Can You Really Clean with Just Vinegar and Baking Soda? Mythbusting Common Cleaning Hacks

In today’s world, where eco-friendly living is a top priority, many of us are looking for natural alternatives to harsh chemical cleaners. We’ve recently noticed a growing interest in DIY cleaning solutions, with vinegar and baking soda taking centre stage. These household staples are readily available, inexpensive, and often touted as a cure-all for cleaning woes. But is this a cleaning myth, or can these ingredients truly conquer every mess? Let’s dive in and explore the truth behind this popular cleaning hack.

One company that understands the importance of a clean and healthy home is Optima Cleaners. Their mission to “serve our clients with excellence and deliver brilliant work” aligns perfectly with the value of creating a comfortable living environment. Optima Cleaners achieves this excellence by understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach to cleaning doesn’t exist. Different surfaces and messes require specific solutions, and their team of experts is trained to assess each situation and provide the most effective cleaning methods.

This focus on finding the right solution is key when it comes to cleaning. While vinegar and baking soda are certainly popular choices, it’s important to understand their limitations and how they fit into a broader natural cleaning arsenal.

The Power of Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda are both common household items with a surprising range of cleaning abilities. Vinegar, a mild acid, is a natural disinfectant. It cuts through grease and grime, leaving surfaces sparkling clean. Its acidic properties also make it a great deodoriser, tackling unpleasant odours in kitchens and bathrooms.

Baking soda, on the other hand, is a natural deodoriser with mild abrasive properties. It absorbs spills and helps lift light stains from carpets and upholstery. It’s also non-toxic and gentle on most surfaces, making it a safe choice for households with children and pets.

Can You Really Clean with Just Vinegar and Baking Soda 2

Myth-busting: Vinegar and Baking Soda for Everything?

While vinegar and baking soda are certainly cleaning powerhouses, it’s important to understand their limitations.

One key point to remember is that when these two ingredients are mixed, the chemical reaction that occurs neutralises some of their cleaning power. This means that for tougher cleaning jobs, you might not get the desired results.

Additionally, vinegar’s acidic nature can damage certain surfaces. While it’s fantastic for disinfecting countertops and stainless steel appliances, it’s not suitable for granite, marble, or other natural stone surfaces.

Finally, vinegar and baking soda simply aren’t effective against all types of stains or grime. For tougher messes like rust, grease buildup, or stubborn mould, a more targeted cleaning solution might be necessary.

When Vinegar and Baking Soda Shine

While they may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, vinegar and baking soda remain powerhouses in the natural cleaning world. Here’s a closer look at some tasks where they truly shine:

Disinfecting Countertops, Ovens, BBQs and Cutting Boards

Vinegar’s natural acidity makes it a disinfectant champion. Simply dilute white vinegar with water in a spray bottle and use it to wipe down kitchen and bathroom countertops, as well as cutting boards, to combat germs and bacteria.

Deodorising the Fridge

Vinegar’s odour-neutralising magic is perfect for tackling fridge smells. Place a bowl of white vinegar in your fridge overnight to absorb unwanted aromas, leaving you with a fresh-smelling haven for your food.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Say goodbye to streaks! A solution of vinegar and water is your secret weapon for cleaning and polishing stainless steel appliances. Simply spray the solution on a microfiber cloth and wipe down surfaces for a sparkling finish.

Removing Light Stains on Carpets and Upholstery

Baking soda’s absorbent properties make it a natural stain fighter. For light carpet or upholstery stains, sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for 30 minutes. The baking soda will absorb the stain and odours. Then, simply vacuum it up for a refreshed look.

Freshening Drains

Deodorise and unclog slow-moving drains with the dynamic duo! Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of hot vinegar. The mixture will fizz and help break down light clogs while leaving your drains smelling fresh.

Remember, for tougher messes or situations requiring a deeper clean, consider the additional natural cleaning options mentioned earlier. With vinegar and baking soda as your foundation, and a little creativity, you can conquer a vast array of cleaning challenges using safe and effective natural solutions.

Can You Really Clean with Just Vinegar and Baking Soda 3

Alternatives for Different Cleaning Needs

Vinegar and baking soda are the dynamic duo of the natural cleaning world! They can conquer a surprising number of messes, but even these superstars have their limits. For a truly versatile green cleaning routine, consider expanding your arsenal with these additional natural powerhouses:

Castile Soap:

This plant-based soap is a true all-rounder. Diluted with water, it creates a gentle yet effective cleaning solution for a variety of surfaces. From washing dishes and wiping down walls to mopping floors, castile soap offers a safe and effective alternative to harsh chemical cleaners.

Lemon Juice:

This citrus wonder isn’t just for lemonade! Its natural acidity makes it a fantastic choice for tackling tough jobs like rust stains. The bleaching properties of lemon juice can also help brighten white surfaces, leaving them sparkling clean. However, be mindful of its acidic nature and avoid using it on delicate surfaces like marble or granite.


A naturally occurring mineral, borax is a powerful cleaning agent that shouldn’t be underestimated. It excels at tackling tough stains, making it a great choice for cleaning bathtubs, sinks, and even laundry. Borax can also be used to deodorise carpets and upholstery by absorbing odours and leaving a fresh scent. However, it’s important to note that borax can be irritating to skin, so always wear gloves when using it and keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Essential Oils:

While not technically a cleaning agent on their own, essential oils can add a powerful boost to your natural cleaning solutions. Tea tree oil, for example, has natural antibacterial properties, while lavender oil offers a calming scent and can help deodorise. Remember to dilute essential oils with water or a carrier oil like jojoba oil before using them, as they can be concentrated and irritate skin.

By expanding your natural cleaning arsenal with these options, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle a wider range of cleaning challenges without resorting to harsh chemicals.

Can You Really Clean with Just Vinegar and Baking Soda 4


Vinegar and baking soda are the undisputed champions of the natural cleaning world. They offer a safe, affordable, and eco-friendly approach to tackling everyday messes. By understanding their strengths, as highlighted throughout this guide, you can leverage their power to disinfect surfaces, deodorize spaces, and remove light stains. However, their magic has its limits. For tougher jobs or situations requiring a deeper clean, consider expanding your natural cleaning arsenal with options like castile soap, lemon juice, borax (with caution), and essential oils.

Remember, a truly brilliant clean sometimes involves using the right tool for the job. While natural solutions are fantastic for many tasks, there may be times when professional cleaning services are the best option. Companies like Optima Cleaners understand the complexities of maintaining a sparkling home and they also use eco friendly solutions for cleaning ovens and kitchen appliances. They can provide expert advice on tackling stubborn grime, deep clean your oven for optimal performance, or handle larger cleaning projects, freeing up your time and energy.

The key takeaway? Embrace the power of natural cleaning for everyday tasks, but don’t hesitate to seek professional cleaning help when needed. With this combined approach, you can create a clean and healthy home environment without sacrificing your precious time or compromising your commitment to eco-friendly practices.