I hate using harsh chemicals in our house. Not only are they not good for anyone, but we have asthmatics and allergies, not to forget about chicks in the house too a lot of the time. Vinegar is a must-have in your house! Not just for cooking, but as a natural cleaning agent. Use it to clean these 10 things in your home.
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Top 10 Tips for Cleaning with Vinegar
There are many ways to clean your home, but a common cleaner that is both easy and inexpensive is vinegar. You can use it in almost any situation where you need a little extra oomph to get the job done.
Vinegar contains acetic acid which helps dissolve dirty soap scum and mineral deposits while also disinfecting surfaces and making them shine. Spraying it on glass or mirrors will remove sticky spots from tape and fingermarks. Soap scum on bathtubs is lifted by the acetic acid in vinegar, which also kills bacteria that cause bad odor and mildew.
It depends on how you apply it:
- Spray – best for hard surfaces like ceramic tiles (e.g., bathroom), kitchen worktops, sinks, etc., but not good for your skin or clothes (make sure you wear protective gloves).
- Dip/Soak – great for removing stubborn stains from textiles such as towels or clothing (best to soak overnight).
Vinegar is rather acidic (pH 2–4) and can also be mildly corrosive, so treat it accordingly. Handle it carefully, just like you would with bleach. Don't pour undiluted vinegar onto your skin. If you do get it on your skin, wash immediately with soap and plenty of water.
Vinegar can also be used to unblock drains by pouring down the drain, followed by boiling water. For an extra scrub, pour some baking soda into the drain first before pouring the vinegar.
10 Ways to Clean with Vinegar
There are many natural cleaners in your home so that you can steer clear of harsh chemicals. This is one product I buy a jug of because it gets used for cooking and cleaning. How many things are in your home that you can cook with (to eat) and use to clean?
Cleaning and Disinfecting Bathroom
Vinegar is a great natural cleaner for your bathroom (particularly the toilet). Mix together equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then spritz onto your toilet bowl.
Mix vinegar and blue Dawn to scrub your shower. It is a great soap scum remover.
If your kitchen drawers aren't sliding as freely as they used to, spray them with vinegar then wipe with a clean cloth. It will remove the grime and help allow the drawers to move more easily.
Vinegar is also great for glass. Spray on your windows or mirrors, leave for 15 minutes, and then wipe clean with a newspaper. Alternately, fill a 500mL spray bottle with water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar to give your windows an extra shine.
Cleaning your metal cutlery can be really hard – but not if you use vinegar! Pour some into a bowl and soak the cutlery overnight, after which it should be shiny enough, but don't forget to scrub it.
Cleaning your Fridge
If you're on a budget, clean your refrigerator with vinegar and baking soda to remove odors, such as when something has gone bad, plus keep it smelling fresh. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of each in a bowl, then wipe over all areas of the fridge, including shelves and drawers. Focus particularly on spills that have begun to stain.
Mold can be very hard to get rid of! However, by pouring a vinegar solution through the showerhead or around bathroom cupboard corners, you can prevent future mold from appearing. Pour 50mL white vinegar into a spray bottle, followed by 500mL water, then shake well before spraying.
Polishing Hardwood Floors
You can also polish your wood floors with vinegar, preferably on a day when nobody will be walking around on it as the smell while drying isn't very nice. Try mixing a 50/50 mix with water in a bucket and then using old rags to wipe over the floor. You can also use a microfiber mop to clean hardwood floors but remember to change the cleaning pads often.
Stain Remover for Clothes
White vinegar can be used to remove stains from both new and older clothes – simply dab some onto the stain and leave it for an hour or so before washing. If you've got particularly stubborn stains, such as red wine, sprinkle some baking soda over the top before washing.
Remove Odors from Fabric-Covered Furniture
Have you ever bought a new piece of furniture but just couldn't get rid of that fabric smell? You can easily remove it with vinegar by wiping equal amounts over all areas, focusing on the inside and underneath if you've not already done so, particularly hard to access areas. Leave for 5 minutes then wipe clean with a paper towel or cloth.
Polishing Stainless Steel Using Vinegar
You can also shine up your stainless steel pots and utensils using vinegar! Simply soak in a bowl filled with an equal 50/50 mix for 30 minutes, then rinse with warm water. It should be shiny enough afterward, but you can also dry it with a paper towel.
Applying these tips will help you to better care for your furniture and appliances while saving you money over time. Just be careful not to splash any of the vinegar on yourself or leave it too long without rinsing as both scenarios may irritate your skin or eyes (or make your home smell like pickled salad).