Cleaning Dream Team: Vinegar and Dawn

vinegar and dawn

Dawn and Vinegar Cleaning

Cleaning Dream Team: Vinegar and Dawn

****** Follow our DIY Home Cleaning Pinterest Board ******

You’ll too become a believer in Dawn and Vinegar! Sisters and Misters, I’m in love, and not just with the handsome Mister who stole my heart more years ago than I’m willing to admit. ;)  I’m in love with a dynamic duo that will allow you to replace half the store-bought products in your cleaning arsenal with two simple and inexpensive ingredients: Dawn and vinegar.

I had a few Sisters and Misters who sang the praises of this power couple in the comments and on Facebook when I asked for more suggestions for DIY cleaners, but they were using it for different things.  Then Sara mentioned she uses this combo to clean her floors.  So I started investigating, and found tons of sites and pins that mentioned using Dawn and vinegar together, in different concentrations, to tackle just about every corner of your home.  Here are the ways I used it, all with fantastic results!

dawn banner

Soap Scum Remover: 1 part Dawn to 1 part Vinegar

If you have soap scum in your tub or shower, this duo is your new best friend.  Add equal parts Dawn and vinegar to a spray bottle and shake gently to mix.  If you have really tough deposits, you can heat the vinegar in the microwave before mixing for a little extra power.  Spray all over the tub/shower and let it sit for a few minutes to a few hours, depending how yucky the target.  Since the spray is thicker, it clings to the walls and shower doors rather than running right down.  After it sits, scrub if you need to, but you’ll probably just be able to spray it off and have sparkly surfaces.  It’s a little stinky while it sits, but I much preferred the vinegar smell to the nasty chemical smell of Scrubbing Bubbles, and this worked a ton better!  Once you rinse, the leftover smell is more like Dawn than the vinegar.

Toilet Cleaner: 1 part Dawn to 1-2 parts Vinegar

After you do the shower/tub, use what’s left to clean the toilets.  The thicker concentration will cling in the toilet bowl, and you can add more vinegar to clean the rest of the toilet.  Vinegar has some natural disinfecting properties too!

Carpet Spot Treatment: 1 part Dawn to 2 parts Vinegar

Words cannot express how thrilled I was with the Dawn and Vinegar spot treatment.  Regardless of my rules about food & drinks on carpet, somehow my children have managed to stain up much of the house.  I had stains that included mystery blobs, trails of random sippy-cup beverage, and (as much as I hate to admit it) what might have been spots of ground-in Pop Tart filling.  Ugh.


vinegar and dawn, dawn and vinegarThis magic combo did an amazing job with almost all the spots in the house (there were a few marker stains in my daughter’s room that it didn’t completely get out, but it faded them some).  I’m not sure what it is in the combination that got things out so well, but it even loosened the sticky ground-in stuff and took care of the dark stains.  I sprayed, let it sit for a while, then scrubbed and blotted with a towel.  It also worked well as a pre-treater for using the SteamVac–on milder spots I just sprayed, let it sit, then let the carpet cleaner do the scrubbing for me.  Excellent results!  (Thanks, Eight Muddy Shoes!)


For sickies on carpet, I’ve had a lot of luck with the Dawn, Baking Soda, and Peroxide combo.

General Surface Cleaner and Floor Cleaner: 1 part Dawn to 2-4 parts Vinegar

For general cleaning, like kitchen and bathroom counters, you can use a little Dawn with more vinegar.  You can play around with the proportions to see what works for you–more Dawn in the mix can lead to a little more sudsing, which can require a second wiping after cleaning.  If the vinegar smell is a little strong for your liking, you can dilute it with a little water too (although I found that the smell went away pretty quickly and it just smelled clean).


To do my floors,  I used the same bottle of spray, spritzed down the floor, then went over it with a damp mop.  If you have some leftover Swiffer pads, you could use them with this as well!  I’m also intrigued by the new microfiber mops that have a removable, washable pad, and a spray reservoir for your own cleaning solution.  I’ll wait for a deal on one, but I think they would be awesome with this cleaner.

Wood Floors – 2 Tbsp. Dawn 

To do my wood floors, I just add about 2 Tablespoons of Dawn to a bucket of warm water. I’ve only used blue Dawn for the last six years on my wood floors. They remain clean and shiny! They’re not too slick either!


A few notes…


Most of the information I saw on this cleaning combo specifically mentioned using blue Dawn.  I don’t know if there’s something magical about that color, or if it was just a way to distinguish the Original Dawn from the kind with ingredients for hand-softening that might not be as effective for this cleaning recipe.  I suspect other dish soaps would work fine in this recipe, but I happened to have cheap blue Dawn in my stockpile, so that’s what I used.


**Update** I did this with the Hand Renewal type, and it worked just fine.  The odor was a little easier to take too, so it might be worth a shot if the smell of the blue Dawn with the vinegar is too strong for you.


The spray bottle in the picture was less than $2 at Lowe’s but you could use any spray bottle.  Just make sure to rinse it thoroughly before using if it had something else in it first.  Always label your homemade concoctions so others know what’s in the bottle!


Have you used this wonder pairing to clean at your house?  Any uses I didn’t discover?  Let us know in the comments, and we’d love it if you’d share or pin this post!


Another Popular Post! Homemade Super Stain Remover & Deodorizer: Fights tough Red Wine, Grease, Yellow Armpit Stains, and more!
Amazing Homemade Streak-Free Vinegar Window Cleaner

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 8.57.26 AMdiywindowcleaner

dawn banner

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 7.49.51 PM


Right now, you can snag our FREE Spring Cleaning Printable Checklist!!! 



product image
Author Rating
Aggregate Rating
3.5 based on 24 votes
Brand Name
Dawn and Vinegar
Product Name
Dawn and Vinegar


  1. Candice says

    I am so excited!! My carpet looked way worse than yours and it turned out beautifully! I have tried all kinds of cleaners and nothing, not even my carpet scrubber, would take the stains out. Also, I used green Dawn because it’s what I had and it still worked, only my cleaner smells like green apples (yummy).

      • Expat says

        In all of the places I have seen this recipe, Dawn dish soap is always recommended. Why that brand? What makes it any different from other similar products… aside from the color dyes? I am going to try it with another brand. I have a feeling it will make little/no difference.

        • Megan says

          Will you let us know how it works with another brand? I was game for trying it with Dawn because I usually have some around because it’s easy to get for cheap with sales/coupons. I don’t think there’s anything particularly magical about the Dawn brand, but since that was recommended and I had it, that’s what I tried it with, and it worked well. I’ll be interested to hear how it works with something else–thanks!

          • Callendula says

            I have used another “detergent” instead of dawn and found it worked just as well for the shower clean up. I normally use a product called Citri Glow multi purpose cleaner (it is a natural, safe concentrated cleaner that you can dilute to wash dishes, use as a fruit wash, counter cleaner, etc). I used it as a substitute for dawn and it cleaned the shower of scum in no time. And, I only have to use a little bit to get the gel consistency. So, don’t need to use it the full 1:1 ratio in order to work! I just add a tiny bit to the vinegar and shake until I get the thickness I want. I suspect you can use less Dawn as well and the cleaner will still work, although I haven’t tried it personally.

            • Megan says

              I used cheap Ajax earlier this week, and it did fine too…I think it’s a little thicker with the Dawn, because it’s a little more highly concentrated, but it’s worth trying with whatever you have on hand! :)

              • Rob says

                Glad to see current posts, as I just came across your pages and am thankful I clicked, and that you shared/ posted, all the wonderful tid-bits you have! I’m going to use this too and good to know I can buy an off brand! I mean, if I’m going to save $ with house-hold hacks, why not save the .50 – a buck, *smiles*.

              • Felicia says

                I have used the Dawn + Vinegar before on the shower sides and floor and it was GREAT. After 20+ of housekeeping, it was so helpful to finally find something that works. I came to this website to remind myself of the “recipe” and I see so many other uses for it that I’ll have to peruse the rest of the site! My tip is to spray the shower right before leaving the house for vacation…no smell at all!! Glad to see current posts on this site!

              • Megan says

                Thanks for the nice note, Felicia! Glad you found a few more useful ideas while you were visiting too!

            • Kelly says

              I know this is an old post.. but I recently used vinegar and dish soap on my tub and it worked sooooo well! I didn’t have dawn.. I used Gain.. works great!

        • Sunshine says

          Just as a heads up, The mr. clean liquid muscle with dawn has something in it that reacts with the vinegar to make elastic plastic like balls/shreds that clog spray bottles.

          • Megan says

            Yikes! That doesn’t sound fun. This is just regular Dawn dish soap with vinegar, so it should be fine. Thanks for the heads up though!

            • Sunny Foreman says

              Original Dawn is the “straight” formula without any other chemical smells, chemical moderators added. We have used Original Blue Dawn to clean oil-spilled birds and other small animals since it’s inception (which, I believe, we were told Dawn was created out of the desperate research to help clean up those horrible 60s & 70s oil-tanker spills), it is the strongest formula. Other dish soaps may work okay too, or turn into chemical mess!

        • Peggy Keller says

          The true reason that Dawn is recommended is because it is safe for our environment. Our water sources where this cleaner will ultimately end up when it is washed away. Other dishwashing soaps have not yet been given that OK.

        • Chris says

          I have tried with other brands and DAWN beat them all. I have to wear rubber gloves as dawn eats my hands. I didn’t think there would be a difference, but there is.

    • Megan says

      Stacy, I haven’t actually used the mixture in my steam cleaner, but I’ve used it as a pre-treater on spots before steam cleaning, and it worked really really well. I bet you could use this combo in the steam cleaner, although I’d make it pretty diluted so you don’t end up with a bunch of suds. Definitely worth trying–if you find some amounts that work well for you, would you share with us?

      • bob price says

        My house cleaning experienced friend suggested 1/2 cup Dawn, 1 cup white vinegar to two gallons of water in a spray bottle. Spray solution on carpet and let sit for ten minutes. Do NOT put anything into carpet cleaning machine except warm water. Now use machine. She swears by this, and machine seems to work better just using water.

        • Megan says

          That makes sense, since then the water would rinse the cleaning solution when you use the carpet cleaner. I’ll have to try that next time I use the carpet cleaner. The more concentrated dawn/vinegar combo does great on spots, so it would make sense that diluting it for the whole carpet would work well too!

          • Jude says

            After several cleanings with the concentrate that is sold with the rental carpet cleaners my friend remarked that his carpet actually looked worse, other than the spots being removed, than when he moved into his apartment. I had recently read that using plain warm water in the cleaner will take up all the cleaning solution that has dried onto the carpet fibers and dirt clings to the dried solution. He tried it and couldn’t believe how much suds was in the cleaner when he finished. He says the carpet looks better than ever.

      • Shellie says

        I am having some one come clean my carpets , can I do this to the heavy spots so I don’t have to pay extra for them to spray something on them ? Please tell me how and what to do thank you so much.

  2. coco says

    Question: no water mixed in?….when you say 1 part Dawn to 1 part vinegar, its literally mixed half and half? It just seems like it would be thick or overly sudsy. just checking!


    • Megan says

      For shower cleaning, yep it’s a 1:1 ratio. It’s just a little thick, which helps it cling to the shower walls a little without quickly running down. For some of the other applications, you can use more vinegar so it’s not as thick or sudsy :)

  3. says

    OMG!! I decided to clean my kitchen yesterday using the Dawn & Vinegar combination (never tried this before) and what started out as just a routine cleaning ended up a 5 hour marathon – I just couldn’t stop!! This was simply amazing!! I cleaned my entire kitchen from floor to counters (and literally everything on them) to cabinets – my family was amazed by the difference. My fridge door handles are white with ridges which over time has turned to a funky grey – thanks to this combination they look like new!! I used 1 cup Vinegar to 1/2 cup Dawn (I used Dawn with Bleach alternative as that is what I had) and still have some left over!! I can’t believe I’m actually excited to clean the next room.

    • Laura says

      Just curious how you actually clean with it….do you rub a bit of the mixture on and then rinse it off or did you add it to water?

  4. Joann Hebert says

    Does the dawn and vinegar work on fireplace stone ? I.m looking for a great easy way to clean these

    stones around my fireplace , and do i use a stiff brush ????

    thanks, Joann Hebert

    • Megan says

      Joann, I haven’t tried it on fireplace stone. If you wanted to try, I’d do a test on a spot that’s not too noticeable, just to make sure it doesn’t discolor the stone or do anything weird. Vinegar is an acid, so you’d want to make sure it didn’t have an unwanted effect on your fireplace! If you try it, will you let us know how it works?

    • Regina says

      I have seen several people use Shaving Cream on DIY shows to clean soot off fireplace stones. I would purchase from the dollar store and give it a try.

  5. AJ says

    I am thrilled to hear of an inexpensive and extremely effective homemade cleaner! Are there any kinds of countertops or surfaces you CANNOT use the vinegar on (i.e.; marble, stone granite, slielstone, stainless steel, etc) other than wood of course?

    • Megan says

      Just to be on the safe side, I’d test it in a small inconspicuous area and wait until it dries. Vinegar is an acid, so I think I’d be careful with porous stone. You could always dilute it with with water too, so it wouldn’t be quite as strong. Maybe others have tried it on some of the surfaces mentioned and could comment on them?

    • Jamie says

      DO NOT use vinegar on Terrazzo floors!!!! It will take the shine RIGHT off!!! Don’t ask me how I know…………. :( :(

  6. AJ says

    Are there any kinds of suraces (i.e.; stainless steel, marble, granite, silestone, etc.) that you CANNOT use this awesome combo on?

    • Expat says

      I use white vinegar with very hot water almost daily to get discoloration and hard water mineral deposits off my stainless steel cookware. Works great. Stone? Maybe not so hot…

    • N. says

      I used this to clean my stove and I noticed the areas where there were some dings and non-enameled metal (ex. raw edges) became rusty. So, I’d be careful around porous materials

  7. Shellie says

    I am having some one come clean my carpets, can I go this on the heavy spots . Or no ? I am just getting the basic carpet cleaning and I would like the big spots gone also , with out having to pay extra for them spraying something on it to come up. Please let me know how and what to do.

    • Megan says

      Just my opinion, but I think it would be worth a shot–wouldn’t take much time & effort to mix it up and pre-treat. Maybe call the carpet cleaner just to make sure there wouldn’t be a problem mixing that with whatever they’re using to clean the carpets though, just to be on the safe side :)

    • Megan says

      When I used the steam cleaner, I just ran it through with plain water until the suds were gone. If you’re spot treating, try dabbing with a damp towel, rinse the suds, and dab again until the suds are gone. Hope this helps!

  8. Chrissy says

    I have a very old tub and a very dirty husband!! Lol. I usually have to scrub my tub with steel wool pads because it’s like a dirt magnet…and with my husband being a commercial plumber, he comes home FILTHY every day so by the end of the week, my tub is a hot mess. My usual routine is to spray my tub with a common tub cleaner, wait a few hours, then tackle it with a few steel wool pads. It is very time consuming and exhausting. So when I saw this I was very skeptical. I made the mixture and sprayed a little area of my tub just to sample. My plan was to leave it on overnight and rinse it away in the morning but my son decided to take a shower. When he got out I went in to inspect it and the spot I sprayed was gleaming white! I didn’t scrub it at all…it just got rinsed away with water. This mixture is nothing short of a miracle cleaner. I NEVER comment or share these things….until now. VERY IMPRESSED!!! I’m so glad I came across this…thanks!!

  9. says

    I really appreciate the information about cleaning soap scum. I inherited my moms house and her glass shower is really bad. I tried the vinegar and dawn and it has worked better than anything else. I never went into her bathroom and I wish I had gotten to this earlier..

    • Megan says

      Hmm…not sure about that. I know there are special cleaners available for the roof, not sure how this would compare or how it would affect shingles.

  10. Kari says

    I haven’t tried this combo yet, but I’m excited to! Has anyone tried it on clothing? My husband is an auto mechanic who comes home with hopelessly soiled clothes every day (which transfers to my tub and washer). I make my own laundry soap (the borax/soda/fels naptha one), and this works better than store-bought soap for getting the grease out, but I’m left with stains on his grey shirts. Do you have an estimate for amounts for a washer? It’s a front loader HE.

  11. Carey says

    Just used the Dawn/Vinegar Cleaner on my shower….and I believe its the cleanest that its ever been!!!!! Thanks so much for the recipe! I cannot wait to clean everything else with Dawn and Vinegar!!!

  12. Susan says

    To remove really bad calcium stains on porcelain tub in house we just bought, I saturated paper towels with white vinegar and laid them on the stains overnight. The next day, the small areas of remaining stains came off by rubbing with the vinegar soaked paper towels. Amazing that a natural ingredient would work so well when LimeAway and CLR didn’t work at all.

  13. Val says

    I can’t wait to try this on my bath tub. I made some today with the intent to use it on the tub, but instead used it in the kitchen. WOW!! I have white appliances, and the white handle to the oven door is always a dirty/greasy mess–it wiped RIGHT off with this solution! Normally we have to really scrub with a Magic Eraser and it still doesn’t get that clean. I used it on my white tile backsplash, counters, sink, stove, cabinets, etc. I used it on my ceramic cooktop too in addition to some baking soda on the stubborn cooked-on spots, and it looks new again. Oh, just so you know, I didn’t even use a half/half solution. I put some Dawn into an empty dish soap container—not very much either. I added the vinegar and gave it a good shake.

    • Megan says

      So glad it worked for you! I used a bunch today too–did some long-overdue scrubbing and put the kiddos to work :) I had some Dawn Hand Renewal on hand, so that’s what I used, and I found it smelled better than using just regular Dawn. When you use less Dawn and more vinegar, it’s not quite as thick and sudsy–great for doing what you did with kitchen cleaning (or bathroom counters). The half & half solution works well when you need it to be a little thicker and cling to a surface, like in the shower or in the toilet bowl.

    • felicia j. says

      WHY DOES BLUE DAWN WORK…? Because of its pH level, I’ve read. Makes sense to me since most cleansers are very basic. If u have ever acidentally spilled bleach on your fingers, you’ll see how slipperly it is. Bases make film. Film coats material. It is used as a cleanser because it breaks surface tension of water.
      More neutral solutions allow penetration of cleaning agents. Dawn is special because it powers thru crud… Penetration power! And the neutral pH level is gental enough to clean little baby birdies. Awwwww.

      • Jude says

        One time in Chicago a tanker overturned on an interstate exit. What it was carrying was an ingredient for dish soap
        on it’s way to the place where they make Dawn. Even after ‘cleaning up’ the mess the road remained as slick as a ski ramp. Emergency crews called the plant to find out what the substance was and how to get it off the road. The answer: Dawn. the company sent out trucks full of dish soap to clean up the mess, which environmentalists feared would kill grass, trees and wildlife who had made homes in the area. No problem. That’s why they use it one wildlife exposed to oil spills.

      • Darla says

        I don’t know what it is with Dawn , but it is the only dish soap i can use. All other brands break my hands out in itchy water blisters. So, if it is good for oiled ducks and my hands, it is pretty safe stuff

    • Megan says

      Honestly, I’ve never tried it–I suppose it’s worth a shot! If you’ve tried it, will you let us know how it works for you?

  14. Justin says

    Good write up. Along with the blue Dawn and vinegar I use a little baking soda also. Probably the best and cheapest combo out there.

    As far as a cheap commercial carpet cleaner, Family Dollar’s Oxi Carpet cleaner is great and costs $1.75. I did my entire living room carpet by hand and it worked well on heavy soil areas. You may need two bottles in large carpet areas.

  15. Patti says

    I LOVE the combo for carpet stain remover – it works wonders! However, I guess I didn’t read far enough regarding the floor combo. I made the combo in a bucket and then used a a mop – NO NO NO NO. WHEW! Too much suds and very dangerously slick floor – had to rinse the floor with hot water. Will definitely do it with the spray bottle. On a good note, my house smells fresh and clean and my kitchen floor sparkles.

  16. Lindsay says

    I just moved into a new house…a new disgusting and filthy house. The walls in the bathroom are terrifying! I tried everything and nothing really worked. So I saw this information about dawn and vinegar. I heated it to 90 seconds and mixed it with a 1:1 ratio and let it sit for hours. I went to go wipe it off and it is all sudsy. Which I expected, but it is like a thick sudsy nightmare to remove. Anybody have any tips on how to manage the suds?

  17. Sally says

    I love Dawn dish soap won’t use anything else! Thanks for the awesome review! I am going to make some of this today it looks like it really works!!

    • Amy says

      Just a note about pet stains. I have never found a product that worked on pee pee stains EVER. I tried the combo of dawn/vinegar/baking soda and a good scrub brush. After scrubbing in the cleaning solution, I took a wet cloth and went over the area to remove some of the suds. I checked 6 hours later and the stain is gone. I could hardly believe it. Now six more spots to go and our bedroom carpet will be like new. I am so happy. I am ready to tackle the tub now since I also have a “dirty” husband who brings home a lot of dirt and grime. These products are a life changer. Thank you so much!

  18. Dawn Monzu says

    Wow, I would have NEVER thought to put these two ingredients together. Thank you so much for the tips. I am going to use these ASAP! God bless all!

  19. john hutchens says

    wow this works really well on the carpet think I will try it on the kids jeans to see if it works on the grass stains. thanks for sharing

  20. alena svetelska says

    wow,i would definetly try it..i have lately hard time lately removing salt that stayed on shoes after snow melt off,and leaves salty stain,any idea how can i remove them?

  21. nix says

    Im getting ready here after work to try the carpet cleaner for the spots. One question…how well does it work on red stains and has anyone used it for throw up stains?

    • Megan says

      I’d pre-treat the stains first–let them sit, and give them a good scrub, then go ahead and do the carpet cleaner. For red stains, I’ve had it work really well on some, and a little less well on others. Just depends on the stain and how long it’s been there. For throw up stains, I’ve had luck with the dawn-baking soda-peroxide mixture that I wrote about here: It really does a good job with odors, as well as getting things clean.

      • Nix says

        I forgot to ask. I dont know how to measure in the “one part dawn….” how do i know exactly how much to put into the mixture?

        • Megan says

          Depending how much you want to make, those are just the proportions to use. So if it’s 1 part Dawn to 2 parts vinegar, you could do 1/2 cup Dawn and a whole cup of vinegar. If it’s 1 part and 1 part, just do the same amount of each :)

          • says

            some dish detergent spilled on my carpet. The soapy suds are coming out forever, using plain water. How can I cut this sudsy mess? What would work better, water mixed with vinegar, or water & ammonia? I ‘m refering to plain, not the sudsy ammonia. HELP! I think there is more suds in the carpet than there is in the whole bottle of the dish detergent.

            • Megan says

              One idea, if you have either a shop vac or carpet cleaner (like a steam vac kind that sucks up the water), would be to squirt the spot with clear water, then suck it up with the shop vac or carpet cleaner. Then squirt more water, suck it up, and repeat till it’s not sudsy any more. I’m not sure that either the vinegar or ammonia would make the suds come out any quicker. If you don’t have either a shop vac or carpet cleaner, I’d just rinse and blot with a clean, dry towel, and keep at it till it comes clean. Good luck!!

  22. Heather says

    Just wanted to say I had Googled uses for Dawn dish soap yesterday and came across this site. After reading the tips and then some comments I remained a little skeptical BUT my curiosity was piqued. I went to the dollar store and bought three large spray bottles for a few bucks. When I got home I mixed different concentrations and filled each bottle and labeled them. I cleaned spots in my carpet that had been there forever. They disappeared like magic!! A little squirt and a little gentle wiping and POOF! Gone! Another concentration ate through soap scum in my tub and shower, and yet another cleaned up my appliances and counter tops. This is the most awesome thing ever. You can also do the gallon of water and a few drops of Dawn to use for glass cleaning, so there is your ‘Windex’. I see no reason I need to buy any household cleaners again. I’m pretty sure this combo covers just about everything!!!

  23. ` Kat Giroux says

    Have to say I tried the vinegar and Dawn combination on my downstairs shower walls tonight. I will NEVER USE anything other than this combination again. I have tried the “so called” scum buster name brands and have never had results like I did using this combination. Thank you soooo much for this information. Not only did it get my shower the cleanest I’ve seen in a long time, it also will save me a ton of $$$$$$ by not having to buy the expensive name brands. And the best part ? I sprayed it… let it set….lightly ran a cleaning towel over the areas and voile… ITS CLEAN. No mess…no fuss … no scrubbing :) TY TY TY

    • Megan says

      You’re welcome, You’re welcome!! So glad it worked well for you–I love it too! (and my showers are screaming for another treatment–maybe next week!) :)

  24. Patty says

    I have been using this mix for the shower for a couple of years now, but had not used it for the floors. I played with the ratios for a while and just fyi try it in a section of a room not the whole room. You might end up with a soapy mess like i did lol :/ also if your home has soft water like mine, you will need very very little dawn in the mix for the floors but it works great!

  25. STOP & READ says

    BEFORE YOU MIX THESE 2 CHEMICALS READ THIS – Our friend/s have a 6,500 sq. ft house. The wife did as suggested… she mixed vinegar & Dawn. Started spraying the shower and luckily her husband was home. The resulting fumes were so strong the entire house had to be exhausted quickly! The wife still has pains in her chest (lungs) after several days. This formed some type of noxious fumes that were not human friendly, their dogs were not happy either. So before you start playing chemist I suggest testing in a easily ventilated area or better yet… purchase a proven green product that does the same thing safely!

    • Arlene says

      I have been using the vinegar and dawn all day, everywhere through my house and no problems with a reaction. I did have a problem when I made the mistake of adding bleach to the mix. The combination got real hot and killed my eyes and lungs. She may have mistakenly put something else in the mix or used a spray bottle that had something else still left in it. Just a little bit of other cleaners or bleach will cause the reaction that you are describing.

  26. Allison says

    I have a large nasty floor I’d like to make up a bucket of solution what would you recommend the for the components and would you add water?

    • Megan says

      I’d do 1 part Dawn to 2-3 parts vinegar, then fill the rest of the bucket with hot water…maybe try about 1/2 c. Dawn and a cup and a half of vinegar plus the hot water. Good luck!

  27. LJ says

    I had Dawn Ultra on hand so that’s what I used, but when I went to buy more, I realized that original blue Dawn isn’t as concentrated so I think I’m going to try equal parts Dawn Ultra, water, and vinegar.

  28. fljoy says

    The reason to stick with “blue original Dawn” is it is earth and human friendly! It is what they use to clean up birds and other animals rescued from oil spills, etc. If it is safe for that I trust it with my own pets and kids, no cheap o brands here, I’ll spend the few pennies more!

    • Josey says

      I always use coupons and buy Dawn when it is on sale. With the combination of the sale and coupons it usually is cheaper than the off brand.

  29. June says

    definitely works! what would have taken me all morning has taken only one hour! was stuck scrubbing with an old toothbrush because hubby had taken the hand scrub brush! but all is forgiven thanks to the terrific results!!

  30. Jane says

    Bottled lemon juice is a little more expensive but works miracles on shower doors and smells wonderful. 30 yrs ago I lived in an apartment with heavy mineral concentration in the water, and the shower doors were heavily encrusted when I moved in. Nothing would remove it, and I wanted a non-toxic cleaner. I tried the lemon juice/soap mix which I discovered be trial and error. Just applied with sponge, let sit for a while and rinsed off. The glass sparkled and the bathroom smelled great. So, vinegar is cheaper, but if the smell bothers you try bottled lemon juice.

  31. Dee Romero says

    I’m trying this combo out today!! I’m tired of wasting money. I have two young boys and their game room is a mess and smells of boys (if you know what I mean). Wish me luck I’m anxious of the outcome.

  32. Barbara says

    I recently talked to aman who worked in a local store and he told me that his wife used Dawn and vinegar on their bathroom. Then today I saw your site. The man saw the Dawn in my cart and that it was the original formula not the concentrated formula and said that is what his wife uses to make her bathroom cleaner. However in your picture it looks like you are using the concentrated formula. Can you please let me know which one you use and if it is the concdentrated formula, have you ever used the original version with the vinegar and how did it work?

    My sister attended a chili cook off and the chefs used the original formula to clean the grease and tomato out of their chef coats and it works so lnow all she uses as a laundry pretreated is dawn. I was having a hard time replacing what I use to us and could not find anything that worked as well as my old formula but have since switched over to Original Formula Dawn for my dishes and as a pre treater for my laundry.

    thank you in advance for your reply.

  33. Cleaning in FL says

    I am excited to hear about this cleaning solution and can’t wait to try it. However, I made it without heating up the vinegar (I don’t have a microwave; granted I could’ve used the stovetop but didn’t have the patience). Will it still be effective at cleaning? Thank you!!

    • Megan says

      Absolutely! I skip that step all the time. It’ll be fine for general cleaning. Heating helps when you’re attacking serious soap scum in the shower, but it’s not necessary.

  34. Lois says

    I tired the vinegar and dawn (I heated the vinegar in the microwave for 1 minute) mixture. I let the mixture sit for about 15 mintues and then wipped it down. My shower and tub look great. Thanks for the help.

  35. Bill says

    I have used blue Dawn (diluted with warm water) as a spray to rid the bushes of Aphids. It worked wonderfully!!!!

  36. Mimi says

    If you put 2 capfuls of rubbing alcohol with the dawn you can use it to not only clean but disinfect your floors.

  37. Anne says

    Wow!! I have tried all of the soap scum removers over the years and have yet to find anything that works without a lot of fumes and scrubbing. I have also tried homemade varieties–nothing. I was very skeptical as I mixed up the dawn and vinegar. I sprayed the tub, only let it sit for a minute or so–of course I did not wait longer because I wanted to see if it really worked. I wiped and rinsed and my tub is gorgeous and sparkling again. Thank you so much for this!!

  38. Thomas Huett says

    I just tried dawn and vinegar on the tub.It was amazing. I also added lemon juice and there was no vinegar smell at all.

  39. Steve says

    having an issue with suds?
    put some fabric softener in a spray bottle and spray the suds. can dilute with water if it’s too thick

  40. Jennifer says

    What about cleaning a washer machine? My son works for a plumbing company, and he works on the gas jobs. So his clothes are horrendously dirty and smell of a gasoline type smell. (well more like a rubber smell). Anyway this last load, left grimy, filmy dirt all over the agitator and sides….and even a second washing it was all still floating in the water and still adhered to the machine itself.

    • Megan says

      Hmmm…good question! I bet Dawn & Vinegar could help–the Dawn is good at cutting grease, and vinegar helps with odors. Maybe try spraying with the Dawn/vinegar combo in the machine, then wipe it down and run an empty load with hot water to rinse it? I wouldn’t use too terribly much Dawn in the machine or you might run into trouble with it getting too sudsy in the rinse. But it might be worth a shot! Let us know if it works for you, and if it does we’ll add it to our list of uses–good luck! :)

    • says

      Another post said add a can of cola to greasy/smelly clothes to eliminate the problem, also leaves your washing machine clean. Good luck.

  41. says

    I have been using this for years. It has worked wonders. But I add in also peroxide. Believe it or not, peroxide gets out any stain imaginable. So far, it has worked wonders for me. I either just throw dawn, vinegar and peroxide right on the carpet… literally, just throw and pour it on there. Or I put all three in the steam cleaner. The carpets always look and feel brand new

  42. Judy in Indiana says

    We wash our dog with this blue Dawn/vinegar. If its good enough for the ducks, its good enough for our dog. She smells better than when we use dog shampoo.

  43. Kristin says

    Thanks for all of these great tips. I’m a firm believer in vinegar and water (and Baking Soda) for cleaning, now I’ll add Dawn as well. My husband hates the vinegar smell, but I say it’s better than the chemical smells of regular cleaners … and he has to agree!

  44. says

    I am a fan of Dawn dish detergent (in Europe, the same company makes a nearly identical product that they sell as Fairy). I use it when mixing to make the best soap bubbles …

    But … more than one commenter has suggested that Dawn is used for cleaning birds who have suffered the result of oil spills. It is perfectly true that Dawn is the preferred product for that job but it is NOT because it is especially gentle or good for the environment. Dawn is used because it is a very powerful grease cutter. Ask around among your friends and you will hear more than one say that they can’t use it for their dishes because it is so harsh on their hands. It’s strong! That makes it a good choice for cleaning inanimate objects and, while it is very effective for the difficult job of cleaning crude oil off of birds, that is not because it’s gentle.

    By the way … look closer at the label when you see what you think to be “original” Dawn. Original Dawn was even more powerful but the replaced it many years ago (perhaps when everyone had to reduce or remove phosphates). When you see the word “original” featured now on the label it is a reference to the “Original Scent” Dawn.

    Happy cleaning …

    Oh yeah … you can also use a combination of white vinegar and Dawn (or other detergent or soap) to spot kill dandelions and other broadleaf weeds … the vinegar does the job, the soap is mostly there to help it stick, just use a little.

    • Amy says

      A couple of years ago our very old dog was incontinent toward the end of her life and she peed many times on our new bedroom carpeting. “We had a couple of carpet cleaners come out but the spots remained. I used the dawn/vinegar/baking soda on one of the spots – scrubbed with a stiff brush. I gently went over the area with a damp towel. The spot was entire gone 6 hours later when the area had dried. Now today I’m working on the other 6 spots. I am amazed. Animal urine is one of the hardest spots to clean – if you are able to clean it at all. Thanks for the amazing help.

  45. Connie says

    I read that this recipe is not to be used on granite or marble. Does this also apply to man-made marble?

    • Megan says

      I’m not an expert in that, so I can’t advise for sure–I’d recommend testing a small amount in an inconspicuous area and see how it does if you’re not sure!

    • Shirley says

      I may not know what man made marble is. But the walls in my shower and tub areas are what was called “cultured marble”, and are solid white. I am delighted with the results of using the Dawn and white vinegar solution. I spray down the walls and shower door and floor and allow to stay for as long as I have before the shower is needed. I spray it down with the hand held shower. The walls are sparkling clean w/o even water spots. I don’t mind the smell of that combination at all; very clean smelling. It deodorizes any stale or mold odors. It deodorizes the bathroom even spraying it in the toilet bowl. This is a great solution for me, especially since chlorine bleach fumes invariably cause me respiratory problems.

  46. says

    Thank you for this recipe! We threw a party at home last weekend and of course we spilled red wine on my new beautiful beige carpet. Of course It didn’t come out completely after I tried to clean it with some store bought anti-stain detergent and I freaked out! Then I found your great post and mixed the cleaner. It worked perfectly good, I’m so glad the stains are gone and my carpet is beautiful again. Thank you for sharing all this useful information!

  47. CeeCee says

    I tried this and am very pleased with the shine and sparkle of my tub and sinks! Also, there was no scrubbing involved! However, the smell is terrible. It honestly smells like I just dyed easter eggs in my bathroom! Does anyone know if I could use essential oils in this mixture to help the smell? I tried lemon juice, but that didn’t make a difference.
    I love all of the great advice on here! Thank you!

  48. says

    I have huge problems with the soap scum in my bathroom! I just can’t get rid of it! I bought some of the common cleaning detergents but they are so toxic. I have five-year-old daughter and I don’t want her to breathe these toxic things. I will definitely give a shot to your interesting homemade detergent! Thanks you!

  49. Happy John says

    After reading this solution on SOOO many websites, I decided it would really work or be the best hoax on the internet.

    The previous owner/tenant had some no-slip mat that left black marks in the tub. I tried several cleaning products that didn’t work, so this was worth a try. I already had vinegar on-hand and bought a small bottle of blue Dawn. Mixed equal parts of each, poured it in my tub and left it.

    Actually, I got busy with a project and forgot about it until the vinegar “aroma” caught my attention. Probably about 90 minutes of just sitting in the tub.

    With a damp sponge, the tub came clean! Not all the black spots were removed, but the tub was clean. I’ll pick up a spray bottle in the near future and use the mix on the shower walls.

    Thanks for sharing the concoction!

  50. Crystal says

    I have used the Dawn and Vinegar combo for a while now and it always does the trick. I have an electric stove top and had who knows what stuck to it. Nothing would clean this stuff and then I found the amazing power of Dawn and Vinegar! I sprayed it on, waited for 20 minutes and everything just came right up… was magic. I use it all around the house and I save so much money on cleaning supplies. I do use the different kinds of dawn…not just the blue one……I have a pineapple dawn in use now and it is AMAZING! once the vinegar smell goes away the pineapple smell comes out and makes everthing so fresh and clean. Love it!!!!!!

  51. Dee Miller says

    A couple of years ago, I bought a 1940’s house that has an enclosed shower with a clear glass door. The door has been caked with years of soap scum. I tried another tip to get rid of the scum: spray cooking oil on the door, let sit for about 5 minutes, then rinse with soapy water. This did remove most of the scum but not all and worse, I couldn’t get the oil off the door or out of the shower. So I tried your Dawn and vinegar spray and WOW! This did the trick – got rid of the rest of the scum and my shower door looks like new! I was about to buy a new one. Thank you so much for your tip.

    Also, I read above about someone who used dawn to spray aphids. You can also use dawn and water spray to kill any insect on your inside plants and it’s also gotten rid of mold that gets into the soil of some of my plants. Miracle solution and non-toxic. Love it!

  52. says

    Was looking for a more kid-friendly way to clean the house and came across this page. Wow does that vinegar-dish detergent (I used Dawn) trick work! Thanks, and I think I’ll have a look around! :-)

  53. Kolette says

    I clean apartments between occupancy, and needless to say, some units are left beyond filthy. I came upon this suggestion this morning, and I was facing the worst shower / bathtub yet, and I am amazed at the speed and efficiency that this simple mixture cut through a very severe soap scum build up, and rust stains.
    Thank You sooooooo much for posting this miracle mixture!

  54. Stacey says

    Thanks so much for keeping this post current! I use Dawn Ultra in a 2:1 ratio (twice as much vinegar). Even with more vinegar the solution is super sudsy, which isn’t necessarily a good thing if you’re interested in saving water in addition to money and the environment.
    I do a quick spray before I shower and wipe down the surround after I finish bathing.

    In the kitchen I use the same solution but I’ve found that spraying the sponge rather than the surface is a better way to do everyday cleanup. I tend to overspray and that means I have to rinse off the bubbles a few times. If my stove is super grimy or greasy I will spray it on directly and let it sit before rinsing. But if I clean the kitchen daily, only a quick wipe with the solution is sufficient.

    I want to use this combination on the floors, but I think I have to tweak the solition a bit just to make sure I don’t damage the finish and end up with too many bubbles.

    • Megan says

      For floors, try adding a squirt of Dawn and about a cup of vinegar to a bucket of warm water, and mop or use a washrag. I just did all my mother-in-law’s floors in her new house to get construction grime up before they moved in, and it worked beautifully!

  55. Anon says

    I tried using 1 part generic dishsoap to 1 part vinegar and it actually worked really well on the shower (especially between tiles) and the carpet. Needless to say I won’t be buying Resolve and Scrubbing Bubbles anymore. Thanks for the tip.

  56. Arna says

    Way too much Dawn on the floor mixture and the general cleaning mixture. It has taken me multiple! rinsings to get the left-on suds off the floor. It cleans great, but so much work to keep rinsing with clean warm water. Maybe teaspoons of Dawn in the vinegar and/or warm water, but not tablespoons.

  57. Dina says

    So I happened across this back in january, ended up bookmarking the page, saving a image of the various mixtures and put paper tape on the spray bottle and wrote in a sharpie on the various mixtures, and how to use. Absolutely the most brilliant cleaning tool.

    I had some soap scum on my granite bathroom counter tops that would not scrub away, tried the actual product for removing, which didn’t work. Came pretty damn close with using dryer sheets. But it meant having to cover every part, making sure it stayed wet, and had to leave them on for 24 hours. After that, it still required scrubbing.

    But coming across another blog and using the 1 part detergent/1 part vinegar mix legit made it a breeze. Basically spray it over what surfaces have the soap scum, and even hard water stains for me that was the shower walls, the shower head, faucet, counter tops (I was feeling a bit experimental so I actually sprayed it on the walls and toilet too). Turned off the vent, turned on the shower with hot water, and closed the door and let it steam for 20 mins. After coming back it was just a matter of wiping everything down, but it pretty much dissolved and no scrubbing required, and dirt was coming off surfaces I wasn’t even aware had build up.

    Pretty much the easiest and quickest way I’ve come across to remove even the most impossible stains. Hope that helps!

  58. Nik says

    Can I make the vinegar/dawn mixture up ahead of time in a spray bottle or at the time of use? If there is left over Can I save it for a week? Will it be as effective?

  59. Rich says

    does it matter what dish washing liquid? I read another page that said to get “the blue Dawn”…does it matter?

    • Megan says

      Dawn works great, but in a pinch I’ve used others too. You might get varying results depending on how concentrated the dish washing liquid is…some have more water in them than others :)


  1. […] Cleaning Dream Team: Vinegar and Dawn – Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring There are several mixes here. K is for Karen "Laughter is Timeless Imagination has no Age Dreams are Forever" ~ Tinkerbell Looking for easier access to MSQC Tutorials? Check my User Notes. Reply With Quote […]

  2. […] Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring has a great article on all the benefits of the dynamic duo “vinegar and  Dawn dish soap.” They can’t seem to sing the praises of this multi-purpose DIY Bathroom Cleaner enough! The ratio of Dawn to vinegar is dependent upon what you’re trying to clean.  However, for my DIY bathroom cleaner, you just need to omit the water and use equal parts Dawn and vinegar for one fantastic bathroom cleaner. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>