Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ode to Vinegar

Oh white vinegar,  how do I love thee, let me count the ways....  If ever there was a multipurpose nontoxic product, it is white vinegar.   It is used in cooking, gardening, health remedies, automotive cleaners, air fresheners, laundry cleaning, and general all-purpose household cleaners.  Visit Vinegar Tips for a more thorough explanation of the 1001 uses of white vinegar.

White vinegar is made by allowing a distilled alcohol to undergo acid fermentation. The typical store-bought white vinegar is 5% acetic acid which makes it a great cleaner.   Michael Mullen of the  Heinz Company referred to several studies to show that vinegar has properties to destroy 80% of viruses, 82% of mold, and 99% of bacteria.  Thus, as it should be, vinegar is a common household product used for cleaning bacteria laden surfaces like kitchen stoves, toilets, sinks, and floors.   Vinegar is a much better option than the chemical cleaners available in stores as vinegar does not have the harmful health effects of most commercial cleaners (read the tiny print on the labels for a good scare).

Personally, I use vinegar in a homemade all-purpose cleaner made with white vinegar, liquid soap, and water (see the Recipes page of this blog).  For an air freshener, I put a bowl of white vinegar on the counter.  (I do this with baking soda as well.)  I use vinegar as a toilet bowl cleaner by pouring straight vinegar into the toilet bowl, scrub the toilet with a brush, and let is sit until the next use of the toilet.  I use simple vinegar and water to mop the linoleum kitchen floor as well as the bathroom floor.  Vinegar and water can be sprayed on to windows and mirrors, then wiped off with crumpled newspaper for sparkling glass.  Oh, white vinegar, how do I love thee....

The last time I bought vinegar at the local grocery store, it cost me less than $3 for a gallon.  That's a lot of cleaning power for less than three bucks.

Give vinegar a try in cleaning your home.  It's cost-effective, it works, it kills the microbes you want to kill without causing you and your family harm.  The smell is much more appealing to me than commercial cleaners especially realizing when I smell those cleaners, I'm inhaling toxic fumes.  Add several drops of your favorite essential oil to your vinegar cleaner if you'd rather smell peppermint or citrus.

Go forth with the rightly esteemed white vinegar....

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