6 Reasons Cleaning With Vinegar is Good For Your Dog and Your Home

A very dirty dog.
Proper bathing and cleaning ears and teeth will help decrease the smell of your pup. Photography by Willeecole/Thinkstock.

The struggle to keep a living space clean when you have a dog who loves to get dirty is real! So, what’s a dog mom to do? Cleaning with vinegar is the answer! This magic liquid is well-known for its ability to clean and disinfect. Plus, vinegar is a dog-safe household cleaner (unlike these household cleaners, which are toxic to dogs).

Here are some of the benefits of cleaning with vinegar:

1. Cleaning with vinegar is eco-friendly

A woman on a couch with her dog. Photography by ballero/Thinkstock.
Vinegar is a dog-safe and eco-friendly way to clean your home. Photography by ballero/Thinkstock.

You can safely use vinegar on its own or add it to your current products and cleaning routine to give them a boost. All vinegars are biodegradable, safe, and chemical free.

2. Vinegar helps clean your dog’s ears

Vinegar clears wax, helps eliminate bacteria, and restores normal pH balance necessary to keep away fungal infections. Acid leads the charge with a follow-up punch by the antiseptic properties.

3. Vinegar cleans pet urine from carpet

Due to its acidic nature, vinegar can neutralize the ammonia from dog urine, helping to eliminate the smell. You may need to repeat cleaning or add additional treatments like baking soda or even a commercial urine cleaner.

4. Cleaning with vinegar neutralizes odors

Spray it in the air, around areas your pup sleeps or hangs out in, or simmer it in a pot on the stove. Or, add it to your laundry detergent or carpet cleaning solution. When the vinegar smell dissolves, so will the stink!

5. Vinegar cleans mineral buildup

Sometimes the water bowl has that white buildup of lime and other minerals. The acid in vinegar helps break down that tough-to-remove substance. You can even add vinegar to your current dish detergent, and let the dishwasher do all the work.

6. Vinegar cleans glass

The acidic nature of vinegar helps break down grease and dirt to clean glass doors and car windows. Pair with a squeegee, and you’re almost guaranteed a streak-free finish.

Helpful vinegar recipes for dog owners:

  1. Ease itchy skin: The antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties of apple cider vinegar — or ACV — works especially well on itchy spots caused by fleas and ticks. It is also a natural repellent for those nasty little creatures.
  2. Make an all-purpose cleaner: Mix water and vinegar in a spray bottle. For the toughest jobs, use a one-to-one ratio. The easier the job, the less vinegar needed in the solution.
  3. Make a steam clean solution: Substitute vinegar for your store-bought carpet cleaning solution. Add vinegar or a vinegar/water mix to the tank in replace of your machine’s recommended amount of water.
  4. Remove dog smell from blankets: Throw smelly blankets into a warm-water wash using your detergent like normal. Add 1 ⁄2 cup of washing soda (not baking soda). Add 1 ⁄4 cup of hydrogen peroxide. Fill the softener dispenser with 1 ⁄2 cup of vinegar.
  5. Clean pet urine from carpet: Pour vinegar directly onto the stain until it is soaked. Add a small amount of baking soda. Allow to dry for a day or two. Sweep up and vacuum.
  6. Clean your dog’s ears: Mix equal parts vinegar (white or apple cider). Use a dropper to place in your dog’s ears. Rub ears and allow him to shake his head. Wipe excess solution using a cotton ball.

A note on apple cider vinegar for dogs:

Apple cider vinegar is made from apples, while white vinegar starts as grain or ethyl alcohol. The acidity in both makes them mostly interchangeable for cleaning. ACV’s color can cause staining on some surfaces, so test it first. ACV contains antioxidants, so it’s a better choice for a healthy solution.

Thumbnail: Photography by Willeecole/Thinkstock.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!

April is Spring Cleaning month here at Dogster! Stay tuned for a few articles every week on all things spring cleaning and dog — whether that’s dog-safe ways to clean your home, spring-cleaning your dog’s grooming routine with advice on brushing and bathing — and much more.

Read more about cleaning with dogs on Dogster.com:

8 thoughts on “6 Reasons Cleaning With Vinegar is Good For Your Dog and Your Home”

  1. Thank you so much for all this very valuable information. I have a Boston and a frenchton will allergies and recently got a little boxer that potentially has them too. I wash their bedding with baking soda and vinegar but you have more detail for that as well. They see a dermatologist and he has never mentioned cleaning products in the home. I came here trying to find out if I should rinse my carpet with vinegar and water after steaming it and learned so much more. Thank you.

  2. Pingback: How to Remove Dog Urine Odor from Tile Floors – June – 2019

  3. That is awesome that vinegar can neutralize dog urine and eliminate the smell. That is definitely something that I would want to have from someone who does pet odor removal. Since I don’t have time to remove the odor myself then I think I will call someone who uses vinegar or another substance.

  4. Removing dust, dirt, allergens, and infection-causing agents like viruses is a key component of a healthy indoor environment and doing it in an Eco-friendly way is best of all the techniques. Making your own chemical-free cleaning product has many benefits as one can change the ingredients according to their needs. Keep sharing!

  5. Fantastic post! First time there was the exact answer I was looking for and I did not have to go through hours of a story to get to the source. Thank you so much I will put all this to use.

  6. Kimyatta Dorsey

    Thank you! Very helpful; I hate spiders (even though I know they’re good for killing other pests) just don’t want them in the house.

  7. Great post. I keep my home with apple cider vinegar w/the mother and white vinegar @ all times as I cook with it and take periodically for health maintenance. Another problem it’s good for, especially the apple cider vinegar w/the mother, is any vermin problems such as roaches, spiders etc. It will rid your home quickly. I never had any inside my home, but because there is an incinerator on every floor when I go out to empty garbage I’ll see 1 ever so often. But once is too much for me. We grew up in a home that never had roaches, mice, rats etc. We learned from our parents how to seal up, caulk & make homemade organic solutions.
    Just mix 2-parts vinegar with 1-part cool water & pour into spray bottle. Use any where you’ve noticed the vermin. Use 2x’s a day for 1 week. Store bottle in cool dark place when done. And if you don’t have that problem use once every month which is what I do to keep my home vermin free (I use it full strength). I love it because it’s safe around all pets & kids. I especially spray the solution all around my front door entryway & more on the threshold. THIS REALLY WORKS!

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