DIY Cleaning Supplies: Versatile Vinegar! Orange-infused vinegar plus tons of uses

Many of you already know that I have a bit of a crush on vinegar, especially when paired with its good buddy Dawn dish soap to make these fabulous DIY cleaners.  If you missed that post, go check it out now…we’ll wait for you right here! :)

Upon further research, I found tons of things that good ol’ vinegar can do all by itself, most of the time for way cheaper than the product it’s replacing.  I love that it’s a cost savings, and I love how it simplifies life: I’m saving storage space by not needing tons of different products, and I’m saving time and energy by not clipping coupons and searching out the best deals for those products…sounds like win-win to me!

As useful as vinegar is, it doesn’t always smell the greatest.  The smell usually fades once it’s rinsed or it dries, but the scent really bothers some people, including two of my kids.  When I discovered this pin on Pinterest about infusing vinegar with orange peels, I had to give it a try.  (Hooray for actually doing something I pinned!)  It was super easy–I just took the peels from two oranges that the kids had eaten, and tossed them in a mason jar.  Fill with vinegar, and let it sit for up to two weeks (the longer it goes, the more orange-y it’ll smell!).  Strain out the orange peels and any excess bits of orange, and pour into a spray bottle to use around the house.  Easy-peasy, and it smells great!

Here are some of the many uses for vinegar–some you might have thought of, some might be new (hair conditioner??  Who knew?!).  You could probably use the orange-infused vinegar for most of these, but I’d save it for the ones where the smell might be hanging around for a while.

  • Glass cleaner: Spray full-strength vinegar on glass, and wipe with paper towels or newspaper (did you know about the newspaper trick?  Tried it and it worked like a charm!)
  • Fabric Softener: Pour full-strength vinegar into the softener dispenser in your washing machine.  Works great with Homemade Laundry Soap!
  • Dishwasher Rinse Aid:Pour full-strength vinegar into the Jet Dry dispenser in your dishwasher.  You can get a whole gallon of vinegar for cheaper than a tiny bottle of Jet Dry, and it’ll keep your dishes shiny and spot-free.
  • Deodorize a room:  Lingering smoke scent in a room?  Put a bowl (or two…or more if it’s really stinky!) of vinegar out to help neutralize the scent. Keep an eye on pets and kids though :)
  • Clean salty residue off footwear:This one will be great in a few months–if snow-melting salt leaves a line on your shoes or boots, wipe them off with a cloth dipped in vinegar (test on an inconspicuous area just to make sure it’s OK!)
  • Get rid of mildew:  Full-strength vinegar is a great first step to try on mildew before pulling out the bleach
  • Stickers or sticker residue:  Try vinegar to get rid of stickers, price tags, or the residue they leave behind
  • Clean windshield wiper blades:  Wipe them down with a vinegar-soaked cloth–they might just be dirty if they’re not working well, and may not need replaced yet
  • Frost-proof your car windows:Spray your car windows with a solution of 3 parts vinegar to one part water–they’ll stay frost free for a few weeks, then you can re-treat.
  • Clean your kitchen appliances:Vinegar is great for cleaning and deodorizing your fridge and microwave
  • Cut grease in the kitchen: If you bacon splattered all over your stove, bust out the vinegar spray for an easy clean-up
  • Condition your hair:  Use in place of conditioner to control dandruff and give your hair shine (I’d use the orange-scented kind for this one!)

I haven’t personally tried all of these, so let me know if something works really well (or maybe not so well), and if you have another use, I’d love to add it to the list–leave it in the comments for us!  And don’t forget to Pin and share this post if you find it useful!

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  1. Laurie says

    I will never forget when I use to go to this high end salon when the stylist took one look at my daughters head and got out the gallon size vinegar. Not high priced shampoo, vinagar! We have a pool and the chemicals aren’t so nice to her hair. It did the trick and I have her straight vinegar rinse, then shampoo her hair all summer long. She gets dandruff from time to time and uses it then too.

    • Megan says

      That’s awesome to know–we swim a lot in the summer, and I noticed this year it was affecting my hair & my daughter’s…now if only I can remember this come next June! ;)

  2. Kristie Eskelson'Reid says

    Hey gonna try the dishwasher soap…. and trying the shower spray right now… I have a few tip’s myself and would like to share…
    WINDOW CLEANER: equal part’s water and vinegar 1/2 to 1 tsp corn starch (your window’s will sparkle) and no streaks.
    LAUNDRY DET: your recipe I use half as much Oxi clean (family dollar brand) and 2 to 4 cup’s Epsom Salt. (no need for fabric softner)
    AIR FRESHNER: 1 C distilled water 1 to 2 tbls baking soda 1/2 to 1 tsp lemon extract or a few drops essential oil (what ever one you like you can even use tea tree oil) shake before every use (work’s great on dog kennel blanket’s)
    I hope all your fan’s can use my tip’s. (grandma alway’s said that if you don’t share your tip’s they aren’t really tip’s)

  3. Lina says

    I’ve been using vinegar water to condition my hair for years and it works great! My husband thinks I’m nuts but it works! I use an old shampoo bottle and fill it with 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water. I squirt it all over my hair focusing on the ends and not the scalp so much [I have an oily scalp] then leave it in for 2 minutes before rinsing it out.

  4. Dianne says

    I just tried the equal parts vinegar/blue Dawn mixture on my shower, bathroom sinks, counter and toilet. AMAZING! The soap scum came right off with virtually no scrubbing. I use vinegar as well as baking soda in many ways as a cleaner, laundry booster, fabric softener. Two inexpensive but effective products.


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