Cleaning with vinegar is a tried and true way to get a naturally sparkling home without using toxic chemicals.
Cleaning with vinegar is the natural way to squeaky clean abode. Photo: Getty Images
Tired of noxious cleaning chemicals? Vinegar is a fantastic all-natural cleaning agent for household surfaces. Surprisingly, cleaning with vinegar doesn't leave the bold, salty stench you might imagine. Once you wipe a surface clean, the vinegar odor disintegrates into a sweet, fresh smell.
Here's a list of common problem areas in the home that you can address with vinegar.
Remove soap buildup and odors from the dishwasher, pour a cup of white distilled vinegar inside the empty machine and run it through one 'rinse' cycle. Repeat this monthly.
Banish lime deposits in a tea kettle by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the water and letting it sit overnight. If the deposits are still intact, boil another 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar in the kettle for a few minutes, let cool and rinse with plain water.
Remove a label or price tag, cover the adhesive with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar. Leave the cloth on overnight and the label will slide off by morning!
Get rid of mildew and soap scum from the tub or shower by wiping the surface with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Rinse with water.
Deodorize the toilet, pour three cups of white distilled vinegar into the bowl and let sit for about a half hour before flushing.
Remove paint from windows, doors or glass, try using hot undiluted, white distilled vinegar. Give the solution time to soften the paint before removing with a razor edge tool.
Clean and disinfect baby or pet toys add a generous splash of white distilled vinegar to soapy water.
Clean sticky scissors with a white distilled vinegar-soaked cloth.
Clean the grill by spraying white distilled vinegar over crumpled aluminum foil and scrubbing the grill vigorously with the foil.
Clean and deodorize counter tops with a cloth soaked in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
CLEANING WITH VINEGAR: WINDOWS AND MIRRORS
Many brand name cleaners are beginning to offer environmentally friendly versions of their glass cleaners, but perhaps one of the greenest of all is cleaning with vinegar. Use a simple solution of 2 tbsp white vinegar in a gallon of water, with the newspapers used to clean instead of paper towels. If vinegar isn't your thing (if you have a lot of windows to clean the smell might be a bit much) lemon juice or club soda are good alternatives.
For another method of window cleaning, check out this video:
CLEANING WITH VINEGAR: ODORS
Vinegar is excellent for removing odors
from your clothing, as well as perspiration stains. Placing a bowl of vinegar on your counter overnight will rid the room of odor.
CLEANING WITH VINEGAR: LAUNDRY
Cleaning clothes with vinegar is an easy, inexpensive way to deodorize your laundry.
Many people already know that white vinegar in a small bowl will remove smoky or musty odors, and that you can put the bowl on a closet floor or shelf if those odors happen to be stuck in your coats and jackets. What many people do not know is that, if you put white vinegar in your wash water at the beginning of a laundry load, it will both freshen and soften the clothes being washed. The scent of vinegar will have miraculously disappeared by the end of the wash cycle, but everything will smell very clean. You don't need much vinegar: a half cup is sufficient, a full cup is plenty, and exact measurements probably aren't necessary. Don't forget to add your usual detergent, too!
Get your fixtures gleaming by cleaning them with vinegar. Photo: Getty Images
CLEANING WITH VINEGAR: BATHROOM FIXTURES
CLEANING WITH VINEGAR: NO-WAX FLOORS
The rust stain removing toilet bowl cleaners produced for the market today can be very toxic. Why not try using full strength vinegar instead and let it sit in your toilet bowl for about 15 minutes, then scrub the bowl as usual. That spray mixture you made for your windows will also shine all the porcelain and fixtures in your bathroom and works just great for killing bacteria.
Cleaning your no wax floors with a solution of 1 cup vinegar per gallon of water will give your floors a shinier surface.
CLEANING WITH VINEGAR: WOOD PANELING
You can clean your wood paneling with a mixture of 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 cups warm water. This will be awesome for us, because if we can buy the place, we don't want to tear down the solid wood paneling that my dad worked so hard to install in his house.