How to Clean with Vinegar and Baking Soda: Ideas for Every Room in Your Home

Allie Ogletree
Written by Allie Ogletree
Updated February 21, 2022
Person cleaning kitchen sink
Photo: Lightfield Studios / Adobe Stock

These common household items are dirt-fighting superheroes

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Whether you use baking soda and vinegar separately or together around the house, there’s no doubt these environmentally friendly cleaning ingredients serve as the perfect concoction for many cleaning tasks and are also readily available in most people’s homes. Follow along to learn how to clean with vinegar and baking soda all around your house.

1. Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the messiest parts of the home, so finding ways to simplify the cleaning process can help you save tons of time. Baking soda and vinegar can help give you that extra oomph in your cleaning routine. 

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a mild alkaline that cleans, deodorizes, and acts as a gentle abrasive, like when you need to get rid of the smell of onions after cooking. Vinegar, on the other hand, is an acid that’s an effective, gentler alternative to popular cleaners, including bleach. It deodorizes and helps remove stains, mold, and rust. Together, these money-saving cleaning ingredients create a chemical reaction that works to dissolve and loosen grime.

How to Use Baking Soda and Vinegar in the Kitchen

Baking soda and vinegar can help you clean a variety of items in the kitchen. Here are just a few easy ways that these ingredients work to keep your kitchen fresh and sparkling:

  • Dishes: Clean your dishwasher and coffee pot by running a cycle using just baking soda. Run vinegar through both machines on a monthly basis to keep them clean and free of residue, especially if you have hard water that contains a lot of calcium deposits.

  • Pots and pans: For any cookware that has baked-on residue, use baking soda to help dissolve the grime. To do this, simply sprinkle the surface generously with baking soda, then let it soak roughly 15 minutes in dish detergent and hot water.

  • Kitchen sink: While you’re cleaning the dishes, pots, and pans, you can also clean the kitchen sink. Rub down those sink fixtures with a paste made of vinegar and salt to remove lime buildup and leave your sink sparkling and pristine. Be sure to pour baking soda and vinegar down the garbage disposal to eliminate bacteria and odors

  • Tarnish: Use a paste made of 1 part water and 3 parts baking soda and rubbing it onto silver to remove tarnish. Rinse it off and use a clean cloth to dry it to a shine.

  • In the fridge: Vinegar is a green way to deodorize the surfaces of your refrigerator and even clean your ice maker. Combine vinegar and water in a spray bottle to maintain a clean and odor-free fridge.

  • Teacups: Equal parts vinegar and baking soda can be combined to scrub away tough stains from coffee mugs, travel mugs, or teacups. Just be sure to be careful scrubbing any delicate pieces.

  • Trash odors: Sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of your trash can to prevent unwanted odors.

2. Bathroom

Person cleaning bathroom sink
Photo: iMarzi / Adobe Stock

The bathroom is another one of those messy spaces that can be a pain to clean. By adding baking soda or vinegar to your cleaning process, you might find yourself almost enjoying your time cleaning the bathroom. 

  • Surfaces: For one, you can create a thick and non-toxic scrub to clean bathroom surfaces by stirring together 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of liquid castile soap or dish detergent, and vinegar. 

  • Showerheads: Minerals can also clog up all or part of showerheads and reduce their flow. Remove this buildup by soaking the showerhead in a mixture of 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1 quart of water for at least 15 minutes. 

  • Loofahs: Similarly, remove that pesky soap residue from loofahs by soaking them for 24 hours in equal parts vinegar and water.

How to Clean the Toilet Using Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Hot Water

It’s important to avoid toilet liquid drain cleaners because they can damage the PVC or crack the porcelain. Instead, opt for a combo of equal parts baking soda and vinegar followed by boiling water to help loosen the clog. If worse comes to worst, find a toilet cleaner near you to safely do the job. 

Speaking of toilets, a half a cup of baking soda can also help scrub toilets clean. Another option for cleaning your toilet is to pour a cup of diluted white vinegar into the toilet, allowing it to soak overnight before scrubbing. 

3. Laundry

When it comes to laundry, it’s frustrating to put clothes through the wash only for stains and discoloration to remain. Vinegar and baking soda play different roles when it comes to keeping your laundry clean, but both can help improve unsightly marks and grease. 

How to Use Baking Soda for Laundry

No one likes the appearance of dull clothes after a round in the washing machine. Fortunately, adding half a cup of baking soda to your liquid detergent at the beginning of the wash cycle makes for a brighter load of laundry. You can also sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of clothes hampers to tamper down stinky odors from your spouse’s gym socks.

How to Use Vinegar for Laundry

Vinegar is especially useful for removing stains, scuff marks, and static from your clothes. Get rid of sweat stains and scorch marks by rubbing away at them using a clean cloth and white vinegar. To help socks and gym clothes look fresher, you can soak them in a pot of boiling water with an added cup of distilled white vinegar. 

You can also wipe away those scuff marks on your purse or shoes using white vinegar. Tossing a half a cup of white vinegar into your washing machine during the wash cycle also helps reduce static cling and lint buildup on clothes. 

4. Outdoors

You don’t need to stop at the inside of your home. Kick your cleaning routine up a notch by adding baking soda and vinegar to these various outdoor areas.

  • The grill: Clean grill grates using equal parts baking soda and vinegar. Alternatively, use baking soda on a damp brush to scrub the grates clean, then rinse. Use crumpled aluminum foil sprayed with distilled vinegar to remove excess charcoal buildup.

  • De-icing sidewalks: In snowy weather, sidewalks are often icy and slippery to walk on. Remove excess snow, then pour baking soda over the icy surface to de-ice. Just a note that this may not work for particularly thick sheets of ice. In those cases, you may want to turn to stronger ice melt options.

  • Weed killers: Kill weeds and discourage their growth by sprinkling baking soda or pouring vinegar on sidewalk or driveway cracks where they're prone to grow. 

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