There are many reasons why we love vinegar and you keep a gallon or two on hand all the time. First of all, it’s cheap. Vinegar is all-natural and free of toxins. It has a high amount of acidity so it kills germs, bacteria, and even mold. Here are just a few ways to add vinegar to your home keeping routine.
1. Use vinegar to clean your carpets.
Vinegar is perfect for cleaning carpets. It works in most commercial or home steam cleaners. To use vinegar in a steam cleaner, just fill the cleaning solution tank with full strength vinegar. This will save you big bucks on expensive, toxic cleaners. As you are cleaning the carpet, the smell of vinegar will be strong but as soon as the carpet dries, the smell disappears. One hint is to add a few drops of essential oil to the water tank. Lavender works especially well.
You can also spot clean your carpet with vinegar. In a large spray bottle, mix equal parts of vinegar and water. Add a few drops of essential oil if desired. Shake well and spray directly on carpet stains. Gently scrub with a clean cloth. For stubborn stains, spray the stain with the vinegar mixture and let it sit for a few minutes. Sprinkle a little baking soda on the vinegar and scrub with a clean brush or cloth. Rinse and vacuum.
2. Use vinegar to clean your hard flooring.
In addition to carpet, vinegar also works as a hard flooring cleaner. It’s easy to use on laminate, tile, and even some hardwood floors. Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar in a bucket with one gallon of hot water. Using a sponge mop or wringable rope mop, clean your floor. It smells like vinegar for a little while but as soon as the floor dries, the smell goes away. By using vinegar to clean your hard floors, you are killing any germs or bacteria at the same time. It also makes the floors shine like crazy!
3. Use vinegar to clean and freshen your dishwasher.
To clean and disinfect your dishwasher, just pour one cup of vinegar in the bottom of your empty dishwasher. Run a regular cycle making sure to use warm or hot water. Some machines have a steam or sanitize cycle which works well too. Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar will not only kill germs, it will make your machine last longer and run better.
4. Use vinegar to clean the inside of your microwave.
No matter how hard we try, keeping the inside of a microwave oven clean is an impossible task. A great way to deep clean a microwave oven and remove ANY dried-on food is to use equal parts of vinegar and water. Usually, 1/2 cup of each is sufficient. Put the mixture in a microwave-safe bowl and bring it to a boil inside the oven. Let is sit and steam things up for at least 5 minutes. 10 minutes is even better. Wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
5. Use vinegar to clean and renew paint brushes.
Cleaning your paint brushes with vinegar will not only remove all the paint, but it will soften the bristles and as a result, they will last longer. Just mix equal parts of vinegar and very hot water in a disposable container. Soak the paint brushes for 30 minutes and then rinse under running water. Remove any remaining paint with a few drops of dishwashing liquid and rinse again. This trick saves money two ways. First, there is no need to replace ruined, paint-filled brushes when starting a new project. And second, there is no need to purchase expensive and toxic paint removers. This method works best on brushes that have been used to apply water-based paint.