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The Pros and Cons of Cleaning With Vinegar

As a mother of both children and dogs, I have lots of experience cleaning up messes with earth-friendly ingredients and materials.

There are many benefits of cleaning with vinegar

There are many benefits of cleaning with vinegar

Advantages and Disadvantages of Vinegar in Cleaning

To live a greener lifestyle, I started using vinegar to clean my home instead of the harsh cleaners you find at the store. Not only is vinegar a great green cleaning product, but 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 as a cleaning product.

Advantages of Vinegar in Cleaning

  • 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

Disadvantages of Vinegar in Cleaning

  • The smell (even with added extracts or 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
Your bathroom can sparkle with a vinegar cleaner

Your bathroom can sparkle with a vinegar cleaner

How to Mask Vinegar Scent

From my experience with using vinegar cleaner, the pros have greatly outweighed the cons. The smell can be strong at first but 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 link below.

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.


linda on February 16, 2018:

it works great

Valene from Missouri on February 15, 2013:

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 (author) from Pennsylvania on July 22, 2012:

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.

Rachel Koski Nielsen from Pennsylvania to Minnesota on July 21, 2012:

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 (author) from Pennsylvania on June 28, 2012:

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:)

Amanda on June 27, 2012:

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.

ElleBee on June 02, 2012:

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 (author) from Pennsylvania on June 02, 2012:

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.

ElleBee on June 02, 2012:

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 from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on April 19, 2012:

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? ;-)

Marissa from United States on April 18, 2012:

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.

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on April 18, 2012:

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!