The Pros and Cons of Cleaning with Vinegar

Updated on May 13, 2019
Your bathroom can sparkle with a vinegar cleaner
Your bathroom can sparkle with a vinegar cleaner | Source

In an attempt to live a greener lifestyle I started using vinegar to clean my home instead of harsh cleaners you find at the store. Not only is vinegar a great green cleaning product, it also costs much less than typical store-bought cleaners. Vinegar can safely clean almost any surface in your house from windows to wood to the inside of your refrigerator. However, for all the pros vinegar cleaner offers, there are some cons as well. Here's my list of pros and cons for vinegar cleaner.

Vinegar Cleaning Pros:

  • Cheaper than store bought cleaners
  • Safe to use around kids and pets
  • Better for the environment and can use the same bottle over and over
  • Can be used on many different surfaces
  • Is a great substitute for fabric softener
  • Easy to find at any supermarket
  • Will not ruin your clothes if you spill it on yourself while cleaning

Vinegar Cleaning Cons:

  • The smell (even with adding extracts and using different types of vinegar)
  • You must make sure you label your cleaner bottle carefully
  • Doesn't cut through grease as well as commercial products

From my experience with using vinegar cleaner, the pros have greatly outweighed the cons. The smell can be strong at first but it quickly dissipates in the air and I usually just burn a candle while I clean. I have also added various extracts like lemon and orange to help a little with the smell. As for cutting through grease, I use very hot soapy water and clean the area twice with two different rags. For other ways to use vinegar as a cleaning product in your home, check out the links below.

Why do you use vinegar cleaner?

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      it works great

    • Valene profile image


      7 years ago from Missouri

      I also love cleaning with vinegar just because it's something I always have in the house and I don't have to remember to buy more cleaner or anything. It's great to find creative solutions for cleaning without having to go to the store! It makes you feel so clever, lol! I have a hub on green cleaning and I talk about vinegar too. I love it. Voted Up!

    • chrissieklinger profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      The smell of cleaning with vinegar really got to me at first, but I am used to it now. Bleach is a strong smell and I do think the vinegar is better smelling.

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski Nielsen 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

      This is a great hub! Voted up, useful, interesting. I usually use a spray cleaner with bleach for things like wiping down the stove and counters, and I hate dealing with the the fumes! Think I'll try doing some cleaning with vinegar and see how it goes :)

    • chrissieklinger profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Amanda- I have tried lemon juice and I still smell the vinegar but over time you do get used to it and it is worth it to save money on cleaning and use safer products in my house:)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      To deal with some of the smell when cleaning with vinegar. Add some essential oil. We use eucalyptus oil, which I love the smell of, and mixed with the vinegar isn't so bad. I've also heard of adding lemon oil. Either way, when cleaning with vinegar... It isn't too long before you start associating that smell with cleanliness.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I never have been a big fabric softener user myself either, but if I could soften my clothes for the cost of vinegar I might be converted!

    • chrissieklinger profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      ellebee...yes, I couldn't believe vinegar could soften clothes until I tried it myself. However, I will say I have never been much for using much fabric softener in the first place.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great ideas! I use vinegar primarily for cleaning in my bathroom (great for de-gunking faucets and showerheads), but Iwill have to try out a few of these other uses. I definitely didn't know it was a good fabric softener! I may have to try that soon.

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 

      8 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      I like the smell of vinegar, at least in small doses, so maybe I should try cleaning with it. Can you do a hub about HOW to clean with vinegar to get me started? ;-)

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      I learned about using white vinegar for cleaning from my great-great aunt for whom I cleaned. I too love using it for all of the reasons above, but the smell does get to me sometimes.

      Great hub! Voted up and useful.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 

      8 years ago from Rome, Italy

      I like white vinegar for cleaning my refrigerator, but until reading this useful Hub, I hadn't thought of it as an alternative and economic product.

      We dry our clothes on the line outside, so the odor would blow away when used as a softener, but I'd have to see how we felt about the smell of it on surfaces...many thanks. I'll try.

      nice Hub.

      Look forward to knowing you more!


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