Vinegar- The Powerful Eco-CleanerBY SOL PANDIELLA-MCLEOD
If you’re like me you’ve never really considered vinegar to be much more than a salad dressing. Many people have been raving about how effective vinegar is as a cleaning product around the house so I’ve decided to do a little research and give it a try.
Vinegar is a weak form of acetic acid that forms through the fermentation of sugars or starches. It is completely edible, and cannot harm your stomach. And luckily for us, many things can be cleaned using it and it also kills bacteria.
The best vinegar to use is white vinegar at 100% concentration unless otherwise stated.
In the kitchen
- Clogged drain- first pour in 1/2 cup baking soda, then add an equal amount of vinegar. When the mixture finishes bubbling, rinse with warm water.
- Smelly hands- Wipe your hands with vinegar after chopping onion and garlic.
- Kill baceria- Wipe your wooden chopping boards with vinegar.
- Remove strong odors- Rinse jars with a half and half mixture of vinegar and water to remove garlic or other strong odors. Boil water with several spoons of vinegar to remove the smell of burnt food from your kitchen.
- Vinegar is an excellent cleaner for all kitchen surfaces - counters, refrigerators, stovetops.
- To clean your microwave oven- Put a microwave-safe bowl of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup water in the oven, and cook long enough to boil. In addition to removing any lingering odors, this will loosen any baked-on food from the microwave's walls.
- To remove coffee or tea stains from china, clean with a mixture of vinegar and salt.
- To cut through the grease, add a small amount into your sink dishwater when your washing greasy pots.
- Sink cleaner- Add some rock salt to your vinegar and water mixture to scrub your sink clean.
- Remove dark stains on an aluminum pot by boiling a mixture of 1 cup white distilled vinegar and 1 cup hot water.
- Clean the shelves and walls of the refrigerator with a half-and-half solution of water and white distilled vinegar.
- Renew sponges and dishrags by placing them in just enough boiling water to cover them. Then add 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. Let them soak overnight.
- Add a splash of vinegar directly into your bottle of dishwashing liquid to give it a grease-fighting boost.
- To clean and deodorize dishwashers, pour a cup of vinegar into your dishwaher to sanitize and give your glasses a sparkle.
- To remove sticky labels saturate the sticker or price tag with white vinegar for a few minutes then scrub off.
In the Laundry
- To keep colors from running in the wash, soak in vinegar before washing.
- To make your "brights brighter", add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
- Many persistent stains can be removed with vinegar: coffee, chocolate, ketchup, jam, cola, wine. Gently rub stain with vinegar, then wash.
- To remove scorch marks from an iron, rub with a mixture of vinegar and salt.
- To remove soap residue from the washing machine, run an empty (no laundry) cycle with one cup vinegar added
Cleaning copper, pewter, silver and brass
- Create a paste by mixing salt and vinegar and apply it to the metal. Allow to stand for about 15 minutes and rinse.
- Vinegar helps get rid of mildew.
- Pour equal parts of vinegar and water into a spray bottle and use it to clean your shower glass.
- Spray on tiles and leave for 10 minutes then scrub with a brush to brighten the grout.
- Add some rock salt to your mixture to scrub your sink clean.
- Remove stains from the toilet bowl by spraying with vinegar and spraying.
- To remove soap build-up from faucets, clean with a mixture of 1 part salt to four parts vinegar.
- To remove corrosion or chemical build-up from showerheads, soak in vinegar overnight.
- Toilet cleaner- Sprinkle baking soda directly into your toilet, and around the edges to get under the rim. Add distilled white vinegar and let it foam a bit, then scrub clean. This will get your toilet brush cleaned at the same time. Wipe the seat with straight vinegar to kill the germs.
- Great for cleaning ceramic tiles
Mildew & room odours
- Pour vinegar directly on to a cloth rag and wipe over mildew areas
- For persistent room odors, place a bowl of vinegar in the room overnight.
Cleaning windows and mirrors
- Pour equal parts of vinegar and water into a spray bottle and wipe with newspaper or use a microfiber cloth.
Keeping flowers fresh
- Add one tablespoon of white vinegar and two tablespoons of sugar to your vase of fresh flowers to help the blooms last longer.
- White vinegar works well to kill weeds between brick pavers and concrete sidewalks. Use it full strength in a spray bottle but make sure you aim carefully to avoid killing anything else in your yard.
Cleaning wood panels
- To clean wood paneling, use a mixture of 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 2 cups warm water. Apply to paneling with a soft cloth. Dry with a clean cloth.
- Clean vinyl baby books or board books by wiping with white distilled vinegar. Wipe clean with a damp sponge or cloth.
Bugs and Pets
- To get rid of fruit flies, place a dish of white vinegar on your counter.
- To keep ants away, spray vinegar along doorways, windowsills, countertops - anywhere that ants are likely to appear. If you find an ant trail (path that ants use repeatedly), clean it with vinegar.
- To keep cats off windowsills or other surfaces, spray with vinegar. This will also keep them from scratching upholstery (spray an unnoticeable area of the fabric first to make sure the vinegar doesn't cause a stain).
- To keep dogs from scratching their ears, clean with a soft cloth dipped in diluted vinegar.
- Wear gloves if your skin is sensitive.
- Never mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together. This combination creates a chemical called Peracetic Acid, which is a strong corrosive and oxidizing agent and can be very harmful.
- Label and store your homemade mixtures as carefully as you would any other cleaning product, and use these vinegar cleaning tips with care.
- Always test your mixture on small, hidden areas of all surfaces and carpets to be certain there won’t be any damage or discoloration.
- Never use white distilled vinegar on marble. The acid can damage the surface.