Why Vinegar Works as a Safe Home Cleaning Solution

Aunt Fannie Blog

Who doesn’t love that clean, fresh feeling after a whole-house scrub down?! A clean house is a blank canvas: when the clutter and mess is cleared, there’s space to create, discover, relax, and have fun. But the dirty truth is that breathing deep to enjoy that feeling can come with consequences if you’re using chemical cleaners with toxic ingredients.

The Environmental Working Group reports using cleaning products for a house full of squeaky-clean vibes—even as little as once a week—can seriously harm our lungs. And we’re learning more and more about how wiping out our home’s naturally good, beneficial bacteria could be changing our body’s microbiome for the worse. Luckily it’s easy to swap out conventional toxic stuff for food-based, microbiomic cleaning products that work without the risk! One of those win/win ingredients? Good old fashioned vinegar.

There are so many of different kinds of vinegars! Though, chemically speaking, they’re pretty much the same. Vinegar contains acetic acid (anywhere from 5-20%) and water, plus residual flavorings from whatever fruit or other ingredients were fermented into vinegar. Tasty vinegars like balsamic or apple cider can take months or a year to fully ferment and age, but white distilled vinegar (the main ingredient in our Cleaning Vinegars, Cleaning Vinegar Wipes, Glass & Window Vinegar Wash, and Floor Cleaning Vinegar Wash) can be made in a matter of 20 hours to a few days! What’s more, vinegar is actually MADE with beneficial bacteria, so it’s a good guy in the microbial world!

White vinegar is a total hero when it comes to household cleaning. Typical household white vinegar is about 5% acidity, and the acidity of the vinegar is a major reason why it works as a cleaning agent. People have been using vinegar to clean safely for millenia. Roman soldiers used it to keep clean during military campaigns, and vinegar has been used for centuries to prevent the spread of infectious diseases from the Black Death to cholera.

When you’re looking to remove grime, grease, or built up deposits of gross-ness around the house—or simply wipe down a sticky spill—our cleaning vinegar solutions and DIY white vinegar projects are awesome partners to help you tackle your cleaning to-do list. Here are some ideas to get you started!

  • Starting in the kitchen, degrease the range hood and fan filter over the stove. Since acid cuts grease, you can get out most of the vaporized fats with a few Cleaning Vinegar Wipes. If you’ve got a screen for the fan, remove it and soak it in a DIY vinegar and baking soda solution. Rinse and dry for a good-as-new filter!
  • When was the last time you really cleaned out the coffee maker? Mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water and pour into the reservoir. Stop it halfway through the brew cycle, wait an hour, and start again. Afterwards, run water through the full cycle a few times to get all the vinegar out. Easy peasy!
  • Moving on to the bathroom, replace bleach with our Cleaning Vinegar to banish mildew, soap scum, and other spots from the shower, tub, and grout, and reach for our Glass & Window Vinegar Wash for bright and shiny mirrors. Simply spray onto the glass, wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel, let dry, and marvel at your streak-free handiwork.
  • Mop up spills or clean the whole floor with a mixture of 1/2 cup of Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaning Vinegar Wash and 2 gallons of water. Simply soak mop head in solution, wring it and mop!
  • Spray, mist or mop Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar products on surfaces throughout the house (vinegar cleans just about anything!).  Safety Tip! NEVER mix bleach + vinegar. It produces chlorine gas which even at low levels is majorly toxic.
  • P.S. Vinegar and baking soda can be used to get red wine stains out. Now that’s a tip to remember.

Go forth and clean!