This mild acid works on alkaline substances, dissolving scale, inhibiting mold, and cutting soap scum. It's terrific for stains such as coffee, rust, and tea. Dilute distilled white vinegar in water to cut through tacky dirt, soap scum, mineral deposits, or wax buildup. (Add a drop of essential oil to diffuse the vinegar odor.) For heavy buildup, soak a rag in vinegar, lay it over the area, leave it for an hour, and then scrub.