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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cleaning Around the House with White Vinegar

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I know you see posts all the time about the using white vinegar to clean around the house and I as well post about the many uses. These are some of the questions we get asked often by our clients.

You may not realize it, but white vinegar is environmentally friendly, it’s a germ fighter and you probably have it on a kitchen shelf already as you may use it to cook with time and again for tenderizing meats, pickling your garden veggies and bringing out the flavor of some foods.

I have to say, I think my bottle of white vinegar is used more for cleaning around the house than for using in my recipes. You can use it to sanitize the washing machine, make your own window cleaner and so much more.

Vinegar can be used all around the house, from the kitchen to the bathrooms and even used to clean certain types of floors.  Vinegar is quite effective for killing household germs, bacteria, and killing most molds due to its acidic nature.

However, because of its acidic nature it will damage stone. So, DON'T use it on stone surfaces like marble, travertine or granite as it can permanently damage the surface.

Hate the Smell of Vinegar, Don’t Worry it Dissipates Quickly

You might be hesitant to use vinegar because of the smell, but don’t worry because that vinegary smell will dissipate quickly. The plus side of using white vinegar is it’s a "green product", which as I stated above, it’s environmentally friendly, which is especially nice if you have kids or pets in your home.

So, ask yourself which you’d rather smell, some vinegar while cleaning or the harsh heavy smell of commercial cleaners?

Scented White Vinegar?

I have been reading a lot of posts about masking the smell of white vinegar using essential oils or scenting vinegar with herbs and citrus peels. While this might help, it does not completely mask the vinegar smell but it does reduce that vinegary smell a tiny bit.

If this is something you’d like to try, here’s an easy recipe for you to put together:

In a large spray bottle, fill it 50/50 with water and white vinegar. Then add in 15 to 20 drops of lemon essential oil and shake. I’d start with 15 drops and work your way up. Shake before each use thereafter.

Now one thing I noticed with this recipe is after all ingredients were added to the spray bottle I took the sniff test. It did smell more like lemon than I thought it would. When I sprayed the mixture was when I noticed that the essential oils had only masked the vinegar smell just a teeny bit – but some – so some of you may want to try this.

Cleaning your Garbage Disposal

To clean your garbage disposal simply fill an ice cube tray with white vinegar, then pop that in the freezer for a couple of hours. When fully frozen, pop 1 or 2 frozen vinegar ice cubes in the disposal and turn it on. This will deodorize your garbage disposal and help remove the grime.

Be sure to keep cold water running while using your disposal.

Cleaning the Shower

To clean the shower, fill a spray bottle with a mixture of 50/50 white vinegar and water, spray the shower and let it sit for 15 minutes, then wipe with a damp cloth.

This can help prevent mold and mildew and you can also use white vinegar full strength to clean soap scum from shower tiles.  Again spray on the shower, wait 15 minutes, then scrub with a rubber scrubber.  Rinse with water and wipe down with a clean cloth.

Only use this cleaning mixture if your shower is constructed of porcelain tile, glass, fiberglass or other man-made materials. See our caution statement above.

Using a squeegee to wipe down shower walls after each shower will help prevent the build up of soap scum.

Cleaning Swedish Finish Hardwood Floors

To clean your hardwood floors first vacuum or dry mop to remove any dirt. Then add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a gallon of water and mop as usual.  Just remember that you don’t want a very wet mop on your hardwood floors and always use a towel to dry after moping.

Click HERE to read more on hardwood floors.

I hope you have found these cleaning tips on using white vinegar helpful.

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