What is vinegar?
Vinegar is a bitter-tasting liquid, which comes from the acetic fermentation of the alcohol in wine. It has been used in cleaning and as a condiment for thousands of years, and is one of the most easily-available acids (if a mild one) on the market.
How can it be used in house cleaning?
The main advantage of the use of vinegar in house cleaning is that is non-toxic and is readily available in supermarkets and stores. Besides, it is so versatile that it is still used today over many commercial cleaning products. For example, it can help eliminate bad smells, remove stains from fabrics (like rugs and clothes) and rust in metals, as well as clean surfaces and household appliances, among other uses. However, it is best used accompanied by disinfectants.
And now for some of the many uses of vinegar in home cleaning:
- Clean general surfaces: With vinegar, you can clean wood, tile and stainless steel. Simply mix 4 cups of water with ¼ cup of distilled vinegar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. This will allow you to clean almost any surface possible, from your kitchen appliances to the tiles in your bathroom, and almost all furniture imaginable.
- Clean glass objects and surfaces: Like before, mix 4 cups of water with ¼ cup of distilled vinegar, but without the baking soda. This can be used to clean glass surfaces and objects, especially if you use it in combination with a newspaper page that has been slightly crumpled (that kind of paper won’t leave fibers behind).
- Clean kitchen appliances: Pour water and vinegar in equal parts into a spray bottle and mix them thoroughly. Use this as a general surface cleaner for your appliances. It can also be used to deodorize your microwave, by placing a container of water and vinegar inside it and then heating it until it boils for a few minutes.
- Clean the bathroom: If soap debris and scum has gathered up in your bathroom surfaces, you can soak them in vinegar for a few minutes to soften them up. Then, rinse them with water. It can also be used to remove calcium carbonate deposits on showers and faucets. To do this, one must remove them from the sink or tub and let them soak in a solution of water and vinegar for two hours, to then rinse. If these deposits have been there for a long time, it might be necessary to scrub them with a brush or an abrasive sponge.
- Remove sediment from small kitchen appliances: With time, many coffee pots and kettles will gather up whitish or brownish sediments from boiling water and coffee so frequently. To remove these sediments, you can fill the pot or kettle with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar and boil it as if you were preparing your morning coffee. Let it boil for several minutes, then pour the solution out and rinse.
- Remove rust stains: If you have a metallic utensil at home that has become rusted (for example, a bicycle, a potato peeler, a can opener), you can clean it with pure vinegar and let it rest for 24 hours before rinsing it. You can also clean other metals, like bronze or copper, by mixing baking soda or table salt with vinegar until you make a paste. Then, apply the paste and scrub until the stains have disappeared, to finally rinse with warm running water.
- Remove stains from your rugs and carpets: To remove tea or coffee stains from your rugs and carpets, scrub them with a mixture of water and alcohol in equal parts.
- Clean tile floors: Mix ½ cup of distilled vinegar in half a bucket of cold water. Scrub your floors with this solution to leave your tile floors shiny and cleaner than ever.
- Clean pots and pans: To remove food scraps from your pots and pans, soak them in vinegar for 30 minutes and then wash them well with dish soap. If you’d like to polish them, dampen a washcloth with more vinegar and some salt and scrub thoroughly.
- Deodorize the fridge: To remove food smells from your fridge, place an open container of water and vinegar inside it.
- Deodorize rooms: Fill a large jar with water and pour a few splashes of vinegar in it. Place the open jar inside the room until the smells disappear completely. This is great for freshly painted rooms. Of course, it’s also recommended that you let the air flow, if possible.
- Remove stickers and labels from containers: If you want to remove the labels from your jars or stickers from furniture and such, soak them in pure vinegar and wait until the labels peel off on their own or soften enough to be removed manually.
- Remove wine stains from clothing: Soak the affected clothing in vinegar and let it air for a few minutes, before placing it on your washing machine. This will help only if the fabric is cotton or polyester and if the stain is less than 24 hours old.
- Deodorize your garbage disposal: Pour a splash of vinegar inside or make ice cubes out of vinegar and water and grind them inside the garbage disposal.
- Remove water stains from wooden surfaces: If you have a wooden table and somebody placed a wet glass or cup on top, leaving ring marks on the wood, you can scrub them away with a solution in equal parts of olive oil and vinegar.
These are only some of the uses of vinegar, but they will surely help you out in having a clean home!