Cleaning with Vinegar

I recently saw a blogger comment that her cleaning lady used vinegar to clean her floors, but it made her house smell like a pickle factory.

I use vinegar to clean my floors, surfaces, and windows, and I don’t have that problem.  If you’re using vinegar and the smell remains after the surface dries, you’re using too much or doing something wrong.

To mop my floors, I use ¼ cup vinegar for 3 gallons of hot water.  I also add about 10 drops of essential lemon oil.

To wash surfaces, I use about ¼ cup vinegar in a quart-sized spray bottle, then fill that with water.

To wash windows, I use equal parts vinegar and water and squeegie it off of the surface.

Vinegar is an amazing product.  It’s made from fermented alcohol, and serves as powerful disinfectant and cleaner.  According to, a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar—the kind you can buy in the supermarket—kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses).

Using vinegar as a cleaner is awesome because it’s frugal.  I’m not buying a ton of different product.  I’m paying a fraction of the cost to achieve the exact same result that I could through some all purpose cleaner.  If you look at the ingredients of Pine Sol or Mr. Clean, you’ll find that the active ingredient is alcohol — exactly from what vinegar is made.
More than that, though, I love using vinegar because it is safe.  I don’t have to worry about it getting on the surface of my children’s skin.  I don’t have to worry about it on the paws of my animals’ feet.  I don’t have to worry about it getting into my ground water.  It’s just vinegar – a product made from fermenting corn or apples, then diluted with water.  There is nothing toxic about it.
And there is no lingering smell — chemical or pickle factory.


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