White vinegar is a great safe and natural cleaner for all kinds of surfaces, but this post will focus on one room where vinegar can be particularly useful: the bathroom! Bathrooms are the site of all sorts of hard-to-clean messes, most of which are quick and easy to eliminate with the help of white vinegar.
The high acidity level of vinegar helps break down mineral deposits (such as limescale, rust, and hard water) and dissolve soap scum, making it perfect for bathroom cleaning! Its acidity creates a “hostile” environment for many microorganisms, so it can also be a powerful disinfectant.
According to the Journal of Environmental Health, undiluted vinegar can be just as effective as bleach in eliminating E. coli from surfaces and sponges. It’s also incredibly effective when used to deodorize or clean up grease — now that’s cleaning power!
However, not all vinegars are created equal, nor are all white vinegars, for that matter! So, before we go much further, let’s briefly explore those differences.
Types Of White Vinegars
All vinegars are made through fermentation of a plant-based substance. The foundational ingredient used in the process is what gives vinegars their unique flavors.
Also known as spirit vinegar, white vinegar is the most common type of vinegar used for cleaning purposes. It’s made by fermenting ethanol, which is made from starchy plants like corn, wheat, sugar cane, or potatoes, and consists of 5-20% acetic acid in water.
Distilled White Vinegar
Distilled vinegar has a relatively low level of acetic acid, making it suitable for use in cooking, flavoring, food preservation, and even first aid or home remedies. While it can be an effective cleaner, it may not be as effective as more acidic formulations.
This type of white vinegar has a higher concentration of acetic acid than traditional distilled white vinegar. Cleaning vinegar is not suitable for use in cooking, as it isn’t produced to the same standards as vinegar intended for human consumption.
It’s not absolutely necessary to use cleaning vinegar for common household cleaning purposes, but you may find it more effective when used on particularly stubborn messes. (If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you may wish to buy or make scented cleaning vinegar for a more pleasant experience!)
But let’s get back to cleaning, shall we? Here are 8 of the best ways to use vinegar to keep your bathroom sparkling clean.
8 Ways To Use Vinegar To Clean Your Bathroom
1. Clean Your Shower Head
If you have hard water, deposits can form on your shower head and slow the flow of water. Vinegar can help dissolve those deposits and get your shower head working properly again!
I removed our shower head and placed it in a ziplock bag full of vinegar to let it soak. If you don’t want to remove your shower head, you can place the bag of vinegar over the shower head in the shower, and use a rubber band to hold it in place.
Let the shower head soak in the vinegar for a few hours, or overnight. When it’s done soaking, just give it a scrub with a sponge or brush and watch the grime disappear!
2. Fill Your Reed Diffuser
When your reed diffuser needs refilling, fill it with white vinegar. It’s super affordable and a great deodorizer, and will help control bathroom odors for weeks.
Note: Ever wonder what makes this stinky substance so good at removing odor? The acid in vinegar is strong enough to alter organic molecules in the air, which are usually responsible for making things stink. The more you know!
3. Clean Your Mirror
Fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water. and use it to clean your bathroom mirrors. Vinegar is a great cleaner and leaves a streak-free shine.
4. Remove Toilet Stains
Deposits under the rim of your toilet bowl can be really hard to clean! To help dissolve the deposits and make them easier to scrub away, grab a few paper towels and your trusty bottle of white vinegar.
Soak a wad of paper towels with vinegar, then tuck the towels up under the rim of your toilet bowl. Let the vinegar work its magic for a few hours, then remove the paper towels and scrub clean (you might want to use cleaning vinegar for this one).
5. Clear A Drain
Got a stopped-up or slow-moving drain in your bathroom? Clear the drain with white vinegar, a bit of baking soda, and some good old hot water.
Read More: How To Unclog A Sink Without Chemicals
6. Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Vinegar makes a great cleaner for a wide variety of surfaces. Check out my post about making your own scented vinegar for cleaning! It’s perfect for those who are sensitive to the strong smell of vinegar, and anyone who loves a good citrus-y clean scent. :-)
Read More: How To Make Scented Cleaning Vinegar
7. Clean Your Faucets
Hard water can quickly build up around your faucet and faucet handles. Find out how I used white vinegar to dissolve those stubborn deposits around my bathtub handles at the link below!
8. Erase Soap Scum
No one wants to spend hours scrubbing soap scum in their bathtub or shower. But with a little help from vinegar, you don’t have to! Get the recipe for my very favorite shower cleaner that powers through tough soap scum without the need for endless scrubbing.
How do you use vinegar to help keep your house clean?