(The following is a guest post by Stacy Karen from A Delightful Home.)
Vinegar is non-toxic and inexpensive, making it a true champion of frugal, green living. With just a few dollars you can buy a gallon and then be armed with the ability to clean, deodorize, sanitize, and much more!
Vinegar, how I love thee! Let me count the ways . . .
My Top Ten Ways to Use Vinegar:
(By vinegar, I mean white distilled vinegar, available in most grocery stores.)
1. Clean the Windows and Mirrors – Make a simple glass cleaner by filling a spray bottle with half water and half vinegar. Spray windows or mirrors and wipe. Since there’s no need to worry about inhaling fumes (which are present in chemical glass cleaners) get the kids involved! If you really dislike the smell of vinegar, add a few drops of essential oil.
2. Clean the Floors – Again, use equal amounts of vinegar and water. Add 15 to 20 drops of essential oil per 16 ounces of mixture, if desired. Measure ingredients into an old dish soap container and shake to blend. Squirt the needed amount on the floor and wipe.
3. Clean the Walls – To remove dust and shine the walls, add one cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of water. Stir to combine and get scrubbing!
4. Prevent Soap Build Up in the Shower – Keep a spray bottle filled with vinegar in the bathroom and spray the shower walls after each shower. No need to rinse. Doing this will ensure you clean the shower much less often!
5. As a Fabric Softener – Add one to two cups of vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of fabric softener. You can create a scented version by adding up to 20 drops of essential oil to 1 gallon of white distilled vinegar (this tip found in Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan).
6. As a Rinse-Aid in the Dishwasher – Fill the rinse-aid dispenser in the dishwasher with straight vinegar. It will help remove spots, grease, and soap film.
7. Deodorize and Clean the Toilet – I often pour straight vinegar in the toilet bowl and let sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a toilet brush. This helps get rid of stains and leaves the toilet smelling fresh.
For some serious deodorizing and cleaning power, scent ¼ cup of vinegar with 10 drops of tea tree essential oil, pour into the toilet bowl and add ½ cup baking soda. As the mixture fizzes, scrub away. (Recipe found in Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs – An awesome book! I love it.)
8. Unblock the Drain – The baking soda/vinegar trick for unblocking drains has become quite well known. So well known you probably don’t need me to tell you how to do it. Just in case, here are the instructions:
Homemade Drain Opener
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain (I let it sit for a few minutes because it absorbs odors, but you don’t have to).
- Pour in 1 cup of vinegar.
- Allow to fix and bubble up. Leave for 20 minutes.
- Pour boiling water down the drain (about 1 quart).
9. Odor removal – Vinegar is a great deodorizer. Pouring straight or scented vinegar into garbage disposals, sinks, and toilet bowls will help get rid of unwanted smells.
Add one or two cups of vinegar to the washing machine when cleaning sheets or clothing that have suffered the ill effects of bed-wetting or vomiting. It will help clean and disinfect as well as removing odors. You can also pour the vinegar in the pre-soak cycle and let it sit for a while before washing. This will make it even more effective.
10. As a Disinfectant – Straight vinegar is an excellent disinfectant. I often use it to wipe down my counter tops after cooking and also on door knobs and faucets after an illness has swept through the house.
Boost the disinfecting power by adding a 5 or 6 drops of tea tree oil to a 16- ounce spray bottle full of white vinegar. Use as you would any disinfecting spray. If you are worried about the house smelling like vinegar, let me assure you that is rarely leaves a strong smell once dry.
I think you can see why I like vinegar so much. I’d love to hear what you think. Is vinegar something you use around the house? If so, how?
Stacy is wife to a preacher and mom to three children. She is obsessed with all things natural and homemade. Stacy blogs at A Delightful Home where she strives to encourage moms to live healthy, happy lives.
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Photo by Stacy at A Delightful Home.