First, let me just explain why I love vinegar. Not only is vinegar dirt cheap (We're talking like $3 for a gallon of generic vinegar.), but it's all natural and absolutely amazing as a cleaning product. Because of vinegar's high acidity, it kills all sorts of germs and bacteria. It even kills mold. I love for our house to be clean, but I really don't like toxic cleaners. So, vinegar is kinda like my stinky yet safe little miracle product. Just so you know, this post isn't sponsored by some vinegar conglomerate...I just thought it was an interesting topic that I could share with ya'll. And usually if I find something useful, ya'll do, too. We're basically twins.
So, let's start with my favorite tip.
#1. Use vinegar to clean carpet.
We steam clean our carpets about once a month. It's an unfortunate necessity, as our cats love to barf up hairballs like it's their nine-to-five job. Rather than spend a small fortune on store-bought carpet cleaning solutions, most of the time we just substitute with vinegar. Our steam cleaner has a tank where the cleaning solution is added. We just fill it with full strength vinegar straight from the bottle and then add the recommended amount of hot water. The room smells like vinegar the entire time you are cleaning, but once it dries the smell goes away and your carpets look amazing. You don't even have to rinse. As always, make sure to test a small patch of your carpet before you clean it with anything.
#2. Use vinegar to clean floors.
Although the majority of our house is filled with annoying carpet, we also have a lot of tile. I used to use my beloved Swiffer on them, but about 6 months ago I somehow snapped it in half. Apparently I'm an aggressive mopper. Rather than replace it, I decided to bust out my old sponge mop and try something new. All I do is mix 1/2 cup of vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water and then use my sponge mop to clean the floors. And now I can never go back....the vinegar just works so well and makes the floors so shiny. I'm hooked.
Vinegar fo' life.
#3. Use vinegar as a fabric softener.
This vinegar tip is a total little gem of awesome. Did you know that vinegar makes a great fabric softener? I recently learned this, and it's such an amazing little discovery. As I write this, I am washing some of my towels this way. Swear. All you do is add 3/4 cups of vinegar to your final rinse cycle (or in the fabric softener slot) and it works the same as fabric softener. It makes old scruffy towels feel brand new and fluffy soft again. And guess what else? Vinegar also gets rid of mildew. Which is such great news for me due to my chronic problem of leaving my laundry in the washing machine for way too long and then smelling like a wet dog for days.
Jesse loves when I do this.
Do not fact check that.
#4. Use vinegar to clean your dishwasher.
I clean the dishwasher about once a month by pouring a cup of vinegar inside the empty machine and running it through an entire cycle. Not only does this remove odors and soap buildup, but it's supposed to extend the life of your dishwasher. Our dishwasher isn't the fanciest of machines, and sometimes I feel like it's boycotting me. A cup of vinegar always does the trick and gets ol' boy back up and running like the clean machine he's supposed to be.
Seriously, it works.
#5. Use vinegar to clean sinks and drains.
We have a sink that was painted white by the previous homeowners (with the same stuff I painted our tile with) and it gets seriously disgusting really quick. So does the drain. I daydream about a life without a white sink. I'm kidding. Kind of. Anyways, I clean and deodorize the whole thing by pouring a cup of baking soda in the drain followed by one cup of vinegar. I let it sit for 5 minutes and then run hot water down the drain. Then, I soak a sponge in vinegar and clean the sink. It makes it sparkly clean and gets rid of any grossness.
#6. Use vinegar to clean your coffee maker.
I use vinegar to clean our regular coffee maker and our Tassimo. You can also do this with Keurigs and most other coffee makers. To clean our Tassimo (which operates similar to a Keurig), I fill the water reservoir with vinegar, and then run the brewing process without any of the pods (similar to K cups) in the machine. Then I fill the water reservoir with water and run it through two times. This extends the life of your machine and keeps your coffee from tasting weird. I do this about once a month.
#7. Using vinegar to clean your microwave
Okay, I'll admit it. I had never tried this trick before writing this post. But, I had always heard about it, and since my microwave was absolutely terrifying (I made that before picture teeny tiny for a reason.), I decided to test it out. I cannot even express in words how awesome this worked. I poured 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl and brought it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. I let it sit for a couple minutes, and it was like magic. My microwave was like a horrific scene of hardened chili and easy mac and who-knows-what. And it just wiped right off. Right off, I tell ya.
Also, please tell me I'm not the only one who makes a mess in the microwave and sometimes just closes the door and creeps away like it never happened. Just goes to show that you never know what goes on behind closed doors.
Even teeny rectangular ones.
#8. Using vinegar to clean stainless steel
Vinegar doesn't just clean the insides of appliances, but it can clean the outsides, too. There's really no need to buy the expensive stainless steel cleaners to rid yourself of greasy fingerprints all over your fridge, dishwasher, and microwave. All you need is vinegar. Just soak a sponge or cloth in vinegar and wipe 'em down. Then buff dry with a dry cloth. I've tried the stainless steel cleaners, and vinegar works just as well for pennies on the dollar.
#9. Use vinegar to clean your fridge
So, by now we all know that baking soda removes smells from your fridge. Did you know that vinegar will, too? Our fridge is a total workhorse, and deserves to get a bath once in awhile. So, about once a month, before I grocery shop, I take everything out of the fridge. I throw away all the gross stuff and take inventory of what I need to get at the grocery store. Before I put the stuff back in, I fill a little bowl with 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water. I just use paper towels and wipe down the entire fridge using the vinegar solution. Before I started this little ritual,
our fridge constantly smelled. I blame the deli meat.
Since I started wiping it down with vinegar every month, it has basically gone from workhorse to stallion.
And by that, I mean shiny with robust thighs that run like lightning.
#10. Use vinegar to clean dirty paintbrushes.
This little tip is actually what inspired this entire post. My sweet Mama read my paint tricks post and told me she really loved the vinegar tip. It got me thinking about how I use vinegar for a bazillion different things, and that it would be fun to share some of them with you.
You can see the vinegar paintbrush tip here.
And so there you have it!
Those are my 10 vinegar cleaning secrets!
I hope you enjoyed today's tips and I'm so glad you stopped by!
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