14 Smart Ways to Clean With Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar with apples

Apple cider vinegar is a natural cleaning product that can be used all around the house as an alternative to commercial cleaners. Created from fermented apple juice that gives the vinegar its golden color, it can be used instead of distilled white vinegar in any DIY vinegar cleaning solution and will produce equally good results.


There are a few surfaces around the house that should not be cleaned with vinegar:

  • 01 of 14

    Remove Soap Scum

    Soap Scum Glass Doors
    Remove Soap Scum from Glass Shower Doors Jill Ferry / Getty Images
    • Fill a spray bottle with two parts vinegar, one part dish soap, and two parts water.
    • Spray the soap scum on surfaces and allow the mixture to work for five minutes.
    • Scrub the surfaces with a soft, nylon-bristled brush and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
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  • 02 of 14

    Clean the Toilet

    person wiping down a toilet seat

    The Spruce / Taylor Nebrija

    • Clean the toilet by adding one cup of apple cider vinegar to the bowl and letting it sit overnight.
    • The next morning, add 1/2 cup of baking soda, scrub well, and flush.
    • Dampen a microfiber cloth with vinegar to wipe down the outside of the toilet, seat, and lid.
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  • 03 of 14

    Unclog the Showerhead

    Shower head with leaking water

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    • Fix sputtering showerheads by soaking them in apple cider vinegar for at least 8 hours to dissolve the mineral deposits that are clogging the water jets.
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  • 04 of 14

    Unclog Slow Running Sinks

    Nonabrasive cleaner surrounding sink faucet drain closeup

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

    • Pour one quart of boiling water down the drain.
    • In a large pitcher, combine 1 cup of hot water, 1 cup of baking soda, and 1 cup of vinegar.
    • Pour the vinegar mixture down the drain and let it work for 30 minutes.
    • Flush the drain with another quart of boiling water.
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  • 05 of 14

    Kill Mold in the Shower

    spraying shower walls with cleaning solution

    The Spruce / Ria Osborne  

    • Spray undiluted apple cider vinegar on the moldy surface.
    • Allow the vinegar to work for at least one hour.
    • Scrub lightly with a sponge and rinse with warm water.
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  • 06 of 14

    Shine Stainless Steel

    Cleaning a stainless steel surface with vinegar spray

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

    • Fill a new spray bottle with undiluted apple cider vinegar and label it clearly.
    • Fill a second bottle with plain water and label it, as well.
    • Spray the vinegar on the stainless steel appliance and rub away streaks with a microfiber cloth.
    • Spritz with the water to rinse the appliance and dry it with a lint-free microfiber cloth.
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  • 07 of 14

    Descale Tea Kettles and Coffee Makers

    Used coffee pot that needs cleaning on a kitchen counter

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

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  • 08 of 14

    Clean and Freshen a Dishwasher

    Closeup of dishwasher

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    • A bowl of apple cider vinegar placed on the top rack of an empty dishwasher during a wash cycle cuts through greasy buildup.
    • Sprinkle in some baking soda before the rinse cycle to clean the dishwasher.
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  • 09 of 14

    Make Your Microwave Interior Sparkle

    using vinegar to clean a microwave

    The Spruce / Jenelle Botts

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  • 10 of 14

    Remove Stains and Stickiness from Silicone Bakeware

    Silicone baking mat being cleaned with dish soap and sponge in kitchen sink

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

    • Mix a solution of half hot water and half apple cider vinegar to get rid of stains on silicone bakeware.
    • Soak the silicone pieces for one hour and then rinse. 
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  • 11 of 14

    Mop Ceramic and LVP Floors

    floor mopping supplies

    The Spruce / Jessica Lombardi

    • The acid in apple cider vinegar cuts through grease and grime on non-porous floors like ceramic tile and LVP.
    • Mix one cup of vinegar per gallon of warm water.
    • Add a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid if the floors are very dirty.
    • To keep your floor streak-free, no rinsing is needed
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  • 12 of 14

    Remove Carpet Stains

    blotting carpet with paper towels

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    • Mix a carpet stain remover of 1 tablespoon of apple vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, and two cups of warm water in a bowl.
    • Working from the outside edge of the stain toward the center, apply the solution with a microfiber cloth while rubbing gently.
    • Let the solution work on the carpet for at least 10 minutes.
    • Blot away the solution with a dry cloth until the stain disappears.
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  • 13 of 14

    Brighten and Freshen Carpets

    Glass spray bottle spraying solution over carpet until its damp

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

    • After cleaning your carpet with a steam cleaner, go over the carpet again with a solution of 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water in the cleaner.
    • The vinegar lifts any soapy residue left in the fibers so the carpet will stay clean longer.
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  • 14 of 14

    Wash Windows

    Closeup of hand spraying windows

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

    • Make a DIY window cleaner by filling a clean spray bottle with equal parts apple cider vinegar and distilled water.
    • Label the bottle and begin cleaning.
  • How does apple cider vinegar compare to white vinegar?

    When it comes to cleaning, the two kinds of vinegar are interchangeable. The difference in the level of acetic acid that cuts through grime is negligible. However, distilled white vinegar is less expensive than apple cider vinegar.

  • What do you mix with apple cider vinegar to make a cleaning solution?

    You can mix apple cider vinegar with dishwashing liquid or baking soda to boost the cleaning power. The one thing you should never mix with any type of vinegar is chlorine bleach. The combination forms toxic fumes.

  • How much water to apple cider vinegar should I use?

    Some cleaning tips work best with undiluted apple cider vinegar while other surfaces can be cleaned with diluted vinegar. For general cleaning, a 50/50 dilution works well on most surfaces.