Vinegar As A Household Cleaner
By Mary Lewis
We live in a small, old house. As such, our electrical panel does not allow us to have a water softener. The problem with this is that we end up with a lot of limescale on our faucets and bathtub. Commercial cleaners don’t work that well, not to mention they don’t smell nice at all. As an alternative we use vinegar as a cleaning solution. Vinegar is readily available at most grocery or big box stores. It is inexpensive – a gallon costs less than 3 dollars. And the scent isn’t overpowering and doesn’t linger for hours after using it.
Vinegar is an acidic liquid produced through fermentation. Vinegar is made through the fermentation of ethanol alcohol. Any ingredient containing ethanol may be used to make vinegar, including distilled grain alcohol, wine, champagne, beer, cider and more. The two types of vinegar we use are apple cider and white vinegar.
Vinegar is as old as civilization itself. It’s been found in Egyptian urns from around 3000 B.C., and it’s mentioned in Babylonian scrolls dated to around 5000 B.C. Vinegar was often carried by Roman legionnaires and the Bible states that Roman soldiers offered vinegar to Christ at the Crucifixion.
I cleaned out my coffee maker last week with white vinegar. I filled the reservoir with 4 cups of vinegar and then turned it on. Once that was finished running through the machine, I ran two more pots of water through. No more hissing, gurgling or waking up to no coffee.
Other things vinegar is good for cleaning:
- Windows – Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water and dispense it with a spray bottle. Squirt on, then wipe off with a dry cloth.
- Towels – Washing with 1/2 cup of white vinegar – and no detergent – will help remove detergent
residue and minerals that are making them feel scratchy.
- Stainless steel
- Shower walls and shower heads
- Wipe off mirrors
- Clean toilets
- Clear slow-moving drains when mixed with baking soda
What you should NEVER clean with vinegar:
- Granite and marble countertops. The acid in vinegar can etch natural stone.
- Stone floor tiles
- Egg stains or spills. The acid in the vinegar makes the egg coagulate which can make clean up more difficult.
- Irons – Vinegar can damage the internal parts of an iron.
- Computer Monitor or Smartphone – It could eliminate the oil-resistant coating on the screen.
- Pearls – Pearls consist of calcium carbonate like limestone, so vinegar has been known to dissolve them.
And a couple of important things about vinegar:
- Vinegar is a mild acid, but it is still an acid. If using it without dilution with water, wear gloves as it may irritate skin.
- NEVER mix vinegar with bleach! It creates chlorine gas which is DEADLY.
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