More than a flavor enhancer for your dishes, vinegar is an effective and potent natural cleaner. To clean with vinegar is easy and the best part about this ingredient is that it’s cheap, non-toxic, biodegradable, and will last a long time.
By Guest Writer, Garrick Dee
If you do a research on the ingredients of vinegar, you will find that it has acetic acid (between 5 and 20%, normally it’s close to 5).
The acetic acid content is mainly responsible for its germ fighting properties. While it isn’t as potent as commercial cleaners that use chemicals, vinegar is safe to use especially on kitchen utensils and appliances.
We’ll briefly look at these cleaning uses and the ingredients that go along with vinegar to help you make your own cleaning concoctions so you can clean with vinegar!
1. Fridge Cleaner and Disinfectant
One of the most abused appliances inside your kitchen is the fridge. If you cook a lot and store a lot of food chances are it will get really messy. Aside from using dishwashing liquid and water to clean the fridge, an alternative would be using equal parts vinegar and water.
On a lightly soiled surfaces vinegar and water mixture should be enough to clean. If you need more cleaning strength then use vinegar undiluted to clean grime.
2. Disinfects and Cleans the Microwave
If you’ve used the microwave long enough, I’m sure you’ve encountered explosions on instances when you forgot to cover food.
The default solution would be using a chemical based window cleaner to loosen up food stains but that would be dangerous because of the possible exposure.
A safer alternative would be steam cleaning it using vinegar and water. Here’s how you do it, pour in 1 to two cups of water into a bowl then a couple of tablespoons of vinegar then run the microwave for 5 minutes.
After the 5 minutes is done, don’t open the door just yet. Leave the bowl inside for another two minutes so that the steam from this mixture will loosen up caked on splatters of food inside.
The final step would be wiping down the loosen food splatters inside with a clean terry cloth or microfiber towel.
3. Barbecue Grill Cleaner
On my last trip to Seattle, we had a barbecue party and it was fun but messy – cleaning the grill that is. Imagine all that caked on char sticking on the grill, it is tough to clean.
Why not try good old vinegar? To do this, you will have to preheat the grill so that it becomes warm then spray a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water on the grill [source].
Let it sit for around 10 minutes for it to loosen up charred residue. Then grab a crumpled up aluminum foil, spray vinegar on it then scrub. Rinse and repeat until the grill is cleaned.
4. Carpet Stain Remover
One of the best uses of vinegar is cleaning up carpet stains but you’ll have to be quick. If you’ve got a fresh stain on your carpet, the first thing you need to do is blot away as much of it as you can.
Then spray vinegar (not diluted by pure vinegar) on the stained area liberally and let it sit for around 5 to 10 minutes. Last step would be blotting out excess vinegar and let it dry [source].
Rinse and repeat until the stain is completely removed.
But what if the stain has been there for weeks? Fear not, vinegar and baking soda to the rescue! When you do your annual spring cleaning, inspect your carpet and look for stains that you might have missed then put post-it notes to help you keep track [source].
To clean these stubborn stains, first pour vinegar onto the stain and then sprinkle baking soda. Take note that the order in which you pour the ingredients is very important here, make sure to pour in vinegar first then followed by baking soda.
Vinegar works to soften the stain while baking soda will lift it up. After letting it dry up, vacuum the residue using an upright or canister.
5. Remove Stains From Fabric
One of the toughest stains to remove on fabric is coffee stains but with the help of vinegar and some detergent, these stubborn stains can come off!
To achieve this you will need to mix equal parts vinegar, water and laundry detergent until it forms a paste consistency.
Before working this on the stain, test it on a small inconspicuous area to see if there is any discoloration.
Work this mixture on the stain, if the fabric can handle it – use a toothbrush to work the mixture in between fibers. Soak it for around 30 minutes and then throw it in a washing machine (avoid using hot water or the stain will set) or wash by hand.
Vinegar can also work on juice stains but the ingredients will be different – mix three parts water and one part vinegar. For the best results, put this mixture in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture on the stain then blot out excess vinegar with a clean towel.
Do this before washing and please avoid using hot water so the stain does not set.
6. All-Natural Veggie Wash
One of my favorite dishes is fresh salad and to consume it safely, you must thoroughly wash it or risk food poisoning.
Instead of buying expensive veggies washes, a cheaper alternative would be making one yourself that is with you guessed it… vinegar. Mix in one part vinegar and three parts water on a bowl then soak your veggies or fruits in it for at least 10 minutes.
Rinse well afterwards and make sure that there is no soil residue that’s left.
To wrap things up
Vinegar is not just an ingredient you use for cooking but it is an extremely effective ingredient for cleaning and disinfecting different parts of your home. Are you ready to clean with vinegar around your home? If you’ve used vinegar for cleaning in any way I’d like to hear from you. If you find this article useful then please share it with your friends.
For more at home uses for Vinegar, see: 31 Cleaning Uses of Vinegar by Garrick Dee.