An All-Natural Cleaning Product: Distilled White Vinegar
The holidays are over, the decorations have been taken down (well… maybe), and it’s time to give your house a thorough, post-holiday cleaning. But before you spend a bunch of money on cleaning supplies, take a look at what’s in your pantry. One of the best all-purpose cleaners you can use around your house is something you already have in your kitchen: distilled white vinegar.
That’s right–vinegar can do it all. Well, it can do a lot. It’s natural, and it’s a great way to avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals in your home. Sure, there’s that vinegar smell, but it disappears once the vinegar dries. Vinegar’s high level of acidity means it can kill most forms of mold and bacteria, and it’s economical, too: A large bottle is only a few dollars, and since you’ll normally mix it with water for cleaning, that bottle can go a long way.
I filled a spray bottle with a solution of 50% distilled vinegar and 50% water and used it all over my house. It’s great for cleaning windows and mirrors (without leaving streaks), and I also use it for our stainless steel kitchen sink, counters, and bathtubs. I also add a small splash of it each time I run the dishwasher, and it keeps glasses from getting cloudy.
To clean the microwave, instead of scrubbing at stubborn stains that just don’t seem to want to come out, I fill a bowl with a vinegar-water mixture and microwave it for two or three minutes. When it’s finished, I leave the door closed for an additional five minutes or so. The steam from the mixture gets to work on those stains, and when I open the door a few minutes later, all I really have to do is wipe the surface down with a wet paper towel. After that, the stains are gone and the microwave is clean again!
It can also be used to deodorize drains (pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by one cup of hot distilled white vinegar, let sit for five minutes, then flush the drain with hot water), thoroughly clean the shelves and compartments of the refrigerator (use a 50-50 vinegar-water solution), and remove water spots and bring shine back to dulled kitchen and bathroom faucets (spray with full-strength distilled vinegar and let sit for a few minutes; wipe clean with a wet paper towel).
Despite my frequent use of vinegar in cleaning, there was one task where I really wanted to try it out: cleaning calcium deposits from the showerhead in our bathroom.
Our showerhead had gotten so clogged that there were portions where no water came out. I couldn’t believe that vinegar would clear it up, but everything I’d read said it would, so one evening, I decided to give it a try.
First, I filled a Ziploc bag with white distilled vinegar.
Next, I put the bag around the showerhead, using a couple of rubber bands to help secure it.
The next step was the easiest: I let it sit overnight.
The next morning, I removed the Ziploc bag and vinegar from the showerhead and turned it on. It worked! I was happy to see water was now flowing from all parts of the showerhead–the clogs were gone.
So, the next time you need something cleaned around your house, before you head to the store to buy yet another type of cleaning product, see what some white distilled vinegar can do for you.