Does Vinegar Kill Cockroaches?

Woman cleaning oven with vinegar

If you have visited every roach-terminator website to find natural remedies, you may have come across vinegar. It may have made you wonder: “Does vinegar kill roaches, or is it just a myth? The answer is that vinegar doesn’t kill cockroaches on its own but repels them.

However, when you combine it with soap or shampoo, the solution may eliminate roaches with direct contact.

Shampoos or soaps lower the surface tension of vinegar. So when you spray the solution on roaches, it blocks their respiratory openings or spiracles. But unfortunately, that’s not a common occurrence.

So how does vinegar deter roaches – not get rid of them, and how should you use it for this purpose? Let’s find out.

Can Vinegar Keep Cockroaches Away?

Vinegar keeps cockroaches away as it contains acetic acid that has a strong odor. Meanwhile, cockroaches have a strong sense of smell that helps them attract females for mating. Because of this, these bugs can easily detect the pungent odor of vinegar, which they hate.

But before using vinegar everywhere in your home, you should remember three most important things:

  • The smell of vinegar can be too much to handle for humans and pets
  • You may feel irritation or excessive sneezing because of the smell
  • The smell will go away when the vinegar dries

So if you think you’re ready to go this way, vinegar is an excellent option to keep roaches at bay, but with some safety precautions.

How To Make an Effective Vinegar Solution?

You can’t just go to your pantry, take out the vinegar bottle, and spray it all over your home. You know that’s risky and ineffective.

So how can you stop these annoying creatures from popping up every time you step foot in your bathroom or kitchen? Of course, insecticide sprays are the easiest way. But if you’re allergic to their chemicals, vinegar and shampoo can help you out.

Again, vinegar won’t kill roaches; it can only repel them. However, when combined with shampoo or soap, you may see a few dead bugs lying around.

Here are 5 easy steps to prepare an effective roach-repellent with vinegar:

Pour Out One Cup of Vinegar

Strong vinegar can quickly repel roaches, so try to find distilled vinegar from your nearest supermarket. But if you couldn’t find it, just get a regular one, and it will do the work. Then, once you return home, take out one cup of vinegar from the bottle.

Transfer It Into a Bottle

Now, find a spray bottle and pour the vinegar into it. A spray bottle will help you reach every nook and crevice of your home, even the narrowest corners of your attic. But if you don’t find luck in getting a spray bottle, you can splash the mixture in different places.

Add Shampoo

The next step is to pour a few drops of liquid soap or shampoo into the bottle. If you’re using one cup of vinegar, you’d need ten drops of the soap or shampoo. Shake the bottle thoroughly until all the ingredients mix together.

Spray Directly on the Cockroaches

If you want to kill roaches, which is a long shot with vinegar, then you must spray the mixture directly on the cockroaches. In other cases, you can splash it everywhere in your home to prevent the bugs from entering and spreading harmful bacteria.

Wait for a Few Hours

Don’t expect the vinegar-shampoo solution to give you quick results like insecticides. Instead, spray the mixture, sit back, and relax. That’s because cockroaches can survive without oxygen for 45 minutes and even an hour.

Note: The smell of vinegar usually fades away within minutes. So reapply the mixture every 2 to 3 hours for quick results.


How Do You Kill Roaches With Vinegar?

You can’t kill roaches with vinegar alone, as its smell can only repel bugs and insects. To eliminate cockroaches, mix vinegar with a few drops of shampoo or liquid soap to make a robust solution. Spray this mixture in every nook and corner of your home to prevent roaches from entering and hiding.

Do Roaches Hate Vinegar?

Yes, roaches hate the smell of vinegar. This ingredient contains acetic acid with a pungent odor that keeps cockroaches at bay.

How Do You Make Bug Spray With Vinegar?

You can make bug spray with vinegar and shampoo. First, mix one cup of vinegar with ten drops of shampoo to prepare an effective bug solution. Then, spray it everywhere in your home to repel or kill roaches.

Does Mopping With Vinegar Kill Bugs?

No, mopping with vinegar won’t kill roaches or bugs. Because of its strong odor, vinegar alone is only effective in repelling cockroaches, bugs, and insects.


Vinegar is a common ingredient found in the pantry of every household. While it enhances the flavor of your food, it can also repel roaches, bugs, and insects. Vinegar consists of acetic acid with a pungent smell that cockroaches hate.

Unfortunately, you can’t kill roaches with vinegar. But if you mix it with shampoo or liquid soap, you can kill a few cockroaches. Here is how you can make it:

  • Take one cup of vinegar
  • Transfer it into a spray bottle
  • Add a few drops of shampoo
  • Mix well and spray in every corner

Vinegar’s smell usually fades away after drying, so you may need to reapply the solution every 2 to 3 hours. Also, its odor can drive you and your pets crazy by causing severe sneezing.