There’s nothing like fresh spring weather to make you crave a clean house. But there are a couple of things that really bug me about traditional cleaners – the wheeze-inducing fumes of chemicals like ammonia and bleach, for one thing. Then, of course, there’s the cost.
The thing is, there’s a cheaper cleaner sitting right in your pantry – white vinegar. It doesn’t cost much, and it’s also non-toxic. There are a million and one things you can do with vinegar that don’t just involve making salad dressing. As a cleaner, it’s unbeatable and, no, your house won’t smell like pickles – the smell dissipates within a few minutes, unlike traditional ammonia based cleaners.
Here are 12 ways you can use vinegar to help make your home cleaner – and greener – this spring and beyond. And in the same vein, check out our article on 10 recipes for natural household cleaners.
1. Scour your sink, tub and floors: Blend a quarter cup of baking soda, a tablespoon of liquid soap and enough vinegar to make it a bit creamy and you’ve got a great substitute for chemical scrub cleaners.
2. Clean your counters: Pour white vinegar undiluted on a cloth and freshen up your counters.
3. In the laundry: A quarter cup of vinegar added to your laundry load will not only act as a fabric softener, it will also reduce static cling.
4. As a window cleaner: Mix with water in a spray bottle and use it to clean your windows and glass.
5. Remove gum: Heat white vinegar, put it on the gum and watch it dissolve.
6. Get rid of water rings on wood: Mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and rub it onto the water ring with a cloth. Move the cloth with the grain in the wood and watch it disappear.
7. Clean rust: Soak rusty tools in vinegar overnight to get rid of rust, but make sure you rinse them well in the morning so the vinegar doesn’t corrode the metal.
8. Clean your coffee maker — Pour vinegar into your coffee maker instead of water and let it run though. This will remove lime scale and will make your next cup of coffee taste fresher.
9. Clear your drains: Got a smelly drain? Pour in a cup of baking soda followed by a copy of hot white vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes and then run water down.
10. Clean your microwave: Mix vinegar and water into a microwavable dish – put it in the microwave and let it boil inside the microwave. Let the vinegary steam work its magic on all that grime inside your microwave and then wipe the whole thing clean.
11. Clean your grimy oven door: Wipe undiluted white vinegar all over the inside of your oven door and let it sit for 15 minutes. Wipe it clean and give yourself a whole new view into your oven. Same goes for your filthy shower doors – vinegar cuts through soap scum like nothing else.
12. Get rid of spots on your glassware: Spray your wine glasses with vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse them in hot water and then let them dry.