Here’s a little story of my stupidity when I was a young housewife. Now remember, I had no role model for how to clean as my mother never cleaned and my dad did but he didn’t really train us how to do it.
So I didn’t know what I was doing was dangerous and stupid. Until I passed out.
My husband and I had moved into our first real house and frankly, it was dirty. So I decided to clean it.
The small bathroom off the master bedroom was particularly grimy. I got out my cleaner and scrubbed. But it didn’t seem to get the stains out. So I added bleach to the cleaner. It worked much better but I kept feeling kind of dizzy.
Next thing I know, I’m waking up on the floor.
What I had done was mix bleach with an ammonia based cleaning product which is a real no-no. Mixing the two together produces a noxious gas which can cause major health problems and even death in large enough quantities.
It actually did cause some health problems for me. Some of which I still deal with today.
This was also a wake up call about what kind of dangerous chemicals we use to clean our homes.
Which is when I started to use vinegar more often in my cleaning. It works just as well and is much cheaper.
As time went on, I found more and more uses for vinegar.
I buy it now in gallon jugs. I can usually find it in the grocery store for about $4-$5. Just look on the lowest shelves for the large bottles. You can also get it on Amazon for even cheaper. Just click on the image above to the left to check that out.
Okay, so here’s all the great ways you can use vinegar in your life and home.
**Now I got to give a note here. Unless stated otherwise, use white vinegar for these tips.**
50 Ways To Use Vinegar
In the Kitchen
- Use it get burned out off gunk out of your stainless steel pots and pans. Just let it sit for an hour or two. For really tough stains, I will let it sit overnight.
- If your dishwasher gets a funky smell, run it through a cycle with a few cups of vinegar. It will get rid of the gunk and the smell.
- Ever notice the little wheel on your electric can opener gets gunky? Just wipe it down with a cotton swab dabbed in vinegar.
- Use vinegar and baking soda as an oven cleaner. First generously sprinkle baking soda all over the oven’s surface and then pour vinegar over it so it’s all wet. Let sit for 20-30 minutes and then wipe it all out with a sponge. Leave the oven door open until dry. You may see a left over residue when it’s dry. If so, just wipe it again.
- To clean the inside of a microwave oven,pour a cup of vinegar and a cup of water into a microwave safe bowl and cook in the oven for 3 minutes or until the water is boiling. Let it sit 5 minutes before opening the microwave. The insides should easily wipe clean now.
- Does the top of your refrigerator get grimy? Lay a few paper towels on top of it that are soaked in white vinegar for 0 minutes. Then wipe clean
- Does your fridge or freezer smell like spoiled food? I know we “inherited” one that did. How I got the odor out was first cleaning the fridge with hot soapy water. Then I sprayed all the surfaces with white vinegar and wiped with a damp rag. Then I left several opened boxes of baking soda in there for a few days and no more stinky fridge!.
- Clean your cutting board by pouring some vinegar over it and scrub, rinse and allow to dry.
- For your plastic food containers that get smelly and stained, fill with 1 part water, 1 part vinegar and let them soak for 20 minutes. Then just wipe them out and rinse.
- Do you have stains in your coffee cups and tea cups? You can remove them by gently scrubbing with one part vinegar and one part salt.
- Vinegar is an excellent tool for getting rid of mineral deposits in your coffee makers. For detailed instructions, see my post here.
- If you notice your kitchen sponge getting a funky odor, set it in a small bowl and pour vinegar over it to cover the sponge. Let it soak in the vinegar overnight.
- If your oven door has food splatters, open the oven and spray vinegar over it. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then wipe clean.
- If your child’s plastic lunch box starts having an odor, soak a piece of bread in vinegar. Put the bread in the lunch box, close it and let it sit overnight. Rinse out the next morning.
- Clean and deodorize a drain by pouring in 1 cup baking soda, then one cup hot white distilled vinegar. Cover the drain with a plate or drain stopper and let sit for 5 minutes or so, then run hot water down the drain.
- If your drain is clogged, do the steps above but let it sit for 30 minutes instead of 5. You may have to repeat this step if the drain has a bad clog but usually 2 tries will clear it.
In the Bathroom
- To get rid of odor and germs in bathrooms, use vinegar in a spray bottle to clean them.
- Scour your porcelain sinks with vinegar to make them shine.
- To keep shower doors from getting scummy again, keep a spray bottle with vinegar in your shower. After you have showered, lightly spray the doors with the vinegar. Do this after every shower. It only takes a few seconds.
- Are your shower doors getting hard to open and close? The tracks may be gunky. Get rid of it by filling the tracks with vinegar and letting it sit for several hours. When you come back to it, pour hot water over the tracks and use a toothbrush to scrub them out.
- Wipe your shower door with vinegar to remove soap scum. Also good for tubs, and showers.
- Chrome sink fixtures can get a yucky lime build up on them. To remove, just make a paste of a teaspoon of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of salt and scrub with a toothbrush.
- If your faucets have calcium deposits, you can get rid of them by wrapping a vinegar soaked paper towel tightly around the faucet and let it sit overnight.
- Your shower head may also not work well too due to a mineral build up. To remove the build up, pour a cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda into a sandwich bag. Tie it around your shower head so the shower head is sitting in the mixture and let it site for an hour or two. Remove the bag and run the water to flush everything out.
General Cleaning With Vinegar
- White vinegar makes a great liquid fabric softener.
- Soaking your paint brushes in vinegar is an easy way to clean them.
- If the paint has hardened on the brushes, soak them first for an hour
- It’s also good for getting rid of the musty smell washing machines sometimes get. Run it empty on hot with a few cups of vinegar. I let it fill up with hot water and the vinegar and let it sit a few hours first before running on all the other cycles.
- To make a good all purpose cleaner, use 1 part dish washing detergent (Dawn works best) and 1 part white vinegar. Heat the vinegar in the microwave for about 10 seconds and pour into a spray bottle. Add the Dawn and put the top on. Shake gently to mix.
- Vinegar and water makes a great cleaner for tile and linoleum floors. But don’t use it on marble floors or counter tops as it can diminish the marble’s glossy shine.
- Spray full strength vinegar on doorknobs and wipe off to give it a nice shine and to kill germs.
- To remove the odor from a dead rodent, remove the animal and wipe down with vinegar. Lay a fabric softener sheet over the area to get rid of any lingering odor.
- Clean vinyl baby books, or any plastic or vinyl baby toys by wiping them down in vinegar. For heavy duty cleaning, let them soak in a sink of hot sudsy water and a cup or two of white vinegar for an hour before rinsing off and allowing to dry.
- Speaking of babies, if your baby’s bottle develop a film inside, let them soak in hot soapy water and vinegar. Then scrub them out with a bottle brush and rinse.
- Spray your grill grates with a solution of half water and half vinegar to clean it off easily.
- If you don’t like the smell of vinegar when cleaning, add some lemon juice to your vinegar cleaner.
- It’s really important to thoroughly clean up pet accidents so they won’t smell it and use that spot again. Blot up as much of the stain as you can and then pour some white vinegar over the area. Blot up as much as you can until almost dry. Sprinkle some baking soda over the spot and let dry. Vacuum up the next day.
- Use the method above for other types of stains on your carpet. It works well for most of them.
- Does the soot in your fireplace make it look old and ugly? Well first, sweep out as much as you can. Then use white vinegar and a scrub brush to scrub it off. Dry it and remove the remaining dirt with a towel.
- If your brass, pewter or copper items start to tarnish, clean them by making a paste of one part vinegar and one part salt.
- If your flower vases or glass jars get a film inside them, fill with vinegar and let sit for a few hours. Then add a little uncooked rice or sand and shake to loosen any remaining stains.
- To clean most metals, add a few tablespoons of cream of tartar (find it in the spice isle) and a little vinegar to make a paste. Rub over the surface and let dry. Wash it off and dry with a soft cloth.
- To get rid of urine on a mattress, spray the area with a half water, half vinegar solution. Blot up what you can and then sprinkle baking soda over the area and let dry. When it’s dry, brush or vacuum the area.
- To get rid of white water rings from your wood furniture, rub with the grain with a solution of one part vinegar and one part vegetable oil.
- Spray a solution of equal parts water and vinegar on your glass fireplace doors and wipe off to get rid of soot and grime.
- Did you know that many bugs don’t like the smell of vinegar. So spray any areas where they are coming in with vinegar to discourage them from entering your home.
- Speaking of pests, if you nottice fruit flies in your home, you can get rid of them by putting some vinegar in a small dish and leaving it out until you notice they are gone.
- If you want to paint concrete, spray it first with vinegar and wipe off. Allow to dry before painting.
- Make your own window cleaner by putting 1 cup vinegar and 2 cups of water with a teaspoon of liquid dish soap into a spray bottle. Shake before using.
- Use apple cider vinegar to clean out your dogs ears. My vet told me about this. It’s specially good to kill the yeast that grows in dogs ears. Dilute the vinegar by half with water.
So there you have it. I actually have some more tips of what to do with vinegar so look for Part 2 next week!