Vinegar as a Cleaner?? Here’s Why!!

After I asked my readers what they would like me to write about, one reader responded and asked me to write about using vinegar as a budget-friendly cleaner.  I’m so glad she asked me because researching vinegar as a cleaner is something I’ve always been meaning to do and try!  Now I have to do it!

So here it goes:

How does vinegar clean?

Vinegar is an acidic liquid made from the fermenting of fruit (as in apple cider vinegar), or grains (as in white vinegar, rice vinegar, etc.).  White vinegar is the most common vinegar and has 5% acidity.

Some vinegars will have a higher acidity level.  Check the label of the vinegar you are buying to find it’s listed acidity level.  This will be important when you are thinking of using vinegar as a cleaner.

The acidity level of vinegar gives it a low pH.  (I’m sure you don’t care much about all the chemistry behind this–I certainly don’t!!  I just want to know if it works!)  But just to give you the WHY behind it, this acidity and consequently low pH makes vinegar a hard place for microorganisms to live.

In fact, vinegar is known to effectively kill many forms of bacteria and viruses.

Since it is the acidity and pH level of the vinegar that kills bacteria and viruses, a higher acidity level will be more effective for cleaning.  This is why I said you will want to check the acidity level of your vinegar that will be listed on the label.

White vinegar, with its 5% acidity, is the most common (and CHEAPEST!) vinegar used for cleaning purposes.  According to what I’ve read so far about using white vinegar for cleaning, white vinegar diluted with water is effective for general cleaning, but undiluted white vinegar can be used for specific disinfecting purposes.

Why use vinegar??

So now we know HOW vinegar is an effective cleaner, but WHY is it any BETTER than any normal store-bought cleaner?

  • IT’S SAFE.  Let’s think about what we all know.  Vinegar is a FOOD product.  If it’s safe to eat, you can safely use it around your kids!  Your kids would even be able to safely help you with cleaning the house–that’s a double bonus! 🙂  You won’t have to worry about your kids accidentally drinking this cleaner–or licking something you just cleaned.  Trust me, it happens……..
  • IT’S CHEAP.  Let’s talk money.  Store-bought cleaners are just plain expensive.  A gallon of white vinegar can be bought for a few dollars, at the most, and will last you a lot longer.


Yes, I know I made this short and sweet, but I didn’t want to beat to death a topic that is pretty much common knowledge these days and easy to find on the internet.  I simply wanted to give you a quick introduction to why and how vinegar is an awesome cleaner. 

We can easily get caught in the trap of learning learning learning about something and how to do it (think about pinning a lot of recipes on Pinterest and then never making any), and then we never get around to doing it.  Yes, I am so guilty.

So now what I plan to do is find a few simple vinegar cleaner recipes/mixtures, and then I’m going to make them, use them, and report back to you.  What would make this even more awesome is if you would do it with me!  Comment below this post or on the Frugal Nurse Mama facebook page to let me know you are in for the challenge!

Come back next Monday, March 27th, for a report on my first vinegar cleaning experiences!


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