Vinegar has been produced commercially for over 2,000 years, so it is nothing new. There are many varieties of vinegar that have wonderful culinary uses. But for the purposes of cleaning, white vinegar is the most versatile. White table vinegar, with about 5% acidity, is a green cleaning saviour!
It is especially good at dissolving mineral deposits. But it also has been shown to kill bacteria, mold and germs, which makes it a fantastic natural all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant.
Some people find the strong smell of vinegar a bit much to handle. Don’t worry, the smell disappears once the it dries! But if you still can’t stomach it while you are cleaning, I have found that adding a few sprigs of lavender, rosemary or any other herb of your choice works a treat at making your vinegar cleaning experience a bit more palatable.
It is green, incredibly versatile, and does not irritate skin or aggravate allergies like many commercial cleaners. But best of all, it is cheap as chips! You can pick up a huge jug for a few bucks! Trust me, make friends with vinegar. It will become your go-to lifesaver for cleaning up your household like it has for mine!
So here are my:
TOP 45 WAYS to GO GREEN WITH VINEGAR.
1. Use Vinegar to Remove Odours From Hands After Handling Foods:
Rub your hands with it and then rinse after handling strong smelling foods such as garlic and onions.
2. Use Vinegar When Cooking Eggs:
When boiling eggs: add a few tablespoons to the water will prevent the whites leaking out if any eggs should crack.
When poaching eggs: add a few tablespoons to the water will keep the whites nice and well formed.
3. Use Vinegar to Reduce the Gas When Cooking Beans:
Add a few tablespoons to the cooking water for legumes. It will help to reduce the gassy nature of these vegetarian treasures!
4. Use Vinegar to Freshen Up Wilted Leafy Greens:
Wilted leafy greens can be brought back to life by soaking them in some cold water with a few tablespoons.
5. Use Vinegar to Relieve Bites, Stings and Itchy Skin:
Mix up a paste of vinegar and baking soda and apply to affected areas to relief.
6. Use Vinegar To Absorb Odours:
Pour some in an open bowl or container and leave sitting to absorb odours from the air.
7. Use Vinegar as an All-Purpose Cleaner:
Mix equal parts vinegar and filtered water in a spray bottle to clean most surfaces around the house. Always test a small amount of surfaces you are unsure of. For example, vinegar should never be used on marble surfaces.
8. Use Vinegar To Clean and Unclog Drains and Garbage Disposals:
To keep drains and garbage disposals clear or to unclog them pour ½ cup baking soda and then follow that up with 1 cup vinegar. This mixture start to fizz and foam. Allow this to stand for about 15 minutes. Then flush this down with about 20 cups of boiling water. You could follow this up with some lemon juice for a lovely fragrant smell.
9. Use Vinegar To Wash Dishes In Your Dishwasher:
Use baking soda in the soap compartment and vinegar in the rinse compartment as a natural dish washing detergent in your dishwasher.
To get rid of soap residue in your dishwasher: place a whole in your dishwasher and run the dishwasher without any dishes in it. I do this about once a month. You can run all of your glassware through the dishwasher to make them sparkle if you want to make better use of the water in this cycle.
10. Use Vinegar as a Natural Glass Cleaner:
It makes a fantastic natural glass cleaner. Simply mix ¼ cup with, 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and 4 cups of warm water. Put this mixture in a spray bottle or you can sponge the mixture onto the glass surface. Then take a sheet of newspaper to wipe clean. Alternatively, you can just use straight or diluted vinegar with newspaper for great results. You may need to wash extremely dirty surfaces with warm soapy water before applying vinegar for the best results.
To remove streaks from glass and mirrors use a soft cloth with undiluted vinegar.
11. Use Vinegar to Get Glassware to Sparkle:
Rinse your glasses in vinegar to make them sparkle and rinse thoroughly to remove vinegar smell.
12. Use Vinegar To Clean Soap Scum in Kettles:
Place 1 cup vinegar and 2 cups of water and bring your kettle to the boil.
Rinse thoroughly and then bring a kettle of plain water to the boil to get rid of any vinegar taste and smell.
13. Use Vinegar To Clean Your Oven:
To clean a cold oven: simply dampen the walls of the oven before sprinkling a generous layer of baking soda. Leave this to set for three hours. Then spray the surfaces with a generous amount of vinegar and allow to sit for three more hours. Wipe out, rinse thoroughly and then wipe out again.
To reduce grease spot on your oven walls: after cleaning your oven thoroughly using the above process, give the oven walls a final wipe out with a diluted vinegar solution.
14. Use Vinegar To Clean Your Microwave:
Place a glass bowl filled with water and 1 cup of vinegar and heat on high for a couple of minutes. The steam from this solution will help to remove congealed food particles. Wipe over with a vinegar solution with a soft cloth.
15. Use Vinegar To Clean Non-Waxed Floors:
It is fantastic for cleaning non-waxed floors such as ceramic and other kinds of tiles, cork, slate and linoleum. Simply mix 1 cup of vinegar into a large bucket of hot water . If you have very greasy or dirty floors add in a tiny bit of natural soap to the mopping water.
16. Use Vinegar To Clean Ceramic Bath Tubs and Sinks:
For fairly clean tubs a wipe out with straight vinegar or mildly diluted vinegar usually removes most soap build up. But for more built up tubs: wipe out with a vinegar solution and then sprinkle some baking soda and use a gentle scourer to remove any dirt. Rinse thoroughly and then do a final wipe with a vinegar solution if you want a lovely shiny finish to your ceramic tubs.
For stubborn hard water stains and lime build up apply straight vinegar to the areas and leave until the stains disappear. Repeat this process if necessary, and then rinse with water.
17. Use Vinegar To Clean Mildew Stains From Sinks and Tiles:
For mildew stains: dissolve ½ cup of borax and ½ cup vinegar in 2 cups of warm water. Pour this in a spray bottle, spray the affected areas and scrub. Rinse with warm water and wipe over.
18. Use Vinegar To Remove Mold From Tiles:
Rub tiles with straight vinegar and scrub with an old toothbrush. For the best results it is best to leave this overnight before rinsing thoroughly.
19. Use Vinegar To Remove Rust Stains From Surfaces:
Apply straight vinegar to affected areas and allow to stand before rinsing. Repeat this process if necessary.
20. Use Vinegar To Clean Chrome Surfaces and Bathroom/Kitchen Fixtures:
You can use it on soft cloth to naturally buff and polish chrome surfaces.
To soften lime deposits on fixtures soak a cleaning towel in vinegar and wrap the fixtures for about an hour before rinsing and cleaning.
To remove lime deposits and unblock shower heads: remove heads and soak them in a solution of equal parts of vinegar and hot water for about an hour. Rinse and refit.
21. Use Vinegar To Clean Shower Curtains:
To clean stains and to remove mold from vinyl shower curtains scrub with vinegar and then rinse with salt water to prevent mold and mildew and dry in the fresh air before rehanging.
22. Use Vinegar To Clean Toilets:
To remove rings from inside the toilet bowl pour straight vinegar around the bowl and use a toilet brush. If this doesn’t work repeat this process with a generous amount of baking soda as a mild abrasive. Leave this solution to sit for a few hours before scrubbing and flushing. This cleans and deodorizes.
You can clean the lid and top of the toilet by spraying a diluted solution of vinegar. Wipe off and dry with a soft cloth. This cleans and disinfects.
23. Use Vinegar To Clean and Remove Soap Scum From Washing Machines:
Clean the pipes of your washing machine and remove soap scum in one hit. Simply run an empty washing machine on a full warm wash cycle and add about 4 cups. Do this about four times a year, depending on how much you use your washing machine. For a lighter clean and rinse, you could put 1 cup through your washer once a month.
24. Use Vinegar As A Natural Fabric Softener:
It also makes a fantastic natural fabric softener. Just add ½ cup to the final rinse cycle. This can also reduce static and mildew.
25. Use Vinegar To Remove Some Stains On Clothing:
For coffee and tea stains: blot the area with a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water. Then wash as normal.
For rust stains: blot with vinegar and then wash as normal.
For tomato ketchup, tomato stains and mustard stains: remove excess, blot with water, then blot with vinegar. Repeat this process for stubborn stains. Then was as normal.
For perspiration stains or deodorant stains: cover the affected area with vinegar, allow to sit and then wash as normal.
26. Use Vinegar To Reverse Dye Transfer On Clothes:
Ever accidentally washed a brightly coloured sock with your precious whites or favourite T Shirt. If this happens wash the affected item again on the small load cycle immediately with 2 cups of vinegar.
27. Use Vinegar To Deodorize Clothes:
Soak gym gear and smelly socks in a mixture of equal parts warm water and vinegar overnight. Then wash as normal.
28. Use Vinegar To Disinfect Clothes and Diapers:
Soak clothes stained with urine or faeces in warm soapy water and then rinse with diluted vinegar to disinfect. Then wash as normal.
For cloth diapers: remove excess faeces and then soak in a solution of soap and hot water with 1 -2 cups of vinegar, depending on the size of the bucket. Leave to soak overnight and then wash in extremely hot water with another cup of vinegar to disinfect and remove bacteria. Then dry in the sunshine.
29. Use Vinegar To Disinfect and Deodorize Your Mattress:
To deodorize and freshen mattresses after bed wetting or to get rid of general odours wash with a solution of equal parts vinegar and warm water. Then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda and allow to dry, preferable overnight. Then vacuum up completely.
30. Use Vinegar to Clean Stains and Marks on Carpet:
For general stains and marks: blot the area with vinegar using as little liquid as possible as soon as the stain occurs. Work from the outside in to prevent spreading the stain. Pat with a dry towel.
For urine: Sponge up as much as possible. Then cover affected area with vinegar and then soak up the excess moisture. With a towel or rag. Then clean or shampoo the area to remove all residue.
31. Use Vinegar To Remove Chewing Gum From Fabrics:
Soak chewing gum to gently dislodge it from fabrics, carpets, rugs and upholstery.
32. Use Vinegar to Remove Adhesives for Surfaces:
For glass surfaces: soak the adhesive with a generous amount of vinegar. Leave for a few hours they should then rub off quite easily.
To remove bumper stickers from the back of cars: soak with a vinegar solution, leave for a few hours and then gently peel off.
To remove stick on hooks from walls: apply vinegar to the adhesive and then remove. If you are concerned about the acidity of the vinegar damaging the surface, test with a diluted vinegar solution first.
33. Use Vinegar To Clean and Restore Wooden Furniture:
To clean wooden furniture: dilute a few tablespoons of vinegar in a cup of water and use a soft cloth to wipe down wooden furniture and give it a good cleaning before polishing and restoring wooden surfaces.
To restore wooden furniture: make up a mixture of 1/8 cup with, 1/8 cup flaxseed oil and ¼ cup fresh lemon juice and use a soft cloth to restore wooden furniture.
To remove water condensation marks on wood furniture: mix up equal parts of vinegar and vegetable oil and rub to remove marks with the grain. Wipe off with a soft cloth.
34. Use Vinegar to Clean Walls:
To clean grease spots on painted walls: dissolve grease spots by wiping down with vinegar.
To clean vinyl wallpaper: wipe down with vinegar and a soft cloth.
35. Use Vinegar to Remove Stains From Vases:
Place 1 – 2 cups with 1/8 cup salt in the vase and swish around until stains clear. You might need to repeat this process to clean extremely dirty vases.
36. Use Vinegar to Keep Flowers Fresh:
Add a few tablespoons with a teaspoon of sugar to a vase of flowers to prolong their life and keep them fresh.
37. Use Vinegar To Clean Fireplaces:
Wipe down bricks and tiles with it to clean.
38. Use Vinegar To Clean Brass:
Make a paste of equal parts salt and rice flour with vinegar and rub with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
39. Use Vinegar To Freshen and Soften Paintbrushes:
Soften old hard paintbrushes by soaking them in hot vinegar for a few minutes. Wash in warm soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and then allow to dry.
40. Use Vinegar To Trap Silverfish:
Always keep your house as dry as possible as dampness is what attracts silverfish. You can also make a trap for silverfish by mixing one part molasses to two parts vinegar and place in a small container.
41. Use Vinegar To Keep Car Window Clean and Frost Free:
Mix up a solution of three parts vinegar one part water and wipe over car windows to help keep them frost free during the colder weather.
42. Use Vinegar to Kill Weeds and Moss From Sidewalks and Driveways:
To kill weeds: mix equal parts of vinegar and water and spray on weeds to kill them.
To kill moss: mix up equal parts vinegar and methylated spirits. Apply and then scrub with a stiff bristled brush. Leave for at least fifteen minutes and then repeat the process if needed. Sweep up with a stiff broom.
43. Use Vinegar to Get Rid Of Skunk Odours From Pets:
Wash your dog or cat in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water.
44. Use Vinegar To Relive Itchy Ears in Pets:
Wipe out your pet’s ears with undiluted vinegar to relive itching.
45. Use Vinegar To Deter Cats From Delicate Areas:
Cats are repelled by it. Spray a vinegar solution in places where you do not want cats scratching around.
This is by no means an exhaustive list.
Please feel free to email me with any other great vinegar tips you have!
Check out my favourite healthy gluten free recipes using baking powder at Healthy Blender Recipes.
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Category: Go Green Kitchen
About the Author (Author Profile)
Tess Masters, a.k.a The Blender Girl is an actor, presenter, voice over artist, cook and writer. She writes a quirky food blog, Healthy Blender Recipes, sharing quick easy allergy free gluten free vegetarian recipes with whole foods. Tess writes the eco food blog for Go Green America TV and is a regular contributor to The Balanced Platter. She and her recipes have been featured on Chow.com, Epicurious.com, Glamour.com, and the LA Times, as well as countless websites and blogs around the world. Tess resides in Los Angeles, California with her partner and their dog, Cookie.