As a busy mom, I’m always trying to find new ways to make cleaning less of a hassle and free up valuable time. Over the years, I’ve purchased every imaginable household product for clean every room in the house. And while they all promised to banish grime, grease, or any other stubborn stains in less time, I’ve never found one with impressive results. Plus, my cupboard full of now redundant products has become an unnecessary expense on grocery bills.
It is no wonder that many people are beginning to make your own cleaning products at home. In fact, when it comes to reliable cleaning tips, baking soda and distilled white vinegar are the perfect combo to tackle our chores. Praised for effectively removing dirt, stains and even bad odors, you’d be surprised at the many things you didn’t know you could clean with baking soda.
This is because baking soda has a mild alkaline pH that works quickly to easily break down dirt and grease when mixed with water. Even better, when combined with the acidity of distilled white vinegar or lemon, the chemical reaction works wonders on the toughest cleaning jobs. Plus, they’re all-natural, non-toxic, and odorless, making them ideal for households with children and pets. If you want to know more, find out what makes baking soda and white vinegar so effective at cleaning.
So with that in mind, I decided to ditch my store bought products and just use baking soda and vinegar to clean for a week. Find out what happened when I put these two humble ingredients to work around the house.
As my stove is used daily, it is always prone to grease stains, splatters and food debris. First, I removed the grates before liberally sprinkling baking soda on top. (Here’s our guide on how to clean cast iron skillet grates) Next, I sprayed a small amount of white vinegar on the baking soda. I let it sit for about 15 minutes, to allow the baking soda to bubble up and start removing dirt and stains from the stove. Then I simply had a damp kitchen towel to “rinse” the baking soda residue until clean.
I was impressed that the grease and dirt was easy to wipe away without any friction or effort. After a few wipes to remove all traces of residue, my stove was clean and even had a shine.
Unclog the sink drain
There’s nothing worse than having a clogged kitchen sink. And despite spending a small fortune on specific drain cleaners, nothing seemed to work. So, armed with my baking soda, I sprinkled about half a cup of baking soda down the drain before pouring about a cup of vinegar. I let the mixture sit for about five minutes, until the chemical reaction stopped bubbling. Then I carefully poured hot water down the drain, before rinsing off any residue with cold water.
Not only did this fix my blocked sink, but it also made my stainless steel easy to clean. Since baking soda is a natural deodorizer, I no longer had that foul smell from the drain. Win-win!
Find out what happened when I tried this TikTok hack to deodorize a drain.
Toilet cleaner and sanitizer
One thing I don’t like about using bleach to clean toilets is its strong smell. Also, I hate the idea of harsh chemicals around the house. To replace the bleach, I first sprayed white vinegar inside the toilet bowl, before sprinkling an equal amount of baking soda. I let the mixture sit for about five minutes before cleaning it up with a toilet brush. In addition to removing dirt and stains, it will also eliminate unpleasant odors. After a week I noticed that the toilet bowl looked whiter than normal and even had a shiny shine. Also, spraying white vinegar all over the toilet brush made it odorless (if you don’t mind the slight vinegar smell!).
If you want more tips for a spotless toilet, check out how to clean a toilet and make it look like new and even how to unclog a clogged toilet.
If you live in a hard water area, it can often be difficult to easily remove limescale from bathrooms. But I had found a simple trick you can use for limescale buildup on your faucets or shower head. Simply soak a dishcloth or towel in white vinegar, wrap it around the faucets or the area you are trying to clean, and leave it on your faucet for about two hours.
Once you’ve removed the cloth, apply a paste of 50/50 baking soda and water to the area, and scrub with an old toothbrush to remove the limescale. Then rinse with a clean, damp cloth to remove any traces of paste. I have found this to be more effective than any descaler I have purchased, and less elbow grease too. Impressive!
Top tips for cleaning with baking soda and vinegar
— It is advisable to make a fresh paste of baking soda and vinegar as needed and not to reuse it.
— The best type of vinegar to use is distilled white vinegar. Avoid using malt vinegar as it may stain surfaces. If in doubt, check out our guide to best vinegar for cleaning.
— If you don’t want your house to stink of vinegar, add about 10 drops of tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils. This will give your homemade cleaner a fresh scent and banish vinegar smells. However, these are other means of how to clean with odorless vinegar, keep things fragrant.
While you can switch to natural cleaners, keep in mind these are the 7 things you should never clean with baking soda. And if you want laundry day advice, here are 7 reasons why you should use vinegar in your washing machine.