Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 10, 2011: The Many Uses of Vinegar

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Plain, white vinegar is a wonderful cleaning product. It can do so many things around the house – it truly is a versatile product to always keep on hand. I buy it in the big gallon container and suggest you do, too. You might be surprised at how often you start using it once you know all the things it can do!

There are basically four ways vinegar is your household cleaning helper: as a deodorizer, as a mild bleach, as a remover of water mineral deposits, and as a dye setter.

Vinegar Deodorizer:
• Pour some into a small dish and place it next to the stove to absorb cooking odors.
• Dip your fingers into a bit of vinegar after chopping onion or garlic to remove the smell.

Vinegar Bleach:
• Mix with baking soda to form a paste and use to remove rust and water stains from sinks, countertops, etc.
• Line your damp bathtub with paper towels; pour vinegar over them. Let sit for an hour, then wipe away.
• Add a drop to your pet’s water bowl in the summer to keep it from forming algae.
• Spray full-strength on cutting boards used to slice raw meat.
• Add a bowl of vinegar to an empty washing machine or dishwasher during the wash cycle to clean the interior.

Vinegar Water Deposit Remover
• Run equal parts water and vinegar through your coffeemaker, tea pot, or water dispenser (once weekly is recommended).
• Pour full strength into a baggie. Place the full baggie over a shower head and secure it on the stem with rubber bands. Let sit overnight.
• Boil baby bottles in a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water.
• Pour into your steam iron’s water opening. Turn the iron to the steam cycle and let it sit upright for a few minutes, until the vents are unclogged.

Vinegar Dye Set:
• Presoak new, brightly colored clothing in a solution of vinegar, water, and a bit of salt to set the color and prevent bleeding.

Vinegar is also great for using in homemade glass cleaners and all purpose cleaning wipes. I’ll share those recipes with you later this month.

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