cleaning with vinegar

DIY Vinegar Cleaner That Actually Smells Great

To reduce the amount of waste and plastic as much as possible, I decided to replace some household cleaning products with just one. I prepared at home my natural cleaner using only 3 ingredients storing it in an old glass container. I will show you a very simple recipe to create a DIY vinegar cleaner that actually smells great. A MUST of natural DIY and zero-waste philosophy. 

In this post, you will also discover why vinegar is an ideal ingredient as a natural cleaner and we will see it from a chemical point of view!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. By clicking through them and making a purchase, I may receive a small commission WITHOUT any additional cost to you.


Cleaning with vinegar

To prepare our new ally in the kitchen, we will need mainly water and vinegar and some optional ingredients to reduce the strong pungent smell of vinegar. 

But before describing the recipe, let’s take a closer look at a few more features of vinegar that will allow us to understand why it is a great help for household cleaning.

Vinegar is obtained by a fermentation process that transforms ethyl alcohol into acetic acid. Depending on the nature of the raw material, different types of vinegar can be obtained such as white wine, apple, balsamic vinegar, rice, etc. It is thanks to the presence of acetic acid that this food shows the typical pungent taste with its indistinguishable smell. White vinegar is simply a mixture of water and acetic acid sold mainly for cleaning.

Uses of vinegar for cleaning

Taking advantage of the presence of acetic acid, we will create a powerful natural cleaner perfect for dissolving limescale residues, our shower and toilets, steel surfaces, and last but not least our fridge by neutralizing any bad smell.

DIY Vinegar Cleaner That Actually Smells Great
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DIY Vinegar Cleaner That Actually Smells Great

But if you are still skeptical because vinegar has an intense smell, keep reading and you will discover a simple trick to make it more pleasant! Be ready, because now you won’t have any excuse not to try this recipe and live a more sustainable lifestyle. 🙂

To make 1L of this surface cleaner we will need:

  • 300g (1/3) of white vinegar (because it is cheaper 🙂 but also wine or apple vinegar is fine)
  • 700 g (2/3) of Tap Water
  • lemon peel 
  • sprig of rosemary
  • an old glass container or spray container

Approximate value in euros: less than 1, with the possibility to remake it twice more without buying ingredients again. This is impressive!

The preparation is certainly easier in practice than in the description. Just fill the container with a third of white vinegar and add water up to a liter. I then added lemon peel and rosemary sprigs to these. Before using it, I let them macerate for a few weeks. After two weeks, the typical smell of the vinegar will have diminished while the pleasant scent of the lemon will predominate, perfectly in tune with the rosemary.

Uses of vinegar for cleaning and the chemistry behind it

To see how effective it is and to briefly explain the chemistry behind it, I made a short video! Take a look here

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When vinegar and therefore acetic acid comes into contact with limestone (which is calcium carbonate) a chemical reaction takes place leading to the formation of calcium acetate, water, and carbon dioxide. The calcium acetate will thus be taken away during rinsing, leaving our surface clean and shiny.

Reaction vinegar

And here it is!  A very simple reaction that allows us to clean our house, and save money. Do you want other ideas for cleaning your home with natural remedies and at no cost? Take a look at this post.

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