Vinegar Cleaning Solution Ratio (With Recipes)

In today’s fast-paced, eco-conscious world, more and more people are turning towards natural and cost-effective cleaning solutions that offer powerful results without the need for harsh chemicals. 

One such versatile and time-tested option is vinegar, which has been used for centuries as a household cleaner. 

In this article, we’ll explore the various ratios for vinegar cleaning solutions to help you determine the perfect blend for your specific cleaning needs.

Vinegar: A Versatile Cleaning Agent

Vinegar is a familiar household ingredient found in almost every kitchen. Its versatility, including its use as a cleaning agent, makes it an indispensable part of many homes.

The cleaning properties of vinegar stem from its acetic acid content produced during the fermentation of sugars in the fruits and foods used in vinegar production. 

Scientific research has demonstrated that acetic acid effectively combats specific bacteria types and fungal growth, making vinegar a reliable antimicrobial and antifungal solution.

Furthermore, vinegar excels at removing grease, stains and mineral deposits caused by hard water. It can also brighten laundry and refresh surfaces. Its eco-friendliness, affordability, and safety for humans and pets contribute to its popularity as a go-to cleaning solution.

Vinegar comes in various forms, but only a few are recommended for cleaning purposes. 

White vinegar and apple cider vinegar are the two most commonly used types for cleaning. 

Among these, white vinegar is the preferred option due to its purity, mild odor, and higher acetic acid content compared to other vinegars.

For cleaning purposes, “cleaning vinegar” is the ideal type of white vinegar. It contains 1% more acetic acid than regular white vinegar, which, although a small increment, provides nearly 20% more cleaning power. 

This makes cleaning vinegar an excellent choice for various household chores including dishwashing.

Vinegar Cleaning Solution Ratio

We can describe “vinegar cleaning solution ratio” as constituting two types: the 

  1. Diluted Vinegar Cleaning Solution
  2. Pure Vinegar Cleaning Solution

Diluted Vinegar Cleaning Solution

Diluted vinegar is a mixture of vinegar and water, typically in a ratio of 1:1, meaning one part vinegar to one part water, although dilutions can also occur in ratios such as 1:2 or 1:3 and with other ingredients such as dish soap and essential oils, although most of the time these are added to enhance vinegar’s cleaning properties.

This dilution is commonly used for most household cleaning tasks such as laundry and floor cleaning because it is gentle enough to not cause any damage but still effective in removing dirt, grime and mineral deposits.

Diluting vinegar with water or other solvents not only makes it less acidic, which means more friendly to work with, but also helps in covering a larger surface area, making it a cost-effective cleaning solution for large jobs. 

The diluted vinegar solution can be used on various surfaces such as countertops, glass, tile and stainless steel without causing any harm.

Pure Vinegar Cleaning Solution

Pure vinegar, also known as undiluted or full-strength vinegar, is more potent and acidic than the diluted solution. 

It is used for more challenging cleaning tasks like cleaning mold or to combat stubborn stains and build-ups. It should be used only sparingly and with caution as it can damage or discolor some surfaces including wood, natural stone or certain types of plastic.

Always test it on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to a larger surface.

Vinegar Cleaner Recipe

Here’s a table showing the vinegar cleaning solution recipes for various cleaning actions at home.

Cleaning ActionVinegar Ratio (Cups)Water Ratio (Cups)Additional IngredientsNotes/Precautions
Laminate flooring or surfaces¼ 8You can also use ½ cup isopropyl alcohol
Wood1 cupOlive Oil – 1 partUse on both sealed and unsealed wood. Do not use on hardwood floors
Tile116Use warm water
Concrete111 teaspoon baking soda
Stainless steel1You can also use Undiluted Vinegar onlySpray on surface
GraniteDo not use vinegar on graniteUse a pH-neutral cleaner
Coffee maker1 part1 partRun a water cycle after cleaning
Refrigerator1 part1 partWipe with a clean cloth
MoldFull strengthRinse with water after cleaning
Windows1 part3 partsUse a microfiber cloth
Pet urine1 part2 partsBaking sodaBlot excess urine before cleaning
Walls1 part2 partsTest on a small area
Disinfecting1 part1 partFew drops of tea tree oilNot a complete replacement for disinfectants
Descaling1 part1 partRinse with water after cleaning
Bathroom1 part1 partFew drops of tea tree oil

Note that vinegar is not suitable for all surfaces such as granite or marble. It’s important to test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire surface.

Vinegar Cleaning Solution With Dawn

Vinegar is popularly mixed with Dawn dish soap in the ratio 2 to 1 (though this can be adjusted based on personal preference and the cleaning task at hand) to form an effective homemade cleaning solution. 

The solution is effective because it combines vinegar’s natural cleaning and deodorizing properties with Dawn’s grease-cutting ability which creates a powerful cleaner that can tackle a variety of household issues.

Some of the uses of this cleaner include:

  • For cleaning countertops, stovetops, sinks and appliances.
  • For cleaning bathroom sink, bathtub, shower and tiles.
  • For removing hard water stains
  • For Cleaning glass and mirrors
  • For cleaning tiles or Linoleum, but not hardwood floors.

Vinegar and dawn cleaning solution can also be added with supplementary ingredients to boost the cleaning action. Such supplementary ingredients include:

  • Water to spread the solution more evenly and make it less abrasive on surfaces.
  • Few drops of essential oils such as lavender, lemon or tea tree oil to provide a pleasant scent and additional cleaning or antibacterial properties.
  • Baking soda to create a mild abrasive paste suitable for scrubbing surfaces or removing stubborn stains.

Vinegar And Baking Soda Cleaning Solution Ratio

Another popular cleaning solution is one which combines baking soda’s abrasive properties with vinegar cleaning power in the ratio 1:2 respectively, although the ratios can be adjusted based on cleaning action.

Such combination is useful because:

  • Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer with acidic properties that help break down dirt and grime. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can gently scrub surfaces without causing damage. When combined, they create a powerful cleaning agent that removes stubborn stains and residues.
  • When vinegar and baking soda are mixed, they create a fizzy reaction, producing carbon dioxide. This reaction helps lift and loosen dirt and grime, making it easier to clean surfaces.

Some the uses for the vinegar-baking soda cleaning solution includes:

  • Bathroom cleaning: Removal of soap scum and hard water stains and mildew.
  • Kitchen surfaces: Removal of grease, grime, gunk and burnt-on food.
  • Drain cleaning: The fizzing action of the vinegar-baking soda mixture can help unclog and freshen drains.
  • Stain removal: The solution can be used as a spot treatment for removing stubborn stains from fabrics and carpets.

Like the vinegar-dawn cleaning solution, the vinegar-baking soda solution can be added with supplementary ingredients such as water, dish soap and essential oils to boost cleaning action. 

When using a vinegar-baking soda cleaning solution, it’s essential to remember that the mixture should be applied carefully due to the fizzing reaction. It’s often best to sprinkle baking soda on the surface first and then spray or pour vinegar on top to create the reaction, or to make the mixture in an open container. 

Vinegar Cleaning Solution With Essential Oils

Vinegar can also be combined with essential oils (usually 10 -20 drops per cup of vinegar-water solution) for pleasant scents and additional benefits of essential oils.

The popular essential oils used for vinegar cleaning solutions include:

  • Lemon: Provides a fresh, citrus scent and has natural antibacterial properties.
  • Lavender: Offers a calming, floral aroma and has mild antiseptic properties.
  • Tea tree: Has a strong, medicinal scent and is known for its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
  • Eucalyptus: Imparts a clean, invigorating scent and has antibacterial and antiviral properties.
  • Orange: Delivers a sweet, uplifting citrus scent and has natural degreasing properties.

To create a vinegar cleaning solution with essential oils, mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle (1:1 ratio). Then, add 10-20 drops of your chosen essential oil per cup of the solution. Shake well before each use to ensure that the essential oils are well-distributed throughout the solution