Lovin' Short Cuts
I’ll admit it – managing my daughter’s autism is more important than cleaning, and housework is a task that often can fall by the wayside. It’s important to our family, though, that our house is clean and toxin-free, so I need to keep up on it as best I can.
But even that little bit of cleaning can be tiring – and finding safer products can be even more tiring. So I’m on a mission to help moms like me, who are raising kids with disabilities, allergies and sensitivities, detox their family into a better life – AND find time to take care of mom. That means making short cuts that are simple and affordable.
One Jug. Many Uses.
Vinegar is one of the easiest, most flexible items to have in your home. High quality vinegar is great for salads and cooking, but there are lots of other uses for both white and apple cider vinegar around your house. Here are nine ways to clean with vinegar – both white and apple cider varieties – and how to select the right type.
Distilled White Vinegar
For cleaning purposes, buy distilled white vinegar in the food aisle of your grocery store. This type uses only 5% vinegar and is safe for cleaning. Interesting note: Be careful if you have a corn allergy because most white vinegar is distilled from corn. You can use apple cider vinegar instead, but white will work better.
White vinegar is also a great cleaner for surfaces like windows, counter tops, door knobs, stainless steel and porcelain , however, the smell can be momentarily strong. Dilute it in a spray bottle at least 50% or more and then add a few drops of essential oil. As a personal preference, I love using lavender. (Using essential oils is completely optional but a fun path to learn about in more detail. )
Vinegar is very strong – and you need to take great care in selecting the vinegar, how to spread and how strong to use it because it may kill things besides weeds. Check out Kristi's Famously Fantastic Weed Killer and her outdoor laboratory experiment.
Clean your Coffee Maker
If you have a drip coffee maker you should regularly clean your coffee pot. Most likely, the instructions on your product recommended you clean it with white vinegar before starting. Follow those same directions or run it with a 50/50 water/ white vinegar mixture. Then run again with just water.
Remove Sticker, Tape and Other Gummy Items
You’ve pulled the gum tack or tape off the wall but there’s still a gummy stain left behind – so frustrating! You can use white vinegar to coat the spot and it will dissolve the glue. I love this more affordable, nontoxic option to remove gooey items from walls and objects!
We all know that white vinegar is a great cleaning agent, but did you know that it’s really helpful for hard-to-clean mesh items? As a baby, my child once had explosive diarrhea all over her playpen. The only thing that restored the mesh back to white was a good scrubbing with white vinegar. I recommend this to clean any items that are as tricky as this.
I love my cat, I really do but there are some places I’d rather have him avoid, like under my deck. This is an area where fleas and ticks thrive and even the strongest repellent can fail. I recommend you keep this to outdoor areas since the odor can be pungent.
Clean Stains on China
If you use your fine china to serve tea, coffee, chocolate, you know it can easily stain. Even your dishwasher can’t get those stains out. Simply make a paste with white vinegar and baking soda or salt, coating the spot and letting it sit, for up to 2 hours. Baking soda will be gentler, but you can try salt on more challenging stains. Wash it off taking care not to rub or you may scratch your china.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): For cooking, I recommend raw ACV, which contains beneficial enzymes and bacteria that is good for your gut. However, ACV is a good choice for cleaning items that touch your food.
Clean and Deodorize your Dishwasher
This tip is especially useful if you have hard water, like I do. Use 1-2 cups of ACV in your normal dishwasher cycle. Run the machine with no dishes in it, and toss the ACV into the bottom.
Clean Cutting Boards
ACV is a natural disinfectant so you can use this to save clean your cutting boards. Dilute with 50% water in a spray bottle and spray onto the board. You can let it sit for a little bit to ensure it gets in the crevices and then rinse it off.
Vinegar has a ton of uses around the home – depending on which kind you use and what your needs are. These easy hacks allow you to save money and space by letting your food products do double duty!
Thank you Gina from Embracing Imperfect for being a leading Guest Blogger! Our blog, the Savvy Path, focuses on one theme a month. Learn together, make changes, move forward. Nice and easy. Explore budget-friendly cleaning ideas, tips and products: