Use Vinegar to Clean Your House

This ingredient is indispensable in salads and other dishes, but vinegar also works for cleaning your house.  If you didn’t know, this unique-smelling liquid will help keep your house continuously shiny and sparkling. Learn the most effective ways to use vinegar in your house.

Why use vinegar?

Not only does it help the environment because it doesn’t put chemicals or toxins down the drain, it will also save you money.  Vinegar can be used for a lot of things in daily life.  It is an organic produce that does not cause allergies or irritation, and you more than likely already have it in your kitchen.  Here are some ideas for using it as a cleaner:

  • Enhances and cleans all surfaces: this could be wood, ceramics, stainless steel, glass, and more.  Just use cold water and mix it with vinegar.  If cleaning windows, for example, use newspaper so the glass turns out spectacular.  This is perfect for disinfecting bathroom supplies because it has a great disinfecting power.

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  • Eliminates lime from the shower and faucet: remove the heads from the shower or sink and place them in a pot with water and vinegar for two hours.  Then rinse.  If the stains are old, you might need to scrub them a bit with a brush or sponge.
  • Clean CD’s and DVD’s: these are very vulnerable to scratched, which means they’ll play poorly.  Gently rub them with a cloth moistened in vinegar and just see how the scratches start to disappear.
  • Remove plaque from the coffee or tea pot: From boiling so much water, white or brown salts begin to deposit on the sides and bottom.  To eliminate plaque, fill it with water and vinegar and heat as if you were going to prepare coffee or tea.  Allow to boil for a few minutes, pour the water out and rinse.



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  • Eliminate bad odors in rooms: fill a bottle with water and a spritz of vinegar.  Leave it uncovered in a room until the odor disappears.  This is a perfect idea for rooms that have been freshly painted.  In this case, we suggest changing the water every 12 hours and repeating for at least three straight days.
  • Deodorize the fridge: just as in the previous case, you can place a small container with water and vinegar inside, or when you clean out your fridge, use vinegar diluted in water on the doors, shelves, drawers, etc.
  • Eliminate rust: if you have something at home that has rusted (be it a bicycle, a can opener, or a vegetable peeler) use pre vinegar to clean it and let set for 24 hours.
  • Remove water marks from wood: if you have a wooden table and someone sat down a glass before placing a coaster or a place mat underneath it, if it has left a halo imprint you can eliminate it by rubbing it off with equal parts olive oil and vinegar.
  • Easily remove stickers: this could be the wrapper from a container, a sticker your child had on his/her bag, etc.  Just moisten with vinegar and wait.  After a while it will peel off the surface by itself, almost as if by magic, and you won’t have to make any effort.

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  • Clean pots and pans: wet with pure vinegar and let set for half an hour.  Then wash with dish detergent and shine with more vinegar, this time using a soft cloth.
  • Eliminate drain odors: it also cleans drains, preventing clogs.  Place sodium bicarbonate in the drain and then add half a cup of vinegar.  Cover and let set for 15 minutes.  Remove the cover and pour cold water down the drain.
  • Disinfect fruits and vegetables: place food in a bowl and fill with water and a squirt of vinegar.  Let set for 10 minutes.  This is perfect for washing and disinfecting whatever you eat raw, like tomatoes, lettuce, unpeeled apples, peaches, etc.
  • Clean your dishwasher: the electronic device usually smells bad because it accumulates food waste.  Place one cup of vinegar in the detergent or powdered soap compartment.  Run it on the shortest cycle without any dishes inside.
  • Removed bad odors in the kitchen: If you cooked fried fish, boiled cauliflower or grilled meat, you can eliminate those odors in a matter of minutes.  All you need to do is boil one tablespoon of vinegar with one cup of water is a container.

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  • Eliminate cigarette smoke from clothing: Pour two cups of vinegar in the bathtub and fill the rest with hot water.  Hang your rope over the water.  Another use for clothing is that this prevents vibrant colors from fading, which causes stains on whites.  Before placing dark clothing in the washing machine, submerge it it vinegar for half an hour.  You could also add one cup of vinegar to the last wash cycle as a softener.  Don’t worry about the odor because this disappears when the clothes are dried.
  • Removes wine stains (when used the same day): moisten the clothing with vinegar and let set for a few minutes before washing it.  This works on cotton and polyester clothing, and when used no longer than 24 hours after the stain occurred.
  • Clean the garbage disposal: if you have one of these at home, you know it’s pretty tiresome trying to remove odors.  All you need to do is pour a bit of vinegar down it, or make ice cubes out of vinegar and water, and put them in the garbage disposal.  Turn it on and let it work by itself.
Photos courtesy of Chris Martin, Stu Spivack, Breibeest, Kate Ter Haar, Puamelia, Mike McCune.