Vinegar – A Staple for Green Cleaning

| November 26, 2007 | 0 Comments

Housecleaning has never been more environmentally friendly. Imagine drinking the cleaning solvent used to clean the house. How environmentally friendly is that?

Common household white vinegar is versatile and has more uses than just making salad dressing. It can be used for cleaning a variety of household items. For folks who believe in green living, white vinegar is a must-have in the pantry closet.

White vinegar is a mild acid, which serves to dissolve things like dirt, hard water deposits and soap scum. Because it’s a mild acid, it is still gentle enough to use in common household cleaning. One of the most often heard reasons for not using vinegar for cleaning is the fear of smelling like vinegar. The vinegar smell dissipates once it dries. Therefore, the fear is unfounded. After all, the smell is no worse than straight bleach or some of the other toxic cleaning solvents like ammonia.

Equipped with two spray bottles (one with straight undiluted vinegar and the other with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and distilled water), a person can work wonders cleaning and shining her home naturally. Which vinegar spray bottle to use will vary depending on how tough the cleaning job.

Here are a few practical uses for white vinegar:

General Household Cleaning:

  • Use the diluted spray bottle for cleaning items such as windows, computer screens (yes, that includes the LCD screen on laptops too) and chrome. By using distilled water instead of tap water, the solution will not streak and leave mineral deposits on surfaces.
  • For tougher cleaning jobs such as soap scum and hard water deposits, the undiluted white vinegar works better. If the mineral deposit build up is rather intense, let the item soak in vinegar over night before rinsing it off.

Laundry:Green Cleaning

  • Here’s one that works well. Try adding 1 cup of undiluted white vinegar to the laundry instead of using commercial softener. It may not offer the garden fresh scent that many of the commercial softeners offer, but it will remove the hard water deposits and excess detergent, which cause the clothes to become stiff. Be sure to add the vinegar to the rinse cycle (vinegar is a great addition to the laundry; especially for the environmentally conscious who are using home made laundry detergent).

Kitchen:

  • Pour undiluted vinegar in the dishwasher’s dispenser usually used for the anti spotting rinse agent. It will remove the hard water deposits that cause the pesky little water spots (a great complement to homemade dishwashing detergent).
  • For an extra shine on the stove and dishwashing machine exterior, spray a little vinegar solution and wipe. For a little disinfectant/anti-bacterial action, add a few drops of lemon essential oil. Watch the appliances shine.
  • Clean inside the microwave by heating a cup of water and vinegar solution. Heat it long enough to allow steam to leave a moist residue on the inside of the microwave. The residue will make it easier to wipe off the excess dirt with a sponge to reveal a clean microwave (don’t forget to wipe down the outside of the microwave too).

Bathroom:

  • Spray the diluted mixture in the shower, on the walls, curtains or anyplace in the bathroom where there is a propensity for mildew buildup to help prevent mildew from coming back.

Now that you know how to use white vinegar, check out all of the great natural household cleaning uses for hydrogen peroxide

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Category: Cleaning

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer, blogger and owner of Tidbits & Stuff.

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