Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Many Uses of Vinegar

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Vinegar is quite the versatile liquid.  It's used in cooking, cleaning, first aid, and it's green! Not green in color, but it's a safe, non-toxic way to clean your home.  Because of how versatile vinegar is, I feel it is one of the most important items to have stocked in your food storage.

I have a few favorite ways that I use white vinegar in my home.  Years ago I found  some easy "recipes" for cleaning, and they were so easy to make, because who wants to spend all day making cleaning solutions. These mixes are so simple, you'll be thinking that making homemade cleaners should be more involved, but that is the beauty of using vinegar.  Simple and easy!!!  We have also been conditioned to think that if a cleaner doesn't smell toxic, it isn't sanitizing.  Vinegar, when sprayed along side with hydrogen peroxide, will sanitize surfaces.  Yes, vinegar has a smell, but it won't harm your lungs like bleach or ammonia.  It dissipates after drying.

 Wood Floor Cleaner/Window Cleaner
The ratio is 2/3rd's white vinegar to 1/3rd water.
I marked my spray bottle on the side with black lines so I know where to refill it when it's gone.  
Add a few tiny drops of Dawn dish detergent.  
Shake before using.
Use on glass, wood floors, laminate floors, stainless steel appliances, etc. Wipe surfaces dry with cloth or paper towel. Use a microfiber mop on floors.

Disinfectant Spray
Fill one spray bottle with white vinegar
Add a spray topper to a hydrogen peroxide bottle.
Spray both onto counter top surface. 
Let sit for one minute before wiping.
Wipe with paper towel or cloth towel.
It doesn't matter which is sprayed first.  
Overtime it will also become less effective when mixed together in a spray bottle.
But when applied using two different bottles it will sanitize surfaces. 

Other Uses For Vinegar
  • This idea is for a situation when we are doing laundry manually.  Have a spray bottle of vinegar on hand and use it to refresh your clothes.  Doing laundry by hand will be tough, so to stretch the time between doing laundry shake clothes to free loose dirt and debris, hang up the clothing, spray with vinegar. Once dry, the vinegar will have deodorized the clothes and you can wear them awhile longer before a deep cleaning is needed.  The vinegar smell will dissipate after it dries.
  • Use a mixture of vinegar and a small amount of water to clean blinds and shutters.  Place an old sock on your hand, dip into the vinegar mixture and run your hand over the blinds or shutters. 
  • Place a bowl of vinegar on your kitchen counter  overnight to absorb the smells from cooking dinner.   
  • Add a small amount of baking soda to your drain and pour in vinegar.  This will bubble and clear out small clogs in the drain.
  • Spray straight vinegar onto weeds around your garden.  It will kill them! Be careful not to spray the plants that you want to keep alive :)
  • Run a cycle in your dishwasher with vinegar in the detergent cup.  It will clean and refresh the inside of your dishwasher, especially if you have a stainless steel interior. 
  • Add a cup full of vinegar to your rinse cycle when doing laundry.  It breaks down the alkalies in the detergent. 
  • Spray your fruit and veggies with vinegar and then hydrogen peroxide, let sit, rinse with water. This will remove unwanted pesticides. 
  • Spray a mixture of water and vinegar on a sunburn to soothe.
  • For minor kitchen burns. Run cold water over the burn for a few minutes, then place a cloth that has been soaked in one part water to one part vinegar, place on burn to soothe.  Repeat as necessary.

The ideas above use white distilled vinegar but there are so many other uses for other vinegars, like apple cider vinegar. The internet will fill you in on all those benefits.  But my love for vinegar in everyone's food storage is because it has an almost indefinite shelf life and it's cheap!!!  Everyone can afford to store vinegar.  Stock up the next time you head to the store!  Plus it's so liberating to skip the cleaning aisle. 

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