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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!
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.
This 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!