Why Does Vinegar Clean?

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The best household cleaner is hiding in your pantry right now. Do you know what it is? News flash: It’s vinegar! Use vinegar to clean your house, and you will be surprised at how well it will do. But have you ever wondered why does vinegar clean so well?

Scientifically speaking, vinegar has acetic acid properties, making it a natural disinfectant. This makes it a great cleaning agent for many surfaces, including appliances and bathrooms. It’s also a safe product to store in your home and isn’t hazardous to pets or young children.

If you are curious why vinegar is used for cleaning, this post should satisfy your curiosity.

What is Vinegar?

Vinegar is an acidic solution produced from the fermentation of acetic acid bacteria and ethanol. This liquid is known to many as an ingredient for cooking, but it is also a household staple used for cleaning.

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, antibacterial, and a cleanser. Again, its acidity makes the solution an excellent cleaner. It can remove dirt, grease, grime, and sticky residue and even fight soap scum. However, the acidic properties can also damage surfaces, especially materials made from marble or granite.

Is Vinegar Good for Cleaning?

Vinegar excels as a household cleaner because of its variety of applications. Got stains in your clothes, or have dirty grout? Use vinegar to clean and remove them. It can also clean away rust and mineral deposits. This can all be done without damaging your skin.

Once mixed with baking soda or diluted with warm water, it has a myriad of uses like rinsing away stains. How so? Vinegar can break down molecular bonds in which stains are formed and kills bacteria that produce mildew and mold. It can also remove unpleasant odors in your house.

Can You Clean with Vinegar While Young Ones are Around?

One of the best things about cleaning with vinegar at home is that it is non-toxic. If you have children, especially babies, or crawling kids on the floor, you can rest assured that vinegar is not harmful to them or anyone in the family.

Unlike cleaning the house with store-bought cleaners, there’s no need to worry about your kid absorbing or ingesting vinegar. Toxic chemicals, however, can be harmful to their fragile body. On top of that, vinegar is eco-friendly, making it not only great for humans but also the environment.

Can You Use Vinegar in the Bathroom?

Yes, you can use vinegar to clean the bathroom. You can make your tile floors, toilet, showerheads, and bathtubs look brand new with vinegar. This solution effectively cuts through tough limescale, rust, and stains. 

However, when it comes to organic stains on the toilet bowl, you should clean them with more alkaline solutions. You can make this solution by mixing baking soda and vinegar to create an abrasive cleaning agent while absorbing a stinky smell.  

Can You Use Vinegar to Clean the Kitchen?


You can use vinegar to clean the kitchen. You can even use this solution to clean appliances like coffee makers, microwaves, and ovens. This magical cleaning solution is praised for its ability to dissolve dirt, bacteria, mineral deposits, and the like.

From removing limescale to descaling kettles and its anti-bacterial, vinegar is a brilliant cleaning agent for the kitchen. Not to mention it is a great money-saving alternative.

Can You Use Vinegar to Clean Floors?

Vinegar can clean the floor. However, the only vinegar that is safe for cleaning floors is white distilled vinegar. It is less acidic and does not produce stains or corrode. Now, let’s identify which types of floors vinegar can safely clean.


Vinegar as a cleaning agent for tiles? It’s a no-brainer. Your house, kitchen, or bathroom floors will love to be washed with vinegar. Just put a half cup of white vinegar into a gallon of warm water, and you’re good to go. This method will mop away dirt, grime, and germs.


Yes, you can clean your carpet with vinegar. To do this, combine one teaspoon of baking soda, two tablespoons of vinegar, and two cups of hot water. Transfer this mixture to a spray bottle, then spray the spot you want to clean. If it’s your goal to remove carpet stains, this method will help you do that too.


Can you clean wood floors with vinegar? You are probably surprised, but yes, it can. Most people think that the acidity of the vinegar will damage wood floors. However, only waxed hardwood or unfinished wood floors are vulnerable to acid. Sealed and prefabricated hardwood floors are safe from vinegar.

You can clean wood floors by mixing a half cup of vinegar and one gallon of warm water. Then use this mixture to wipe down dirty floors with your damp mop.

Can You Use Vinegar to Clean Windows?

Absolutely! This cheap home staple can make your windows sparkling clean. You don’t need expensive window cleaning products because vinegar can combat dirty windows. Besides having an acidic formula, it also has anti-bacterial properties, which are entirely non-toxic. 

Vinegar is excellent for cleaning streaks. You can use them in various types of windows, whether big or small. It is also recommendable to use vinegar with baking soda to avoid smearing accumulated dust and dirt, which is common in cleaning windows with vinegar alone. 

What’s the Best Type of Vinegar for Cleaning?

Vinegar has four types: apple cider, white distilled, balsamic, and red vinegar. You may have an assortment of vinegar stored in your kitchen cabinet, but you don’t need to use them all for cleaning. You only need one, which is white distilled vinegar. While you can use all of them as cleaning agents, white vinegar is milder and cleans better.

White vinegar is natural as it does not contain any coloring agent. Thus, it won’t stain surfaces. Most of the time, staining is from darker-colored vinegar. Most importantly, white vinegar has around 5% acidity. It is the same acidity level as regular store-bought multipurpose cleaners.

How Can You Clean the House Better with Vinegar?


Overall, vinegar is effective and safe to use. However, there are specific approaches that you should consider when cleaning the house with it.

Wear gloves

Although vinegar is a natural cleaning tool, it’s recommended to wear gloves to clean your house. If you have sensitive skin, it may irritate it. Take note that apple cider vinegar is the best vinegar for your skin.

Spray Essential Oil

Vinegar has quite a strong smell. You can spray essential oil to avoid foul odors. While this is optional, this method is ideal when the house is not well-ventilated. After all, the smell of vinegar can stay for hours.

Don’t Mix Vinegar and Bleach

Don’t dare combine vinegar and bleach. Otherwise, it will result in chlorine gas, which is harmful and toxic. Use these cleaners separately.


Maybe it’s not your thing to use bottled distilled white vinegar for cleaning. But upon learning this, there is no reason why you should only use it for cooking. We hope you don’t allow your bottle of vinegar to sit in the cupboard gathering dust but rather utilize it for cleaning. 

Vinegar is easy on your home, family, and wallet. And you can find it at any local grocery store.

If you want to learn more about cleaning with vinegar, read our article – Is Vinegar a Cleaning Agent?