Cleaning with White Vinegar: It Works!

distilled white vinegarHave you read articles that tout plain (inexpensive!) distilled white vinegar as a healthy alternative to chemical-laden cleaning agents? How plain distilled white (inexpensive!) vinegar is the rock star of a healthy cleaning team? Me too. But I never really tried cleaning with white vinegar. I mean really tried it on something tough…like the shower heads in our bathrooms…until I read the article “De-germify Your Bathroom” in the September issue of Real Simple magazine.  I was on an airplane when I read the article, which meant I was sorta captive, so I read every word, and I may even have read some of the words twice because I was so grossed out by the dangerous yucks lurking in my bathrooms. (Did I ever mention that I was raised raised by a Mom who carried Lysol in her purse when we travelled?  Mom would spray down a hotel room like nobody’s business: the bathroom, the beds, doorknobs, heck, even the insides of the drawers that we never used because they were “dirty!”) But back to my real story… Because I was sitting idle far from my (dirty) bathrooms I day dreamed about how I would deep clean every bathroom in my home like the article described. Mycobacterium avium wouldn’t stand a chance of surviving my assault.

When I got home from vacation I bought a huge jug of store-brand white vinegar. It was even less expensive than the brand I was brought up using to make our family’s famous cole slaw. And at 5% acidity the strength is the same as the more expensive brand. I grabbed 2 gallon-size zip bags and two zip ties and hustled up to our second floor bathrooms. You know, you think you are clean until you look up at the shower heads. (Go ahead. Take look at yours. I can wait.) I almost fell over when I saw the crud sticking out of our shower head holes.

I poured a goodly amount of vinegar into a gallon zip bag, clenched the zip tie in my front teeth and climbed up on the edge of the bathtub to reach the grungy shower head. You, of course, could stick the zip tie in a handy pocket and climb carefully on a stepladder to reach your grungy shower head. It’s all about choices.

Yes, it works.

Hard at work.

I slipped the vinegar bag over the shower head and tightened the zip tie around it, making sure the entire shower head was submerged in the vinegar. Then I climbed down. And took a nap. After all, it’s hard work deep cleaning a bathroom.

Perfectly clean!

Perfectly clean!

Have you tried the vinegar in a bag trick? Or do you use it for other types of cleaning?

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7 Responses to Cleaning with White Vinegar: It Works!

  1. fran Liscio says:

    Great post, Darlene. I’m going to try this with my chalk-caked showerhead.

  2. That’s awesome! I need to do that.

    I actually wrote this week about using vinegar and Dawn dish soap in one of those wands with the sponge on the end to clean the entire shower. Works great!
    ~FringeGirl

    • You know? I saw your post and thought it was a clever solution to the age old cruddy shower dilemma. I’m enjoying your frugal living posts this month, especially the Clara videos!

  3. Lisa Tognola says:

    Would loved to have seen the video of you climbing up there Darlene! Comical! But like you, I’m game to try anything that works. I’ll let you know . . .

    • Ah yes, Lisa. I am as sure footed as a mountain goat…did I ever tell you about the vacation we had out West when I saw a mountain goat fall over? Really. I’m that goat.

  4. Loryl says:

    Shower heads, shower curtains, microwaves and drains always get the vinegar (and sometime baking soda) treatment in our house. I was shocked about how easily a microwave can be cleaned!!!! It must be in our blood, traveling for work I carry sanitary wipes everywhere.

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