Yes Spring is definitely here and you know what that means! Time to get rid of the winter grime. Growing up in a little town I remember my Grandma always cleaning with vinegar. My Mom used it all the time too and when I had a house cleaner come in a few times they used vinegar to wash my hardwood floors.
Vinegar is an amazing cleaner and it’s cheap! So….I found some tips on the Better Homes & Gardens website for ways to clean with vinegar and thought I would share them.
Kitchen: Refrigerator: Definitely skip the toxic chemicals where you store your food. Instead, wipe up spills with a 50-50 vinegar-water mix. You can even keep a bottle of the mixture stored in your fridge!
Drain: Pour vinegar onto a scrub brush small enough to get inside the disposal. Sprinkle the brush with baking soda, then scrub to remove odors and built-up crud, says Mary Findley of GoClean.com, a former pro cleaner and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning.
Cutting boards: Spray with straight vinegar, then rinse to clean.
Microwave: Place 1/2-cup vinegar and 1/2-cup water in a glass bowl. Microwave 2-3 minutes, or until it boils. Wipe buildup away with ease!
Stained plastic containers: Coat in vinegar. Let sit. Wash as usual, says Leslie Reichert, aka The Cleaning Coach.
Toilet: Pour a cup of vinegar in the toilet. Let sit overnight. (For tough jobs, empty the toilet water first.) The next morning, sprinkle with baking soda or borax; scrub, then flush.
General bathroom cleaning:
Use straight or diluted vinegar to clean, especially around the toilet, where it can curb urine staining and odor.
Tub or sink drain: Pour 1/2-cup around closed drain and let sit several hours. Scrub to remove buildup. Drain, then rinse.
Shower: Findley’s shower deep-clean regimen: Bring vinegar to a boil, then use it to wipe down the shower door and walls. Keep them damp by wiping them down every 5 to 8 minutes for 30 minutes. Then, dampen a non-scratch sponge in vinegar, sprinkle with baking soda, and scrub. Rinse. Bye-bye germs, mold, water spots, and soap scum!
Shower-head: Pour some vinegar into a plastic bag, and secure it to your shower-head with a twist-tie. Make sure there’s enough vinegar so the bottom part of the shower-head is submerged. Leave the bag on overnight. Remove the next morning just before showering.
Bedroom: Mattress disinfectant: Mix vinegar, a little rubbing alcohol, and some tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Lightly spritz on your mattress to help combat dust mites, mildew, and general odors. For a deeper clean, follow with a dusting of baking soda. Let dry, then vacuum.
Laundry: As a fabric softener: Use vinegar instead of fabric softeners in laundry, Findley says. “It softens clothes and removes the static at a fraction of the cost of fabric softeners,” she says. “Just add a cup to the final wash or rinse water.”
Living & Dining Rooms
Glass: Use a 50-50 vinegar-water solution to keep glass tables or stereo cabinet doors sparkling.
Use 1/4-cup vinegar mixed with 1-cup olive oil — plus a few drops of lemon or orange oil, if you wish — to clean and condition wood furniture, Reichert says.
Floors: Carpet odor and dust mite remover: Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with some vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz lightly throughout. (Test in an inconspicuous spot first for colorfastness.)
Carpet rinse: After shampooing your carpet, rinse it using 1/2-cup vinegar per gallon of water. This lifts dirt-attracting soap residue, so carpets stay cleaner, longer.
Carpet pet odor remover: Wet spot with vinegar. Sprinkle with baking soda, and work the two together with a brush or your fingers. Let dry (ideally overnight). Vacuum.
Wood floor wash: Add ½-cup vinegar to a gallon of water to clean wood and laminated floors.
General: Make your own earth-friendly home cleaners on the cheap with vinegar and other natural products.
Air freshener: Add a 1/2-teaspoon vinegar to a 4-ounce spray bottle, then fill with distilled water, plus a few drops of your favorite essential oil, if desired.
Window cleaner: Mix 1/4-cup rubbing alcohol and 1/3-cup vinegar in a 32-oz spray bottle, then fill with water. Lightly spritz on a lint free cloth to clean.
All-purpose cleaner: Mix 1-cup vinegar, 2 teaspoons borax, 4-cups hot water, 5 drops liquid dish soap, 10 drops tea tree oil, and 10 drops your favorite essential oil (optional).
Disinfectant: Use a 50-50 vinegar-water mix to wipe down telephones, doorknobs, faucet handles, and more when cold and flu season hits, Findley says.
Look at all those great tips for cleaning with a safe and inexpensive product. Love Vinegar! (Plus I have many flavored specialty vinegars that I love to cook with. 🙂 )
Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN.
CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer