Saturday, May 1, 2010

25 Ways to Clean with Vinegar

Green & Clean: Spring Cleaning
for Body Mind Spirit Home

I am starting a Green & Clean Series (also known as Spring Cleaning for the Body, Self and Home) and I am so excited!

It's an overcast Tuesday in Colorado and I am feeling the perfect sense of peace and inspiration (dare I say excitement?) to begin my Spring Cleaning (yes, I am feeling excited over this - it's true!) I have already begun my morning with a wonderful 10-minute detox QiGong practice for the body... but I am getting ahead of myself.

Today I want to focus on green cleaning the home. Like many of us, I have been using green non-toxic products in my home for several years now, and my favorites include the Seventh Generation brand. The name reflects the company's belief that "what we do to the earth will be felt by the next 7 generations," and I especially love their lemongrass all-purpose cleaner that kills 99.9% of germs and bacterias naturally. (do I sound like a commercial?) My husband Eric hates the smell, but I love the strength and confidence of this natural product, espcially when I use it to clean the tubs and kitchen (areas where germs can thrive).

I do wonder sometimes however whether it's completely true that these and the other non-toxics are totally free to breathe (I like the Method brand also) because when cleaning with them I do still get a wiff of stickiness in my throat. But I guess that's "natural," and I do also love to work with other natural cleansers like baking soda and, well, vinegar!

My mother taught me years ago that vinegar is a wonderful - and according to her the "only" -way to clean tile floors. (I think all floors can take the vinegar except for hardwood... don't use vinegar there.) Mix a bucket of 3 parts water with 1 part vinegar and your floors will shine! Well, my mothers always have, 24/7 in fact. Mine never seem to look quite as meticulous, even directly after I clean, but I do have 2 whiley dogs and I do do my best. (One of my mother's homemaking gifts is surely a sparkling clean home. I did not inherit this talent. But I'm on a new roll today...)

OK. Back to the vinegar. I came across this article today in Yahoo-Shine on the wire on the many uses of vinegar to clean the home. I am actually looking forward to trying this in my sink drain/disposal and my toilets overnight (hey, why not). I have set an intention this year, also in accordance to my cleaning up my environmental sensitivity issues, to Spring clean and keep a clear and flowing home. (OK, I am in my mid-40s now, it does happen. In fact, an astologer told me in my 20s that as I got older, keeping my home would be more and more important to me, in a good way, and he was right. He said this was a Leo-thing.)

I am also experiencing a wonderful shift in my spiritual life and inner state which for me is including a transformation within the home as a reflection of mindful honor that I am developing with myself. Now I'm all for being human too. And I don't expect myself to be "perfect," but I am truly enjoying the shift that is happening within and it's hard for me to put it into words.

In any case, here goes: 25 Ways to Clean with Vinegar. I feel so passionately good about living green, and all things natural and pure for our Earth and World. And this one is super affordable too!

25 ways to clean with vinegar
by Emily Hsieh, Shine staff

The cleaning aisle at just about any grocery store is stocked with a dizzying array of options—and when it comes down to it, there are a lot of expensive, toxic, superfluous products crowding the market. Chances are, you already have one of the best, all-purpose cleaning agents in your pantry: white vinegar. As noted earlier, vinegar actually works as a great laundry booster, stripping away the chemical build-up that detergent leaves behind (and gets rid of clingy odors in the process). And beyond that, there are tons of other applications for the stuff around your home. Here, from and, 25 ideas for making the most of vinegar:

1. Deodorize the sink: Pour 1 cup baking soda, followed by 1 cup hot vinegar, down the drain. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then rinse with hot water.

2. Deodorize the garbage disposal: Make ice cubes out of vinegar. Run the disposal with a few vinegar ice cubes and cold water.

3. Clean countertops: Wipe down surfaces with a rag dipped in vinegar.

4. Clean the fridge: Use a mixture of half water, half vinegar to wipe down the interior shelves and walls.

5. Remove soap build-up and odors from the dishwasher: Once a month, pour 1 cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run the machine through its entire cycle.

6. Bust oven grease: If you’ve got grease spots on the oven door, pour some vinegar directly on the stains, let it sit for 15 minutes, and wipe away with a sponge.

7. To make old glassware sparkle: To get rid of the cloudy effect, wrap a vinegar-soaked towel around the glass and let it sit. Remove and rinse with hot water.

8. Get rid of lime deposits on your tea kettle: Fill the kettle with vinegar and let it boil. Allow it to cool, and rinse with water.

9. Remove stains in coffee cups: Create a paste using of equal parts vinegar and salt (or in lieu of salt, baking soda) and scrub gently before rinsing.

10. Treat Tupperware stains (and stinkiness): Wipe the containers with a vinegar-saturated cloth.

11. Remove stains on aluminum pots: Boil 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water.

12. Deter ant infestations: Spray outside doorways and windowsills, and anywhere you see a trail of critters.

13. Clean can openers: Scrub the wheel of your can opener with vinegar using an old toothbrush.

14. Remove stickers or labels: Cover the sticker with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Let it sit overnight—it should slide right off by morning.

15. Shine porcelain sinks: A bit of vinegar and a good scrub should leave them sparkling.

16. Clean grout: Pour on some vinegar, let it hang out for a few minutes, and buff with an old toothbrush.

17. Clean the shower door: Spray them down with vinegar pre-shower, or post (after you’ve squeegeed the glass) to remove hard water deposits.

18. Clean a grimy showerhead: To get rid of scum, fill a Ziploc with ½ a cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar and tie it around the showerhead. Let it sit for an hour, until the bubbling has stopped. Remove the bag and run the shower.

19. Make a toilet sparkle: Pour in a cup or two of vinegar and let it sit there overnight before scrubbing with a toilet brush.

20. Polish linoleum floors: Add 1 cup of vinegar for every gallon of water you use to wash the floor.

21. Clean paintbrushes: Soak paintbrushes for an hour before simmering them on the stove to remove hardened paint. Drain and rinse.

22. Clean grills: Spray vinegar on a ball of tin foil, then use it to give the grate a firm scrub.

23. Disinfect wood cutting boards: Wipe down wood boards with a wash of vinegar.

24. Clean the microwave: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water and ½ cup vinegar. Heat it on full power for 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Keep the door closed for a few minutes longer to let the steam fill the microwave, loosening the grime. Remove the bowl (carefully!) and wipe down interior walls with a sponge.

25. Polish patent leather accessories: Give them a rub with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Buff with a dry cloth.

No comments:

Post a Comment