Non-Toxic Cleaning with Vinegar and Essential Oils

I’m really trying to use more natural (less chemical) products for my skin, makeup and even household cleansers.  Unfortunately, the non-toxic household products are really expensive.  It turns out that regular white vinegar is not only inexpensive, but is a great cleaning agent. It is especially effective in combating dirt and bacteria.

 Non toxic Cleaning with Vinegar and Essential Oils

Here are some easy “recipes” I found for cleaning with vinegar on the Vinegar Institute’s website

No-wax floors: ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water.  As for hardwood floors, there is some debate as to whether or not vinegar cleans without damaging the finish.  Its best to test in an inconspicuous spot before tackling the whole floor.

Carpet stain removal: Mix 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent and 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar in a pint of lukewarm water.  Apply it to the stain and rub gently. Rinse with a clean, moist towel and blot dry. Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone. Then dry quickly, using a fan or hair dryer. 

Windows: Mix equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water. Dry with a soft cloth.

Coffee makers: Fill the reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly with water when the cycle is finished.  I like to brew several pots (or cups in the case of a Keurig), of plain water to make sure all of the vinegar is gone. 

Microwave: Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. Wipe clean.

Deodorize the kitchen drain: Pour a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain once a week. Let stand 30 minutes and then flush with cold water.

Refrigerator: Wash with a solution of equal parts water and white distilled vinegar.

Wood cutting boards:Wipe with full strength white distilled vinegar.

Stainless Steel Appliances: Wipe with vinegar and a soft cloth — Best to test on a small out of the way spot first.

In the Dishwasher: Pour 1 ½ cup to 2 cups white distilled vinegar in the bottom of dishwasher, along with regular dishwasher soap.  Wash as usual for cleaner dishes and glasses. 

Bathtub film: Wipe tub with white vinegar and then with baking soda. Rinse clean with water.

Unclog a drain: Pour some boiling water down the drain first.  Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar — cover with a damp towel immediately to keep the fizzing in the drain!  Let sit for 5 minutes then rinse with very hot water.

Shower doors: Rub down shower doors with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar to remove soap residue.

Toilet bowl cleaner: Brush stubborn stains with vinegar, then add 3 cups of white vinegar to bowl. Allow it to remain for a half hour, then flush.

However, there are some places we shouldn’t use vinegar:

Natural stone counter tops and floors: The acidity in vinegar is NOT good for natural stone.  It is best to clean these surfaces with dish soap and water.

Irons: Again, the acidity isn’t good for the internal parts of an iron.  To keep the iron clean, it is best to empty it after each use.


Now if the smell of the vinegar solution isn’t exactly what you want your house to smell like, you can add some essential oils.  Essential oils can be antiseptic, anti bacterial, anti fungicidal, anti microbial and can also help you sleep better, improve your mood, enhance your energy

Lavender is not only relaxing, it is antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungicidal.

Lemon is antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial, and has also been shown to actually improve people’s moods .

Peppermint  has antiseptic properties and can also improve alertness and enhance work performance.

Orange is antiseptic and has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is also a great degreaser.

Tea Tree Oil is a powerful cleaning agent.  It is antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, antibacterial, and an insecticidal.  Some studies have shown antibacterial actions and its promise in inhibiting certain flu viruses, combating Staph infections, and even treating the herpes simplex virus. Tea tree is also recommended for stimulating the immune system and in the treatment of respiratory conditions

Source: Green Cleaning


So grab the white vinegar and some essential oils and enjoy a clean, no-toxic home!



  1. So great tips and ideas! My sister is trying recently to clean more naturally at her home and your suggestions seem to be very helpful for her. I’m sure she’ll be very glad to read this post, so I’m definitely recommending it to her. Thanks for sharing all this information!

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