Deciding which cleaning product to use can be challenging, especially if you have a cabinet full of various cleansers. Let’s not even talk about the number of options available on the cleaning aisle in your local store. Bubbling cleaners, ones that turn from blue to white, powders, gels, sprays, and foams – you could spend a fortune on different detergents for different surfaces.
Or you could buy a half-gallon of distilled white vinegar, you might end up calling it cleaning vinegar it works so well. It’s a staple in many homes because it is so versatile and effective, as well as safe and non-toxic for everyday use. Cleaning with vinegar may surprise you, especially if you’re only accustomed to using vinegar to dye Easter eggs, pickle things, or make salad dressings.
Of course, Bee Maids is here if you need a little extra help getting everything clean and keeping it that way. There are innumerable ways to use vinegar in cleaning, but here are nine amazing uses you can adopt right away.
1. Clean Windows & Glass with Vinegar
You don’t need to purchase a commercial glass cleaner. You can make your own by mixing two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar into a gallon of water. Mix thoroughly and label as a cleaning solution. Pour into a spray bottle, spritz on your window, and wipe away with a lint-free dry cloth.
This trick also works on mirrors, glass cabinet doors, light fixtures, and other glass items that need cleaning. You’ll love how it doesn’t leave streaks on your glass.
2. Descaling Appliances
Vinegar is an excellent way to clean small appliances, such as coffee makers, microwaves, and even your dishwasher. Any place where dirt and grime build up is an excellent place to use vinegar as a cleaner.
To descale a coffee machine, fill the carafe with half vinegar and half water. Pour into the machine and start the brew cycle (don’t add any coffee!). At the midpoint of the brew cycle, when some water has come through to the carafe, and some remains in the machine, turn it off to halt the cycle.
Let it stand for about an hour, then resume the cycle. Run another brew cycle of plain water through the machine before using it to make coffee.
3. Dishwasher Deep Clean
You can pour cleaning vinegar directly in your dishwasher bottom drain to keep it fresher and avoid additional buildup. It’s a good plan if you’re getting that funky dishwasher smell.
To give your dishwasher’s interior and drain a deep clean, place a large glass or measuring cup containing two cups of distilled white vinegar on your dishwasher’s top rack. Run a wash cycle with nothing else in the dishwasher and use the hottest temperature selection. Don’t add any additional detergent and turn off the heated dry option.
The vinegar will circulate with the water and wear away buildup, soap scum, and food crud, leaving your dishwasher’s interior shiny and fresh.
4. Microwave Magic
Ever had something explode or boil over in the microwave? We’ve been there. For those strange crusties that cling to microwave ceilings and walls, you can easily remove them with vinegar.
In a glass bowl or measuring cup, combine ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup water. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, until a roiling boil. Remove from microwave and wipe down the interior with a clean, dry cloth. No scrubbing required.
5. Vinegar as a Fabric Softener
You probably don’t think about using vinegar as a fabric softener. It’s clear, watery texture is the opposite of creamy, opaque commercial softeners. But vinegar is an excellent laundry aid to keep clothes soft and to fight stubborn odors. Plus, it’s a fraction of the cost.
To use as a fabric softener, add one cup of vinegar to your load in the final rinse cycle. Add to your washing machine’s fabric softener compartment, if you have one, for automatic dispensing at the proper time.
Here’s another bonus tip. Do you know how your towels can begin to feel stiff and scratchy over time? They lose their softness from absorbing soap and minerals. You can restore your towels to their former fluffiness by cleaning them with vinegar. Toss all your towels in your washing machine and add a ½ cup of vinegar instead of any detergent. Run a regular wash cycle and dry.
6. Vinegar Makes a Great Disinfectant Spray
When cold and flu season hits, you especially want to disinfect everything to keep germs down and your family healthy. You can make a natural and effective disinfectant by mixing equal parts cleaning vinegar and water.
Pour into a spray bottle and use liberally throughout your home. Spray and wipe your doorknobs, faucet handles, toilets, countertops (unless they are granite), light switches, and other places germs lie in ambush.
7. Fruit and Vegetable Wash
Instead of rinsing your produce in plain water, mix up a vinegar veggie wash. Use one part vinegar to three parts water and soak your fruit in the solution briefly or add to a spray bottle and wash individually. Rinse with water following. The vinegar helps remove any bacteria or pesticide residue from your produce.
8. Sticky Items
Vinegar’s acidic properties make it an excellent solvent for dissolving many standard adhesives. Removed the tag from a glass and now the bottom is sticky? Pulled the label off a jar or a bottle of wine, and still have greasy streaks? Put some vinegar on a cotton ball or cloth hand scrub at the sticky residue and watch it disappear.
Vinegar is also good at cutting grease. Try adding some to your dishwater or into the pan you are soaking.
9. All-purpose cleaner
You can mix up a useful all-purpose cleaner using vinegar at a fraction of the cost of commercial products. For a great cleanser that will leave a lovely, fresh, clean scent, mix 1 cup of vinegar with two teaspoons of powdered borax, five drops of liquid dish soap, ten drops of tea tree oil and ten drops of your favorite essential oil (optional).
Combine with four cups of hot water. A gallon jug with a funnel works great. Be sure to label the jug as a cleaning solution, as it will still be transparent, similar to water. Pour into a spray bottle and refill from your jug.
Bee Maids Wishes You Happy Cleaning
Vinegar is the perfect staple for keeping your home clean and fresh. When you need help with your house cleaning, whether before company comes or regularly, give Bee Maids a call. Making your home sparkle and spark joy is our specialty. Let us show you how good a clean home can feel, especially when you don’t have to do it.