5 Household Ways to Use Vinegar
Awhile back, I wrote a post about "greener" cleaners, and my sad break-up with antibacterial products. Being the Type A clean freak I am, I was slightly addicted to antibacterial everything. It was actually The Coach who pushed for cleaners with fewer chemicals. I first switched to the more eco-friendly brands, but then was intrigued by all the Pinterest pins about using vinegar to clean. And once I saw the price tag on a large jug of vinegar, I was converted to this cheaper, safer way to clean!
I was inspired by my blogging friend Chelsea over at Directionless Mom, who recently wrote about recipes and tips to save you money on cleaning, to write a post about our personal household ways to use vinegar. Here are the top five ways we use vinegar:
1. To catch fruit flies. This time of year when we have fruit out on the counters, we get fruit flies in a hurry. The best concoction I have ever used to get rid of fruit flies is a simple shallow bowl with vinegar and a few drops of dish soap in it. We have had the best luck using apple cider vinegar, which we discovered by accident when we were out of plain distilled white vinegar. I will usually set a little bowl out on the kitchen counter after doing the dinner dishes, and by morning there are usually anywhere from 10-25 fruit flies floating in it!
2. As a multi-purpose cleaning spray. I use an old cleaner spray bottle, and mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water. I am not exact, and just eyeball it, which works just fine for us. We didn't really like the smell of it at first (Roo asked me every time I was cleaning for awhile why it smelled like "fly catching stuff" – see above. Haha!). So a friend suggested just taking orange peels and adding them to the bottle. It cut the vinegar smell and gave it a slight citrus smell, but nothing too overpowering. I use this for kitchen counters, bathrooms, mirrors, dining room table, spills on the floor, etc.
3. To refresh our towels. Ever month or so, I wash all our bath towels using vinegar and baking soda. I run them through a cycle using hot water and 1 cup of vinegar. Then I run them through a second cycle using hot water and ½ cup of baking soda. The towels come out fluffier, more absorbent, and lose that musty smell towels get after awhile.
4. To deodorize drains. We don't have a garbage disposal, so sometimes our kitchen sink gets a little stinky. We simply pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, then follow it with a cup of vinegar. It will foam up and bubble some. After that stops, I run hot water for a few minutes and it works like a charm! I hear this also works well on minor drain clogs, too.
5. To clean and shine jewelry. Most all of my jewelry is silver and white gold. My wedding ring especially often needs a cleaning since I have it on all the time. I simply use about a ½ cup of vinegar and add 2 Tablespoons of baking soda. Then soak my jewelry for a couple hours. I then use a soft toothbrush to scrub the items up a bit and rinse them off. Viola! They look shiny and new! One warning – do not use vinegar to clean pearls or opals!
Do you use vinegar around the house? What are your favorite household ways to use vinegar?
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