Is vinegar not the most versatile product ever? Not only does it have tons of uses for cleaning and cooking, but it is also very reasonable. So reasonable in fact, it makes it into my article, Dollar Store Deals for Green Cleaning. But the dollar store isn’t the only place to get a great deal on it, white distilled vinegar is easily accessible at pretty much any store these days.
Vinegar is an ingredient I use for cooking so by my standards that makes it very safe to use for cleaning my home. It is also biodegradable, making it safe for the environment too. White distilled vinegar is produced by the fermentation process creating distilled alcohol. It is then diluted with water to typically about 5%.
Vinegar is an acid and about a 3 on the ph scale. These acidic qualities make it great for cleaning. The acid breaks down mineral deposits on glass, fights mold and mildew, and works to cuts grease. It also works well to polish metals and glass. And, also makes an effective wash for produce. An experiment done by Cooks Illustrated found vinegar killed 98% of bacteria on fruits and vegetables. Read more about that experiment HERE. I personally love adding a half a cup to my washer’s fabric softener dispenser. It helps to keep my laundry smelling fresh even if I leave it in the washer for longer than I should.
Despite all of its amazing using, there are a few areas of your house you should not clean with white distilled vinegar. It is not safe to use on granite, marble, stone or hardwoods. Vinegar can etch natural stone and can damage the finish on hardwood floors. If you choose to use vinegar on your floors, make sure to dilute it so that it doesn’t cause damage.
If the scent of vinegar isn’t your thing, trying adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Another idea is to use fruit peels such as oranges to help mask the scent. Most of the time though, you will be using vinegar diluted for cleaning so the scent isn’t as strong.
A few safety tips to keep in mind when using vinegar, make sure not to mix it with peroxide or bleach. It can create toxic gases that are harmful. My beloved castile soap and vinegar are also not a match made in heaven. There are a lot of articles out there touting cleaning sprays they made with these two mixed together but it is sadly not to be. The vinegar separates the soap and oils making it unusable. Read more about it HERE. Mixing vinegar and baking soda is a science experiment and creates an explosive reaction. Be sure to use caution when trying it out. Such explosion though can be useful for cleaning drains without the use of toxic chemicals.
With so many uses, what will you try cleaning with vinegar first? Can’t wait to hear from you!
Until next time,