12 Ways to Use Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean Every Room in Your Home

Recipes and step-by-step instructions.

Using baking soda Sodium bicarbonate and white vinegar for home cleaning. White vinegar in spray bottle and baking soda in glass jar.
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If you want to cut down on the number of chemical-filled cleaners in your house but you still want to keep everything clean, the combination of vinegar and baking soda is a great eco-friendly alternative for removing stains and smells.

The chemical reaction between alkaline baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and acidic vinegar creates carbon dioxide bubbles that help lift away stubborn dirt.

Explore 12 easy recipes using vinegar and baking soda to clean all sorts of messes around your house.

Tips for Using Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean

  • Mix a fresh batch each time you need it and use it right away.
  • The best type of vinegar to use is distilled white vinegar. 
  • There are no dangerous fumes released from mixing baking soda and vinegar, but you may want to stand back as the reaction does release carbon dioxide.
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Drain Cleaner

Baking soda poured to unclog drainage system at home

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This mixture can be used to refresh a stinky drain and clear minor blockages. The action of the carbon dioxide gas bubbles released as the baking soda and vinegar react can help dislodge any food or waste that’s creating blockages and smells within your drains.


  1. Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda down the plughole.
  2. Pour in 1 cup of vinegar. Allow the mixture to bubble.
  3. Once the bubbles stop, turn on your hot tap to maximum and run for five minutes.
  4. Flush with plenty of cold water.
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Oven Cleaner

Woman holding ecological household cleaning ingredients, white vinegar, lemon, baking soda

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This is a great way to get your oven clean without having to use harsh cleaners. The bubbling action can help loosen stubborn stains and the gentle abrasiveness of the baking soda can help get your oven clean without leaving scratches.

For this simple recipe, you'll also use the cleaning power of lemons.


  1. Mix half a cup of lemon juice with 1 cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle. 
  2. Spray this mixture over the interior surfaces of your oven and leave it to sit for 10 minutes. 
  3. Sprinkle baking soda over the liquid and again, leave for 10 minutes. 
  4. Wipe off with a damp cloth.
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Remove Limescale on Faucets

Limescale on bathroom faucet tap

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If you live in an area with hard water, then you probably spend a lot of time trying to remove stains caused by the limescale in the water from your stainless steel hardware like faucets and showerheads. This method helps lift stubborn stains because the acidic vinegar helps to break down mineral deposits. 


  1. Soak a dishcloth or towel in vinegar and wrap around the area you’re trying to clean. Leave this in place for two hours.
  2. Just before you remove the cloth, make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water.
  3. Once you remove the cloth, spread the paste over the area and scrub with a small brush.
  4. Use another clean, damp cloth to remove any traces of the paste.
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Carpet Stain Remover

Hand scrubbing pink carpet with a cloth

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Some carpet cleaners are packed full of chemicals that may degrade or strip the color from your carpets. Try this more gentle stain remover first.

As with any carpet cleaner, do a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to your entire carpet.


  1. Put 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a small bowl and add enough vinegar to make a thick paste. 
  2. While the mixture is still bubbling, apply to the stain and rub the paste into the carpet fibers. 
  3. Leave overnight.
  4. Vacuum to remove the dried paste.
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Mildew Remover

Powder used for laundry

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If you’ve had any fabrics in storage then they may end up smelling a little funky, and mildew is often the cause. You can use baking soda and vinegar in your washing machine to help get rid of that mildew smell.

The baking soda helps neutralize odors and soften the water, helping your detergent work more effectively. Add vinegar towards the end of the wash cycle as an alternative to fabric softener.


  1. Load your machine as normal.
  2. Add half a cup of baking soda to your regular detergent powder or liquid.
  3. When your load reaches the rinse cycle, add 1 cup of vinegar.
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Showerhead Cleaner

Shower head cleaning process from limescale

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If you live in an area with hard water, your showerhead may quickly get stained and clogged with mineral deposits. Vinegar can help soften these deposits before the fizzing action of mixing it with baking soda lifts them away. 


  1. Remove the showerhead and place it in a watertight bag.
  2. Pour in enough vinegar so that the showerhead is covered. Leave overnight.
  3. Remove the showerhead and sprinkle with baking soda.
  4. After the bubbles have stopped, scrub the showerhead with a small brush.
  5. Rinse well with fresh water.

You can also try this other recipe to clean a showerhead using baking soda.

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Toilet Cleaner

Homemade green cleaning, Eco-friendly natural cleaners with baking soda

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While a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can’t kill all the germs in your toilet, it can help loosen stains from hard water and help neutralize odors.


  1. Spray vinegar all over the inside of the toilet bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the same area with a liberal amount of baking soda.
  3. Spray with more vinegar if you don’t see many bubbles forming.
  4. Leave for five minutes.
  5. Scrub the area with a toilet brush.
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Pet Odor Neutralizer

An 8 week old puppy, golden labrador husky mix, sleeps on a cushion

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As much as we love our pets, their beds can start to smell a little funky over time. You can use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to neutralize those pet odors, a technique especially useful for pet beds that can’t be put through the wash. 


  1. Pour vinegar into a spray bottle and squirt over your pet’s bed until it’s damp.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the area you sprayed with vinegar.
  3. Leave until the vinegar has dried.
  4. Vacuum the area thoroughly.
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Grout Cleaner

Cleaning bathroom sink counter with brush and rubber gloves

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Tile grout is notoriously difficult to clean, but baking soda and vinegar can help make this job a little easier.

The abrasive action of baking soda can help lift away stubborn stains, and the bubbles from the combination with vinegar mean you need less elbow grease. 


  1. Make a thick paste with baking soda and water.
  2. Apply this to the grout and rub in with a small brush
  3. Pour vinegar into a spray bottle and squirt it over the paste mixture you’ve already applied.
  4. Leave for 10 minutes or until the mixture has stopped bubbling.
  5. Rub in with a small brush before wiping away the paste with a damp cloth .
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Pan Cleaner

Cropped image of girl washing saucepan at kitchen sink

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The bubbling effect of mixing baking soda and vinegar can also help loosen baked-on dirt, while the abrasive action of baking soda can help you lift this dirt away easily.

Avoid using baking soda on aluminum pans, as it may scratch the surface and the aluminum may then oxidize and start to turn brown.


  1. Sprinkle baking soda over any stains on your pans. 
  2. Pour vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz over the baking soda.
  3. Leave until the mixture has stopped bubbling.
  4. Use a dish sponge to help lift away stubborn stains.
  5. Wash pans in hot water and dish soap.
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Bathroom Cleaning Spray

Surface sprayed with cleaning product

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This gentle cleaning spray is great at removing soap scum, mildew, and hard water stains. It’s perfect for use in the bathroom but works just as well in other areas of the house as well.


  • 1 ⅓ cup of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of liquid dish soap
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar


  1. Mix with a spoon and make sure all the baking soda is dissolved.
  2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and apply to any areas you want to clean.
  3. Leave for 10 minutes before wiping the mixture away with a soft cloth or sponge. 
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Remove Coffee and Tea Stains From Cups and Mugs

Coffee cup with remains of coffee, spoon and smartphone on wood

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Over time, your favorite cups and mugs can become stained from the high levels of tannin found in both tea and coffee. Baking soda and vinegar can help loosen these stains and leave your china looking sparkly again.

Take care to only apply this mixture to the interior of mugs and avoid any delicate patterns or glazes.


  1. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar and apply to any stains.
  2. Leave the mixture until it’s stopped bubbling, and then wipe away with a damp cloth.
  3. Stubborn stains may need a few repeat treatments.

It’s best to avoid this method on plastic travel mugs as the abrasive baking soda may cause tiny scratches that can harbor bacteria.

What Not to Clean With Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar might seem like the answer to all your cleaning woes, but they shouldn’t be used on certain items. This is mainly down to the abrasive action of baking soda, which can scratch some surfaces. We recommended avoiding using this blend on the following items:

  • Glass
  • Aluminum
  • Marble or quartz
  • Ceramic stovetops
  • Wood furniture or floors
  • Silverware 
  • Gold-plated items