Have you ever cleaned with vinegar? It’s one of the cheapest yet safest ways to clean that I know of. Not only that, but it’s simple, too.
Vinegar has been used for many years as a cleaning product, and is still widely used today. It is obviously a versatile food product, is a primary ingredient used to preserve food by canning, and can even be used for several health purposes. This page shares many interesting and useful facts about the history and uses of vinegar, while this one nicely summarizes why vinegar’s “acetic quality” makes it an effective, yet safe choice for cleaning.
Today I want to share a super simple “recipe” for a vinegar cleaning solution to use around your home.
You will only need:
- vinegar (preferably white)
- water (from the tap is fine), and
- a spray bottle for storing and application.
I first heard this simple yet useful tip from my sister. When she came with her family to visit quite a few years ago, she told me how simple and effective (not to mention cheap!), it was to make your own mixture of water and vinegar for cleaning. Then they promptly bought me an empty spray bottle from the dollar store, mixed some up and away we went! I’ve been using it ever since!
Simply fill your spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water. That’s all there is to it!
To use it, just spritz and wipe!
I love it because it’s so safe to use, especially on my kitchen counters. There is no concern about dangerous residue to contaminate our food areas.
There is one small issue that some find annoying, although it doesn’t bother me. Not surprisingly, it smells … like vinegar! My husband used to say that it made him want to eat salt & vinegar chips, although I don’t recall him saying that lately (either because he’s gotten used to it, or because there’s no use commenting, as we usually don’t have salt & vinegar flavored chips in the house). So there’s that.
But to me it smells clean, and the scent goes away quickly as it dries.
I use this solution on my kitchen counters most of all, spray it to spot clean the inside of my refrigerator, and squirt a little on small spills on the floor.
One quality I find very useful is that this vinegar spray cuts the strong odor left from cutting onions. After dicing or chopping onions, I spray a little on my hands (then rinse), sometimes on the cutting board (before I put it in the dishwasher, or let it sit a few minutes before hand-washing), and on the kitchen counter where any stray onions have left their odor.
Last, but not least, I use this vinegar-water mixture on fruits and veggies in place of expensive, store-bought fruit and vegetable wash, in order to clean them and to help safely remove pesticides and chemical residues.
This simple cleaning solution can be used in other areas throughout your home, but here’s a brief word of caution to consider when using vinegar to clean around the home.
In summary, these are the reasons I recommend making and using this vinegar-water solution:
- It’s really cheap! (A gallon or more of vinegar is well under five dollars; you can use a dollar store spray bottle if you wish.)
- It’s extremely easy. (Fill with equal parts vinegar and water and you’re done.)
- It is effective. (Vinegar cuts grease, kills many germs, and combats odors.)
- It is safe to use. (Vinegar is gentle on humans, pets and the environment.)
If you wish to learn more about how effective vinegar is for killing household germs, you can read this article, which suggests that it kills many germs, but will not effect certain viruses or bacteria. It also explains that we often “overuse chemicals”, and that very often that is not necessary. It states:
“Rather than concentrating on disinfecting or killing the bugs, we should focus on cleaning with hot soapy water and good old-fashioned elbow grease to physically scrub away organic material.”
This vinegar solution fits the bill.
If you’d like to try making a more pleasant-scented vinegar spray cleaner, here’s an interesting idea from The Yummy Life. I haven’t tried it yet, as it’s a bit of a process, but it seems like a nice alternative to the plain vinegar smell. Let me know how you like it, if you go that route!
So what have you got to lose (except a few cents worth of vinegar and an empty spray bottle)? Why not give vinegar cleaning a try?
For further interest, here are a some other articles that list these, plus many more uses for vinegar:
- “10 + Ways I Use Vinegar at Home” (A Pretty Life)
- 25 Tips For Naturally Cleaning With Vinegar (Herbs and Oils Remedies), and
- 50 uses for vinegar…who knew? (Babycenter blog)
I hope this gives you a little useful information about cleaning with vinegar and how you can easily make a versatile household cleaning spray. I know that many of you already enjoy this wonderful cleaning tool!
Next time I’ll share how with one additional ingredient you can make another useful household product that I no longer have to purchase.
So tell me, have you used vinegar to clean in your home? Do you find it convenient and effective? Does the smell of vinegar cause you to want to break out the salt & vinegar chips?