Cleaning with vinegar can be the best solution for natural cleaning and it can keep money in your wallet as well. For the longest time, I did not like cleaning with vinegar because of the odor, but then I became more aware of the toxins I was releasing into my home with man-made cleaners.
Now, I only use my own homemade all-purpose spray, primarily made with vinegar, dish soap, Borax and essential oils. It cleans better than the average household cleaner and honestly, my family is healthier because of it!
For the purposes of the post below, the only ingredients you will need are vinegar, baking soda, Borax and a lemon. You can easily purchase baking soda and vinegar in bulk at discount stores, along with Borax. A little Borax goes a long way, so usually 1 box will last quite a long time.
Ways to naturally clean with vinegar
In your Kitchen
Clean your sink
Use vinegar spray, or on a sponge, along with a dusting of baking soda to scrub out grime and food from the sink. Add a few drops off essential oils such as citrus or thieves to help freshen and further disinfect.
Clean your counters
Sprinkle with baking soda or Borax and spray with mixture of half water and half vinegar, then wipe down with a sponge or rag. Add a bit of extra baking soda, for stains and scrub with a scouring sponge to remove them.
Clean your oven
Either set an oven safe dish of 1 cup of vinegar in the oven and turn it on until it reaches 400 degrees. Turn off the oven and allow it to set overnight, not opening the door. In the morning, spray down and wipe, or wipe with a wet cloth to remove the film.
Clean your refrigerator
Fill a sink with half and half water and vinegar and using a rag or sponge, wipe out emptied shelves, and compartments. Remove drawers and use the mixture to clean them out, then dry before returning them into the refrigerator. Use a toothbrush to scrub out dried food from cracks and crannies. Then carefully replace the contents back inside.
Clean your floor
Using a mixture of half and half water and vinegar, dip a mop into the bucket and mop the kitchen floor. Scrub hard to reach areas by hand, including baseboards, and places with spilled contents.
Clean your cutting board
Sprinkle a dusting of baking soda on your wooden cutting board and allow to sit for at least 12 hours. Pour a small amount of vinegar on the board, allowing it to fizz and scrub off any food particles. Rinse, dry and store in an airy location.
Clean out your coffee maker
Fill your carafe with one part vinegar and one part water. Pour into the water basin of your coffee maker, then run like usual. Run again if the water has a light coffee tint to it to thoroughly clean your coffee maker.
Clean your stove top
Dust your stove top with baking soda (avoid the coils and electrical plugs) and spray with a vinegar and water mixture. Allow it to fizz and then wipe clean. Reapply if needed to remove all grease and gunk.
Clean your microwave
Place a cup of vinegar in a bowl and microwave for about 4 minutes and allow to sit for an hour. Open up and wipe clean with a sponge or rage.
In the bathrooms
Clean the bathtub and shower
Arm yourself with a mixture of Borax and baking soda (equal parts) and sprinkle the mixture on all surfaces. Spray with a vinegar water mixture and scrub with a scrub brush to remove soap scum. For hard to clean surfaces, rub the surfaces with a half a lemon before the dry mixture and vinegar is added. After spraying allow it to sit for several hours and then wipe off.
Clean the sink
Sprinkle your Borax and baking soda mixture in the sink and its fixtures and then spray a vinegar water mixture. Scrub and wipe the surfaces, finishing with a spray and wipe of the chrome to make it shine.
Clean the toilet
Pour a cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl and then sprinkle a Borax and baking soda mixture. Allow it to fizz and then scrub with a scrub brush. Flush and reapply if necessary. Spray a vinegar mixture on the toilet seat area and lid, wipe clean. Add essential oil drops for additional deodorization.
Clean the mirror
Spray the mirror with vinegar and wipe with paper towels or newspapers. Wipe until streaks are no longer visible.
In the Living Room or Sitting area
Clean the carpet
Sprinkle a mixture of Borax and baking soda on the area of your carpet that is soiled. Then, using a spray bottle, spray the area with straight vinegar and scrub with a rag or sponge. Allow it to dry overnight, then vacum the next day. If you use a steam cleaner, sprinkle the dry mixture and then add stright vinegar to the cleaner and run it on the carpet. Add essential oils to the dry mixture if desired.
For dark or stubborn stains, make a paste of Borax and vinegar. Scrub the area and allow it to dry for a couple of days. Then vacum throughly.
Clean the upholstery
Follow the same directions as in cleaning the carpet, using the Borax and baking soda mixture, along with the vinegar. Add your favorite essential oils to help freshen and bring new life into your sitting area.
Mix together one part vinegar to five parts water to clean your favorite woodwork before you polish naturally. Use the mixture to mop wood floors or spray on wood tables or your fireplace mantle to clean thoroughly, wiping the cracks carefully to remove dirt before polishing.
Clean your fireplace
When the winter season ends, soot and ash build up on the bricks of your fireplace. Make a mixture of half vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the hearth and wipe with disposable towels to shine up your living area.