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House Cleaning: Using Vinegar and Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

Patricia is someone whose life is centered around family. Each day is one more opportunity to show my loved ones how much they mean to me.

A New Hint

Have you ever had fruit flies buzzing in your kitchen and you had NO fruit around and the trash bin was empty?

Here is a trick I learned recently and do not recall exactly where.

Pour about one cup of baking soda in your drain.

Then add one cup vinegar. It will bubble up.

Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.

Flush drain with very hot water.

If that does not work, try again.

Still buggies? Use a tool to clean your drain and then try again. There are a variety of them available even at the dollar stores.

My experience

You may wonder what makes me think I can promote vinegar and water for cleaning. I suppose it is because I clean two very large is fourteen rooms...and that one is cleaned each takes about six hours.

The other one is smaller in room size but the square footage is almost the same as the 14 room one is.

The cleaner I use on the floors (wood in one house, tile in the other) is vinegar and water. I use only a small amount of vinegar in the a gallon about two tablespoons. Yes that is enough. It gets the job done. And if you use more vinegar it will leave the house smelling sour.

Most cleaning supplies are kept in one spot.


A New Tip ---Just Learned

If your toilet seems sluggish or has a mild clog, pour about one fourth cup of Dawn into the bowl and let set for about an hour. Less time may work but I am uncertain about that.Then flush.

It removes the clog.

It may work on a more serious clog---have not tried that yet.

I read this somewhere...senior moments are causing me to not remember where but it is a goodie.

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Cleaning your house can be fun Okay then, maybe not fun. Surely not funny.Maybe not even amusing. But it does not have to be as much work as it has been in the past.

There is one secret that is above all others: Keep on top of it. If you do a little cleaning every day then it will not own you on your day off. If you are a stay at home Mom, you never get a day off. So doing a little each day is a way for you to juggle all you do as Mom that is not about house keeping.

Clean stainless stove tops with our superb trio

While working at the home of the gentle man that I am a housekeeper for, I found that some splashed food had been cooked onto his Wolf stove. The surface is stainless steel so using abrasive substances is not considered.

Since I know that white vinegar, Dawn, and even baking soda have worked on most things in the past, I gave it a try.

  • Spoon several tablespoons of vinegar onto the troublesome area.
  • Sprinkle with baking soda.
  • Drizzle 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Dawn over the vinegar and soda.
  • Scrub the area a bit to start the cleaning magic.
  • Let sit for about 30 minutes.
  • Scrub again with a soft rag or a dish sponge that is non-abrasive.
  • Thoroughly rinse and dry the area.
  • You can do larger areas at a time. That is, of course, up to you.
  • Thank you to the trio that never seems to fail me.

One more tip about Dawn.....are the ways to use it endless?

Use on ant mounts...pour full strength Dawn on ant mounds. It kills the ants, dead!!

Now if the ants where you live are like the ones where I live, the ones that do not die, pack up in a hurry, and move to a new location. And, that is my hint to go out with my Dawn.

(Yes, there are other ways to deal with ants....another hub of mine mentions them but this does work.)

Pesky insects on your plants

I also use a dawn and vinegar solution to keep the pesky insects in check who dine on my plants outside. I keep it in a squirt bottle and use as needed.

Plan and organize

  • Make a list of all of the housekeeping chores.
  • Decide which chores can be delegated, outsourced, to members of the family. If you have not done this in the past, be prepared for wailing and gnashing of teeth. After that calms down, remind everyone that they live there too so everyone helps keep it clean, orderly, and a place where someone can drop in unexpectedly and it will be fine.
  • Assign the ones you can, be sure they are age appropriate. The rest will fall to you and your spouse or partner.
  • Organize cleaning products and tools so they are all in the same spot each time someone needs to use them. Most cleaning supplies at my house are kept in the hanging shoe bag that is pictured. It hangs over the door and the pockets are perfect for storing almost any size can or bottle.

More Great Uses for Vinegar...Try Some of These

Cleaning the shower

Dawn and vinegar mixture works wonders in the shower.

Dawn and vinegar mixture works wonders in the shower.

Bathroom(s)--daily attention

  • Clean the sink each day with a cleanser that will sanitize it.
  • Shower/Tub--Rinse out and spray with a mixture of Dawn dish washing liquid and white vinegar if necessary. You may not need to use this each day unless you have a large family and only one shower. It cuts down in the long run if you can do it once a day.
  • ---Show everyone where the laundry hamper is or where the laundry is so that wet or dirty towels and clothing can be taken there. YOU do not need to do it all.
  • Mop the floor once a week and shake rugs. Wash them about every two weeks unless they are showing they are obviously in need of a bath sooner.
  • Toilet---check the toilet bowl and seat daily. It may need attention.

Attach paper towel to mop



  • Sink---wash out using a white vinegar and water mixture. Include fixtures as well.
  • Counters--quick wipe using vinegar/water solution.
  • Wipe down the stove top and vent.
  • Microwave? Check it...a quick wipe might be in order. Remember you are delegating.
  • Wipe the refrigerator door and shelves inside if needed.
    --if spills have occurred on the shelves or inside door storage, wipe down to avoid a stuck on glop that may take a chisel to remove later.
  • Check the floor. if it needs a quick mop, go ahead. Late in the evening, after everyone is in bed or has at least retired for the evening is a great time to do it.
  • Trash? Does it need to go out? Again, delegate.

You Need to Know...

  • Purchase a bottle of Dawn dish foam.
  • Pour about 3/4 of the liquid into another plastic container.
  • Next, fill Dawn foam bottle with water; gently turn a few times.

Ready to use.

It works equally as well as 'full strength" and saves you many dimes

There may be a time when you wish to use full strength when you have particularly oily dishes and silverware.

You Can Dilute Dawn


Dishes and Pots & Pans

If you still hand wash your dishes or for dishes that have stubborn food stuck to them, put the dish or pot or pan in your sink, add a bit of water and a couple of teaspoons of Dawn. Let sit while you complete chores.

This simple step will make removing baked on/cooked on foods from your cooking utensils a breeze. When you go back the pan will, in most cases, easily come clean. If not, repeat the step.


Mopping the floors will depend on the type of floor you have. Wood floors will require different cleaning products than a tile or vinyl flooring.

  • Choose your cleaner. I use a vinegar and water solution on the vinyl and tile but follow the suggestions given for your type of flooring at the time of purchase. For trouble spots, I spray the area and let it sit while I go on and mop some other area. When I return usually the soiled area is easily cleaned.
  • A tip about Swiffer cleaners---I have a Swiffer that is just the basic mop. It comes with a few pads to clean the floor with and then you need to purchase more which is expensive. I discovered one time when i was out of the pads that a paper towel fits perfectly. Press it into the holes on the back of the Swiffer and you are good to go. I like it as i can get under areas with it that my other mops sometimes would not reach. My preferred towel for this a Viva as they are cloth-like.
  • I mop my kitchen several times a week. That's just me. The towels are barely soiled when i finish because the floors are mopped so often. You do what works for you and your family.
  • The rest of the house gets mopped as needed.

A Little History Lesson About Dawn and Cleaning OIl From Birds.

Maybe you would like to consider this

Insisting that three items in the first list be tended to daily should be the priority. After those things are done daily: Close the door if you do not wish to see the state of the room. If nothing is crawling out from under the door, it is probably okay in there. For weekly cleaning, you can plead, ask, beg, or cajole the occupants of the room to straighten it up. You may have already devised a more workable way to get children to keep their rooms the way you want them. The key there is---it is their room (I know it's your house and all) so they should be allowed to keep it how they want it within reason. Set the parameters and you all will have less headaches over it. Choose which battles are important enough to wage.


The bedroom is an entity unto itself. Bedrooms take on a life of their own especially for kids of all ages. You will decide what clean means to you:

Does it mean-#1

  • No trash on the floor
  • Trash can in the room is not overflowing
  • No dishes or cups anywhere in the room

Or, does it mean--#2

  • everything listed above plus--
  • bed made
  • everything in its place

Once you have decided, then you can include that in a weekly plan.


Many homes have wall-to-wall carpet. In that case little or no mopping occurs except maybe the kitchen or bathrooms. The vacuum becomes the best friend.

  • Vacuum as often as you feel a need. This one is up to you. Again, as an age appropriate chore, this can be delegated.
  • Keep your vacuum in tip top shape by changing bags or emptying canisters often.
  • Wind cords up appropriately so that when you are ready to vacuum the next time the cord is ready and does not need to be untangled.

Living room/ family room/dining room

Cleaning these rooms usually can be kept to a minimum with a little attention.

  • Run a vacuum in there once or twice a week.
  • Have everyone pick up and clean up after eating or snacking in either of those rooms.
  • Dusting once a week or every two weeks will keep dusting to a minimum.
    --Run a duster along the baseboards and over tables and curios every few weeks, more often if you have time without feeling stressed. This could be a task that is delegated so that it can be done more often than if you were doing it.

Full view of the shoe bag storage container for cans and bottles



Side Notes

House cleaning can be the albatross around you neck. It can be something you despise doing. It does not have to be iF you, plan, organize, delegate and get 'r done.


  • Maybe twice a year, I do remove all of my curios and individually dust them.( I do a walk around and see if they are really in need of individual cleaning) If not, I lightly dust them weekly.
  • Mirrors too get attention. I do not really have them on a schedule. If they are looking less than sparkly, it's time.
  • The oven does get cleaned when it is needed. I do not use it as much as I do my toaster oven which I clean often like I do my microwave.
  • If you have a high energy washer, running a cycle of baking soda helps keep odor at bay. Another trick is to leave the door and the tray where bleach/soap are added open so they can dry between washings.
  • There are many products that are known as green products available however you can make your own green products at home at much less expense. I try to use vinegar and water as much as possible for as many chores as possible. It leaves the house feeling fresh and clean. Baking soda is also another great product to have available to help out with daily cleaning.

Suggestions are kind of like opinions ...we all have them. Do what works for you.


If you have fruit flies visiting, try this. Place 1/2 cup vinegar in a bowl and add a drizzle of Dawn. Soon, unwelcome fruit flies will meet their demise.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Patricia Scott


Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on April 06, 2015:

O I had to chuckle at your comment. I DO know how to clean, been doing it since my earliest years. Loved following behind my Momma learning what to do .

Thank you for stopping by

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on April 06, 2015:

Patrica, this is a useful hub. I have been surprised to learn of some females who didn't know the first thing about cleaning because they never had to do it. Very through information. - Kudos!

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on March 28, 2015:

Who knows Poetryman that vinegar may been even more potent than freshly purchased vinegar.

Good luck

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

poetryman6969 on March 27, 2015:

We discovered a jug of vinegar that we might have bought a year or more ago out in the garage. Hopefully It's still strong enough to kill some weeks I don't want to use stronger poison on.

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on February 13, 2015:

Yes the coffee pots loves to be cleaned with vinegar too. I use it for so many things now. It just works so nicely that I find I buy it by the gallon.

Thanks for visiting, Jackie. Hoping all is good with you and yours .

Angels are on the way this morning ps

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 13, 2015:

I have never cleaned with white vinegar except the coffee pot like running a pot through to revive an old pot but I do know dawn is great for clothing stains and last summer I found out you can use it on pets to kill fleas so I used it to bathe my two kittens and oh it made them smell so good as a bonus! I just couldn't stop sniffing them...and they loved it!

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on February 12, 2015:

O Sunshyne I am glad you found something uplifting here. When I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, which can happen, I find if I do a bit of vigorous housecleaning it lifts my spirits.

Angels are on the way...hoping you are feeling perkier soon. ps

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on February 12, 2015:

thank you for stopping by Thelma..and hoping your hUmp Day was a goodie too.

I have some things in my home all of the time...two of them are mentioned on this page. :D

Angels are on the way to you this morning. ps

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on February 12, 2015:

thank you for stopping by Thelma..and hoping your hUmp Day was a goodie too.

I have some things in my home all of the time...two of them are mentioned on this page. :D

Angels are on the way to you this morning. ps

SUNSHYNE from California, US on February 11, 2015:

I love this hub! It has given me lots of inspiration this morning, thank you! I am overwhelmed right now. I have been sick in bed for the last week and feel absolutely claustrophobic looking around. My granddaughter just moved to Hawaii one week ago today, so my spirits haven't been so uplifting. I decided to get on hubpages and see if I can bring them up, and they are a bit lifted. Thank you. I have some inspiration today to get up and do something with myself, and try some of your great cleaning tips.

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on February 11, 2015:

Laughing out loud, Peggy. My Milo gives each guest particularly those who wear black lots of little orange hairs to carry home.

I totally get it....pets mean more work but I would not trade Milo for all of the clean houses around as I am sure is the case with you.

Thanks for the votes and shares...Peggy

Know that blessings and hugs and Angels are on the way to you today ps

Thelma Alberts from Germany on February 11, 2015:

This is the most useful hub for me. Well done! Thanks for sharing the tips and how to delegate the household works. Happy hump day!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 10, 2015:

Staying on top of things really helps. Our house would really be clean if it was not for our two indoor cats and Skippy, our dog. Oh well...they are definitely worth the extra amount of cleaning! Not to say our visitors will not leave with a few extra hairs on their trousers no matter how hard we try. :) Your cleaning tips are good ones! Up votes and sharing.

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on June 30, 2014:

Thanks for stopping by.

I use it to against some pests in the garden....

This combination is pretty much a 'never run out of uses' product.

Hope to see you again soon. Angels are on the way to you ps on June 26, 2014:

really like the tips

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on May 09, 2013:

Hi mj

I probably am as obsessed with cleaning now as I was when my baby was a baby. My baby grandson lies down on the floor a lot when he is playing so I mop at least 3 times a week.

Thanks for stopping by.

Angels are on the way :) ps

mjkearn on May 09, 2013:


Great advice in this article and staying on top of things is always the way. Sometimes I manage it and other times it is a whole make over. Love the tips with the washing liquid and vinegar. I must try those.

Thanks for writing and sharing. Voted up.


Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on January 19, 2013:

Hi eigramman..I love your sense of humor...not to worry...even if you have not finished least year's spring thing is for will always be there waiting...

I hope you had a lovely stroll this afternoon.

Thanks for the wishes....:)

Sending Angels right back to you ps

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on January 19, 2013:

Hi eigramman..I love your sense of humor...not to worry...even if you have not finished least year's spring thing is for will always be there waiting...

I hope you had a lovely stroll this afternoon.

Thanks for the wishes....:)

Sending Angels right back to you ps

epigramman on January 19, 2013:

A very pleasant afternoon to you Patricia - this hub presentation will be respectfully bookmarked by me and used as a reference guide - as I already got a start on my spring cleaning - no, not 2013. I still haven't finished 2012 yet - lol - oh the merry life of a lazy bachelor - lol - having a nice cuppa tea here and thinking about my walk now around the bay of the lake at lake erie time ontario canada 3:59pm and sending you warm wishes and good energy too on a fairly mild day if it wasn't for that cold wind chill off the lake

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on October 18, 2012:

Hi, MH,

Well, that is very interesting.

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on October 17, 2012:

Hi, MH,

A real house boy?? I have never known one before now. That is very interesting and sounds like a limerick should be written about that. You are always welcome to stop by and visit, my Friend. ps

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on October 17, 2012:

Thank you for the tips. House cleaning fell on my shoulder, because I was so good at it. Really. I used to be a "house boy".

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on October 17, 2012:

Good evening, Faith,

Just got done with my housework for the evening. Now it is time to chill for a bit.

I hope all is good with you and yours, my Friend in Christ. ps

Faith Reaper from southern USA on October 17, 2012:

What a great hub full of awesome suggestions to get that housework done. We know that it is something that must be done, so why not look at it from a different perspective as you have here dear one.

Voted up, awesome and useful.

God bless you my dear Sister in Christ PS. In His Love, Faith Reaper

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on October 17, 2012:

hi, are so right. It is amazing how quickly our children an learn and is so nice to have the help from those extra hands. I hope all is well out in your neck of the woods this evening, my dear Friend. ps

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 17, 2012:

Funny and useful all in the same hub! I call that a winner, PS! When I was a single parent I learned early on the joys of delegating. My son wasn't too excited about it, but oh well! I simply could not work full time and do all the housework, so he became my assistant. It's amazing how quickly he learned to pick up after himself and become a bit cleaner in his living habits. :)

Great suggestions here my friend! I endorse this hub!!!!!

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