During my first pregnancy I switched to all natural everything. This included cleaning products. I tossed my scrubbing bubbles, Windex, 409, Comet, Toilet Bowl cleaner and all the other bottles that cluttered our cabinets. In it’s place I used vinegar. I had friends tell me they used it to sometimes to clean and I thought – it’s edible so why not.
To my surprise the vinegar worked just as well as my assortment of hazardous household cleaners. I dilute it by half with water and use it pretty much everywhere. To clean an entire bathroom I probably use 3/4 cup vinegar and 3/4 -1 cup water. A $2.50 jug of white vinegar will last a very long time. Here’s how I use it:
- To clean the mirrors, just wipe with wet vinegar/water rag and use a dry rag to dry. Spotless, no streaks every time.
- Counters get wiped off with dry rag and then cleaned with vinegar/water rag. Bowl will sparkle as will the faucets.
- Inside and outside of tub can be scrubbed with brush dipped in the vinegar water.
- To clean outside of toilet, wipe with wet rag and then dry off. I do the toilet last then toss by vinegar/water solution, cause you don’t want to smear all those toilet germs all over the bathroom.
- To clean cabinets inside and out, use vinegar/water solution and wipe down the surfaces, then dry off. It’s important on wood surface, whether painted or not to dry quickly so it doesn’t start to absorb
- To clean the greasy area above the microwave, just scrub with wet vinegar/water rag. You may need to clean rag several times because the grease can be thick. Vinegar doesn’t cut grease as easily as 409 but with a little elbow grease it all works out the same in the end.
- Refrigerator, microwave and other appliances can all be wiped clean with vinegar/water solution, just dry off with dry rag
- To replace your rinse aid (which if you read the back of the bottle it says not to ingest which begs the question, why am I using it on my glasses and plates then?) just pour a few glugs of vinegar into the bottom of the washer. It will remove spots from your glasses, even ones that seem stained.
I almost forgot, the smell. Some of you may be turning your nose up at vinegar because of its potent smell. Well first, the smell doesn’t bother me because I love vinegary foods. It doesn’t even bother me while pregnant. It smells clean to me and clean things are less offensive I guess. While you are cleaning the smell is strong but once the surface is dried off it really cares no lasting smell. The bathroom may smell a little vinegary for an hour or so afterwards but this is because we have no windows in our bathroom or ventilation fans.
I have been asked before if vinegar disinfects. I have done very little research on the subject but I believe the answer is no. Not on it’s own. It reduces the amount of microbes (aka germs) but it doesn’t really disinfect. I read somewhere that spraying surface with vinegar an then another mild disinfectant like maybe lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide might do the trick. I want to try this out.
Now I don’t use vinegar extensively, in my arsenal are dish soap, bleach (I know I’m so bad), Soft Scrub, and The Shark. I will talk more about these tomorrow. By and large my favorite cleaning product is vinegar. I use liberally and I use it often. I save the chemicals for some of the nasty stuff that needs to be cleaned.