The following is a guest post from contributing writer Angie.
I have always been the kind of person that bought commercial cleaning products. If it promised quicker or easier cleaning, I was going to check it out the next time I went to the store (and maybe even buy it). Because of this, the area under my kitchen sink is packed with all sorts of nasty chemicals, all in brightly colored containers whose purpose is to entice me to buy them.
Just after my maternal Grandmother passed away, I noticed myself wanting to do some things that she would have done. One of those was to start washing mirrors and windows with a mix of vinegar and water. My mirrors and windows had never been so clean, and I was a believer!
Here are 15 uses for the wonderful, inexpensive product — white distilled vinegar:
1. Cleaning windows and mirrors – As I already mentioned, this is my favorite use. Just mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and label. (If you’re like my Grandma, you’ll use newspaper to clean the window or mirror.)
2. Laundry Rinse Cycle – This is actually the one that I use the most often. I stopped using a commercial liquid fabric softener and have been using vinegar in its place. It gets rid of odors, softens fabrics, and helps to get rid of static.
3. Clean Your Shower – My friend, Jami, shared directions on how she cleaned her shower with vinegar with great results.
4. Get Rid of the Stink in Your Garbage Disposal – Make ice cubes with vinegar (full strength), and then run them through the garbage disposal.
5. Remove Build Up from Faucets – Use a mixture of four parts vinegar to one part salt as a scrub for these faucet areas.
6. Freshen Stinky Hands – If your hands are less than fresh from chopping pungent vegetables, pour vinegar over your hands to get rid of the odors. (This was a life saver when I was a teenager working at Subway after we would work on prepping those strong onions.)
7. Cut Through the Grime on the Top of Appliances – Use a cloth and full strength vinegar to wash off that disgusting grime that can build up on the top of appliances like the refrigerator.
8. Get Rid of Germs – If you’ve had a lot of sickness running rampant around your house (as can happen during these cooler months), use full strength vinegar to clean areas that receive a lot of touches, such as door knobs or toilets.
9. Clean Your Microwave - A mix of two parts water and one part vinegar, heated to a boil in the microwave, will not only loosen stuck on food, but will also help to clear out undesirable odors. (As with any time that you are bringing a liquid to a boil in the microwave, please be careful with this.)
10. Safely Clean Toys – A mix of vinegar and water is a great way to clean germy toys without harsh chemicals.
11. Remove Stickers and Decals - My children are finally old enough that this isn’t an issue around our house. However, it wasn’t too long ago that I would find rouge stickers in the strangest places. To help remove these, spray on some vinegar and let them stick for a few minutes before trying to peel them off. Try again with the vinegar, if they can’t be peeled off after the first soaking.
12. Shinier Toilet Bowl – Instead of using harsh chemicals, try spraying vinegar into your toilet bowl and then clean with a brush, as you might normally.
13. Clean Mineral Deposits in Automatic Coffee Makers – If you’re noticing a build up in your coffee makers, you can run a cycle with vinegar to help clear that out. Make sure to rinse well after that cycle, however. (Be sure to check your owner’s manual to check for cleaning notes.)
14. Get Rid of (or At Least Deter) Ants - Using vinegar for cleaning might help to deter ants. (Although, let me share a quick tip, as someone who has received the stink eye from an exterminator: If you are planning to call an exterminator because of a large ant problem, try to not disturb the ant trail, as it may make it difficult for the exterminator to find where they ants are coming from.) See another method for getting rid of ants with three ingredients.
15. Clear Shower Heads of Build Up – Take off shower heads and soak in vinegar overnight to remove build up. If you can’t take off the heads (or just don’t want to), you can also soak a cloth in vinegar and wrap it around the shower head overnight.
Since there are, literally, thousands of uses for vinegar, what are some of your favorite uses that didn’t make this list?
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