Can you mix vinegar and baking soda in a spray bottle?

Mixing vinegar and baking soda is a fun science experiment that often results in an erupting fizzy reaction. This is because the acetic acid in vinegar reacts with the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to produce carbon dioxide gas. The gas pressure buildup causes the fizzing and bubbling effect. But is it safe or effective to mix vinegar and baking soda in a spray bottle? Let’s take a closer look.

What Happens When You Mix Vinegar and Baking Soda?

Vinegar and baking soda react due to an acid-base reaction. Vinegar is a mild acid made up of about 4-8% acetic acid and water. Baking soda is a base made of sodium bicarbonate. When they mix, the following reaction occurs:

Acetic acid (vinegar) + sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) -> sodium acetate + water + carbon dioxide

The acetic acid reacts with the sodium bicarbonate, breaking it down into sodium acetate, water, and carbon dioxide gas. This gas release is what causes the fizzing and bubbling when you combine baking soda and vinegar.

For the maximum reaction, you want to add the baking soda to the vinegar slowly. Adding the vinegar to the baking soda doesn’t result in as strong of a reaction. The best vinegar and baking soda ratios are around 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 2 cups of vinegar. With higher concentrations of vinegar and baking soda, the reaction happens faster and is more vigorous.

Is It Safe to Mix Vinegar and Baking Soda in a Spray Bottle?

While mixing vinegar and baking soda is fun for science experiments, it’s generally not recommended to combine them in a spray bottle. Here are some of the potential issues with putting vinegar and baking soda in a spray bottle:

  • Pressure buildup – The carbon dioxide produced can cause too much pressure in a closed spray bottle, resulting in leakage or even explosion.
  • Clogging – The fizzing reaction can clog the spray nozzle with baking soda residue.
  • Messiness – Gaseous eruptions and foaming are hard to control in a spray bottle, creating a mess.
  • Waste – Much of the reaction will happen in the bottle before you spray, wasting ingredients.
  • Variable results – The concentration and potency will be hard to control in a spray bottle.

For these reasons, mixing vinegar and baking soda directly in a spray bottle is not generally recommended. However, there are some safer ways to create a foaming vinegar-baking soda cleaner, which we’ll explore next.

How to Make a Vinegar and Baking Soda Foaming Cleaner

While putting vinegar and baking soda directly into a spray bottle is not advised, you can make a DIY foaming cleaner by mixing the ingredients properly. Here are some methods to make an effective vinegar and baking soda cleaner spray:

Two-Bottle Method

Use two separate spray bottles – one with vinegar and one with baking soda mixed with a little water. When you’re ready to clean, spray the vinegar first, then layer the baking soda mixture on top. The reaction will happen on the surface you’re cleaning.

Baking Soda Paste

Make a paste with baking soda and just a small amount of water. Add the paste to the spray bottle first, then fill the rest with undiluted vinegar. Shake gently before use to mix a bit, but avoid excessive mixing that can cause clogging issues.

Vinegar Soaking

Add baking soda to a damp sponge or cloth. Spray vinegar from the bottle onto the surface. Use the baking soda-coated sponge to gently scrub and allow the reaction to occur directly on the surface.

Activated Mixing

Put baking soda in the spray bottle first. Add vinegar just before use and shake gently to mix and activate the ingredients. The reaction will begin occurring upon mixing, so spray immediately onto the desired surface.

Using one of these methods can create an effective vinegar and baking soda cleaner with less risk of clogging, mess, or explosion. The reaction takes place on the surface rather than in the bottle.

How Does Vinegar and Baking Soda Clean?

Using vinegar and baking soda together creates a lightly abrasive, fizzy, degreasing cleaner. Here are some of the cleaning benefits:

  • Abrasive Action – The bubbling effect helps lift and remove grime.
  • Degreasing – Vinegar cuts through grease and grime.
  • Disinfecting – Vinegar has antimicrobial properties to kill bacteria and viruses.
  • Deodorizing – Baking soda helps freshen and deodorize surfaces.
  • Shine – The ingredients polish away dirt to leave a shine.
  • Affordable – Vinegar and baking soda are very economical cleaners.
  • Non-toxic – The ingredients are generally considered non-toxic and safe.

The combination of vinegar for cleansing power and baking soda for scrubbing action works together to break down dirt, oils, and grime from surfaces. It can be used to clean things like countertops, floors, bathrooms, kitchen appliances, windows, walls, and more.

Tips for Best Results

Here are some tips for getting the best cleaning results from your homemade vinegar and baking soda spray cleaner:

  • Use white distilled vinegar for the most cleaning power.
  • Make sure baking soda is fresh and has not absorbed odors or moisture.
  • Mix baking soda with a small amount of water to form a paste for extra scrubbing power.
  • Let the fizzing reaction do the work – don’t scrub too hard.
  • Rinse the surface after cleaning to remove any vinegar or baking soda residue.
  • Use caution on delicate surfaces like natural stone that may react with the acidity.

What Can You Clean With Vinegar and Baking Soda?

Vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean many different areas in your home. Here are some popular uses:


  • Counters and sinks
  • Appliances like the refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher
  • Tiles and flooring
  • Microwave
  • Coffee maker
  • Pots and pans


  • Toilet
  • Shower and bathtub
  • Sink and faucets
  • Mirrors and windows
  • Tiles

Other Areas

  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Garbage cans
  • Pet areas
  • Laundry machines
  • Glass surfaces

Vinegar and baking soda work well as a universal cleaner for most household surfaces, including sealed stone, tile, wood, laminate, linoleum, appliances, plastics, and more.

Some surfaces to avoid include:

  • Marble or unsealed stone – vinegar can etch it
  • Waxed or oil-treated wood – vinegar may break down the finish
  • Aluminum – baking soda can cause oxidation

Always spot test in an inconspicuous area first when cleaning a new surface with this DIY cleaner.

Vinegar and Baking Soda Spray Recipes

There are many vinegar and baking soda spray cleaner recipes you can make. The ingredients can be adjusted to suit different cleaning needs.

Basic Vinegar Spray

A basic all-purpose cleaner can be made just using vinegar. Mix in a spray bottle:

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 1 part warm water

Optionally, add 15-20 drops of essential oils like lemon, peppermint, or tea tree for scent and extra cleaning powers.

Heavy Duty Foaming Cleaner

For tough grease and grime, make a thick foaming solution:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon dish soap
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups vinegar

Mix the baking soda, dish soap, and water into a paste first. Add the paste to the spray bottle, then fill with vinegar. Shake before use to activate the foaming action.

Sparkling Shower Cleaner

To make a shower spray, mix:

  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap
  • 10 drops essential oil (eucalyptus, lemon, etc.)

The soap helps the solution cling to surfaces longer while the vinegar and baking soda work to remove grime, buildup, and mildew.

streak-Free Glass Cleaner

For shiny windows and mirrors, mix:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

The corn starch prevents streaking for crystal clear glass and windows.

Mold & Mildew Blaster

To remove mold and mildew stains, try:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon dish soap
  • 10 drops tea tree oil

Tea tree oil boosts the anti-mildew properties of the vinegar and baking soda solution.

Experiment with different ingredient ratios to make custom vinegar and baking soda spray cleaners for all your household cleaning needs.

Tips for Using Vinegar and Baking Soda Sprays

Here are some useful tips for using DIY vinegar and baking soda cleaner sprays effectively:

  • Shake bottles containing both vinegar and baking soda before each use to remix and activate the ingredients.
  • Spray directly onto surfaces for the fizzing reaction rather than into a cloth or sponge.
  • Let the cleaner sit for a few minutes before wiping to allow the ingredients to work.
  • Use an old toothbrush or other soft scrubbing brush for extra cleaning power if needed.
  • Rinse cleaned areas with water and dry with a cloth to prevent streaks or buildup.
  • Clean spray nozzles after use by spraying water through them to prevent clogging.
  • Store in a cool place and make batches every few weeks for the freshest solution.

Following these best practices will ensure you get the most out of your homemade cleaners and avoid issues like buildup or nozzle clogs.

Comparison to Store-Bought Cleaners

Natural DIY cleaners like vinegar and baking soda sprays have some advantages and disadvantages compared to store-bought cleaners:


  • Affordable – Vinegar and baking soda are very cheap compared to commercial cleaners.
  • Natural ingredients – The ingredients are non-toxic, eco-friendly, and safe around kids and pets.
  • No harsh fumes – Vinegar smells fade quickly and leaves behind no chemical smell.
  • Tailorable – Recipes can be adjusted to suit specific cleaning needs.
  • Multipurpose – Can clean a wide variety of household surfaces and areas.


  • Short shelf life – DIY cleaners last 1-2 weeks compared to months or years for commercial brands.
  • Less convenient – Require measuring, mixing, and making batches more frequently.
  • Can be messy – Bubbling cleaners require more care to control and contain.
  • Slower acting – May need to let sit longer and scrub more than store-bought cleaners.
  • Can damage some surfaces – Vinegar’s acidity must be used cautiously.

The choice between DIY and store-bought depends on your cleaning needs and preferences. Many people find vinegar and baking soda to be a good non-toxic, economical option for most regular cleaning tasks.


Is it safe to inhale the fumes from vinegar and baking soda?

Yes, vinegar and baking soda produce carbon dioxide gas when mixed, but this gas is non-toxic. The fumes may cause coughing or irritation if inhaled directly in large quantities. Try to avoid breathing in the fizzing reaction by standing back slightly and allowing it to dissipate.

How long does the cleaning solution last?

DIY vinegar and baking soda spray cleaners generally last 1-2 weeks when stored sealed at room temperature. Higher vinegar concentrations allow them to last slightly longer. Make small batches to ensure the ingredients stay potent.

Can I use different types of vinegar?

White distilled vinegar has the best cleaning power due to its level of acidity. White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar can also work but may need higher ratios. Avoid malt vinegar which can leave unwanted residues.

What ratio of vinegar to baking soda is best?

A 2:1 ratio of vinegar to baking soda is optimal for most cleaning purposes. For example, 2 cups vinegar to 1/4 cup baking soda. Adjust to more or less baking soda for light vs heavy duty cleaning needs.

Should vinegar and baking soda be mixed in hot or cold water?

Warm or room temperature water is preferred when diluting the vinegar. Hot water reduces the acidity slightly. Cold water won’t impact efficacy but may slow the chemical reaction somewhat.


While putting vinegar and baking soda directly together in a spray bottle can cause issues, making a two-ingredient cleaner with them is safe and effective when done properly. Using methods like soaking or dual-bottle spraying allows the active fizzing reaction to happen on surfaces for cleaning instead of inside the bottle. DIY vinegar and baking soda spray cleaners provide a non-toxic, inexpensive, and customizable way to clean all sorts of areas in your home.

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