How to Clean a Litter Box With Vinegar

How to clean a litter box with vinegar? A simple way to clean a litter box is to use vinegar. It is highly acidic and can help eliminate unpleasant odors. Simply mix three parts vinegar with one part water. Allow the solution to dry before adding new litter. If you are unsure of how to clean a litter box, you can use baking soda instead of vinegar. This will help mask the smell until you change the litter. The solution is also effective when mixed with warm water. You can also add some lemon juice to the mix. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, but you should also use a disinfecting detergent. This is necessary because residue from feces and urine contains germs. These germs are harmful to cats’ health and can cause infections.

Another option is to use diluted vinegar. This product will remove foul odors and help prevent odors from spreading. Afterward, you can use pine or oil soap to clean the floor. This will make your cat associate the smell of the floor cleaner with its litter box, and this should help reduce odors.

You can also sprinkle baking soda into the litter to reduce the smell. Baking soda can also absorb odors. Make sure to use rubber gloves and a mask when cleaning your cat’s litter box. You may have to move the litter box to do this.

How to clean a litter box with vinegar (Steps By Steps)

Scroll down and I will let you know how to clean litter boxes with this useful ingredient!

Step 1: Prepare suitable tools


Litter boxes, obviously, is an ideal breeding environment for all kinds of germs and bacterias, so you must not forget to put on gloves.

Get yourself a pair of thick gloves to protect you from nasty bacteria lurking in the used cat litter. You will also need a mask to avoid breathing in dust and ammonia from cat urine.

Now comes the vinegar! You do not have to get quality vinegar or anything high-class. The one you have at home right in your kitchen will do. (That means both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar, in case you are wondering.)

Step 2: Empty the box and sanitize it with vinegar

Empty the box and sanitize it with vinegar

First, dump all the cat litter into a garbage bag. Remember to carry out the task with extra care because dust particles can fly everywhere if you shake the box too hard.

Make sure you leave no corner unchecked as grains of dirty litter may clot at the bottom of the box. Scoop all of them out and double-check to see if you miss any spots.

After the matter of cat litter has been taken care of, wash the box with hot water (killing all the remaining germs). After that, just pour some white vinegar or apple cider vinegar inside the litter box, then use a scrubbing brush to clean it once more.

In the next step, wash your cat litter box with cold water, then dry it under the sun (an extra sterilization measure to remove the rest of the bacteria). If you want to speed up the process, wipe the water away with some tissues beforehand.

Step 3: Put in a deodorizing agent

Baking soda put in litter box

Of course, you are at liberty to use any deodorizing agent you prefer. But we suggest baking soda as it is inexpensive and can be found almost anywhere. All you need to do is to sprinkle some spoonfuls of baking soda at the bottom of your kitty litter box before putting in new sand.

On the off chance that you do not have baking soda at hand, don’t worry; charcoal briquettes, filters, and green tea would do the job smoothly. We don’t recommend products with aroma. Your cats can find that unpleasant, which results in them avoiding using the boxes.

Vinegar drawbacks

Cats are hard-to-please creatures. They hate a lot of things, and the smell of sour substances is atop of that list. Therefore, your cats are likely to things against using the loo if you fail to get rid of the distinct smell of vinegar in their litter boxes.

If you’re afraid that your feline buddies might react negatively to the new smell of their private box, you can try dissolving the vinegar in water before carrying out the cleaning. That can solve the smell issue.

Step 4: Mixing white vinegar and carbonated water

Mixing White Vinegar

Do you know that we can mix vinegar with carbonated water to clean your cats’ litter box? As strange as this trick might sound, it is extremely helpful.

Warm, or hot, water is a common means of stanizing. However, it cannot completely dispose of germs, especially the dangerous ones.

Meanwhile, carbonated water is a natural ingredient that can wipe out harmful bacteria in a flash, so spraying the litter box with a mixture of this liquid and vinegar can increase the cleaning effect.

Step 5: If you don’t have white vinegar, use Lemon juice


If you happen to run out of vinegar, not to fret, lemon juice could be a splendid alternative as its acidity is similar to that of vinegar.

On top of that, lemon juice is a natural way to clean litter boxes that several cat owners prefer. It smells better than vinegar, yet brings about the same results.


1. What is the best thing to use to clean a litter box?

There are plenty of products out there whose sole purpose is to clean cat litter, but we would go for white vinegar or apple cider vinegar because of the benefits we have shown you above. Besides, lemon juice and other natural detergents are some solutions favored by cat owners today.

Notably, whatever you use to tidy a litter box, make sure that it is safe enough and does not irritate your cats by all means. Plus, it’s best to use products without a strong smell because cats don’t really like them.

2. Do cats like the smell of vinegar?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Rarely does a cat like the smell of vinegar (they hate anything sour so there is no point in trying to get them to get used to it). And that’s the reason why you should clean your litter box carefully after cleaning it so that the odor of vinegar is gone for good.

3. Can you use bleach to clean a litter box?

Frankly speaking, yes. Bleach can be used to clean litter boxes. Its sole purpose is to remove anything that is considered dirty, after all.

But unless there is no other option, don’t. Bleach is a dangerous chemical and can endanger your cats’ health as it will produce toxic chlorine and chloramine vapors upon being mixed with urine.

4. How often should the litter box be washed?

Cleaning a litter box is an important part of ensuring a clean and comfortable living environment for your pet and this is how we maintain the cat litter box.

Cats, like us humans, use their toilets every single day. So, using a scoop to remove their waste twice a day is recommended. Also, it would be best if you clean the litter box at least once a week to keep the bacteria (and other nasty things normal eyes fail to see) from growing there.


Now you have known how to clean a litter box with vinegar, right? Remember that your cat’s health comes first before anything else, so cleaning their litter boxes should be made a priority. (That or they will find another toilet, like your favorite rug for example. Cats abhor dirty places)

Anyhow, in a nutshell, regarding how to clean a litter box with vinegar, here are the steps that you need to follow.

  1. Prepare the right tools
  2. Eliminate waste in cat litter
  3. Wash the litter box with water
  4. Clean the litter box with vinegar
  5. Put a deodorizing agent in the already cleaned box
  6. Pour new litter into the box

For any questions, please let us know by leaving comments right below. We will do our best to solve your problems!

Leave a Comment