20 uses for vinegar around the home

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife
White vinegar is one of the most versatile items in your pantry. Here are 20 uses for vinegar around the home.  

Whether it’s cleaning, cooking or even personal care, there are endless uses in the home for vinegar. It’s cheap to buy in bulk and is great for using around the house, not just the kitchen, and can replace a wide range of harsh chemical solutions. Its magical ingredient is acetic acid which does wonders in a lot of different ways around the home. Vinegar does have a strong scent, however, don’t be deterred by this as the odour does disappear within 30 seconds. 

Using Vinegar – Around The House

Mildew – Vinegar will help remove mildew stains from just about any surface. For mild stains, dilute with water in equal parts. Use full-strength for heavier stains!

Remove label goo – Those sticky price-tag labels on your platters, glass or shiny surfaces left some residue behind? Let some full-strength vinegar sit on it for a couple of minutes and then wipe clean.

Get rid of that musty smell – Spare rooms and wardrobes or closets can gain a dusty, musty smell due to lack of use. Add 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of ammonia to 3.5 litres of water and wipe down all the surfaces (walls, ceiling, shelves). Leave the windows and doors open to dry and air the room out.

Remove wall decals or bumper stickers – Soak the top and sides of the decal/sticker and wait a few minutes. Carefully scrape it off with an old bank card or similar.

Make your own cleaners – I use my own all-purpose cleaner in the kitchen and around the surfaces of the home.

Soothe insect bites – Soak a piece of cotton wool in vinegar and wipe gently over the top of itchy bites. If you’re really desperate for relief, keeping the vinegar in the fridge is even nicer on the hot and bothered skin!

Keep your washing machine clean each month  read here how I use vinegar to clean my washing machine.

Using Vinegar – In The Bathroom

Deep clean the toilet – Just because the toilet bowl looks clean, doesn’t mean it is.  The toilet needs a regular thorough clean, see how I give my kids toilet a complete clean here.

Get rid of soap residue – Wipe down the bath tub and shower screens with vinegar to remove the soap scum.

Clean and disinfect hairbrushes and combs – remove the oil and dirt build up, read further for steps on how to clean the brushes here.

Remove shower head build-up – If you can remove the head easily, place it in a bowl and soak in vinegar overnight. If you can’t move the shower head, try tying a small towel soaked in vinegar around it instead.

Clean shower curtains – Add 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle when washing your shower curtain. If you can’t use your washing machine, spray and wipe down the shower curtain instead.

Disinfect and clean bath toys – get rid of the slime and grime from inside bath toys, read how to do this here.

Using Vinegar – In The Kitchen

Disinfect cutting boards – After each use, give your cutting boards a quick spray of vinegar and wipe clean.

Unclog and deodorise drains – Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar down your drain. When all the bubbles and foam goes down, flush with hot tap water.

Refresh the refrigerator – Use equal parts vinegar and water to wipe down all the surfaces – shelves, drawers, walls, etc. Follow up with a box of baking soda to remove any lingering smells.

Steam clean the microwave – Pour 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water in a glass bowl and place it in your microwave. On the highest setting, let it steam away for 5 minutes. Wait for the solution to cool and use it give the microwave a quick wipe out to remove the splatters.

Clean the dishwasher – give it a regular clean to remove any smell and built up grime.  Step by step instructions here.

Clean the kettle – Depending on your local water supply, mineral deposits can build up in your kettle. Bring 3 cups of full-strength vinegar to the boil and let it sit overnight. Use cold water to rinse it out the next day.

Clean the oven – step by step instructions available here.


How do you use vinegar in your home?


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Fiona 'Fi' Keller February 21, 2014 - 6:26 PM

I mainly use vinegar along with bicarb soda to clean a lot of things
I use vinegar on tough stubborn stains or use it in conjunction with bicarb and form a paste.

Katrina February 25, 2014 - 5:53 PM

It’s a great combination together!
Katrina Springer
The Organised Housewife

Also find me: Website | Shop | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Suzanne Landers February 22, 2014 - 11:52 AM

Hi. I tried spraying my shower screen with white vinegar and giving it a scrub but the soap scum build up is VERY stubborn. Have also tried making a paste with bicarbonate of soda, scrubbing and then spraying with vinegar, repeating the scrubbing and then rinsing. Have tried a few commercial cleaners in the past but nothing is working. HeLP!

Lucelle Sauer February 22, 2014 - 2:33 PM

Have you tried those magic eraser, the white block you can get them in the cleaning isle of the supermarket, All I do is rub it on the shower screen and the tiles and it comes clean. (like rubbing pencil out with a rubber) No nasty smell. Hope this helps

laurabella February 22, 2014 - 4:22 PM

put in a spray bottle equal parts vinegar and dishwashing detergent, spray it all over glass, the tiles the shower floor and let sit for a bit, and gently scrub and it will all come off easily, the detergent gets all the soap scumb off and the vinegar deodorises and leaves a beautiful shine on the glass and tiles,. wish I knew this before years of buying every single product down that isle and nothing worked!! 🙂

Alison February 6, 2022 - 7:12 AM


diamonlyn February 22, 2014 - 2:33 PM

I use it to spray in my small bathroom – and on the carpet in the hallway leading to it; I have an older furbaby who unfortunately has made the area his own and no amount of cleaning helps it – i spray vinegar over the surface and it helps the odor fade.

Helen February 24, 2014 - 10:27 PM

2 cups of vinegar to 9l of water and clean my sealed cork floor.

Katrina February 25, 2014 - 5:50 PM

great idea Helen, I get asked a lot how to clean cork floors, but so this is a fabulous help! Katrina Springer
The Organised Housewife

Also find me: Website | Shop | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Stephanie Lamb June 17, 2014 - 4:09 AM

i only just found out the other day that most vinegar is derived from petroleum, do you know of natural brand as most bulk cheap brands are petroleum based. 🙁

Christine August 8, 2014 - 7:05 AM

Do you have a good window cleaning recipe? Vinegar, Bicarbonate, dish washing liquid?

Matt Donovan December 16, 2014 - 12:26 PM

Vinegar has to be the best product out there! So many uses and perfect for those highly polished floor tiles! Thanks again

Maureen December 30, 2015 - 4:29 PM

When buying vinegar don’t buy “cleaning vinegar” just buy the ordinary type as it’s cheaper and its exactly the same.

Sandra Roe March 29, 2016 - 4:34 PM

I visit your site daily & think you do a tremendous job by motivating me when needed
Please advise me about how to fix the dye in new towels so they do not colour run when washed. I had thoughts about some red, teal,
dark green & blue hand towels & face washers whick l washed in the sink “just in case”
Just as well as the water was purple! Purple “old man style” under pants would not have pleased my very conservative hubby.
Please advise what to do in this situation.
Thankyou. Bye.? Sandra Roe

Elaine H February 15, 2018 - 7:38 AM

In a new home we were left with a strip of tape on the floor to ceiling windows with the ugly x’s. The window cleaner tried lots of specialized products to no avail. The good old vinegar soaked paper towel and a wet scraper did the trick without scratching the glass. Got rid of the tape and the x’s.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 15, 2018 - 10:06 AM

Oh that’s fantastic Elaine. It’s one of those items that most people have in their pantry but don’t realise how beneficial it is around the home

Fred February 25, 2018 - 3:29 AM

Recipe to clean headlights using vinegar?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 26, 2018 - 10:16 AM

I haven’t done this myself but I looked it up and you can do this with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Marilee Vannoy May 21, 2018 - 10:23 PM

Recipe for cleaning hard water stains on windows?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 22, 2018 - 9:53 AM

Hi Marilee, I just recently posted about window cleaning, I hope this helps 🙂 https://theorganisedhousewife.com.au/cleaning-2/how-to-clean-windows/

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