HOW TO CLEAN YOUR HOUSE WITH VINEGAR AND WHAT YOU SHOULD AVOID
If you are looking for a more cost effective way to clean your home or just want a natural solution to cleaning without all the chemicals, then vinegar is just what you are looking for! There are so many household uses for vinegar because it is such a versatile liquid. Vinegar’s natural acidity makes it an effective, chemical-free cleaning agent.
All of the cleaning tips below are meant to be utilized using distilled white vinegar. White vinegar is mildly acidic and works especially well to dissolve grease and hard water stains. Once the vinegar dries and dissipates, it leaves behind a neutral scent. You can customize the scent by mixing a few drops of your favorite essential oils into the vinegar solution before cleaning if you like.
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WHAT IS VINEGAR?
Vinegar is a liquid that contains acetic acid and is often obtained by fermenting diluted alcoholic liquids such as wine, cider, beer, and rice. This is where we often get the differing popular variations such as apple cider vinegar, white wine and red wine vinegar, as well as rice vinegar.
WHY IS VINEGAR SUCH A GOOD CLEANER?
Vinegar’s acidic pH is what makes it such a good cleaner. Because of vinegar’s acidic nature, it can counteract and cut through sticky and greasy messes, as well as germy ones. Acetic acid (white vinegar) disinfects by killing bacteria cells.
HOW TO MAKE A VINEGAR & DAWN SHOWER CLEANER
The vinegar and Dawn dish soap duo is an inexpensive and non-toxic way to cut through the soap scum and grime on your glass shower doors and tile. It works better than a myriad of other store bought cleaners and saves you money.
The best part is you can spray the tiles and doors while you are in the shower. Keep a bottle of the solution in the shower. Spray and squeegee it before you get out.
- 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups blue Dawn dish soap
- Professional grade spray bottle
Warm the vinegar in the microwave for a couple minutes. This allows the solution to mix together better. Try to use the original blue Dawn dish soap for maximum effectiveness.
Add the warmed vinegar and dish soap to a Zep professional spray bottle. A professional sprayer works best for this thicker solution and has a wider spray area. Shake to thoroughly mix the solution.
I’ve found that the OXO Good Grips All-Purpose Squeegee works like a dream for this process. It comes with a suction cup to conveniently hang it to dry somewhere out of the way in your shower.
HOW TO UNCLOG YOUR SHOWER HEAD USING VINEGAR
Your shower head naturally accumulates build-up from mineral deposits over time. This build up can cause low water pressure and water spraying in odd directions.
To remove mineral deposits and build up from your shower head, secure a bag filled with 2-3 cups of white vinegar to the shower head nozzle using a rubber band or twist tie. Make sure the entire shower head is submerged. Leave solution to soak the shower head overnight. In the morning, carefully remove the bag and run the shower to rinse and remove all traces of vinegar.
HOW TO UNCLOG DRAINS WITH VINEGAR
Unclog your drain using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. This will work for pretty much any slow moving drain that is clogged up with greasy grimy goo.
First, pour an entire kettle or large sauce pan of boiling water down your clogged drain. Follow it with about 1/2 cup of baking soda and let it sit for a couple minutes. Then pour a solution of 1 cup boiling hot water and 1 cup distilled white vinegar down the drain after it. Cover with a drain plug to keep the action in the drain and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Pour another entire kettle of boiling water down the drain to flush it all out.
A bonus here is the vinegar and baking soda solution will also deodorize your drain while it works.
USE VINEGAR AS A MICROWAVE CLEANER & DEODORIZER
Using a glass measuring cup or a microwave safe bowl, combine 1 cup of water with 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar. Boil in the microwave on high until a steam forms on the inside window of the microwave. Carefully remove the bowl or measuring cup from the microwave and wipe down the inside with a clean washcloth.
The vinegar is an effective cleaner because it will cut the grease and grime, but it is also a natural deodorizer so it will also cut the yucky smells from past meals.
HOW TO GET STREAK-FREE WINDOWS WITH VINEGAR
Mix equal parts water and white distilled vinegar. Wipe down your windows using the solution and a sponge. Use a dampened squeegee to wipe clean. Try the OXO Good Grips All-Purpose Squeegee on Amazon. It’s my favorite.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR FLOOR WITH VINEGAR
Use this eco-friendly mop solution to clean your floors. It’s safe for crawling babies and pets alike.
If your floor is ceramic or stone, beware. You need to be extra careful with diluting your cleaning solution if you are going to try it. To be safe, it is a better option to use a simple warm water and mild dish soap solution.
Here’s the homemade floor mop solution. Combine 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar with a 1/2 gallon of warm to hot water in a mop bucket. No rinsing is necessary and it will leave behind a odor-neutralizing fresh scent.
GENIUS LAUNDRY ROOM HACKS USING VINEGAR
There are so many laundry room related issues that can be solved using white vinegar. It is a laundry room staple and everyone needs a bottle on hand. Head over and read Vinegar Laundry Hacks Everyone Should Know to find great ideas on how to use this environmentally safe product in your laundry room.
USE VINEGAR TO KEEP FLOWERS FRESH
If you want to keep your cut flowers fresh and beautiful longer, try this solution. In a 1-quart vase, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to the water. Gently stir or swirl the vase. Trim your flower stems before placing them into the vase. Change the water every couple days or as the water gets cloudy.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR COFFEE AND KEURIG MACHINES WITH VINEGAR
Keep your automatic coffee pot clean and free of bitter tasting build up from minerals by using vinegar to regularly clean out your preferred coffee machine.
Automatic Coffee Machine: Fill the water reservoir with undiluted distilled white vinegar. Run the brew cycle as usual. Dump the pot of vinegar. Fill the reservoir with water and run a regular brew cycle to remove vinegar residue from your machine.
Keurig Machine: Fill the water reservoir halfway with distilled white vinegar. Fill the rest of the reservoir with water. Place an empty mug under the spout and brew without a k-cup in place. Continue to brew until the reservoir is empty being sure to discard the mug contents between each brew session.
HOW TO USE VINEGAR FOR SPARKLING DISHES AND GLASSES
For cleaner and more sparkling dishes and glassware, use distilled white vinegar in your dish washing routine. Depending on how you wash your dishes, there are three ways to do this.
If your dishwasher comes equipped with a rinse agent dispenser, just fill that receptacle with distilled white vinegar. Use your usual amount of dish detergent and your regular wash cycle.
If your dishwasher doesn’t have a rinse agent dispenser, then just pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the bottom basin of the dishwasher and run your regular cycle. Use the same amount of dish detergent as usual.
If you wash your dishes by hand, wash and rinse as usual but then dip your dishes into a solution of hot water and 2 cups of vinegar before you set them out to dry.
Boom! Sparkling clean dishes!
HOW TO REMOVE PET URINE FROM CARPET WITH VINEGAR
Start by blotting up as much of the urine as possible with multiple layers of paper towels. Step on the paper towels to apply extra pressure and increase the absorption rate. Repeat this process until most of the urine has been absorbed.
*First, test your carpet in an inconspicuous area with the following solution to make sure your carpet colors won’t run. If all is well, continue to the next step.
Using a solution of equal parts water and distilled white vinegar, saturate the urine spot and let it sit for 15 minutes. Repeat the blotting process until mostly dry. Sprinkle baking soda over the area to absorb and odors. Let sit for an hour and then vacuum
HOW TO REMOVE RUST FROM TOOLS WITH VINEGAR
If you have rusty tools laying around, try this solution. Soak the tools in a bucket of undiluted distilled white vinegar for about 3 hours or so. Brush with a wire brush or toothbrush if that’s what you have on hand. Rinse with warm water. Dry thoroughly using a hair dryer for tight spaces.
HOW TO SHINE STAINLESS STEEL & CHROME WITH VINEGAR
Buff your stainless steel or chrome to a high shine by sponging on undiluted distilled white vinegar. Rub it using a soft dry cloth until it gleams.
HOW TO REMOVE INK & MARKER FROM WALLS WITH VINEGAR
If you have pre-schoolers or toddlers at home, you have probably found a few masterpieces on your walls. I don’t know why but there is something mesmerizing that draws them to these blank canvases.
If you’ve decided that the little artist’s work has to go, try wiping it with undiluted white vinegar. It should do the trick and wipe right off.
HOW TO USE VINEGAR TO REMOVE STICKERS FROM GLASS
One of my favorite things to do with pretty candle or food jars is to re-purpose them into makeup brush holders, pen or marker holders, etc. Vinegar is a great way to remove any sticky residue that might be left behind from the price, ingredient, or brand stickers.
There are a couple ways to do this.
If you have multiple jars you want to remove the stickers from, fill your sink with hot soapy water. Add a couple cups of distilled white vinegar and let your jars soak in the solution for a few hours. The stickers should melt right off. Rub any remaining sticky residue off with a wash cloth.
If you are trying to remove a sticker and don’t want to wait a few hours, simply wet a wash cloth with undiluted distilled white vinegar and place it over the sticker to soak. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then rub and scrape away any left over residue.
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WHAT SHOULD YOU NOT USE VINEGAR ON?
There are a few things you should definitely not try using vinegar on. Not all surfaces are safe to use vinegar on due to the acidic nature of the cleaning super-star. Check out the list below to be safe.
- Bleach. Don’t ever mix vinegar and bleach! The combination of bleach and the acids in vinegar will emit a toxic chlorine and chloramine gas. This could cause severe lung injury.
- Smartphone & Computer Monitor. Using vinegar to remove smudges on your screens could result in you breaking down and removing the oleophobic (oil-resistant) coating on the screens. Use a simple micro-fiber cloth instead when cleaning your electronic screens.
- Kitchen Knives. The vinegar’s acidity can damage the blades. Just wash your knives with soap and warm water.
- Wooden Furniture. Undiluted vinegar may eat through some wood finishes leaving you with a bigger mess than you started with.
- Eggs. Don’t use vinegar on any kind of mess to do with eggs. The proteins in eggs coagulate when they come in contact with vinegar. You will end up with a mess that is harder to clean up than the original mess. Using a damp wash cloth with a little soap should do the trick when cleaning up egg related messes.
- Pearls. Vinegar will literally dissolve your pearls. As in, good-bye family heirloom! Pearls have calcium carbonate in them. The acid in vinegar will eat right through this. Just use a soft cloth dipped in a solution of lukewarm water and mild dish soap instead.
- Marble & Granite Countertops. Don’t use vinegar on granite or marble countertops. Vinegar is too acidic for these natural stones and could cause pitting and etching which would leave dull, discolored patches behind. A better bet is to use a dampened washcloth to wipe down your countertop and then follow it up by wiping it down again with a dry one.
- Ceramic Tile Flooring. The acid in vinegar will break down your tile grout causing crumbling and ultimately, loose tiles.
- Stone Floors. Acidic cleaning solutions that include vinegar, ammonia and lemon juice will dull or eat away at the surface of calcareous stones. Instead, wet mop your stone floor with a solution of water and mild vegetable soap.
I’m sure there are so many more ways to use this amazing product. If you know of any other ways to use it that I have missed, be sure to share in the comments below.