Master Guide to Simple Vinegar Cleaners for the WHOLE House!

I’m very excited to bring you this list of vinegar cleaners to replace toxic and expensive store-bought cleaners!  I found simple recipes for vinegar cleaners for the main cleaning purposes every home needs.

I tried most of these cleaners last week so I could tell you how well they work.  (A quick trip to the Dollar Tree gave me a few cute spray bottles to put my new cleaners in!)

General Purpose Cleaner

1.  Plain General Purpose Cleaner

Your plain general purpose vinegar cleaner is SO simple.


Whatever container you are using, simply fill halfway with water, and halfway with white vinegar and you’re done.  Spray onto the surface you are cleaning, let sit, and then wipe clean!

2. Orange General Purpose

Orange general purpose cleaner is a spin on the plain version.  Peel a few oranges and put their peels in a jar.  Fill to the top with white vinegar and let sit for 2 weeks.  Strain out the peels and use your orange vinegar to make general purpose vinegar–half water, half orange vinegar.  

This orange cleaner will smell a whole lot nicer, and I’ve heard it also works well on repelling ants!!  Spray it around any places where you have noticed ants in your house.

Toilet Cleaner

This one is the easiest.  Spray or wipe straight, un-diluted white vinegar onto your toilet surfaces.  Let sit and then wipe clean.

The reason you want to use undiluted vinegar for your toilet is that you don’t want to water down the acid in the vinegar.  It is the acid that will kill the germs on your toilet.  The toilet can always use some heavier-duty cleaning!

Tub & Tile/Bathroom Cleaner

I got my vinegar tub and tile/bathroom cleaner from here.  I call it a “bathroom” cleaner too instead of just a tub and tile cleaner, because the baking soda and salt

In a large bowl or even a juice pitcher (so you can easily pour it into a jar or another container with a tight lid later) mix together:

1/2 cup white vinegar 

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons dishwashing soap

3/4 cup baking soda

3 tablespoons salt

10 drops essential oil (COMPLETELY optional)  (I had some spearmint oil that I found on sale a long time ago.  Turns out…I don’t like spearmint flavor in anything to eat or drink–it’s NOT the same as peppermint!  Anyways, I used that in this cleaner recipe and it made the cleaner smell like spearmint gum.  Very fresh and clean smelling!)

Once you mix all these things together, (the vinegar and baking soda will react and bubble up), pour the mixture into a jar or other container with a tight lid.  It’s gotta be a tight lid because you will need to shake the cleaner to mix it up before using it.

I tried a spray bottle but the cleaner is way too thick.  The baking soda and salt won’t go through a sprayer, but those ingredients are what really scrubs your tub or shower and gets it clean.

(Here’s a tip:  the baking soda and salt also make it a great way to clean your toilet bowl!  Pour some of the cleaner onto your toilet brush and scrub the bowl.)

You can see how well it worked at removing the nasty soap scum from my shower doors!!  We rent our house, and I swear there was years of soap scum in this shower–and store-bought shower cleaners were never able to get it off for me.  Vinegar cleaner for the win!!

Glass Cleaner

I got my vinegar glass cleaner from here.  

In a spray bottle or a jar, mix together:

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol

A few drops of essential oil (COMPLETELY optional)  (The original cleaner recipe called for fresh or dried mint.  You could definitely get these from your grocery store, but they are there to make the cleaner smell good, not clean better.  I added my spearmint oil because I already had it on hand.)

Once you have it all mixed in your spray bottle or jar, give the bottle or jar a good shake.  Then spray directly onto the glass or mirror, or wet a rag with the mixture.  Wipe down the glass in a circular motion, and you suddenly have clean glass and mirrors!

NOTE:  When I tried this glass cleaner, I was afraid it was a bust.  As I was wiping down my mirror, it seemed very streaky.  But I kept at it and wiped some more.  It takes longer to dry than the glass cleaner, like Windex, that you buy at the store.  Just wipe a little longer and it turns out just as well!!

(Sorry I don’t have before and after pictures for this one–I’m a bad photographer and I can’t get a picture of my mirror without getting me and some horrible glare in it too!  haha)

Dishwasher Cleaner/Rinse

This one isn’t even a “recipe”–it’s just an idea for how to use plain vinegar.  (I got the idea here.)  When it’s this simple, I don’t even think can mess it up!

Just pour white vinegar into the spot in your dishwasher where you pour a rinse aid like “Jet-dry”.  (If you have a dishwasher that doesn’t have this, just put a small bowl of vinegar in your top rack.)

The vinegar will be circulated through your dishwasher at the end of the cycle, giving you 2 benefits.  (1) Your dishes will be rinsed and dry better without becoming cloudy, and (2) the vinegar will clean the dishwasher itself, killing any bacteria and viruses that are living in there.

I will never spend money on a rinse aid again–the plain white vinegar worked just as well as any fancy rinse aid I have bought before!

Oven Cleaner

I got my vinegar oven cleaner here.

In a large bowl, mix together:

4 tablespoons baking soda

5 tablespoons white vinegar

1/4 cup lemon or lime juice

1 tablespoon dishwashing soap

The ingredients will make a paste.  Using a sponge, spread this paste on all the sides of your oven, including the inside of the door.  Scrub the dirtiest places, and then let the paste sit for a few hours.  Finish wiping out the oven with a sponge and some water.

(I don’t have before and after pictures for this cleaner either because I tried this one a long time ago.  It worked very well for me.  I was so glad because store-bought oven cleaner is so strong it makes me light-headed!)


I hope this list of simple vinegar cleaners for around the home are helpful to you.  I’m so glad that my reader asked for these because it made me get off my behind and try them!  I was very happy with how well they worked, and I’m sure you will too!!

Let me know about your experience when you try out these cleaners in YOUR home!  You can comment below this post, or you can go to the Frugal Nurse Mama Facebook page and comment there.  I’d so love to hear from you!

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