Cheap and Effective: Cleaning With Vinegar

Cheap and Effective: Cleaning With Vinegar

by Kathy Green

When I open the doors under my kitchen sink it is mind-boggling how many different cleaning products are there. Many are green, some aren't: some work well, some don't. The labels are colourful and enticing with huge promises as to their efficacy. They convinced me--they are under my sink.  But effective or not, one thing is for sure-- their total cost is ridiculous. 

So what is the answer? Well this is one time when looking back can provide great ideas. 

I always remember my grandmother's house as feeling and smelling so clean and fresh. Funny what we remember from our childhood. I know that her main cleaning compounds were vinegar, baking soda, ammonia and water.

Here are a few tips as to where vinegar can be used effectively for cleaning in your home.

  • Stains/baked on food in your pots and pans? Use one part vinegar and one part water--place in the pan and boil for  5 minutes. 
  • Are your garbage cans smelly? Place either a small bowl of white vinegar in the bottom of the can or a piece of bread soaked in vinegar. Leave overnight…small will be gone. The same technique will work for camping coolers and refrigerators.
  • problems with your cat picking furniture or rugs? Dilute vinegar with water 1/1, place in a spray bottle and spray the affected area. Cats hate the smell of vinegar.
  • Tired of paying for expensive all purpose cleaners? Combine 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water with a few drops of dish detergent in a spray bottle. Cheap and effective cleaner. This solution is especially good for cleaning mirrors and sunglasses.
  • Tired of caustic drain cleaners? Pour  1/2 c. of baking soda in the drain followed by 1 c. of vinegar. Rinse when foaming stops.
  • Tired of cut flowers not lasting? Add 1/4 c. of cider vinegar to your flower water.
  • Sticky residue on walls or new items? Spray with white vinegar, leave for five minutes, wipe with damp cloth.
  • Fruit flies a problem in the summer. Put cider vinegar in a small bowl. Cover with cling wrap and poke holes in the wrap. Flies are attracted to the vinegar and trapped.

This is not a comprehensive list, but rather only small sampling of all the uses for vinegar in the home. It is cheap, non--toxic, green and effective. Think of all the wonderful uses you will haves for the money you save.