How to Etch with White Vinegar (Kitchen Lithography Variation)

Last week I happened upon videos about kitchen lithography. It got me very excited! I couldn’t wait to try the process out for myself. But, what occurred to me was that it was the acidic properties of cola that was responsible for the etch. This led me to believe that white vinegar might be a more practical alternative to etch with. Practical in the sense that it’s just as acidic as cola, can be re-used many times, thereby becoming more cost effective. As you can see by the results on the video, the process works equally as well using white vinegar as the etch instead of cola. Here is a list of the materials you’ll need to do the process yourself:

1. Heavy Duty aluminum foil (Use dull side to work on)
2. Gloves
3. Litho crayon
4. Piece of plexi-glass
5. Vegetable oil
6. Paper towels
7. Plastic tub
8. White vinegar
9. Water
10. Etching or relief ink
11. Brayer
12. Sponges
13. Trays for water
14. Paper
15. Spoon or etching press

I plan to try more experiments using white vinegar in the future. Will post more results for you to see.

P.S. I had two semesters of lithography at community college so I know what I’m talking about. 🙂 (ha ha!)


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  1. Printing had to start somewhere, the ancient chinese invented printing over a 1000 years ago. I remember as an apprentice 35 years ago being shown something similar to this with a wax crayon on a litho stone. We all thought what a waste of time back then as we were all running machines 5000 A1 sheets an hour single colour. Nowadays its 12000 4 colour 2 sides an hour,the skill and soul has left the printing world. I enjoyed this vid.

  2. I did lithography and etching at University for an art credit, and still have the plates, but it never ocourred to me that I could DIY the process at home with alu foil and vinegar! That's totally cool! I was thinking a rolling pin with a lot of pressure woud work for the "press"…? Since the foil is so thin, I bet it sticks down and isnzt likely to slip around under the paper. Anyideas for DIYing the litho ink?! For the millenials who just want to scan and print, art existed before electricity and will exist after the last EMP. Study up now, cause when the SHTF your printer will be "off".

  3. Great demo on using vinegar in home brew etching. Simple and to the point. Evidently not simple enough though as so many commenters clearly missed the point. Not sure what you did to attract such a vortex of stupidity – lucky you.

  4. This is just brilliant, i ve done the heavy stone litho and it's just so cumbersome. My only problem with this is the press' how do one do DIY etching/litho press? Would the hydro bottle jack one provide enough pressure?

  5. If you don' it, don't search for vinegar printing or don't hit the play button if you come across this video. No one makes you watch it, nasty people!

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