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Spring Cleaning With Vinegar

Posted on Friday, March 17, 2023
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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There’s no better time to undertake a big cleaning project than the springtime when the weather outside is refreshing and one feels inspired by the season of rebirth. Deep cleaning several times during the year provides opportunities to get rid of dust and mold that may accumulate and cause problems such as allergies. A clean home can also help strengthen your immune system and help you avoid illnesses, per Healthline. But many cleaning products are harsh and can even be dangerous. So, why not consider using vinegar for some cleaning projects instead?

Vinegar is an acidic liquid produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. It is used in cooking for flavor and for its chemical properties, as shared by Spruce Eats. Advantageously, white vinegar is easy to find and is generally inexpensive. As another bonus, vinegar has a super lengthy shelf life, so it lasts for a long time. The acidic nature of vinegar renders it a powerful cleaner. In fact, it can dissolve mineral deposits, dirt, grime, grease and more. It is also strong enough to kill some harmful bacteria. When added up, it makes a super great multi-purpose cleaner.

When it comes to cleaning with vinegar, white distilled is the way to go because it doesn’t contain a coloring agent. If one were to use balsamic vinegar instead, for example, that would be detrimental because it would stain everything. Unfortunately, vinegar does stink. But fortunately, the smell can be masked using essential oil if desired. Of course, when cleaning with vinegar, it gets diluted with water. To make a glass cleaner, combine one part water and two parts vinegar in a spray bottle. Healthline shares the following tips: For cleaning tough countertop stains, add a few drops of Dawn soap to one part water and two parts vinegar. To remove calcium deposits from faucets, combine 2 teaspoons of vinegar with 1 teaspoon of salt. Vinegar is so magical that it can even eliminate soap scum. For showers and tubs, spray undiluted vinegar on the walls. Let sit then rinse. And for toilets, add 2 cups of full-strength vinegar to the bowl and let sit for several hours. Then scrub with a brush and flush to deodorize. Bon Appetit suggests using a 1:1 ratio of diluted vinegar and water for general kitchen cleaning.

It’s vital to know that some surfaces should not be treated with vinegar, such as hardwood flooring, stone countertops to include granite, limestone and marble, and electronic screens and computers. It’s up to you to do your homework first. If you are unsure, contact your supplier or manufacturer to learn what products are safe to use. Note that some appliance manufacturers caution against use of vinegar in the dishwasher  or washing machine as it may harm rubber components. Additionally, there are some products that should never be mixed with vinegar, including bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. However, when used properly, vinegar is a wonderful all-purpose cleaner that is particularly useful to shine windows and mirrors. Understand that though vinegar is frequently used as a disinfectant, it is not approved by the CDC for the purpose of removing harmful pathogens. When someone in the home is sick, it is best to use an EPA-registered disinfecting product or stronger bleach solution rather than vinegar. Additionally, the CDC suggests speaking with your veterinarian to find the safest way to disinfect near your pet.

Quick tips:

  • Be sensible and wear protective gloves and gear when cleaning.
  • When using chemical cleaners, first read what it can clean and follow all directions carefully.
  • Ensure good ventilation when cleaning. Open windows and turn on bathroom fans.
  • Always store chemicals out of the reach of children.

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