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All-Purpose Vinegar: How to Use Vinegar to Clean the Bathroom

Distilled vinegar can be used in many different ways around the home. But how do you know when to use vinegar and when to use commercial cleaning products?


Reading Time: 2 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

A shower screen with shampoo and shower gel nearby

Vinegar may be the country’s universal sawsawan, but did you know that it can also be an effective natural cleaning product when used correctly? As versatile as it is, vinegar can’t be used for everything. Here you can find out different ways to use vinegar for cleaning the bathroom!

Uses of Vinegar in the Bathroom

As a non-toxic, natural cleaning agent, vinegar is particularly good for odd little jobs where either commercial cleaning products don’t apply, or they contain chemicals that may be less eco-friendly or less healthy for a house with vulnerable chikitings. Although vinegar is a natural cleaning solution, you should still wear rubber gloves when cleaning with it as well as keep the room well-ventilated, as it can have quite a strong smell. Try some of these great eco-friendly ways to cleaning the bathroom with vinegar:

Safety Warning

Vinegar should never be combined with bleach – This is a big no-no when using vinegar for cleaning. While vinegar can help clean surfaces and fixtures, adding an acid like this to bleach will result in chlorine gas, which is toxic. So use a commercial bleach like Domex on its own, and keep it far away from any vinegar!

  • How to clean bathroom tiles with vinegar:

Using a mixture of half vinegar, half water and a clean microfiber cloth, try cleaning bathroom tiles with vinegar. You can wipe down countertops and cabinets, too. This is a straightforward use of vinegar to try if this is your first time using it to clean

  • How to use vinegar for bathroom odors

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Is there a certain stink in your bathroom that you can’t seem to eliminate? Try leaving a bowl of undistilled vinegar in the room overnight.

  • Make your own bathroom cleaner, vinegar style

Clean the floor around the drain with a vinegar solution! Add 1 cup of vinegar for every 3 liters of water. Use this solution when you’re mopping floors, but keep in mind that the use of vinegar on floors should be limited to no-wax floors.

  • Bathroom cleaning with vinegar for finishing touches

The build-up of soap scum and limescale around faucets can get frustrating, but you can get those taps sparkling clean once again with some vinegar! Use a mixture of 1 part salt and 4 parts vinegar, and rub away in these tough spots with a cloth.

how to remove water stains from the shower

These examples should give you a good idea of when to use white vinegar for cleaning (and when not to). Now you know how to use vinegar, you can maintain a healthy, eco-friendly household with ease!

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress? Then read our Heated Household data analysis

Frequently asked questions on using vinegar to clean the bathroom

White vinegar for cleaning the toilet: does it work?

White Vinegar is used all over the bathroom, so why not use it to clean your toilet? White vinegar's acidity makes it great for cutting through tough mineral stains such as limescale and rust. However, organic stains in your toilet bowl are best cleaned by more alkaline solutions. Mixing it into a paste with baking soda helps create an abrasive solution that can boost its cleaning effectiveness while also absorbing some of the smell.

What is the ph of bathroom cleaner versus vinegar?

The further a cleaning agent is from neutral on a pH scale - 7 - the more powerful it will be. The pH of most bathroom cleaners varies between 1 and 3. Similarly, white vinegar has a pH of about 3. As acidic cleansers, these are great for dealing with mineral stains such as limescale and rust.

How do you clean a bathtub with vinegar?

Just like your shower and your toilet, your bathtub can pick up hard water rings, mold, mildew and rust from regular use. Vinegar to the rescue, once again! You can use a white vinegar and warm water solution to rub stains and residue on the bath and the faucets or shower head. Or, for a more potent solution (to act on deeper-set stains), you can mix vinegar with baking soda, apply to the affected area, leave for a few minutes to act, and scrub with a microfiber cloth.

How effective is vinegar for cleaning around the rest of the house?

A real jack-of-all-trades, vinegar is effective well beyond cleaning the bathroom. Though it is effective against stains in the kitchen and mold and mildew around the rest of the house, it is also a must-have in the laundry room. Not only does serve as a great bath to soak garments exposed to commonly staining substances (including coffee, tea and sweat), but it can also remove mold and mildew from your washing machine and dryer! Adding distilled white vinegar to a hot water cycle helps to break down these odor-generating substances, as well as calcium mineral deposits that can stop your washing machine from running effectively.

Why is vinegar such a good cleaning agent?

White vinegar is a cleaning agent that excels in household because of the multitude of applications it has. As an acidic substance, it can dissolve most common household stains and mineral deposits very easily without being harmful to skin if touched (barring those with particularly sensitive skin). When diluted with warm water or mixed with baking soda to form a paste, it has a variety of applications for scrubbing and soaking to rinsing stains away. It achieves this by breaking down the molecular bonds that these stains form and killing bacteria that produce mold and mildew. This antibacterial property also makes it great for removing the sources of unpleasant odors in the household.

What is the difference between distilled and undistilled vinegar?

In practical terms, a distilled vinegar - also known as 'white vinegar' - is simply one with a higher content of ethanol (alcohol) than an undistilled one. Undistilled vinegar is obtained from fermenting vegetable matter (using yeast to turn sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol), extracting the alcohol and adding water. A distilled vinegar is one in which the alcohol content is isolated from other contents of the fermentation process by boiling. Typically, distilled vinegar also comes from a different set of starter ingredients (grains like malt and barley), whereas undistilled can come from sugar, molasses or fruits.

What about using vinegar to clean a shower drain?

Shower drains can pick up all sorts of nasties, from mold and mildew to calcium deposits and human hair. Whatever the cause, shower blockages are a nuisance. If you're looking to solve a problem that a hand or a drain snake can't handle, simply pour boiling water down the drain to loosen the blockage, followed up by a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar. Leave the solution to act for 15-20 minutes then rinse. This should dissolve calcium deposits and break down tight clusters of hair. Repeat this until the blockage is resolved.

Originally published