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Quick and easy ways to clean your home with vinegar.

Updated on April 30, 2014
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I admit that I never thought twice about using vinegar to clean anything in my house. Then a couple of weeks ago a bad smell started coming from the kitchen sink. I didn't have anything from a store that I could put down the drain to kill the smell right at that moment (and it was bugging me too much to not do something about it sooner than later) so I looked in the cabinets and found vinegar and baking soda. I had heard about vinegar killing odors so I thought that I’d give it a try.

I must admit that I’m one of those people that believed more in needing chemicals to clean stuff more efficiently than anything “all natural” could ever do. I don’t know why, I just was and I really didn’t think it would kill the smell good enough to make me not run out and buy something from the store.

So anyway, off I went. I poured some baking soda down the drain then the vinegar and watched it fizz for quite a while then rinsed both sides out and went about the rest of the things I had to do. Much to my surprise, the smell hasn’t come back and as an added bonus, the sink drains better than it did before I poured it all down.

It got me thinking that maybe it’s not so bad after all. I used it again a few days ago when 5-year-old son decided that peeing in the bathtub was easier than going on the toilet. So now I had a ton of toys floating around in pee filled water. I really didn’t want to use chemicals to clean it all since my 1 year old puts all the toys in his mouth, so I figured I’d try vinegar again. All the toys are now clean along with my tub (which looks nice and white now thank you) and another bonus was the bath mat that was starting to have mildew under the suction cups got a cleaning and now the mildew is all gone too.

Naturally, that got me thinking about other things around me house that could benefit from a good vinegar cleaning, whenever my son decides to give me a few minutes of time to clean. I searched around and found so many uses for vinegar I was surprised. I wrote a few of the ones that I could use around my house that I want to do at some point in the near future.

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Besides unclogging my drain, killing the odor and mildew, and disinfecting my bathtub, it’s useful for the following:

Cleaning chrome and stainless steel

All my appliances in my kitchen are stainless steel so this is going to be a great one to use since handprints show up very well on the stainless steel, especially on the fridge. Using the vinegar is easy; just spray a light coat of undiluted vinegar onto the steel then buff it with a soft cloth to really bring out the brightness.

Clean scissors

The next time your scissor blades get sticky or grimy, use full strength vinegar to clean them and then dry the scissors off with a rag. This is better than using water since the scissors will rust after a while with water as compared to vinegar.

Freshen up a musty closet

First you will have to remove everything from the closet. Once it’s completely empty, make a solution of 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of ammonia, ¼ cup of baking soda to 1 gallon of water. With the solution, wash down the ceiling, walls and floor. If it happens that the smell is still in the closet, put a kitty litter pan in the closet and replace it every couple of days until the smell is gone.

Water rings on furniture

There are only two easy steps for this one; mix equal parts of vinegar and olive oil and apply the mixture with a soft cloth with the grain. Once that’s done, wipe it off with a soft cloth. If you have white rings on leather, just dab them with full strength vinegar.

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Clean your fridge

Use equal parts vinegar and water to clean the interior and exterior of your fridge. To kill any mildew that might be there, wash the inside of the fridge with full strength vinegar on a cloth. You should clean all parts of your fridge this way, including the bins and the seal around the door.

Disinfect cutting a cutting board

Cutting boards can be a breeding ground for lots of bacteria. It can grow in all the little grooves in the wood and spread to any food that you put on the board, contaminating it. A great way to prevent this is to wipe it down with full strength vinegar after you use it. Using water and soap isn’t recommended since water weakens the surface wood fibers. You can also pour on a thin layer of baking soda onto the cutting board every now and then to kill any odors that may be in the board.

Wash your dishwasher

It’s a good idea to wash your dishwasher every few months. It will keep your dishwasher working near optimally and it will remove any built up soap film. I have very hard water where I live so I clean out my dishwasher once a month. There are two different ways to put the vinegar in the dishwasher, but it still does the same thing. All you do is empty the dishwasher, then take 1 cup of undiluted vinegar and either dump it into the bottom of the dishwasher or you can put it in a bowl on the top rack. Once that’s done you run a full cycle but don’t put in any dishes or detergent. Just let the vinegar do its work.

Clean the shower doors

To make them sparkle and to remove all the water spots, just wipe them down with a mixture of ½ cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of ammonia and ¼ cup of baking. Mix all them with 1 gallon of warm water. If you have hard water you’ll be finding yourself doing this more often too.

I know that I only listed 10 ways to use vinegar but I would be here until the end of time writing all the things vinegar can be used for if I didn’t put a limit. I find it amazing that a 4L bottle that I paid less then $5.00 for could do so much around my home.

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