Thursday, January 30, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home-Day 24: Cleaning with Vinegar

White Vinegar.
I'm guessing you have it in your house.
It's great for making homemade buttermilk for fluffy pancakes, dipping fries into, pairs wonderfully with olive oil to make a tasty salad dressing, or adding a little zing to potato or tuna salad.

You might even know it has some other uses. 
Keep your eggs from cracking when you boil them by adding 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar.  
Remove stinky onion or garlic (really any kitchen smell) with vinegar.
Freshen wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water with 1-2 spoonfuls of vinegar.
Tenderize meats, make a moister cake, or making your own pickles vinegar does a lot.

But did you know it can do a lot around your house too?!

The short version of what white vinegar is and how it works would be that it is mainly an acid that is made from grains, typically corn. It comes in two main strengths 5% and 10%. 
The 5% is what you and I would cook with or make a salad dressing with but also works great for cleaning. 10% is a higher acid count and is usually called full strength, undiluted, or cleaning vinegar. Commonly you'll use the 5% vinegar for cleaning. If you have a really tough job that is when the full strength is nice but for the most part the regular vinegar you already have in your cupboard will work just fine.

Here are some great ways you can use vinegar to help you around the house.

Sticky or grimy scissors? Wipe them down with cloth dipped in vinegar. It won't dull or ruin the blades or rust the metal.

Remove Stickers without chemicals. Just rub vinegar on the stickers or residue left from a sticker you tried to peel up. Let it sit for 5 minutes and it'll wipe/rub off quickly and easily.

Easy Microwave cleanup. Microwaves are a pain to clean. Just pop a bowl of water and vinegar at a 50/50 ratio, heat on high for 4 minutes. *Be careful not to burn yourself!* Then just wipe the insides clean. 

Skip the Febreeze freshen fabrics with vinegar. Use a 50/50 ratio in a spray bottle and lightly spray your couch, chair, any fabrics to neutralize the odors. Don't worry the vinegar smell disappears in minutes.

Clean your home safely and effectively. 5% vinegar is 90% effective against mold and 99.9% effective against bacteria! Just think you can easily and safely clean your home, all of those high traffic, high points of contact areas in your house effectively and you don't have to worry about little ones getting into chemicals! (Source)

Freshen your laundry. oops! Life happened and you forgot a load of laundry was in the washer? Now it smells musty and you're going to have to rewash it... STOP! Just put one cup of vinegar in and run the rinse and spin cycle. Now it's refreshed without running a whole wash cycle again.

Hard water spots on your faucet or a clogged shower head? Use a cleaning cloth dipped in vinegar to wash them clean. Soak a shower head by putting a plastic bag of vinegar over the shower head tied on with a hair tie over night. It'll remove the hard water deposits wonderfully!  Or for tougher lime build up spots make a past of 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon vinegar for a great shine to all of your chrome.

Deodorize and clean the garbage disposal. Make vinegar cubes but be sure to mark them so no one tries to put them in their drink. Put several down the disposal while running cold water.

 Clean the inside of your fridge. 50/50 water and vinegar works great on the inside and outside of your fridge to clean it and remove odors. 

Cut Dust and Grease. Keep your grill, ceiling fan blades, and exhaust fans grease and dust free by wiping them down with vinegar.

There are tons of wonderful uses for vinegar. And if you don't like the smell of it you can always add in 10 drops of your favorite essential oils to help mask it that you can buy HERE. But really the vinegar smell does not last long at all. 

I started with vinegar because a lot of the other cleaning recipes I'm going to share with you this week are things combined with vinegar so I wanted to get this base down first.

What is your favorite way to use vinegar? Feel free to include food, cleaning, and any other ways you use vinegar. I love learning new ways to use it. It's so simple but so wonderful. 
And again I don't have to worry about my kid's lungs or getting into the chemicals when I'm cleaning. My favorite thing about vinegar is the peace of mind it gives me.

Today try cleaning with vinegar. Shine your sink with some vinegar.
Wipe down your counter tops, freshen your living room furniture, or wash out your coffee pot and dish washer. 

Just a couple of things though...
NEVER mix vinegar with ammonia. You'll end up in the ER and it won't be good. So just don't do it. If you do...I'm not liable k? k.
NEVER use vinegar on stone surfaces. This includes limestone, travertine, granite, and marble. It can damage the surface. If you do...don't throw stones at me k? k. It is however safe to use on chrome, wood, porcelain, copper, and pretty much everything else. 

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