By Paco Lopez
Most of us have the same situation at home. You look under our kitchen sink…and there they are…bottles and bottles of cleaners, and disinfectants for everything from windows, to wood, to tile, to countertops.
However, did you know that there is one, just ONE ingredient that you can use for just about anything you need to clean in your home? Absolutely true…it’s vinegar!
According to ehow.com, here is a list of some of the things you can clean with vinegar, or a mixture of vinegar and a few other items you probably already have somewhere in your house.
This will not only clean more effectively, but, also allow you to “clean up” your storage underneath the sink…and who doesn’t like THAT idea.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll only list the Top 10, however, if you use the link here, you can read about the 19 (strange number…why not 20?) things that you can clean with vinegar.
10. Wash your clothes with it! Add ½ cup of vinegar to the LAST RINSE cycle of your wash. It should help eliminate any detergent residue and helps fight lint and static cling. You may find the smell to your clothes a smidge vinegary…however, the benefits (according to experts) far outweigh the drawbacks.
9. Clean your shower head of mildew and/or stains! Fill a plastic sandwich or storage bag (depending on the size of your showerhead) with vinegar. Use a rubber band or tape to hold the bag up around the base of the vinegar immersed showerhead. Leave it there for an hour. Remove the bag. Turn on your water to rinse it out, then polish with a soft cloth.
8. Getting rid of the baked on “brown” from your cookie sheets and/or baking pans! Use a mixture of vinegar, salt and baking soda. First sprinkle some baking soda on the pan(s), then a layer of salt, then with a plastic bottle sprayer, spritz on a layer of vinegar. Wait about 5 minutes for the solution to do its work, then scrub. (sidebar: believe it or not…after scrubbing some, you can add ketchup – TRUE – its composition helps break down foods as well).
7. Clean your oven racks! For this you’ll need to use your bathtub for a better result. First, (and most importantly) place a towel in your tub to keep from scratching the surface with the oven racks. Then, place the racks in your tub (without water) and sprinkle them with baking soda. Then spray them down with vinegar. You’ll find that the mixture will begin to foam. When it stops, turn on your hot water and fill the tub until the water covers the racks completely. Let them sit overnight. Wipe them down the next day with an old dish towel. Use an old tooth brush for any small areas that need scrubbing. For tougher stains, you can add either Kosher salt, or sea salt. Remember to rinse them thoroughly before replacing them.
6. Make a multi-purpose cleaner! Pour ¼ to a ½ cup white vinegar in a spray bottle and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Put in a few drops of your chosen essential oil and then fill the bottle to the top with water. Shake it up and let it sit for a few minutes before you use it. Remember to test the mixture on an unseen area of any material you may want to clean as a colorfast test.
5. Clean your stainless steel sink with vinegar! Use a mixture of a handful of items, which are likely around your house. First, give your sink a quick cleaning. Then use baking soda, in a circular motion, scrub it onto your sink with a soft sponge. Rinse your sink with vinegar. This will foam up. Rinse with water. The vinegar is good at disinfecting, and removing hard water stains. Lightly scrub and rinse with water and a soft sponge. You can also use an orange or lemon peel to get a fresh smell. Just rub it around inside the sink, then drop it into your garbage disposal to keep it smelling fresh and clean. You can then buff the sink with a paper towel and a few drops of olive oil.
4. Get the food particles out and clean your dishwasher! This one is so simple. Much like you do with your washing machine. Pour a cup of vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher and run a cycle with no dishes. It helps keep the dishwasher fresh and clean and removes many of the food particles.
3. Make your own laundry pods with vinegar! This one will take a little more effort, and a little bit more ingredients, but, will save you money in the long run, and is more environmentally friendly. You’ll need a few ingredients. And there’s a bit of a process. So, you can click onto the link and get all the details here.
2. Cleaning your wood floors with vinegar! Another mix of a few ingredients. A bucket of warm water, ½ cup of white vinegar, and two or three drops of either lemon or lemon and clove oil. Then mop. Yes, it’s that simple.
If you have a spray mop, you can use 3 teaspoons of vinegar, 16 ounces of warm water, and 1 or 2 drops of the same oils mentioned earlier.
Also, if you have a microfiber mop or prefer a spray bottle, you can just put the mix in a spray bottle. Remember though, for best results, clean a 4-6 foot section of floor at a time.
1. Window cleaner with vinegar! Now I personally KNOW that this works, as I’ve used this formula at home myself. In your spray bottle, make a 50-50 mix of vinegar and water. Take it to the glass! If you have extremely dirty or calcium deposits on your glass, first put some soapy water on the glass area, THEN use the 50-50 mix. That way you’ll become shiny, happy people!
Let me know how these work for you!