Vinegar is an excellent multipurpose cleaner and a staple in every household. It’s useful for getting rid of almost any type of stain and works on most surfaces. However, despite its cleaning prowess, this natural cleaner emits a strong odor that can make you quite unenthusiastic about using it.

To get rid of the vinegar smell, you can mask it by adding some items to your homemade cleaning solution. These include lemon peels, herbs, spices, baking powder, or essential oils. You can also adjust the amount of vinegar in your cleaning solution and freshen up your home by letting some air in.

The vinegar smell dissipates with time, but you might not want to have to wait around for this to happen. Fortunately, there are several ways to mask the smell that don’t affect its cleaning power. Keep it here to find out more.

1. Add Lemon Peel

To combat the sharp, unpleasant smell of vinegar, use lemon peel. Like vinegar, lemon is a natural cleaner, too. Citrus peels contain D-Limonene, an excellent degreaser that can help make cleaning easier. While the lemon peel won’t get rid of the smell entirely, it will mask it considerably.

To prepare the vinegar solution, you will need:

  • A mason jar
  • Enough lemon peels to fill the jar
  • Plain white vinegar
  • Strainer

Below, you will find the steps on how to make this solution.

  1. Add the peels in the mason jar until it’s 3/4 full.
  2. Pour in the vinegar over the peels until the jar is almost full.
  3. Allow the mixture to rest for 4-5 days. Shake occasionally.
  4. Strain out the peels and store your scented vinegar. Use for everyday cleaning.

Here are some tips on how to make this solution more effective:

  • Leave the lemon peel in the vinegar for an extended period to tame the vinegar smell even more.
  • If you don’t like the scent of lemons, you can use orange, grapefruit, or lime peel.

2. Consider Adding Some Essential Oils

What’s your favorite essential oil? Lavender, rosemary, or peppermint? Whichever one you choose to go for will work to disguise the harsh vinegar smell in an instant. Besides, adding an essential oil infuses the vinegar with a more appealing scent. You can go with one essential oil or use a combination of them.

However, if you are not sure what scent to go for, try lavender for your laundry as it possesses germ-fighting properties owing to its antiseptic properties. Citrus and peppermint are great for general house cleaning.

To prepare the scented vinegar, you will need:

  • Pure essential oil
  • White vinegar
  • An original vinegar bottle or spray bottle

Next, follow this procedure:

  1. Add about 20 drops of your preferred essential oil to a gallon (3.78 liters) of vinegar.
  2. Shake the bottle well to distribute the essential oil scent throughout the vinegar.
  3. Label the spray bottle with the scent you have used and note the preparation date.

Watch the video below for a more detailed illustration:

This preparation is ready for use after you are done making it. Furthermore, since you will only be using a few drops of essential oil, you won’t have any issues with extracted pigments changing the vinegar color.

3. Use Fresh Herbs and Spices

Your pantry and kitchen garden provide you with the unique opportunity to use a wide range of scents to cover up the smell of vinegar.

Here, the options are limitless since herbs and spices have intense but favorable aromas. As such, you can use herbs, like basil, mint, and rosemary, and spices, like cinnamon sticks, anise, and cloves. You can even use flowers like roses, lilies, and gardenias!

Try and avoid using dark-colored herbs. This is because they alter the vinegar’s color and might stain the surfaces you plan on cleaning. The vinegar extracts and retains the scent of your choice of herbs or spices.

Bear in mind that this process will take a bit of time. There’s also the likelihood that you might introduce mold spores or bacteria from the herbs or flowers. However, using undiluted vinegar will prevent these unwelcome visitors from growing.

To prepare the vinegar solution, you will need:

  • 2 sterilized glass bottles
  • Your choice of herbs or spices

Next, follow these steps:

  1. Boil the bottles for a couple of minutes to sterilize them. Leave them to cool.
  2. In one bottle, place your herbs, spices, or flowers. Note that you will get a more potent scent if you use large quantities.
  3. Top up the bottle with vinegar, cap the bottle, and let it steep for about 10 days.
  4. Strain out all the herbs, flowers, or spices, pour the contents into the second bottle, cover, and keep it in a cool, dark place.
  5. Discard the vinegar if you notice a cloudy haze or mold.

4. Add Baking Soda

Have you ever used baking soda to absorb food odors in your fridge? It’s the same principle here. Baking soda will temper the strong scent of vinegar and result in a more abrasive cleaning solution.

To a cup of vinegar, add half a cup of baking soda to form a creamy surface cleaner. To boost the cleaning power, you can add a tablespoon of ordinary dish soap. Play around with various ratios to come up with a cleanser that works for you.

If you had already cleaned a room using vinegar and the smell still lingers, leave an open box of baking soda in the room for some time.

Additional Ways of Getting Rid of the Vinegar Smell

Additional ways of getting rid of the vinegar smell in your home include the following:

  • After cleaning with vinegar, air your home by leaving doors and windows open.
  • Switch on the air conditioner or dehumidifier.
  • Use less vinegar in your home-made cleaning solution. You can also dilute the vinegar with water.
  • Switch to apple cider vinegar instead—it cleans as well as white distilled vinegar but sports a sweeter scent. Since it’s darker in color, it’s best to dilute it in water before use.
  • For a quick trick to remove vinegar smells from your kitchen, boil some lemons for some time. You can also use scented candles for the rest of the house.

How to Use Vinegar Safely

Below are handy tips on how to use vinegar safely in your home.

  • If vinegar gets into your eyes, flush liberally with water for a few minutes to stop the irritation.
  • Avoid mixing vinegar with chlorine as it forms toxic chlorine gas.
  • Don’t use vinegar to clean solid wood furniture since it can damage the finish.
  • Avoid using vinegar to clean surfaces made of marble, soapstone, or granite because it can cause natural stone to lose its shine.
  • Store cleaning vinegar together with your cleaning supplies and not in the kitchen to avoid confusing it with cooking vinegar.

If you want to know whether it is okay to use vinegar on PVC pipes, then check out this article.

Wrapping Up

Vinegar makes an excellent cleaning substitute to most of the regular cleaning solutions available in the market. It cut’s through stains, grease, and bad smells.

Better yet, it’s affordable, versatile, natural, eco-friendly, and extremely effective. Though it leaves behind an unpleasant odor, you can neutralize the vinegar smell by adding herbs, essential oils, or citrus peels to make it more favorable.

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