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I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: my readers come up with some of the best ideas around! For example, I recently received an email from OGT reader DrewRose, telling me about their experiments with one of my homemade cleaners (my homemade Tub & Shower Cleaner, to be exact.) And I was so inspired by that email that it became the basis for today’s blog post!

This reader told me about some new and unexpected ways that they put my Tub & Shower Cleaner to good use in their backyard. It got my wheels turning about new ways to put this powerful cleaner to work all around the house! So I added a few ideas of my own to the list, and now I’m ready to share them with you!

Related: This Powerful Shower Cleaner Does All The Dirty Work For You


But before we get to those new and innovative uses. I thought it might be helpful to offer a quick refresher about what this cleaner is, how it works, and how to use it. So let’s get started, shall we? 🙂

Dish Soap and Vinegar Cleaner

How Do You Make It?

When it comes to homemade cleaners, it doesn’t get much simpler than this one! Here’s what goes into it:

  • 1 part Dawn dish soap
  • 1 part white vinegar

All you have to do is heat the vinegar up with your microwave. Then just pour the heated vinegar and the dish soap into a spray bottle, and give it a swirl to mix it up. That’s it!

Dish Soap and Vinegar Cleaner

How Does It Work?

The combination of dish soap and vinegar is highly effective for a few different reasons. First, both ingredients are excellent at dissolving tough grime. However, vinegar alone will simply run off of most surfaces, while dish soap is too thick to use as a spray. But when you mix them together, you get an effective, sprayable cleaner that sticks to any surface!

Just spray it on, let it sit for a while, scrub lightly, then rinse. That’s all there is to it, and you’ll be amazed at the results every time!

Dish Soap and Vinegar Cleaner

How Do You Use It?

I typically put this cleaner in a spray bottle as described above, but that’s not the only way you can use it. Some people prefer to keep some in a dish wand like this one so it’s always at the ready!

And one thing worth noting about this particular cleaner is that it’s both thick and sudsy. It’s best to use it on surfaces you can easily spray off, like the walls of your tub or shower. If you want to use it on other, less rinsable surfaces, I suggest adding more vinegar to your cleaner. A thinner formula (around 1 part Dawn to 6 parts vinegar) will be much easier to rinse clean, and will work best for the new uses I’ve listed below!

10 Surprising Things You Can Clean With My Dawn & Vinegar Cleaner

Dish Soap and Vinegar Cleaner

1. Patio Furniture

Spray the cleaner onto patio furniture like chairs, tables, the exterior of your grill, and even your patio or deck itself. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse everything well with your hose.

2. Planters

Get your planters cleaned up before spring planting comes around. Just spray the cleaner all over them, let is sit for a while, then rinse well with your hose. (It’s best to do this when the planters are empty, because if any of the cleaner were to splash onto your flowers or plants, the vinegar would likely kill them.)

Dish Soap and Vinegar Cleaner

3. Garage Door

Is your garage door looking a bit grungy? Spray it down with the Dawn and vinegar cleaner, then rinse well with your garden hose or a power washer.

4. Sinks

Use the cleaner to dissolve gunk, mineral deposits, and soap scum in the bottom of your sink. Just spray it on, let it sit, then use a wet sponge to wipe it clean. No scrubbing required!

Dish Soap and Vinegar Cleaner

5. Toilets

Have hard water stains or rusty deposits in your toilet bowl? This cleaner will make short work of them! Turn off the water to your toilet, flush the remaining water out, then spray the cleaner liberally inside the bowl. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, then scrub with your toilet brush. Turn the water back on and flush the toilet a few times to rinse.

6. Bathroom Mildew

No matter where mildew is lurking in your bathroom, you can use this cleaner to cut through it. Spray it onto your shower curtain liner, tile surfaces, or the bottom of your bathtub! Rinse well, and wave goodbye to unsightly mildew.

Dish Soap and Vinegar Cleaner

7. Fridge

Use the thinned out Dawn and vinegar cleaner to give the interior and exterior of your fridge a much needed facelift! It’s great at breaking up those though, sticky messes that collect on your fridges shelves and bins. (But I would not recommend using this cleaner on the exterior of a stainless steel fridge, as it could leave splotchy marks on the finish.)

Dish Soap and Vinegar Cleaner

8. Anything With Hard Water Stains

If you live in an area with hard water, then you’re already intimately familiar with hard water stains on your faucets and tubs. The vinegar in this cleaner makes it excellent for dissolving those mineral deposits. You can even use it to cut through hard water stains on your windows! Just let the cleaner sit on hard water stains for a while, then rinse clean.

9. Trash Cans

Spray this cleaner liberally into the bottom of your kitchen or outdoor garbage can. Let it sit, then rinse well with your hose. It’s the easiest way to take care of grimy residue and unpleasant odors!

Dish Soap and Vinegar Cleaner

10. …And Other Grimy Things!

Thanks to Drew and his cleaning experiments, I’m sure we are only just beginning to discover the true cleaning potential of the Dawn and vinegar mixture! Give it a try on any grease or grime, and be sure to let me know if you find out any other great uses for this cleaner!

(Oh, and if you’re ever in doubt about what surfaces you should use this cleaner on, do a spot test first. Apply a bit of the cleaner to an inconspicuous area, wait a minute or two, then rinse it off. Check for discoloration, and if you don’t see any, you should be good to go!)

Have you tried cleaning anything with Dawn and vinegar yet?

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