Vinegar is my all time favorite cleaner around the house. I have a spray bottle of vinegar in every bathroom and the kitchen. It is great at killing germs, bacteria and cutting through the grease and grime. I use white distilled vinegar at full strength in the kitchen and dilute it to a 50/50 ration of vinegar to water in the bathrooms.
Mix vinegar with hot water and wash down those greasy kitchen cabinets – it will get all that grease off. I’ve used it to clean my carpets in a pinch – it does fairly well but not as well as my homemade carpet cleaner. Vinegar is one of the main ingredients in my homemade hard floor cleaner.
Use it in the kitchen and bathroom
Spray it on counters and in the bathroom, let it sit for 5-10 minutes (it is ok for it to dry on the surface if you forget too), then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth or paper towel. It will make your plumbing fixtures sparkle. I use 1/2 a cup of vinegar in a sink half full of water to wash my fruits and veggies and get off any pesticides.
Have a little soap scum build up in your bathtub? Easy peasy. Spray it with your vinegar spray bottle and wipe with a microfiber cloth until the surface feels smooth again. If you have more soap scum built up try making a paste with baking soda and water then scrubbing it with a microfiber cloth. You will see the baking soda turn from white to a grey paste and the surface will wipe away clean. It should clean up easily as long as there is not a lot of build up, in that case you might have to do it a few times to get up all the soap scum.
Vinegar is safe to use around your family
The smell of cleaning with vinegar does take a little while to get used to although the smell dissipates quickly, of course it much better than breathing all the endocrine disruptors in store bought cleaners. It is safer for young children, since my cleaner is something you can ingest I worry less about my kids getting into the area under my sinks. My kids are in to everything and they have never tried to drink it.
Essential oils to give you even more cleaning power
You can add a few drops of essential oils to the spray bottle to make it smell better and give it an additional cleaning and sanitizing boost. I used Lemon Essential Oil for a little while but noticed it was corroding my plumbing fixtures so you might want to just spray your counters and not your plumbing fixture. Your cloth will get damp from wiping up the vinegar on the counter and you can just use the damp cloth to wipe the plumbing fixture clean. I am notorious for getting distracted once I spray a bathroom so I’ve skipped the lemon E.O.. Instead I add a few drops of Melaleuca Essential Oil (or tea tree E.O.) to the vinegar so I don’t have to worry about my plumbing fixtures. There are many other essential oils that clean and disinfect, Melaleuca just happens to be one of my favorites.
We buy our vinegar at Sam’s Club in bulk of two gallons per box. It is very economical – coming to about $2 per gallon! So you can clean for pennies on the dollar. The box the vinegar comes in has some great tips on other uses for vinegar. Check this out!
And here are the close up shots so you can read it a little easier
Here is the list of other great uses for vinegar:
- Glassware – 1/2 cup of vinegar added to a gallon of rinse water will remove soap film from glassware and make it shine.
- Toilet bowl – Clean and deodorize your toilet bowl by pouring undiluted vinegar into it. Let it stand for about 5 minutes then flush. Stubborn stains may require scrubbing.
- Bathtub – Wipe down bathtub with vinegar and soda to remove film build up. Rinse clean with water.
- Grease – Filmy dirt and greasy residue can be removed from stove and refrigerator by wiping with vinegar.
- Chrome – To polish chrome and stainless steel, moisten a cloth with vinegar and wipe clean.
- Shower curtain – Rub a cloth dampened with vinegar to remove soapy, steamed in film from your plastic shower curtain. Then rinse clean.
- Coffee maker – To remove stale coffee residue, fill the reservoir with vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. When cycle is finished, run two cycles of water to rinse.
- Irons – Remove burn stains from your electric iron by mixing one part salt with one part vinegar in heated small aluminum pan. Use this mix to polish the iron as you would silver.
- Vegetables – Liven up slightly wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water and vinegar.
- Flowers – Add 2 tsp. of vinegar plus 3 TBSP. of sugar to a quart of warm water (100 degrees) to keep fresh cut flowers blooming longer.
- Cabbage – Add vinegar to the cooking water of boiling cabbage to prevent the odor from permeating the house.
- Meat – A marinade of 1/2 cup of your favorite vinegar and a cup of liquid bullion makes an effective meat tenderizer.
- Rice – A tsp. of vinegar added to the water of boiling rice makes it white and fluffy.
- Fish – Reduce fishy odors by rubbing fish down with vinegar before scaling it.
- Cheese – Keep cheese moist and fresh by wrapping it in a cloth that has been dampened with vinegar and sealed in a air-tight wrap or container.
- Eggs – To produce better formed eggs whites, add a tsp. of vinegar to the water.
- Onion odors – Quickly remove the odor of onions from your hands by rubbing them with vinegar.
- Pickling – Cider, red wine, balsamic and other dark vinegars are good for pickling, but may discolor lighter colored pickles such as pears, onions, and cauliflowers. In this case, a distilled or white vinegar may be preferred.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how easy it is to incorporate vinegar into your cleaning routine and how much money it can save you. Let me know how you use vinegar in your home!