An Uncomplicated Life Blog: How To Scent Vinegar For Less Stinky Cleaners


Monday, June 22, 2020

How To Scent Vinegar For Less Stinky Cleaners

Cleaning with vinegar is an effective way to naturally clean, but many people object to it's strong smell. Here's how to scent it for a more pleasant cleaning experience while still enjoying it's natural cleaning benefits!

My mom has been cleaning with vinegar for ages. Whenever she comes over to my house, I know I'll need to be well stocked in a bulk container of plain white vinegar, and she'll go to town cleaning my dishwasher, my water dispenser that's built into my fridge, my washing machine, my shower heads... I mean you name it and she's on it! I used to roll my eyes at her with her love for vinegar, but after she got my dishwasher - which had been rather "gunky" and not doing a great job cleaning my dishes despite being a "high end" dishwasher - clean AND cleaning well by running vinegar through it, I silenced my dissent and got on board. My one hang up with it... The smell. There's no denying that the smell isn't great. But I have a solve for that problem, and it's scenting your white vinegar so that it stinks less as you clean more. Here's how to do it.

First, let's take a quick minute to talk about why vinegar is such a great cleaner and grime buster. Vinegar is naturally very acidic. So acidic in fact, that it can dissolve away soap scum, built up food residue, and even sticker glue if you let it sit long enough. The part I like the best about it is that even with all that cleaning power, it's not a risk for children or pets. If they touch it, you don't have to worry. They might not smell great and they might not like the taste if they get it in their mouths, but it's not an inherent health hazard when exposed to it in low levels.

How to scent vinegar for less stinky cleaners - what you'll need:
- Citrus fruit rinds or hearty herbs (like rosemary/sage/lavender or any other wood-stalk based herb that's hearty enough to hold up to soaking in vinegar for several days to weeks)
- glass jar(s) like this one
- white vinegar
- funnel
- fine strainer

How to do it:
- Peel the fruit away from your fruit rinds so that it's just the oil-rich rind left. The fruit heavy part wont hold up in the vinegar and not only start to "pickle", it will make your cleaner foggy.
- For wood-stalk herbs, cut them down into pieces that will fit into your glass jar.
- Fill your glass jar about 3/4 full with white vinegar; add your desired scenting agent. You'll want to add enough of your scenting agent to make the jar completely full. It should look like the photos included in this post.
- Set aside in a cool, dark spot and let sit for one to two weeks.
- Strain out the scenting agent with a fine strainer into a large bowl. Discard the scenting agent and use a funnel to place the scented vinegar back into your glass jar for storage. Use labels on the glass jar to ensure you keep straight what's in it and what it's scented with.

How to use scented vinegar to clean:

Use straight up to clean super greasy or gooey spaces. Pour directly on surfaces like ovens, dishwashers, and/or sticker residue (or any adhesive residue you want removed) and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a brush or the rough side of a sponge to scrub the non-scratching surfaces; use the sponge side to clean surfaces prone to scratching. For a dishwasher that isn't getting your dishes clean, pour a cup or two into the bottom of the dishwasher and run a cycle. You may need to repeat this two or three times to really get it clean. You can also use the scented vinegar on the periphery of your dishwasher, like the rubber seal, to get built up grime off.

Scented vinegar is great for regular cleaning too. Want to make your own cleaner that's nontoxic and cost effective? Here's a great one:

Need an easy DIY cleaner with vinegar? Check out this powerhouse glass, window and outdoor patio furniture cleaner.

Vinegar is a powerhouse cleaner because of it's acidity. Bonus, it's also nontoxic (in small quantities, I wouldn't go drinking a bottle of it!) to your family and pets. But, it is stinky. Odd that an amazing cleaning agent has such a strong and undesirable odor when it's doing such a great job cleaning your home, right?! Make it smell more pleasant with your own natural scents. Your home and your nose will thank you.


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