Since good old vinegar is acid-based and a product of fermentation – it has become a tool for environmental cleaning everywhere. The acids in vinegar can break down any type of bacteria, mold, and even tough grease. I don’t mean to sound like a vintage TV commercial, but why aren’t more of us cleaning with vinegar? It is practically the most economic solution to home cleaning, because it can survive basically any weather/time span and costs much less than corporate cleaners. It is also the most environmentally friendly because it is naturally occurring (alcohol turns into vinegar over time), biodegradable, and doesn’t release any harsh chemicals into the air. In fact, vinegar purifies the air!
Use distilled white vinegar for home and garden up-keep
A lot of us remember our school nurses recommending vinegar to kill off head lice, but put this idea into our pile of “secret remedies” without researching why. Vinegar is actually a natural herbicide and pesticide. Here are some ways to carefully use vinegar as a cleaner and pesticide without harming your garden or the environment. This is some serious magic, so listen up!
Since vinegar naturally soaks up moisture from plants and leaves, it is a very powerful weed killer. If you have an invasion of pesky little weeds in your backyard, you can mix 1 cup of white vinegar with just 1 tablespoon of environmentally friendly dish soap into a spray bottle and spray plentifully on all the weeds from top to bottom. The dish soap assists the vinegar in breaking down the foliage. Weeds be gone!
Air Purifier / Air Freshener
Don’t look at my article that way – I know you’re beginning to doubt my vinegar credibility and are asking yourself “why would I want my bathroom to smell like vinegar?” But I say to you, one way to completely rid the air of foul odors is not to mask with flowery air fresheners, but to eliminate with white vinegar. Since vinegar is a natural disinfectant, it kills the bacteria that cause odors. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle, and spray the entire room as you would with any deodorizer. First the vinegar will smell strong, and within the hour it will evaporate, leaving no odor at all.
Mop / Remove Stains from Linoleum, Vinyl, or Tile
Distilled white vinegar not only kills bacteria and mold (as previously stated!) but leaves surfaces looking shiny, with a little help from friends. Mix 1 part water, 1 part alcohol, 4 drops of liquid dish soap, and 1 part vinegar to remove stains or mop the floors. For a very shiny finish you can mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water and apply to freshly mopped floors. I personally cannot stand the smell of bleach and other cleaners for a full hour of deep kitchen cleaning, so this is my personal, perfect mopping solution.
Remove Grease from Oven
This seemingly impossible task, especially after the rushed cooking of the holiday season, can be achieved by saturating the grease / grease stains with pure distilled white vinegar for about thirty minutes before scrubbing off with a sponge. You can also use vinegar to eliminate the smell of a newly cleaned oven by mixing with water for a final rinse.
Clean the Microwave
Be sure to use a microwave safe bowl (as always) and mix half a bowl of water with half a cup of white vinegar. You can bring this mixture to a boil inside the microwave itself, and then use it to scrub the ceiling and walls clean. The microwave plate can be put directly into the dishwasher but vinegar will also help to scrub greasy dishes or to clean sponges.
Vinegar as a Pesticide
If you are sensitive to pesticide use because of your strong feelings toward animals or toward the environment – you can breathe easy now and be relieved. There are many ways to keep the bugs, animals, and pests off the yard kindly. For rabbits and other stray animals, you can soak corncobs or pine cones with full-strength vinegar overnight and then scatter them around the rabbits’ favorite crop. The rabbits will be warned off, grossed out, and will not return. For ants, fleas, and bugs you can apply directly to an area that usually becomes infested with ants during a certain season, and they will also be warned off by the strong smell. Vinegar can also kill slugs and ants, but you can ward them off before it comes down to actually killing them if you are sensitive in this regard. It will be effective after one application.
Remove Odors from Garbage Disposal
A very common problem for garbage disposal owners is the strong, often nasty smell it can release into the home. I usually use a mixture of half a cup of baking soda, a full cup of vinegar, and ΒΌ cup of water and pour into the garbage disposal. Do not run the garbage disposal right afterward; you must let the mixture soak and break down whatever bacteria may be growing in there. After about fifteen minutes, you can run the garbage disposal as you usually would.
White vinegar is eco-friendly and affordable
All of these solutions are very affordable, easy to pull off daily and best of all – they actually work! There are many testimonials online, but the only way you’ll witness the magic of natural science is to try it for yourself.