Want to green your cleaning supplies but can’t afford eco-products? Forgo expensive store-bought cleaners and opt for simple distilled white vinegar to tackle even the nastiest household projects. Vinegar, an acid, corrodes and dissolves things by releasing hydrogen bubbles, and kills bacteria, molds, and germs. Its pungent smell helps cover other odors, and fends off insects and unwanted critters.
Tips for use:
- Kill germ and shine fixtures with equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. This mixture is safe for counters, the refrigerator, faucets, plastic lawn furniture, and walls. Don't ever use on stone like marble, tile, granite and slate, however.
- For windows and mirrors, mix 2 cups of water with ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
- Wash pesticides and germs off fresh produce with a homemade veggie wash in a spray bottle mix of ¼ cup of vinegar with 1 quart of water.
- Use full strength vinegar in the rinse-aid compartment of your dishwasher for spotless dishes.
- Unclog drains by pouring a handful of baking soda down the drain and adding ½ cup of vinegar. Let it sit for an hour, then rinse with hot water.
- Get rid of mineral deposits on faucets by soaking a cloth or paper towel in vinegar, wrapping the faucet tightly, and letting it sit for a couple of hours or overnight.
- Dissolve hard water deposits in a teakettle by adding ½ cup of vinegar to the water and letting it sit for a couple of hours. Swish and rinse. If more drastic action is needed, boil the vinegar in the kettle for a couple of minutes.
- Make your floors sparkle with a solution of 3 cups of vinegar to ½ gallon of warm water. Apply the vinegar solution to the floor with a wet mop, and allow to dry. This works on all floors except marble or stone.
- Scrub your grill with vinegar spritzed on a wadded up ball of aluminum foil.
- To clean a grease-splattered oven door window, saturate it with full-strength vinegar. Keep the door open for ten to fifteen minutes before wiping with a warm, wet sponge.
- Clean the microwave by mixing ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Baked-on food will loosen and odors will disappear. Wipe clean.
- Remove berry stains on your hands by rubbing them with pure vinegar.
- Disinfect baby toys with a generous splash of vinegar to soapy water..
- To get the stink out of a car, leave a bowl of vinegar inside the car overnight to capture the smell.
- Cats hate the smell of vinegar. So if you have a cat that is marking its territory around your house, spray the area with vinegar.
- Repel mosquitoes and ants. Apply vinegar to your body with a cotton ball as a mosquito repellant. Leave a cup full of vinegar in a corner of your kitchen to persuade ants to camp elsewhere.
Here are the cost comparisons:
5-gallon jug of white distilled vinegar (640 oz.) $3.89
Finish Jet-Dry rinse agent (8 oz.) $4.79
Citra Solve natural degreaser and all purpose cleaner (22 oz.)$5.59
Citra Clear natural glass cleaner (32 oz.)$6.59
Ecover floor cleaner (32 oz.) $6.09
Citrus Magic fruit and veggie wash (16 oz.) $9.67
Total: $32.73 * Prices may vary