If you haven’t discovered the amazing cleaning power of vinegar, you haven’t lived. Okay, you may have lived just a little bit, but chances are you are spending too much money on cleansers.
Cleaning with vinegar is cheap, simple, non-toxic, and, uh, aromatic. There is little that cannot be tackled by this powerhouse in the cleansing world, from stains and build-up to daily clean-up. Tuck these tips into your mental filing system (or bookmark this page if your mental filing system resembles mine) for the many everyday messes that life throws at you.
Tips for Cleaning with Vinegar
Clean windows and mirrors with a mixture of one part vinegar to three parts water in a clean spray bottle. (I get my spray bottles from garden centers because they’re usually prettier, and I like pretty things. I’m a girl!) Spray, dry, repeat if necessary. It may require a few cleanings before the residue from your regular cleaner is completely removed. Warn the birds!
Shine counters and appliance fronts with the window spray above, or add half a cup of vinegar to a sink of hot water, dip your washcloth and wipe. (Do not use on marble!) For that oh-so-perfect shine, dry well.
Clean the interior of a microwave by soaking a towel in half vinegar and half water. Place it in the microwave and run it for a minute or two. The towel will be hot, but when it cools a bit, use it to wipe up the now-loosened and non-smelly particles from the sides of the microwave. Yup, it gets pretty nasty in there.
Make an abrasive scrub by mixing 1/4 cup of salt with a teaspoon of vinegar, applying to the area, and wiping clean. Do not use on surfaces that cannot tolerate a little abuse. If you have children, I recommend you not own surfaces that cannot tolerate a little abuse.
Remove stains, sticker residue, calcium deposits, and those questionables left behind by your children by soaking paper towels with vinegar and covering the area overnight. If the object is small enough, such as a penny or other tarnished metal, soak the object in a container of vinegar. A ready supply of shiny pennies will make you very popular with the littles.
Clean smelly drains and garbage disposals and simultaneously entertain the children by pouring 1/4 cup or so of baking soda down the drain and following that with 1/2 cup or so of vinegar. When the fizzing subsides and the audience disperses, rinse with hot water.
Clean the dishwasher and remove hard water build-up by pouring a cup of vinegar into the dishwasher, paying close attention to the “water squirters.” Run a cycle. You can also use vinegar instead of rinse aid for shiny dishes.
Clean a coffee maker by running a cycle with vinegar instead of water. Unless you want flavored coffee the next day, run a few cycles with just water before adding grounds.
Disinfect a wet mattress (oops!) by spritzing with vinegar and sprinkling with baking soda.
Clean extremely dirty, unsanitary, or grease-stained surfaces with full strength vinegar. Admit it—we all have such surfaces from time to time!
As long as the surface can handle the acidic nature of vinegar, give this affordable all-purpose cleaner a try for all your messes. Naturally, before using vinegar on carpets or other fabric, you will want to test it in that discreet location we’re all supposed to have for testing carpet cleaners.
Don’t worry about the aroma from cleaning with vinegar. It will dissipate as the vinegar dries.
For an amazing list of even more ways to clean with vinegar, visit Vinegartips.com.