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April 04, 2011

A Spring Fling, or is it?

works for me wednesday at we are that family
I have a confession to make. I have a dirty spring fling affair. When everyone leaves the house, I give in to passionate pleasures in every room of my house. The object of my affection is simple but skillful: on a granite countertops in the kitchen, on the wooden coffee table in the living room, on a ceramic floor tile in the bathroom and even in the 'bathfitter' bathtub! Not to mention how I love to push this diligent handyman against the mirrors and window panes… Are you jealous? Go get your own!

Don't worry about my reputation—I'm talking about cleaning with my favorite do-it-all guy—plain white vinegar!

You might know this acid guy for its skills in cooking—tenderizing meat, turning milk into buttermilk, etc., but to me it became a go-to solution for cleaning as well. As I mentioned in one of the posts, I make a 1:1 white distilled vinegar solution with water and essential oil for practically every surface in the house. But I also use it straight up from the bottle for glass, mirrors, granite and even my electric cook top. Just pour it in a spray bottle and you have a cheap substitution for your windex+fantastic+whateverbrandyoulike cleaner.
  • If you need to clean a kitchen sink, spread some baking soda—vinegar's long time girlfriend—in it and spray white vinegar to create a paste consistency. Let it sit for 2 minutes and clean it off with a sponge or just run water. This way you will not only clean your sink but deodorize it as well because vinegar can also eliminate odors. You can also pour some baking soda down the drain and then pour vinegar down to chaise it to de-clog your constipated drain. Use a cloth damped in vinegar to soak the back of the faucet to remove the hard water deposits.
  • In addition, you can clean and disinfect the guts of your coffee maker by running distilled white vinegar through one cycle (pleas check your coffee maker manual). Then use vinegar that is collected in the pot to clean any coffee stains/rings. Follow by another cycle of plain water.
  • Got nasty grime in your teapot/teakettle? You know, you can brew tea without it! Clean it by boiling vinegar+water mixture 1:1 and them wipe the inside clean and rinse.
  • China, flatware and glassware with nasty rings/stains will be good as new when cleaned/polished with vinegar+baking soda paste.
  • You can also use vinegar in your dishwasher—check your user manual, I don't own a dishwasher, but I heard vinegar helps prevent the water stains.
  • I clean, disinfect and deodorize wood chopping boards by covering them with cloth dipped in vinegar and letting the wood grain soak the vinegar up.
  • Do you own that state of the art stainless steel kitchen appliances that artfully display your kids' fingerprints? Spray some vinegar and wipe off with dry cloth. Clean inside the fridge with vinegar, too.
  • And if you have an electric cook top like I do, you know what a nightmare it could be after each cooking session. Just spray enough vinegar to cover the ugliest stains, let sit for 5 minutes and then wipe it off with a dry cloth. I also clean the inside of my glass oven door with vinegar by spraying it on the open door and letting it sit for 5 minutes, then wipe it with a dry cloth. However, if you have more stubborn stains, you would need some elbow grease.
That's not all! But you get the idea—who needs those chemical laden, technicolor colored, fancily bottled and irritatingly smelling cleaners, especially around your kitchen!

Now, let's bring that spray bottle full of white distilled vinegar to the bathroom. You probably guessed it—sinks, toilets, tubs can all be cleaned, disinfected and deodorized with vinegar. You can also clean shower doors, ceramic tile walls and even set the shower head free from mineral deposits—these deposits won't bring you fortune.
  • Soak shower head overnight in white vinegar then let warm water run through. If yours doesn't come off the wall, make the vinegar 'come' to it: soak a towel in vinegar and wrap it around the fixed shower head and leave over night.
  • You can pour few (3-4) cups of vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes before flushing to eliminate odors.
  • Prolong the life of your toothbrushes by soaking them in vinegar overnight and then rinsing with warm water, every month or so.
  • I use vinegar to wash off hard stains from your hands.
  • And last, but not least, I use vinegar for my hair in lieu of the hair conditioner. Just rinse your hair with it after shampooing. You can use white or apple cider vinegar alike. It will leave your hair soft and shiny.
You might find many more uses for vinegar in the bathroom, if so, do share!

All around the house you will enjoy using vinegar. If you dust with it, it will not only clean surfaces, but will act as an air freshener, eliminating different odors, including smoke odor, if it happens to drift in your house.
  • When cleaning electronics that are made out of plastic, use a 1:1 vinegar+water solution. This will also prevent plastic from attracting dust ever so often since vinegar has anti-static qualities.
  • For this reason you can also use vinegar when doing laundry. Just add a 1/4 cup of it to the rinse cycle. And you're probably thinking that you can also clean the washing machine with it—yes, you can! Just check your user's manual again.
  • Bought a new glass picture frame? No need to let anyone know you bough it on clearance: cover it with a cloth soaked in vinegar for 20 minutes or so and it will peel off easily. You can do the same with a "Proud Parent…" bumper sticker on your car if you're not so proud anymore (or any other bumper sticker or decal)
  • Oh, yes, about wood surfaces! You can polish wood—furniture as well as wall panels—with mixture of 1 part olive oil+1/4 part vinegar+2 parts warm water rubbing it it with a soft cotton cloth. Same will work for leather surfaces like purses and wallets or even shoes (except patent leather)
With so many uses, so many skills how can you resist ditching your store bought cleaner for this plain yet very diligent stud? I couldn't! This new affair will save you money and save your house from invasion of chemicals and that's good enough for me. So go ahead, have a new spring cleaning fling!


  1. I really hope you're planning on posting this at "We Are THAT Family's" blog for "Works for me Wednesday". My post for today is similar, BUT not nearly as detailed.

  2. Michelle, I'm embarrassed to admit but I don't know this blog. Do you have a link to it? And thanks for your comment!