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Cleaning Do's and Don'ts: Cleaning with Vinegar



From shower heads to veggie scrub, white vinegar is versatile, environmentally friendly, and an unbelievably inexpensive household cleaning agent. Known for it’s disinfecting properties, this green cleaning product can be a great all-purpose household cleaner. Although vinegar can be used to clean almost anything, there are some surfaces that may be the best to use vinegar on. Take a look at some Do’s and Don’ts uses for this cleaning wonder.

When to Use White Vinegar:

White vinegar is great for cleaning as it is very effective in killing germs, bacteria and mold due to its high acidity level. Vinegar is also great to clean with as it won’t leave stains on your clothes or hard surfaces. To make a handy all-purpose cleaner, in a spray bottle simply mix equal parts of white distilled vinegar and water.

  • Window Cleaner: Using a 50/50 vinegar and water solution apply it to your windows using a sponge. Using a squeegee, wipe the window clean. (Tip: Wet the squeegee to prevent skipping)

  • Fabric Softener: Substitute your fabric softener with white vinegar to soften and deodorize your clothes.

  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Use undiluted white vinegar to clean your toilet bowl.

  • Garbage Disposal Deodorizer: Eliminate odor in your garbage disposal by pouring undiluted white vinegar down the drain.

  • Kitchen Appliances: Use undiluted white vinegar to eliminate built up grime on your kitchen appliances.

  • Microwave: Clean your microwave using a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil inside of your microwave, then remove and wipe clean.

  • Removing Stickers: Remove sticker decals by spraying undiluted white vinegar on the sticker, let sit for a few minutes, then peel or scrape off.

  • Shower Head Cleaner: Clean the hard water build up on your shower head by soaking it in undiluted white vinegar for 15 minutes, then rinse clean.

  • Produce Scrub: Soaking your produce in a 50/50 mix of cold water and white distilled vinegar can eliminate harmful bacteria on your food.

  • Automatic Coffee Makers: To dissolve built up minerals in your coffee maker, fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run the coffee maker through a brewing cycle. Rinse away any vinegar residue by running a full reservoir of water through the brewing cycle a second time.

  • Kill Grass: Pour full strength white vinegar on unwanted vegetation and forget the store bought weed and grass killers!

  • Keep Cut Flowers Fresh: Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar to your vase to keep your fresh flowers looking beautiful!

  • Hair Rinse: Remove shampoo build up by rinsing your hair with a solution of 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 cup of water.

  • Copper, Brass and Pewter Cleaner: Remove tarnish by applying 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of vinegar and add just enough flour to make a paste. Apply to the metal and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with clean water and polish dry.

  • Soften a Paint Brush: Soak your paint brushes in hot, white distilled vinegar then wash with warm, soapy water.

  • Antiperspirant Stains on Shirts: Rub white vinegar on the underarm areas of your clothes to remove stains, then launder as usual.

  • Prevent Colors from Running: To keep colored fabrics from running in the wash, soak them for a few minutes in white vinegar prior to tossing them into the washing machine.


When Not to Use White Vinegar:

White vinegar is very versatile and can be used in many different ways throughout your home. Natural, non-toxic household cleaners such as vinegar are great to have on hand, but, due to the acidic nature of vinegar, there are some surfaces that should not be cleaned with vinegar.

  • Natural Stone: Due to the acidic nature of vinegar, it should not be used to clean natural stone such as marble and granite countertops. Warm water and a mild liquid dish detergent work better for these types of surfaces.

  • Stone Floor Tiles: Likewise, don’t use white vinegar to clean stone floor tiles. Typically found in bathrooms, these types of stone tiles are sensitive to the acid present in vinegar.

  • Egg Spills: Don’t use vinegar to clean egg spills or stains as the acidity of the vinegar will cause the egg to coagulate, ultimately making it harder to clean.

  • Vinegar & Bleach: Don’t ever mix vinegar with bleach as the combination creates a very toxic chlorine vapor.

White vinegar is a great all natural product to have around the house and can be used to clean many different things from fruits and veggies, to hard water stains, to even killing weeds in your garden. Knowing the Do’s and Don’ts of cleaning with vinegar will save you valuable time, and possibly even a headache.

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