. Overall, when choosing between the two, it’s safer to go with vinegar for everyday household chores.

White Vinegar vs. Cleaning Vinegar

You may have noticed cleaning vinegar being sold as its own product in stores. The big difference between white vinegar and cleaning vinegar is their acidic levels. White vinegar has 5% acidity while cleaning vinegar has 6% acidity. Because of this, cleaning vinegar can’t be used for cooking. Many consumer reviews say that there’s no real difference between their cleaning effectiveness. Cleaning vinegar also runs a bit more expensive per ounce. For more bang for your buck, you can easily stick with white vinegar for your cooking and cleaning needs.

Vinegar Cleaning Solution

While white vinegar is an easy way to clean your home, sometimes the smell can be off-putting even if it’s diluted with water. To help cover the smell, try this quick DIY vinegar cleaner that uses essential oils.

What You’ll Need
  • White vinegar
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Water
  • Favorite essential oil
How to Make
Combine 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of water, and 10-20 drops of an essential oil of choice into a spray bottle. Shake it up and use where needed!

How to Get Dog Urine Out of Carpet

We love our dogs and pets no matter what -- even if they have the occasional accident on the floor! For a home remedy to get dog urine out of carpet with vinegar, try this step-by-step here!

How to Get Lipstick Out of Carpet

It always happens in the blink of an eye. You’re applying lipstick to your face and suddenly that lipstick is getting applied to the carpet! Before you stress, try this method of getting it out with vinegar.

What You’ll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Vacuum
  • Empty spray bottles
  • White microfiber towels
  • Cold water
  • Baking Soda
  • Ammonia
  • Spoon
How to Clean
  1. Sprinkle Baking Soda - Shake baking soda onto the lipstick-filled area. Use as much as you need. The baking soda helps to absorb the makeup from the carpet fibers.
  2. Agitate Baking Soda with Spoon - With the edge of a spoon, agitate the baking soda into the makeup spill. As you’re doing this, the baking soda will start to discolor and start to clump as it absorbs the makeup.
  3. Vacuum & Repeat - Vacuum the clumps of baking soda and repeat these steps until the baking soda can’t absorb any more makeup.
  4. Flush with Water - Next, rinse out the spot with clean, cold water. Then, blot up all the excess water you’re able to with a clean, white towel.
  5. Create Cleaning Solution - Take 4 oz. of white vinegar and combine with 12 oz. of water into a clear spray bottle.
  6. Spray, Blot, Dry - Spray the affected area and let it sit for at least one minute. Then, blot as much as you can with another clean towel. Finally, allow the area to dry before walking onto it.

How to Get Soda Out of Carpet

Nothing is more annoying than a soda bottle fizzing onto your carpet! Don’t wait for the drink to seep into the carpet. Act fast and use this vinegar solution to get it out.

What You’ll Need
  • White vinegar
  • White microfiber towels
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Liquid dishwash soap
  • Cold Water
  • Sponge
How to Clean
  1. Blot Soda Up - With your white, microfiber towel, gently blot every ounce of soda you can from the carpet.
  2. Create Cleaning Solution -  Now, into the clean, empty spray bottle create a cleaning solution that is 1 tablespoon of dish soap, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and 2 cups water.
  3. Spray and Blot - Spray the area with your solution and blot dry with a fresh, clean towel.
  4. Sponge with Cold Water - Use a sponge and cold water to dab the area and absorb any remaining spots.
  5. Dry - Finally, allow the area of your carpet to dry completely.

How to Get Grease Out of Carpet

Excess grease from food is bound to drip onto the carpet and cause a mess. When a grease spill occurs, check out this handy how-to to get it out.

What You’ll Need
  • White vinegar
  • Ammonia
  • Baking Soda
  • Spoon
  • Vacuum
  • Cold water
  • 2 empty spray bottles
  • 3 white, microfiber towels
How to Clean
  1. Sprinkle Baking Soda - Step one is sprinkling baking soda around the spot. Take your spoon to work the baking soda into the spot. The baking soda will begin to clump and discolor as the grease is absorbed.
  2. Vacuum & Repeat - Vacuum the baking soda and repeat this action until it no longer forms into clumps.
  3. Create Cleaning Solution - Next, mix a solution of 12 ounces of water and 3 ounces of ammonia into an empty spray bottle. Then, simply spray the grease spot.
  4. Agitate, Blot, Repeat - Agitate the spot with a spoon and use a clean, white towel to blot it dry. Repeat this step until you get out as much of the grease as possible.
  5. Flush with Water & Blot - Then, rinse the spot with cold water and after, blot up every bit of water you can.
  6. Create Another Cleaning Solution - Now create a new cleaning solution combining 4 ounces of vinegar with 12 ounces of water. Leave the solution on the carpet for at least one minute.
  7. Blot & Dry - Lastly, blot up as much of it as possible. Let the area dry completely before walking on it.

How to Clean Leather Couch

Between professional cleaning, you may find that you need to give your leather couch a DIY clean. Always check the manufacturer label before you use any cleaner. If your leather couch can be cleaned with water (W) or solvent (WS), then try creating this DIY cleaner here.

For more on DIY and all things couch cleaning, check out our guide on how to clean a couch.

DIY Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Keeping your hardwood in prime condition means taking extra care of it. When you need a quick clean between professional deep cleanings, try this DIY hardwood floor cleaner.

What You’ll Need
  • White vinegar
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Vacuum
  • Microfiber mop
  • Microfiber towels
How to Clean
  1. Sweep or Vacuum - Start your hardwood cleaning by sweeping or vacuuming up all the dust and dirt you can.
  2. Create DIY Hardwood Floor Cleaner - In an empty bucket, mix together ⅛ cup of dish soap, ⅛ cup of vinegar, and 1 gallon of water.
  3. Mop the Hardwood - Using the floor cleaner and a microfiber mop, mop along the grain of your hardwood floors. Be sure to not oversaturate the floors.
  4. Buff Floor with Towels - After mopping the hardwood, use microfiber towels to buff immediately after cleaning. 

How to Clean Oven with Vinegar

Cleaning the oven can be a nuisance, but we have a DIY process that can help ease the process. When your oven is due for a cleaning, give this process a try and get your oven back to clean.

What You’ll Need
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Silicone spatula
  • Rag
  • Microfiber towel
How to Clean
  1. Remove Oven Racks - Take out the top and bottom oven rack to make cleaning easier.
  2. Create Cleaning Solution - Mix together 4 parts baking soda with 1 part water. Then, use a silicone spatula to spread the newly-made paste over all the burned-on food.
  3. Let it Sit - Set a timer and let the paste sit in the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Scrub with Vinegar - Soak a rag in vinegar and then use that to scrub the paste off.
  5. Dry Off - Lastly, take a microfiber cloth to dry off the oven entirely.

How to Clean Glass Stovetop

If you’re cleaning the oven, you may as well clean off the glass stovetop while you’re at it too. Thankfully, you can also use vinegar as part of the cleaning method. Try the steps out below.

What You’ll Need
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • 3 white towels
  • Hot water
  • Razorblade
How to Clean
  1. Wipe with Vinegar - Pour vinegar onto a towel and wipe down the stovetop.
  2. Sprinkle Baking Soda - Now, sprinkle baking soda onto the stovetop and leave it there.
  3. Lay Wet Towel on Stovetop - Take a towel large enough to scale your stovetop and soak it in hot water. Next, lay the soaked towel over top the baking soda and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Scrub with Towel - After the 15 minutes are up, use the towel to thoroughly scrub the stovetop.
  5. Scrape Up Tough Spots - With a razor blade, carefully scrape up stubborn spots after they’ve been loosened by the scrubbing.
  6. Wipe & Dry - Finally, wipe off the stove with a clean towel and let it dry completely before using it.

How to Clean a Sink

Food scraps and remnants can do a number on your sink. Next time you clean your sink, go with this DIY that uses vinegar.

What You’ll Need
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hot water

How to Clean

Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the sink drain. Then, pour ½ cup of vinegar down the drain directly after. Finally, rinse with hot water to unclog a slow draw.

How to Clean Windows with Vinegar

Cleaning windows is one thing, but making sure your windows are streak-free is another. For window cleaning that’s streak-free and doesn’t use harsh chemicals, try this step-by-step using vinegar.

What You’ll Need
  • White vinegar
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth
How to Clean
Combine ¼ cup white vinegar, ½ teaspoon liquid dish soap, and 2 cups water into an empty spray bottle. Shake the bottle so all the ingredients mix together. Once the solution has settled, spray light on the glass window and wipe with a microfiber cloth! Repeat until you’ve cleaned all desired windows.

How to Clean Window Tracks

Cleaning your windows, you may forget to clean the window tracks as well. We’re here with a reminder and solution on how to clean window tracks.

What You’ll Need
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent
  • Vacuum
  • Rag
  • Paper towels
  • Old toothbrush
  • Butter knife
How to Clean
  1. Vacuum Debris - Using an attachment, vacuum all the dirt and debris you can along the tracks.
  2. Sprinkle Baking Soda - Use a liberal amount of baking soda to sprinkle the inside of the tracks. Let that rest for a minute or two.
  3. Create Cleaning Solution - As the baking soda sits, mix together a cleaning solution using equal parts water and vinegar into a spray bottle. Shake well and spray the solution over the baking soda. Let it sit for about 30 seconds.
  4. Agitate with Toothbrush - Using an old or inexpensive toothbrush, scrub the baking soda and cleaning solution. If there are any hard to reach places, try agitating with a butter knife.
  5. Wipe Clean and Dry Off - Use a wet rag to wipe down the window tracks and get off all the cleaning agents. Finally, dry off with paper towels or dry rags!

Looking for a clean that goes beyond the surface? Reach us 24/7 at 1-800-STEEMER or schedule instantly online and see the difference Stanley Steemer can make to your home.

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