I love cleaning with vinegar. I do. I really, really do. Vinegar has natural antibacterial properties and it’s acidic, making it a great natural cleaner. I have my all-purpose citrus vinegar that I use to tackle almost every mess I come in contact with, which is frequently because someone in my household has perpetually grimy fingers and it’s not me. Vinegar is my preferred method of cleaning for just about everything. So, I’m going to share with you my Ten Best Household Tips and Hints for cleaning with vinegar.
Rinse Aid for Sparkling Dishes
Vinegar is very effective at dissolving minerals making it perfect as a rinse aid. Don’t believe me? Check out Nici’s blog post from Posed Perfection where vinegar makes her cloudy glasses sparkle again. I add vinegar to my dishwasher to help boost the power of the dishwasher detergent. I no longer have to rinse my dishes after a cycle because the vinegar makes all of the annoying little food particles disappear. Put the vinegar in the rinse aid compartment and/or in a bowl in the top rack as a part of your cleaning method, only if you want sparkly dishes.
De-Griming Tables and Countertops
With my citrus vinegar all-purpose cleaner in hand; grime doesn’t have a chance. I’m very messy when I cook, leaving food goo spots everywhere. Just a few spritzes of the vinegar cleaner, BAM gone. Blueberry juice? Gone. BBQ goo? Gone. Crisco? Gone. Doubled up with a microfiber cloth, vinegar is all you need to get your table and countertops shiny.
Easy Air Deodorizer
The after effect of cleaning with the vinegar cleaner is the nice clean scent of oranges, and fresher air. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer so it stops the problem instead of covering it up. Even if your vinegar is not infused with oranges, the smell will dissipate in a few minutes, leaving your home smelling fresh. Make your own air freshener by adding 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle. Add some essential oils too if you so desire. Or, spray some extra all-purpose cleaner in the air.
Vinegar in the Laundry
My towels are more absorbent now than when I first bought them. Using 1/4 C as fabric softener in my washer— mines an HE front loader— softens my towels and clothes as it helps to remove left over soap and other residue. I also use vinegar to clean my washing machine from time to time. The best thing about using vinegar in the laundry is my washer never stinks.
Natural Floor Cleaner
Sometimes I use 3 parts hot water, 1 part vinegar but lately it’s just been the all-purpose cleaner and my trusty microfiber cloth. My floors just gleam after a good cleaning with vinegar and I love seeing all of the dirt nastiness trapped in the microfiber. For my cleaning method, I spritz a three-foot section then mop. After a few sections, I spritz as needed, so I don’t overload the microfiber with moisture.
Soap Scum and Mildew Killer for Bathtub
It’s true! A 50/50 mix of vinegar and dish soap (blue dawn is a favorite) does wonders in getting rid of stubborn soap scum. I’ve found with extra stubborn soap scum, it’s better to clean right after a shower while everything is soft and moist. Warm the vinegar in the microwave then mix it with the dish soap in a spray bottle or a dish wand then coat the tub/shower. Let it stand for 15 minutes then scrub and rinse. For mildew, I just use my all-purpose cleaner; it worked well to clean my shower curtain and get rid of that nasty pink stuff.
Homemade drano requires some baking soda and vinegar to make your inner sixth grader happy. Pour 1/2 C of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 C of vinegar. Enjoy the mini volcano then cover the drain for 10 minutes. Uncover the drain then pour boiling water down the drain. I did this for my bathtub. I packed the drain full of baking soda and made a little hole for the vinegar to go down and covered it with the stopper. Twenty minutes later, when I remembered, I removed the stopper and turned on the water; it drained like new!
Hard Water Remover
As I mentioned earlier, vinegar is awesome at dissolving minerals, particularly the ones in hard water. Whenever I have a problem with a scaly faucet or shower head I soak them in straight vinegar and voila, they work like new again. For hard water stains in the bathroom, spray undiluted vinegar right onto them. Get rid of stubborn stains by soaking paper towels in vinegar, cover the stained areas with the paper towels and cover in saran wrap to keep the vinegar from drying out. Remove a few hours later and scrub clean.
There you have it, my ten best household hints and tips for methods of cleaning with vinegar. But wait, there are only eight up there! I heard you; yes, I can count, sometimes. Soap scum and mildew killer counts as two as well as tables/countertops and they are similar so I made them be friends and share a title. One more reason why I love vinegar, it’s dirt cheap. I buy them from Sam’s Club for $3ish for two giant jugs. Vinegar just works better too, in my humble opinion. I’ve used Lime Away/CLR and have never had as good results as I have with vinegar. Plus, I’d rather pay the $1.75 for the giant jug than $6-15 for the chemical stuff that is bad for you and the environment anyways.
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What are your favorite things about vinegar?
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