Looking for an eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemical cleaners? Look no further than your kitchen cupboards. Grab a handy-dandy bottle of vinegar (yes, vinegar!).
Vinegar is more than just the go-to for dressing salads and mixing up marinades. Because it’s nontoxic, eco-friendly, and cheap (cha-ching!), vinegar is the perfect solution for all your household cleaning needs.
Keep reading to learn how vinegar is about to rescue you from harsh, environmentally unfriendly multipurpose cleaners and become the cleaning agent of your dreams.
Acetic acid is the secret sauce
Vinegar is made from acetic acid, an organic compound that’s also found in most cleaning products. Acetic acid gives vinegar the cleaning power to defeat grease, dirt, grime, mineral deposits, and even bacteria.
Common types of vinegar are:
- distilled white vinegar
- apple cider vinegar (ACV)
- white or red wine vinegar
- balsamic vinegar
Smell ya later
Vinegar stinks. Literally.
Thankfully, the scent only lasts for about an hour. And you can easily give that vinegar smell the boot. Simply add a few drops of your fave essential oil to mask the smell. Some popular options are lavender, peppermint, and citrus (orange or lemon).
You can also choose to use ACV, which has a somewhat sweet smell. But be sure to dilute it with water, because its darker color could stain.
Vinegar is great for cutting through dirt and grime on floors, particularly floors made of tile or no-wax linoleum.
Warning! Don’t use vinegar on your hardwood or natural stone floors. Its acidic quality can strip the finish or cause surface pitting.
Vinegar can get rid of nasty soap scum buildup in your dishwasher.
Try this solution on both the inside and outside of your appliances. It even works on stainless steel!
Need to get rid of stubborn fabric odors or stains? Try distilled white vinegar!
Vinegar can help rid your toilet bowl of stubborn rings and gross odors.
Undiluted white vinegar can help remove stubborn soap scum and meddlesome mildew in your shower and tub. Spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe the gunk away.
When calcium deposits or hard water stains build up on your faucets and showerheads, a combo of vinegar and salt can save the day.
You can buy glass cleaners with vinegar already mixed in, but you can also save some dollars and avoid the extra chemicals by whipping up your own vinegar glass cleaner.
Vinegar’s a natural disinfectant, so it’s a great choice for cleaning the surfaces where you prep food.
Vinegar can help keep your countertops fresh and remove odors — plus, it can be a great pest deterrent.
Warning: If you have granite or marble countertops, vinegar isn’t the option for you. Its acidic properties can dull your countertop’s luster, so stick to cleaners meant for natural stone instead.
Is your microwave starting to develop a certain stink?
You can create a refreshing ACV elixir by mixing 1 to 2 teaspoons of ACV into a large glass of water.
Be sure to use organic, unfiltered ACV (with “the mother”) for the best benefits, and drink no more than one glass a day to avoid eroding tooth enamel.
Want to keep that beautiful bouquet lookin’ good longer? Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1 quart of water in a vase before arranging your flowers with freshly trimmed stems.
Be sure to change the water every couple of days or whenever it becomes cloudy.
A vinegar rinse can help remove product buildup to keep your hair silky and shiny.
Start with a mixture of 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 cup of water. Based on your hair type, you can adjust the amount of vinegar to best treat your tresses. Use more vinegar for oily hair and less for dry hair.
Pour on the mixture, massage it into your scalp, and rinse with clean water. While ACV is the hair care darling ATM, you can also opt for distilled white vinegar.
In some cases, cleaning with vinegar isn’t the answer you’re looking for.
With its eco-friendly and nontoxic properties, vinegar is more than just a culinary staple. It’s also a cheap and easy way to meet most of your cleaning needs.
To use vinegar as a cleaning agent, just mix it with some water (and a few drops of essential oil for fragrance) and go to town on the dirt and grime in your home. Tossing in a bit of baking soda or salt can make a scrub for those harder-to-clean surfaces, like shower tile and grout.
While it’s great for many applications, you should avoid using vinegar on some surfaces, including granite and wood. Always proceed with caution.