Admin on April 14, 2015 3 Comments Vinegar is one of those ingredients that can be found in everyone’s pantry. You might know it as a handy ingredient for your favorite meals, but it can also be a surprisingly effective cleaning tool. Whether you’re looking for an all-natural cleaning solution or simply a way to cut costs at the grocery store, turning to vinegar as your go-to cleaning product can help you in countless ways. How Vinegar Helps Clean The acidity of vinegar is what makes it so useful. Vinegar has many chemical properties that allow it to react with whatever you’re cleaning, which enables it to cut through grease and eliminate odors. When combined with baking soda, vinegar fizzes, and in many cases the bubbling action can also help loosen grease and grime. Vinegar also kills bacteria, allowing you to use it as a disinfectant. 1. In the Kitchen Vinegar is a great choice for cleaning your refrigerator and other places where you’ll be storing food, because it is nontoxic but very powerful. Wipe down the shelves of your fridge with a mix of vinegar and water to keep them clean and food-safe. It’s also a good idea to use vinegar in other areas of your kitchen; you can blend it with water to wipe down your sink, your counter tops, and even the inside of your microwave. Another great combination to know is vinegar mixed with olive oil, which can remove grime from and add shine to your stainless steel appliances. If your targeting tough to clean areas such as a grime-coated stove top, then try heating up the vinegar and water mixture before you use it. Even better, you can spray on the vinegar mixture, let it sit, and then begin to scrub with a brush that you’ve dipped in baking soda. After the mess is gone wipe away the foam for a clean finish. 2. Dirty Dishes If you have cutting boards, dishes, or plastic containers that have retained an odor or become stained, soak them in straight vinegar for a few minutes. This helps disinfect and remove old residue. After the stuck-on grease comes off with the soaking, hand wash the dishes or stick them in the dishwasher to remove any excess vinegar. 3. Bathroom Help Vinegar works well in the bathroom, too. To clean stains out of a toilet bowl, pour in one cup of vinegar and let it sit overnight. The next morning, add a little bit of baking soda, scrub the bowl thoroughly, and then flush. You can also wipe down the floor and walls around the toilet with vinegar as preventative care, since it helps curb stains and odors. 4. Shower Power To clean off your showerhead, pour some vinegar into a bag and then secure the bag around the fixture. Make sure that the actual spout of the showerhead is submerged and let it soak for a few hours. Other fixtures and the shower walls can also be scrubbed down with vinegar and a sponge dipped in baking soda. To clean out a clogged drain in the shower, bathtub, or sink, pour boiling water down it. Then pour in some baking soda and let sit for a few minutes before adding an equal amount of vinegar. Wait for the fizzing to die down before pouring in another pot of boiling water. 5. Smelling Good Vinegar’s ability to neutralize odor means that it can be used to make an easy air freshener. Add half a teaspoon of vinegar to a 4-ounce spray bottle, along with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Tea tree, lavender, or citrus oils all work well. Then fill the bottle with water and mix thoroughly before spraying. This is a great way to eliminate costs from purchasing chemical fresheners that mask unpleasant smells and create your own instead. 6. Bedding Solutions Don’t neglect your bedroom. As the space where you spend an extended period of time every single night, you don’t want your bedroom to smell bad or be too filthy. If you’ve been looking for a way to disinfect your mattress, try vinegar. Mix vinegar, a little bit of rubbing alcohol, and a few drops of essential oil (if desired) in a spray bottle. Spritz your mattress lightly and allow to dry. Be sure to wash your sheets as well. With the combined fresh sheets and sanitized mattress, you should be sleeping well and cleanly. 7. At Work Whether it’s your home office or in an office building, freshening up your workspace can stimulate focus and your best work. Common places that you should clean are your keyboard, computer screen, phone, and small hand appliances. To accomplish this, mix equal parts vinegar and water together, and get a rag slightly damp with the mixture. Use it to remove dust from your computer and other electronics. Vinegar can also be used to clean off staplers, scissors, and other office equipment that can rust if cleaned with water. 8. On the Floor Your carpet can be a breeding ground for all sorts of nasty things that you don’t need or want in your home, which can lead to serious stains and odors. Pet odors or spots on your carpet can be removed by dabbing the spot with pure vinegar. Add some baking soda to the spot and scrub gently; then let dry. Vacuum the spot to remove any baking soda residue once all the moisture is gone. If you are specifically targeting dust mites, then mix a few drops of essential oil with pure vinegar in a spray bottle and lightly spray your carpet. This banishes the mites as well as freshens the smell of your living space. If you don’t have carpet, then a half cup of vinegar mixed with a gallon of water makes a gentle but effective solution for cleaning hardwood, tile, and laminate floors. 9. Laundry Day If your like your clothes to be soft and aromatic straight out of the washer and dryer, you likely use a chemical fabric softener. A cheaper and chemically purer option would be to use vinegar instead. Vinegar has fabric softening properties that can allow you to substitute it for chemical softeners in your laundry. Simply add a cup of pure vinegar to your laundry load and wash as normal. This will also help cut down on static. Vinegar can also be used to remove some stains from your clothing–simply rub it on the fabric and let it sit for a moment before sticking it in the wash. 10. Cleaning Your Windows When it comes to windows, it is really obvious when they are dirty. Sometimes cleaning them with a chemical cleaner just leads to a streaky finish. To avoid this problem and clean windows easily, mix ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol, ⅓ cup vinegar, and 3½ cups water. Use a spray bottle to apply the mixture to your glass and then wipe clean with a lint-free cloth. Avoid paper towels as these can cause streaks on the glass. If it is your window blinds that are dirty, then you can easily clean them by blending equal parts vinegar and warm water. Grab a lint-free cloth or put on an old cotton glove, dip it in the solution, and then rub it along the slats to get rid of grime. 11. Polishing Wood Water stains are hard to avoid on wood furniture, and they are very noticeable when they happen. To get rid of these water rings and other marks, blend an equal amount of vinegar and olive oil together. Use a soft cloth to apply it to the wood, moving along the grain. Buff the wood enough to remove the visible ring but not enough to scrub away any of the finish of the wood. Use another clean cloth to remove excess product and shine the wood. 12. The Great Outdoors Vinegar can be just as useful outdoors as it is inside. Grimy brickwork can be easily wiped down with a mixture of one cup of vinegar for every gallon of water. You can even use pure vinegar to get rid of weeds—just pour it on until the plant is saturated. No herbicides necessary. There are many more applications for vinegar out there, but these are a few of the best ones. Vinegar might be one of the most common kitchen items around, but it can help you clean up your home in no time.