Vinegar good on french fries and dirt???

by Deena on October 30, 2010

This weekend I decided to venture into homemade organic cleaners – specifically I chose to concentrate on cleaning my bathroom from top to bottom. Why the bathroom? Well I have 4 males in my house – 3 of whom play sports and the 4th, while he’s too little for sports, he still manages to get himself a good dusting when given the chance… thus by the end of the week our bathrooms are covered in grime and dirt.

So, I did some research and happily discover that vinegar is a great organic cleaner for most things. White distilled vinegar, due to its level of acidity, is effective for killing most mold, bacteria, and germs. Thanks to a prior trip to Costco earlier in the year – I had a large supply of vinegar on hand to begin attacking my bathroom. I decided, after reviewing a couple sites, on a ½ vinegar ½ hot water ratio solution to start.

Did I mention my master bathroom (which I started on first) is all white? So every bit of dirt or dust shows up clearly there. So I dipped my sponge into my bucket of cleaner and went to work. The first thing I noticed was that the hard water stains on the faucets and drain became clear again with no real scrubbing of any sort on my part. I had attempted over the years to remove those stains with various brand name cleaners, including straight bleach, and nothing worked. The shower had plenty of hard water stains to be dealt with and they were all tackled just as easily. One thing that did frustrate me was that even though the vinegar cleanser took the water stains off it left streaks all over the shower glass. It was aggravating and I was on the verge of ringing My Maid house cleaning services to get this job done.

After cleaning the tub and toilet I moved on to the floors and cabinets… using the same cleanser concoction (this time with a mop and an old rag). I was a little surprised at how easily everything came up – even though I can remember my mom using vinegar and water on our floors when I was younger. At one point I decided to remove our showerhead and place it into straight vinegar – which by the next morning, years of hard water build up was removed.
All in all I was pleasantly pleased with my cost effective, environmentally friendly, homemade cleanser – my only complaints would be the streaks left on the shower glass, and the smell – the whole time I was cleaning I was reminded of dyeing Easter eggs in spring. A friend suggested adding lemon juice or lavender extract to the solution to “fix” the scent – so I’ll definitely try one of those next time.

One thing I should note, for anyone deciding to try this homemade cleanser, if you have marble counter tops – do not use vinegar as the acidity can damage them. Otherwise, grab that bottle of vinegar and some water and give it a try. Let us know what you think!

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Daisy November 8, 2010 at 10:58 am

For the scent issue, you can add any essential oil to the spray. Try about 15-20 drips, if you’re using a spray bottle. Shake it enough to mix it, and if that’s not enough, add more. Another great tip for cleaning the shower is to add tea tree oil instead of another essential oil. Great disinfecting qualities. But the smell…not a lot better than vinegar, to be honest. You can also use the vinegar spray as a daily after-the-shower spray to help keep it clean. Another great cleaner for glass/mirrors – club soda. Works just as well as the vinegar. I think it dries a bit faster and there’s no smell, too. I also like to use castille soap and baking soda mixed to make a soft scrub in the tub when I need a really good cleaning job done – hardly have to scrub at all with that, as well (esp if you spread it around and let it sit for a few minutes). Baking soda used to scrub the toilets followed w/ the vinegar rinse is great, as well. Let the baking soda sit for a bit and then spray on the vinegar rinse to get it all bubbly.

KD November 2, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Try straight vinegar on glass the next time – no streaks! And yes, using straight vinegar with newspaper to clean glass works beautifully.

admin November 8, 2010 at 7:55 am

Thanks KD – I tried that this weekend -worked like a charm!!

Ashley Campolattaro November 1, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Vinegar diluted with water also does a great job on hardwoods…and waaaaaay cheaper than Bruce or other cleaners made specifically for hardwoods.

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