I always keep apple cider vinegar in my house — here are 10 ways to clean with it

These ways to clean with apple cider vinegar are low-key life-changing

Three bottles of apple cider vinegar on yellow background
(Image credit: Future)

If you've stocked up on this budget ingredient, you're going to need some new ways to clean with apple cider vinegar. While some use it for its alleged health benefits, it's also good to use around the house for things you may not have thought of. 

Apple cider vinegar can be used to clean a variety of surfaces, including counters, floors, and toilets. It is also effective at removing stains and odors. its safe and effective for cleaning your home, along with being inexpensive.

Cleaning Expert, Katie Berry and I spoke about cleaning with apple cider vinegar and how to actually use it to get your cleaning done properly. It's a pretty genius unusual cleaning hack you can use for years to come.

Where to get apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is available at just about every grocery store but you can also order it online in a pinch. I like to stock up on this 64 oz organic apple cider vinegar available on Amazon so I never run out.

Ways to clean with apple cider vinegar

Want to get started? Check out the best ways to clean with apple cider vinegar to get the most out of this budget buy.

1. All-purpose cleaner

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties, making it the perfect choice for an all-purpose cleaner.

"Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle," suggests Berry. "This solution works wonders on countertops, sinks, and even some floors."

2. Fabric softener

Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your laundry during the rinse cycle. It naturally softens fabrics and helps to remove detergent residue. 

The scent will disappear as your clothes dry.

3. Odor neutralizer

Apple cider vinegar's antibacterial properties make it a great deodorizer.

"Place a bowl of apple cider vinegar in stinky rooms to neutralize unwanted odors. Within a few hours, you'll notice a significant difference," says Berry.

To make a fabric deodorizing spray, combine equal parts water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle, like this Rayson spray bottle available on Amazon. Lightly mist fabrics to neutralize odors. Allow the fabric to air dry.

4. Dishwasher rinse aid

Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to the bottom of your dishwasher before running a cycle. It helps dishes dry faster and with fewer spots because it speeds up evaporation. We broke down everything you need to know in our rinse aid explainer for more info.

5. Drain cleaner

Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of apple cider vinegar. Let it fizz for 15 minutes before flushing with hot water. It's a natural alternative to harsh chemical drain cleaners.

6. Coffee maker cleaner

Fill the water reservoir with a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar and run a brewing cycle. Follow this with two cycles of plain water to remove any vinegar smell. Cleaning a coffee maker with vinegar can help boost your machine for a more powerful cup of joe.

7. Stainless steel polish

Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto a soft cloth, like these highly-rated USANooks microfiber cloths available on Amazon, and wipe down your stainless steel appliances, following the grain of the steel for a natural shine.

8. Gummy residue remover

The apple cider vinegar’s natural acidity makes it a successful cleaning solution when it comes to residues left by soaps in sinks as well as sticky messes that are left behind by syrups, glues, stickers, and more. 

"Apply a small amount of undiluted apple cider vinegar to a cloth and gently rub it over the gummy or sticky area," says Berry. "Let it sit for a few minutes to break down the residue, then wipe it clean. This works well on jars, scissors, and even gum caught in your hair."

9. Window stain remover

Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto your windows and let it sit for a few minutes, followed by wiping down your windows with a clean microfiber cloth. Lastly, rinse your windows with water and dry them with a clean towel.

10. Hardwood floor cleaner

Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Mop your floors as usual, using the vinegar solution in place of your regular cleaner. Rinse your floors with clean water and dry them with a soft cloth. 

Pro tip: Test the vinegar solution in an inconspicuous area first to make sure it doesn't damage your floors.

Meet the expert

Katie Berry

Katie Berry is a cleaning expert who specializes in practical methods and routines. She runs the blog, HousewifeHowTos.com to share detail-oriented checklists and techniques for more relaxed cleaning tips.


What are the benefits of cleaning with apple cider vinegar?

  • It is a natural product that is safe to use around children and pets
  • It is effective at removing dirt, grime, and stains
  • It can be used to clean a variety of surfaces, including counters, floors, and toilets
  • It is inexpensive and easy to find
  • It traps fruit flies
  • It unclogs drains

What shouldn't I use apple cider vinegar on?

There are a couple of materials you should avoid using apple cider vinegar on. "Avoid using it on natural stone surfaces since the acidity can be damaging," explains Berry. 

Always double-check the manufacturer's instructions for the item you're cleaning before you start. 

Cleaning with apple cider vinegar can be pretty genius as you can get so much use out of one product. Before you unleash your new cleaning skills on the whole house, you may want to check you're not making any cleaning mistakes so don't damage anything in the process. 

Aida M. Toro
Freelance Writer

About Me:

Hello! My name is Aida M. Toro and I am a freelance writer that loves cultivating stories about amazing people, fashion, interiors, art, and food. I currently write for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, The House Magazine, Hobnob Magazine, The C-Word, and Real Homes. I live in West New York, New Jersey, which is literally a 10-minute ferry ride or 20-minute bus ride away from New York City. Although I was born and raised in West New York, I consider NYC my home, as I believe it to be the place where all dreams come to fruition, and of course, spend most of my time in. When I’m not writing, I love perusing the city streets and taking snaps with my iPhone of street art along with random things, scoping out new restaurants as well as their spaces, shopping at some of my favorite stores, spending time with family and friends, walking my cockapoodle Benji, and working out at Lifetime or DOGPOUND, which are some of the top fitness spaces in Manhattan and overall the U.S.