As you may have already noticed, I’ve written a lot about both baking soda and vinegar here on my blog over the past several years. They are two of my very favorite natural cleaners, and they are both highly effective for cleaning up certain types of messes! And you’d think that combining them together would make them even more effective, right? Well, it may not actually be that simple.
In today’s post, we’ll be exploring the relationship between baking soda and vinegar and whether or not they can be combined to make an effective cleaner. I’ll also be sharing 5 of my favorite ways to use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning stuff around the house.
My hope is that this post helps demystify that famously fizzy reaction, and that it answers the questions you might have had about using both baking soda and vinegar for cleaning! So let’s start at the beginning: can you clean something using both baking soda and vinegar?
Does Cleaning With Baking Soda And Vinegar Work?
The short answer to this question is yes, and no. To understand why, it helps to know how the baking soda and vinegar reaction works. Baking soda is a base, and bases want a proton; vinegar is an acid, and acids have a proton they want to get rid of. The fizzy chemical reaction you see when you mix baking soda and vinegar is the exchange of those protons, producing carbon dioxide in the form of bubbles and leaving water behind.
So the “yes” part of the answer applies only to the actual chemical reaction that happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar. The fizzing action can help dissolve gunk and messes, making them easier to wipe away! The “no” part of the answer applies to what’s left after the reaction has stopped. Because what’s left behind once the reaction is over is essentially just water!
In addition to using the chemical reaction for cleaning purposes, you also have the option of using baking soda and vinegar separately to clean the same item. Each one is a powerhouse cleaner in its own right! (You’ll see some examples of this method in the list below!)
5 Ways To Clean With Baking Soda And Vinegar
1. Clean Your Shower Head
If you live in an area with hard water, it’s nearly impossible to avoid getting limescale and mineral buildup on your shower head over time. But baking soda and vinegar can take care of it overnight!
Place your shower head into a big ziplock bag, and pour in enough white vinegar to cover it. Seal the bag and let it sit overnight. In the morning, remove the shower head and sprinkle some baking soda over the surface. Use an old toothbrush to give the shower head a good scrub, then rinse it clean. For more information about cleaning your bathroom with vinegar, check out the link below!
2. Clean Your Toilet Bowl
Spray the inside of your toilet bowl with white vinegar until it’s completely wet. Then sprinkle a good amount of baking soda onto the wet surface, spraying a bit more vinegar if necessary to start the reaction. Wait a minute or two, then scrub the toilet bowl thoroughly with a toilet brush.
3. Remove Pet Stains From Carpet
Use baking soda and vinegar to remove pet stains from your carpet! Dampen the spot with vinegar, then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the top. Leave the spot alone until the baking soda and vinegar have dried completely, then vacuum the spot thoroughly. The stain and the smell will be gone!
Get more details on removing pet stains at the link below.
4. Clear A Clogged Drain
The fizzing reaction of baking soda and vinegar can help you clear out a clogged drain. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by one cup of white vinegar. Cover the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes. After waiting, boil a kettle of water and dump all of the hot water down the drain to flush out the loosened clog.
(Note that this process can clear out mild clogs, but it probably won’t be enough to clear out a more serious clog.) Get more details on this drain cleaning method by reading my blog post about it at the link below.
5. Add Them To Laundry
Baking soda and vinegar both make valuable additions to your laundry routine. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda over your clothes before starting each wash load to help brighten colors and soften hard water. Then add 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to soften fabric and remove odors!
I also use baking soda and vinegar to freshen up smelly towels. Get the full details on that process at the link below!
Do you use baking soda (and or) vinegar to keep your home clean?