Garrick Dee Tan
I can bet that almost every kitchen in the world has a bottle of vinegar they use as part of a side dish or a flavor enhancer. If you live in Asia like me, vinegar to dishes is like oxygen to us – it is a necessity.
But there are other uses for vinegar inside our home which we could benefit from and not many people are aware of this which makes vinegar one of the more underutilized cleaning agents that is cheap, biodegradable, and available in most grocery and convenience stores.
According to this article from Xavier University, vinegar is a natural deodorizer and disinfectant that is great to use on laundry, kitchen and the bathroom where it works well as a stain remover.
When combined with things like baking soda or lemon, it enhances its natural cleaning properties while not risking your health from harmful chemicals.
Here are just some of the cleaning uses of vinegar in and around your home.
1. Natural veggie and fruit wash
This is one of my favorite uses for vinegar. If you like to chomp on salad, make natural juice, or just plain love cooking then washing vegetables is probably the most important step in food preparation because of the potential exposure to food born diseases.
Even if you buy organic produce, you still have to thoroughly wash and rinse because of the risk of salmonella or E.coli exposure.
Veggie washes in the market contain vinegar and water so why not make one from tap water and white vinegar. You’ll save a lot over time.
2. Carpet cleaner and deodorizer
There are a lot of ways to clean carpet with vinegar but this method will work best on fresh spills.
If you have carpet, you know that spills cannot be prevented. These accidents occur no matter how careful you are so you will need to keep vinegar in a spray bottle in case of the inevitable.
And when it happens you will need to use a clean cloth or towel to absorb as much of the spill as possible. Don’t rub, just blot dry and then liberally spray vinegar over the stain and let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes and let it work its magic.
Finish off by blotting excess vinegar residue with a clean towel.
3. Cleans Wooden Toys
Washing wooden toys with water is not recommended. Wood is porous and it can warp if you soak it in any form of liquid.
One of the safest ways to clean and disinfect your child’s wooden toys is using vinegar. Just soak a clean rag in vinegar and wipe the toy with it.
Don’t worry about the smell as it will dissipate when it dries up.
4. Clean up dried oil residue
For folks who love to spend time in the kitchen would know that one of the toughest things to clean is dried oily residue – on the ceiling, counter top, or exhaust fan. The longer you let it sit, the tougher it is to remove them.
Let me introduce you to baking soda and vinegar. This potent combo works well together in cutting through the oily gunk and disinfecting the surface as well.
Mix 3 parts water with one part vinegar and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Use a sponge to agitate and loosen dirt. The sooner you clean the oily gunk the easier it will be.
5. Bathroom cleaner
Another great use for vinegar and baking soda would be removing mold and mildew inside the bathroom.
First you will need to fill a spray bottle with vinegar then spray every non-porous surface like tile, sink, porcelain and grout liberally then let it sit for a couple of hours.
Then make a paste consisting of one part water and three parts vinegar or until you it becomes paste-like. Apply this mixture on hard to remove scum or mildew (this works well on grout) then use a sponge or brush to agitate.
Rinse with water and repeat the process if needed.
The bottom line is that vinegar won’t be as potent a cleaner as some commercial brands but it provides you with a safer alternative that does not make you dizzy and it’s cheap, easy to find and will last a long time.
If you’ve cleaned with vinegar, let me know in the comments section below.