Cleaning Your House for Less Than $5.00!

It’s inexpensive, touch on bacteria, mildew and dirt.  Read on for some smart vinegar cleaning tips from Better Homes and Gardens, by Berit Thorkelson.


Refrigerator– Definitely skip the toxic chemicals where you store your food.  Instead, wipe up spills with a 50-50 vinegar-water mix. You can even keep a bottle of the mixture stored in your fridge!


Drain– Pour vinegar onto a scrub brush small enough to get inside the disposal.  Sprinkle the brush with baking soda, then scrub to remove odors and built-up crud, says Mary Findley of, a former pro-cleaner and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning.

Microwave– Place 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a glass bowl. Microwave 2-3 minutes, or until it boils.  Wipe away buildup with ease.

Stained plastic containers– Coat in vinegar. Let sit, then wash.


Toilet– Pour a cup of vinegar in the toilet for overnight.  The next morning, sprinkle with baking soda.  Scrub then flush.

General Bathroom Cleaning– Use straight or diluted vinegar to clean especially around the toilet, where it can curb urine staining and odor.

Tub or sink drain– Pour 1/2 cup vinegar around closed drain and let it sit several hours.  Scrub to remove buildup.  Drain and rinse.

Shower– Findley’s shower deep-clean regimen: Bring vinegar to a boil, then use it to wipe down the shower door and walls.  Keep them damp by wiping them down every 5 to 8 minutes for 30 minutes. Then dampen a non-scratch sponge in vinegar, sprinkle with baking soda and scrub.  Rinse.  By by germs, mold, water spots and soap scum!

Showerhead– Pour some vinegar into a plastic bag and secure it to your showerhead with a twist tie.  Make sure there’s enough vinegar so the bottom part of the showerhead is submerged.  Leave the bag on overnight.  Remove the next morning just before showering.


Mattress disinfectant– Mix vinegar, a little rubbing alcohol and some tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Lightly spritz on your mattress to help combat dust mites, mildew and general odors.  For a deeper clean, follow with a dusting of baking soda.  Let dry, then vacuum.


As a fabric softener– Use vinegar instead of fabric softeners in laundry.  It soften clothes and removes the static at a fraction of the cost.  Just add a cup to the final was or rinse water.

Living & Dining Rooms

Glass– Use a 50-50 vinegar-water solution mix to keep glass tables or stereo cabinet doors sparkling.

Wood furniture– Use 1/4 cup vinegar mixed with 1 cup olive oil, plus a few drops of lemon to clean and condition wood furniture.


Carpet odor and dust mite remover- Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with some vinegar in a spray bottle.  Spritz lightly throughout.


Carpet rinse– After shampooing your carpet, rinse it using 1/2 cup vinegar per gallon of water. This lifts dirt- attracting soap residue, so carpets stay cleaner longer.

Carpet pet odor remover– wet spot with vinegar.  Sprinkle with baking soda, and work the two together with a brush or your fingers.  Let dry then vacuum.

Wood floor wash– Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a gallon of water to clean wood and laminate floors.


Make your own earth friendly home cleaners with vinegar and other natural products.

Air freshener– Add a 1/2 teaspoon vinegar to a 4 ounce spray bottle, then fill with distilled water, plus a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Window cleaner– Mix 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol and 1/3 cup vinegar in a 32 ounce spray bottle, then fill with water.  Lightly spritz on a lint free cloth to clean.

All purpose cleaner– Mix 1 cup vinegar, 2 teaspoons borax, 4 cups hot water, 5 drops liquid dish soap, 10 drops tea tree oil and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Disinfectant– Use a 50-50 vinegar-water mix to wipe down telephones, door knobs, faucet handles and more when cold and flu season hits.


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