Vinegar and Baking Soda for Cleaning, Gardening and Bread Making

Updated on December 13, 2019
eugbug profile image

Eugene writes a variety of articles on the HubPages Network of sites, covering topics such as gardening, DIY, photography, and STEM.

Vinegar is a natural substance containing acetic acid. The two main types are malt vinegar made from barley and apple cider vinegar. It has a wide range of uses around the home as a cleaning agent. It can also aid digestion and can help to relieve skin ailments.

This article will detail some of the many uses for vinegar in and around the home.

Cleaning Stains With Vinegar

  • Vinegar is great for removing brown iron stains and limescale from baths, showers and toilets. The stains can be sprayed with vinegar stored in a window cleaning pump spray bottle.
  • If you mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of vinegar, this is great for cleaning coffee and tea stains from cups and mugs. It will also clean brass.
  • Vinegar can be used for cleaning windows.
  • When rubbed into stains in clothing and allowed to soak for a while before laundering, vinegar helps to loosen the stains. Baking soda reacts with vinegar and the resulting froth helps to loosen stains.

Acetic Acid and Vinegar

The active ingredient in vinegar is acetic acid, also known by it's more modern name, ethanoic acid. When alcohol turns sour, ethanol is chemically converted to ethanoic acid. The formula for the acid is CH3COOH.

Vinegar has a 5% acetic acid content.

Acetic acid molecule CH3COOH
Acetic acid molecule CH3COOH | Source

Health Uses of Vinegar

  • A few teaspoons of vinegar in a glass of warm water aids digestion.
  • When applied regularly to the toenails over a period of months, vinegar can help to cure athlete's foot or nail fungi. The fungus which causes the disorder doesn't like to live in acid conditions.
  • Applying vinegar to itchy skin and bites helps to relieve the itching.

Using Vinegar for DIY and in the Garden

  • Nuts and bolts which have become seized can be released by soaking in vinegar. The acetic acid will dissolve the rust. In fact, rust can be removed from any surface by soaking in vinegar.
  • Water acid loving plants such as rhododendrons and hydrangeas with a solution of vinegar every so often to increases the acidity of the soil. If you spray vinegar onto the leaves of weeds, it will scorch the leaves and kill the weeds.
  • Vinegar deters ants if sprayed on their trails or around door and window frames.

Pump spray bottle
Pump spray bottle | Source

Using Vinegar in the Bathroom

  • Vinegar helps to remove dandruff and relieve itching of the scalp.
  • It can be used for removing scum from baths and grime and mildew from tiles and shower curtains.
  • If you buy a small pump spray from a pharmacy, this can be filled with white vinegar and used as a deodorant spray. You won't smell like French fries after the spray dries, and vinegar is a very effective sterilizer, killing the germs which cause BO! It won't cause insoluble white stains on clothing like conventional antiperspirant/deodorant and you won't be ripped off by the toiletry companies!

Using Vinegar for Baking

When baking brown and white soda bread, buttermilk and baking soda are normally used as leavening (raising ) agents. If you don't have any buttermilk to hand, vinegar is a good alternative. Use 5 desert spoons stirred into 12 fluid ounces (US) / 350 ml of whole milk as a basis for making soda bread.

Brown soda bread.
Brown soda bread. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Eugene Brennan


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • eugbug profile imageAUTHOR

      Eugene Brennan 

      4 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks Glenn, it's very effective at burning top growth on weeds, but needs to be applied regularly, especially with deep rooted weeds. Acetic or ethanoic acid is the "active ingredient" in vinegar and the concentration is about 5%. You can also buy natural weedkillers which have a 50% concentration of acetic acid. Glacial acetic acid is also the active ingredient in wart removing compounds.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I use vinegar for cleaning. And I also take a teaspoon of it every so often with water for improved health. But I never knew it can be used to kill weeds and to keep ants away. I learn something new every day! Great hub and very informative.

    • Becky Bruce profile image

      Becky Bruce 

      8 years ago from San Diego, CA

      I love vinegar! If your towels ever get that musty scent.. a load with vinegar erases the problem! Plus it tastes delicious added to recipes!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)