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The Home Depot

The Magic of Vinegar and Baking Soda

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Cleaning > The Magic of Vinegar and Baking Soda
The Magic of Vinegar and Baking Soda

Cleaning the house doesn’t have to involve toxic and potentially dangerous chemicals. In fact, you might be surprised how effectively you can shine, deodorize and add sparkle to your home’s fixtures with a couple of ingredients that are probably sitting in your kitchen cupboard. The good news – these ingredients are natural, inexpensive and extremely effective for cleaning and shining up your home.


The mystery ingredients are baking soda and vinegar. Get all the details on the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s website in an article about cleaning your kitchen in budget-fashion. Because vinegar is an acid and baking soda has alkaline properties, when you combine them, they have a chemical reaction that really packs a punch.


With the magic of vinegar and baking soda, you can wave your wand anywhere in your house and know that the results will be impressive.

  1. 1.Clean Windows

    Skip the harsh chemicals that can put a dent in your wallet. With simple white vinegar, you can make all your windows sparkle. Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar for each quart of cool water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture liberally onto windows and mirrors and wipe off with a soft cloth, paper towels or even newspaper. The results won’t disappoint you.

  2. "Skip the harsh chemicals that can put a dent in your wallet. With simple white vinegar, you can make all your windows sparkle.”
  3. 2.Run it Through the Coffee Pot

    Over time, hard water deposits will build up in your coffee maker and on the carafe. Sure, you could use an expensive solution to zap these mineral deposits and clean out your coffee maker, but at what cost? These products aren’t cheap and you never know exactly what residues they leave behind in your coffee maker. Instead, use white vinegar and water to clean the coffee maker. Mix one part vinegar with one part cool water to fill the carafe to the top. Pour the solution into the coffee maker just like you would pour water in to make coffee. Brew the vinegar solution through the coffee maker completely, discard it and allow the coffee make to cool for about 30 minutes. Repeat this process a second time (and even a third time) if your coffee maker has a lot of residue. After finishing the vinegar brewing step, run two cycles of pure water through your coffee maker to eliminate any remaining vinegar completely.


    If your carafe has hard water deposits as well, soak it in full-strength vinegar for about one hour and then rinse it thoroughly. It should come out shining!

  4. 3.Get the Smell Out of Closets

    Enclosed, small areas of the home can often develop strong odors that assault a nose whenever you open the door. If you’ve got closets in this condition, grab the white vinegar and solve your odor problems quickly. Empty out the closet to clean it thoroughly. Once you’ve got an empty closet, mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with about 1 gallon of warm water. Wipe down all surfaces inside the close with this vinegar solution to deodorize and disinfect the surfaces. Allow the surfaces to dry and then put everything back in the closet.

  5. 4.Keep the Fridge Smelling Fresh

    The cool and confined space of the refrigerator can be a breeding ground for plenty of bacteria – especially if you lose track of leftovers in the back for a week or two! Solve these unpleasant odor issues by neutralizing them with baking soda. This process couldn’t be easier – just pull the whole top off a standard box of baking soda and place it into the refrigerator as-is. Stick the box in the back of the fridge and forget about it for a month. Switch out the baking soda monthly with a fresh box and your work is done.

  7. 5.Clean Off Grease from Pots and Pans

    Greasy gunk on the bottom of pots and pans is a common kitchen problem. Instead of getting out the strong chemicals to battle the grease, try a safer approach that is anything but gentle. Mix baking soda, salt and dishwashing soap to make a paste. Spread the paste in a thick layer over the grease and let it sit for at least an hour. After the sitting time, scrub the pots and pans with a nylon scrubber and your pots and pans should shine.

  8. 6.Boost your Laundry Detergent

    If you’ve noticed dinginess in your laundry, your regular detergent may need a little boost. As you pour the detergent into the washing machine, add a cup of baking soda, too. The baking soda neutralizes pH in the washing machine, helping your laundry detergent power through the dirt and grime more effectively. You may just find that your laundry emerges looking cleaner and brighter when you add baking soda every time.

  9. 7.Put out Small Fires

    If a grease fire happens in the kitchen, you could actually make matters worse if you attempt to use a fire extinguisher because the pressure of the fire extinguisher contents can spread the fire instead of putting it out. Instead, spread baking soda liberally over the source of the fire to smother it.

  10. 8.Unclog Drains

    You could break the bank pouring expensive solutions down your drains to unclog them. Instead, unclog drains naturally and inexpensively with vinegar and baking soda. Pour one box of baking soda down the clogged drain. Grab an old washcloth and then pour about 1/2 cup of white vinegar down the drain on top of the baking soda. Stuff the washcloth into the opening of the drain to seal it and allow the drain to sit undisturbed for 30 minutes. After the time elapses, pour 1 quart of boiling water down the drain and it should be clear.

  11. 9.Safe Cleaning Solution

    Whenever you need to scour and clean surfaces, mix equal parts of vinegar and baking soda and apply the solution liberally. You will be amazed how effective this cleaning combination is throughout your home.

  12. 10.Volcano!

    Don’t forget the kids as you explore the magic of vinegar and baking soda. Make a volcano out of air-dry clay. Fill the inner cavity of the volcano with baking soda and add a little vinegar over the top. Watch the volcano erupt with impressive energy.


    Once you see how effective vinegar and baking soda are together, you may be able to clear out your cleaning cupboard of many of the products you currently use. Visit the Red Beacon website for even more cleaning ideas, too.

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