For a long time, many have thought that vinegar was only used for making a delicious salad dressing or canning pickles, but the truth is vinegar is an amazing cleaner, deodorizer, and disinfectant. Not only can it cut through grime and gunk but it’s non-toxic which means it’s safe for every member of your household and….it’s CHEAP! You can get a gallon jug of vinegar for under $4. Who knew a cleaner for your home could be so friendly to your budget? Here are some favorite ways to use vinegar to tackle every day cleaning in your home.
Vinegar: The Miracle Cleaner
As a Fabric Softener - Add one to two cups of vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of fabric softener. You can create a scented version by adding up to 20 drops of essential oil to 1 gallon of white distilled vinegar. The vinegar removes residue from clothing that can make fabrics look dingy. It also re-fluffs and deodorizes towels, leaving them with a clean, fresh scent. Good choices of essential oils to use are lavender, lemon, or orange oils.
Homemade Drain Opener - Got a clogged drain? Instead of pouring in some toxic drain cleaner that has who knows what in it, why not try using something non-toxic that’s safe on pipes and won’t create weird fumes? Here’s the easy concoction to use to unclog your drains: Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes to absorbs odors. Next pour in 1 cup of vinegar. Allow this to fizz and bubble for about 20 minutes. Finally, pour 1 quart of boiling water down the drain. This should clear up the problem. If not, repeat the steps if you’ve got a stubborn clog.
Glass & Surface Cleaner - You can create your own non-toxic glass and surface cleaner for just pennies when you incorporate vinegar into the mix. Here’s the simple recipe: In a 32-ounce spray bottle squirt in 2 big squirts of blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Add 1 cup of white vinegar. Mix and then top it off with filtered water to fill. Shake once more to mix thoroughly and it’s ready to use. This cleaner removes sticky, messy fingerprints from glass, kitchen cabinets, furniture, door handles, stair railings and more. You can use this on the kids’ toys, high chairs, bathroom surfaces and outdoor patio furniture. This powerful cleaner not only cuts through grime but it also disinfects and deodorizes. In fact, this handy concoction is great for powering through hard water build-up. You can read more about that on our blog.
Have you ever taken a good look inside your washing machine? Yup, it’s pretty gross. So, when you see that, where do you think some of that gunk and build-up is going? Right. On your supposedly clean laundry. So, you do have to clean your washing machine every so often. Here are the steps to follow to clean your top loading washer:
Two common household ingredients are needed for this project. White vinegar and baking soda. The vinegar will disinfect; killing mold and mildew. The acidity of the vinegar will also dissolve soap residue and calcium and lime deposits in your pipes. Baking soda cleans soap scum and deodorizes.
- Set your washer to run on the hottest setting for the largest load. Do not add clothes or detergent. Add 3-4 cups of white vinegar to the water and allow the machine to agitate for a minute to incorporate the vinegar.
- Then add ½ cup of baking soda. Run the machine again to mix in the baking soda. Stop the washer at this point and allow the water to sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- While the hot water, vinegar, and baking soda are penetrating the grime and odors, use a clean cloth dipped in the vinegar water to wipe down your washer. Give attention to the top of the washer, the knobs, the top of the wash bin, and any bleach or fabric softener dispensers. You may want to use an old toothbrush to get in the cracks and crevices.
- After the 30 – 60 minutes are up, resume the washing cycle until the water begins draining. If your washer will allow it, turn the knob so the tub will drain while spinning, further cleaning out the hard to reach places and running the cleaning mixture though the entire machine. If your washer doesn’t allow this, start another hot wash cycle at this point and allow it to run through completely.
- The scum and build-up around the top of the wash bin wipes off very easily with a sponge at this point. Remember, the water doesn’t reach this part, so it may need a little extra attention.
You will be amazed at two things: how much dirt and grime gets loosened and removed from your machine and how clean it looks after this process. Again, keep in mind these instructions are for a top loader washing machine only. If you have a front loader, click here for those instructions.
After you try a few of these vinegar cleaning tips, you will agree with me that the title Vinegar: The Miracle Cleaner is sooo true!!
Looking for more cleaning tips using vinegar? Check out my “Cleaning With Vinegar” Pinterest board.
Do you clean with vinegar? Please share some of your best kept vinegar cleaning secrets!!