Vinegar works as an all-purpose cleaner, stain remover, deodorizer, disinfectant and appliance cleaner. Vinegar is safe for most surfaces, but it should be avoided on stone such as marble and granite. It may also cause damage to the finish on some wood products.
For general household cleaning, users mix one part of white vinegar with one part of water. A few drops of an essential oil adds a pleasant scent to the homemade cleaner and may offer additional cleaning powers. Storing the cleaner in a clean spray bottle makes it as easy to use as store-purchased cleaners.
Users spray the mixture onto safe surfaces and wipe it away with a clean cloth. The cleaner works on appliances, windows, furniture and countertops, unless they are made of stone. Testing a small area on wood or other surfaces ensures the vinegar won't cause damage to the surface.
Certain appliances benefit from vinegar cleaning. Running white vinegar through an automatic coffee maker cleans out the system. Heating water and vinegar in the microwave creates steam to loosen food, making it easier to wipe clean. Running an empty dishwasher with 1/2 cup of vinegar helps disinfect the machine. Frozen ice cubes made from water and vinegar disinfect the garbage disposal, when it is run through with the disposal turned on.