8 Ways to Clean With Vinegar and Baking Soda

Best Ways to Clean Using Vinegar And Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda – more than just a forgotten salad dressing and some half-baked cake. The versatile duo can be used in many ways around the house, including cleaning! In addition to their cleaning properties, vinegar is also an excellent fabric softener alternative while baking soda fights stains and odors. We don’t need to question if we should clean with baking soda and vinegar. We already know it is a cheap, effective solution for cleaning our houses.

How can you clean with vinegar and baking soda? If you need a non-toxic household cleaner, look no further than your pantry. Baking soda and vinegar can be used to scrub and clean all surfaces in your home! You can clean a dirty microwave or dishwasher, toilet bowl, sinks, stovetops, the bottom of burned pans, windows, and soap scum in your bathroom. I use it religiously in my home and I will never go back to using store-bought cleaners that are full of chemicals.

Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate and has many uses such as cleaning, deodorizing, and polishing, but it’s also great for body care. You can use it as a facial scrub, face mask, shampoo, and conditioner!

Vinegar has antibacterial properties, kills germs, and even fights against mold! It is also useful in the kitchen to remove stains from stainless steel & porcelain surfaces. Plus you can use it as a hair rinse or spray it on your carpet to remove odors.

How to Clean With Baking Soda and Vinegar

So here are just a few ways to clean your house with these common household items. Add them to the list of things you don’t have to buy pre-made!

1. Clean a Dirty Microwave

Place a bowl full of water and both baking soda and vinegar inside the microwave, turn it on for five minutes while the door is closed, and then wipe it down. The steam from the water will loosen up all of the grime and dirt that’s been stuck to your microwave for who knows how long!

I start by getting my trust stand mixer bowl and filling it with vinegar and water – until the white vinegar is submerged evenly. Then, for good measure, if there’s time before my next scheduled use of the microwave, I stick it in the freezer for a couple of hours.

The vinegar and water make the microwave smells slightly stronger than usual, but this doesn’t bother me too much – as I’ve never been particularly sensitive to strong smells. I simply remove the bowl from my stand mixer using oven mitts (because it’s hot), put a paper towel on the bottom of the microwave, and set the bowl in there.

I turn it on for a minute or two, then let it sit without moving or opening the door for several minutes. This is when your house starts to smell like microwaved vinegar. I don’t mind this too much either because it’s not as bad as microwaved fish. By now, I can usually open the door without burning my fingers.

I remove the bowl and take the paper towel out. The paper towel is mostly clean with brown or yellowish stains on it – although if you have stuck-on food it’ll be harder to get off this way. I then put another paper towel in the bowl, put it back in the microwave, and run it again for another minute. I take this paper towel out in the same manner as before – except now I can see most of my stuck-on food on there.

Use a Toothbrush for Additional Cleaning

Sometimes this is all I need to clean everything else off. If not, I start using an old toothbrush (which I’m positive covers my brush in harmful, cancer-inducing chemicals). The first thing I do is set the microwave for 1 minute at power level 4. This will cause it to beep halfway through.

When this happens I open the door and use the toothbrush to loosen any stuck food. Don’t use your naked fingers to loosen anything – you may get burned! If the food is particularly stuck, I’ll close it up and run it for another minute.

After this point, everything else usually comes off easily with my toothbrush. It’s a little bit of a time investment each month. But in 8 years I’ve never had my microwave not look brand new.

2. Cleaning Toilet Bowls

After scrubbing the bowl with a regular brush, drop some vinegar in there and let it sit overnight. In the morning, brush it again and top with a sprinkle of baking soda.

The vinegar allows the bowl to clean more easily while the baking soda polishes it up at the same time! To clean your commode, fill a squirt bottle with white vinegar and use it instead of toilet cleaner.

Simply spray on the surface, let sit for a minute or two, then rinse off with a bowl brush. The acids in the vinegar will not harm your bowl or pipes.

3. Get Rid of Soap Scum

All you need is one cup of vinegar, one cup of water, a spray bottle, an old toothbrush, some baking soda in the powder form, the plastic cover for your shower head (if it’s removable), and some tools to remove it if it is not removable.

First, you spray the shower down with vinegar and water mixture, then sprinkle baking soda on all of the areas where there is soap scum. Use the toothbrush to scrub any stubborn spots. Then wipe clean with a rag or sponge.

Simply scrub down your shower or bathtub with some vinegar followed by some baking soda, both on their own or in conjunction with one another. The scum will wash away and your shower will be shining!

4. Clean a Stainless Steel Sink

A mixture of baking soda, salt, and vinegar is all you need for sparkling stainless steel sinks. Sprinkle the ingredients over the sink before scrubbing them down with a sponge or brush. Rinse thoroughly and enjoy the shine!

5. Freshen Up a Dirty Dishwasher

Fill half of an empty dishwasher soap cup with baking soda, then fill the other half with vinegar. Run your dishwasher as usual and enjoy fresh-smelling dishes after it’s done!

Another way is to simply put 1/4 of white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher and let it run through another hot water cycle (again, if you’re doing an extra rinse, it’ll be 2 cycles). And that’s it! Easy, right?

I thought it was, but then I went to use my dishwasher and the vinegar smell wasn’t completely gone. However, if you give your dishes a nice “soak” in baking soda and hot water for about 15 minutes, the smell should be gone.

6. Clean Burned Pan Bottoms

If you’ve got bits of food stuck in your pots and pans, pour some vinegar into the bottom of the pan and let it sit for a little while. This loosens up whatever is stuck on there, making it easier to scrub off.

First, prepare the ingredients: vinegar and baking soda. In this case, about 3 parts of water to 1 part of each is good. Mix them in a bowl until they have roughly the same concentration as our mixture will be when we pour it into the dishwater.

Next, get a towel and place the dirty pot on it. This is just to catch drips later, so we don’t have to do extra rinsing. While wearing gloves (NOT super expensive latex ones – these might tear) mix up the cleaning solution in a bowl and pour 1/4 of it into the cup you intend to use for rinsing later.

Apply this to your pot with a sponge or rag. There are some greasy-looking spots on the inner surface here. The vinegar will help break up these deposits and dissolve them away, while the baking soda is abrasive enough that it’ll also scour pits off of the metal.

The baking soda has begun to erode some of the rougher deposits on it. This will make cleaning them later substantially easier. Now you can rinse off your pot!

Use your towel to quickly get rid of the excess cleaning solution while not letting any little bits wash back into the pot. It looks like we got rid of most of the funky and you can see it fizzed a bit when the baking soda hit it, even though we didn’t scrub that hard.

This is why this works so well: while you might not be able to get off every last flake with just your hands, the combination of baking soda and vinegar dissolves it before you have a chance to wipe it away.

7. Clean Grease from Stovetops

Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar and apply it to your greasy stovetop with a brush or cloth. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then wipe away! When the mixture is scrubbed off, your stove will be grease-free.

8. Window Cleaner

Pour equal parts white vinegar and water into a clean spray bottle, then simply spray on windows or mirrors, wipe with a paper towel and rinse. No streaks!

Happy cleaning!

Matt McWilliams

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.