Add This Household Ingredient To Upgrade Your Vinegar Cleaning Spray

A cozy home should be filled with surfaces that are clean enough to eat off of. However, many conventional cleaning products don't exactly leave things like counters and tables worthy of touching our edibles. Plus, the high price tag and wasteful packaging of many essentials don't exactly mesh with responsible consumerism.

Planet-friendly homeowners and professionals have made white vinegar a cleaning staple for some time. There also are many unexpected things you can wash with dish soap. By pairing these two miracle ingredients, you have a simple powerhouse cleaner. The formula is easy and the applications are endless. As an added bonus, scented dish soap can mask vinegar's pungent smell a bit.

This DIY solution miraculously kills germs like salmonella and E. coli, cuts grease, and cleans most household items — from toilets to upholstery — without damaging them. Some of its top uses are cleaning windows and mirrors and cutting through grime on floors.

Mix-up the perfect batch

Take an empty spray bottle that can hold at least 1 quart of liquid and fill it half-full with water. For a mix that will tackle everyday clean up, fill the remainder of the bottle with two parts white vinegar and one part dish soap. For heavier jobs, use one part white vinegar and one part dish soap.

Up your eco-quotient by reusing an old trigger spray bottle. You can clean them safely for reuse with only hot water. SC Johnson recommends first rinsing the pump mechanism of old cleaning products. Then, place the tube of the pump in hot water, and spray the liquid through until it comes out clear. For extra confidence that the bottle is ready for reuse, add a bit of dish soap to your bottle prep.

You can substitute dish soap for liquid castile soap if you don't have any Dawn on hand. If you want to go for extra eco-friendliness, eschew the liquid dish soap and try a water-free dish soap powder like this one from Blueland. However, since this is a powder instead of a liquid, you may want to use half the amount as you would liquid soap, and replace the remaining half with water. 

What does adding dish soap do?

Professional cleaners love this soap-vinegar-water mix for its potent ability to clean and deodorize safely. Those in the know also suggest white solution over other kinds for most uses because it's as clear as water and the acid content is especially effective for cleaning. As for dish soap, they recommend using a product with a strong grease-fighting formula. Also, if your product is scented, the perfumes can mask vinegar's sharp fragrance.

Different soaps can serve different purposes. Professionals tout the benefits of Dawn dish soap for its grease cutting qualities. Palmolive is a go-to for stain and build-up removal. For a bit of a changeup, swap it white vinegar for apple cider vinegar to do light cleaning and fight odors. However, there are some limitations to its magical cleaning properties. Keep your surfaces and appliances safe by reading about the biggest mistakes you can make when cleaning with vinegar.