Vinegar is a safe, environmentally friendly, and practical household cleaner. However, the smell can be overwhelming, especially after intense cleanup work.
Knowing how to get rid of vinegar smell helps you enjoy a comfortable home after the great cleaning.
Simple Ways to Mask Vinegar Smell
There are several ways you can mask vinegar smell without losing its amazing cleaning ability. Here are methods to try right now:
1. Dilute It
The easiest way to try is to dilute the vinegar before using it. Using an equal part of distilled water for an equal part of vinegar is the simplest calculation to make. Plus, diluting vinegar like this is useful for cleaning tasks that require spraying the solution from a spray bottle.
2. Open the Air Circulation
Remove vinegar smell by ensuring good air circulation during and after the cleaning process. Open all the windows and doors when you are cleaning something with vinegar, especially if you use a large amount. While it does not fully mask the smell, it will not linger too long in the room.
3. Apply Baking Soda after Vinegar
The reaction between baking soda and vinegar will reduce the smell through chemical reactions. The results are H2O, CO2, and salt, which means there is no acetic acid contributing to the sharp aroma. You will see bubbling actions as a result of this reaction.
This method is great when using vinegar to clean shower tiles, toilets, furniture, carpets, and outfits or fabric.
4. Put Lemon in the Vinegar Solution
The fresh, vibrant aroma of lemon is a simple way to mask the smell of vinegar. When you make a diluted vinegar solution, drop a half slice of a lemon into it. However, make sure to use this solution once and remove the lemon afterward.
Going Further: Making Herb Scented Vinegar
If you have extra time and are willing to find all the ingredients, you can make a scented vinegar solution with herbs. This way, you can remove the vinegar smell in the house and create a pleasant aroma. You can choose between various natural spices, herbs, and fruit parts to create a vinegar solution with a specific aroma.
Popular natural ingredients for this solution include orange or lime peels, lavender, mint, rosemary, roses, and even cinnamon sticks. Ensure the herbs or natural ingredients do not have dark colors, to avoid staining the surfaces you clean.
Here are the steps to make scented vinegar:
- Boil two glass bottles or jars to sterilize them. Make sure they have secure lids.
- Clean the bottles or jars properly and let them cool.
- Place your favorite herbs or fruit peels in one of the glass containers. The more you add, the stronger the scent will be.
- Fill the container with vinegar. Close it tightly and let the herbs steep for ten days.
- After ten days, strain the vinegar and discard the herbs. Move the newly made scented vinegar to the second container.
- Store the scented vinegar in a dark and cool place.
Check the vinegar before you use it for cleaning. If you see signs of mold or the liquid becomes cloudy, do not use it.
Making Scented Vinegar with Essential Oils
What if you do not have time to make scented vinegar with herbs? Essential oil is your friend!
Essential oil is a great option to make scented vinegar for immediate cleaning. A few drops are enough to mask the strong vinegar smell without ruining the cleaned surface. It would be best to use sterile bottles or jar that you boil like in the previous recipe. However, once you clean and cool the container, you can pour the vinegar into it and add several oil drops.
You can choose any oil you love to mask the strong smell. Distinctive fragrances like rose, lemon, jasmine, lavender, and peppermint are perfect for cleaning vinegar. They make your house smells pleasant and make you relaxed. Do not forget to label the bottle and write the date of making on it. When the vinegar turns cloudy or emits a strange smell, discard it.
Avoid Using Vinegar Here!
You now know how to get rid of the vinegar smell, but there are places in the house where vinegar is unnecessary for cleaning. Vinegar not only emits a strong aroma but also ruins certain material surfaces. Here are places where vinegar is a big no:
1. Natural Stone
If you have natural stone surfaces like quartz, marble, or granite, avoid using vinegar. The acid will etch the surface, wear it away with time.
2. Waxed Furniture
You can clean the surface of furniture except for the waxed one. Over time, the acid in vinegar can remove the wax, leaving the furniture surface unprotected.
3. Pet Feces/Urine
Many people use a vinegar solution to clean pet feces and urine, but it only removes the smell human can perceive. Pets can still smell it and will return to “mark” that spot. It would be best if you used a special cleaner like an enzymatic cleaner made for this purpose.
4. Unsealed Grout
Unsealed grout will wear away with time if you use a vinegar solution to clean it. The same thing applies to deteriorating grout. However, you can try using a vinegar solution for occasional emergency cleaning, providing that the grout seal is still in good condition.
5. Anything Requiring Bleach
Never clean anything with vinegar solution if it also involves bleach. Mixing vinegar with bleach will create chemical reactions that result in chlorine vapor, which is dangerous, especially in enclosed spaces.
6. Electronic Device
Electronic device screen gets smudged a lot, but vinegar is not a suitable ingredient to clean it. The acid will damage the screen coating and ruin the device itself. Use a special device cleaning solution and microfiber fabric for this purpose.
7. Wooden Floor
While vinegar solution can be used for wooden floors, you should not use it too often as the acid can damage the surface. Just use water or a special wood cleaning solution for this.
The vinegar smell is not a side effect you want after doing some household cleaning, but there are practical ways to remove it. Knowing how to get rid of the vinegar smell will give you practical cleaning benefits without leaving a sharp, unpleasant aroma in your house.
I’m a passionate home and garden enthusiast and the founder of Materialsix Home. With over 10 years of experience in the field, I’ve cultivated a deep love for all things related to home improvement, gardening, and interior design. Read more…