How to Use Vinegar as a Bleach Alternative

Chlorine bleach effectively cleans a variety of common surfaces, but is a harsh chemical; although household bleach whitens and disinfects well, you may prefer to avoid using it. It's possible to clean and disinfect with vinegar, instead, both in the laundry and around the home. White vinegar cleans effectively without harsh chemicals that can harm your health or the environment.

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White vinegar is useful both for cooking and cleaning.

Laundry

Step 1

Sort laundry into darks and whites.

Step 2

Place a load of sorted laundry into the washing machine. Add ¼ cup white vinegar to a small load or ½ cup white vinegar to a large load. Add the laundry detergent to the washing machine, also.

Step 3

Set the washing machine to the water temperature and wash cycle you desire and start the machine. Allow the washing machine to progress through the cycle.

Step 4

Remove the laundry items from the washing machine after the cycle finishes. Place the items into the dryer or air-dry them on a clothesline.

Household Surfaces

Step 1

Fill the spray bottle with full-strength white vinegar. Screw the cap on tightly.

Step 2

Spray surfaces with white vinegar to remove stains and soiling, including mold and mildew. Surfaces that clean well with vinegar include walls, floors, countertops, doors, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, sinks and tub surrounds. Saturate the surfaces well with the vinegar.

Step 3

Allow the white vinegar to sit on the surface until it dries.

Step 4

Spray additional white vinegar onto the scrub brush and scrub the surface to remove soil and stains.

Step 5

Rinse the surface with warm water and dry it with a towel.