Cleaning is something that we all have to do, and can be a pretty tedious chore. Lately I’ve been looking for more eco- and wallet-friendly ways to clean the house. I’ve recently fallen in love with a new all-purpose cleaner. It’s cheap, environmentally friendly, and non-toxic. Some people don’t like the smell, but it doesn’t bother me much, and it goes away pretty quickly.
What is this miracle product?
Vinegar. Plain, ordinary, white, put-it-on-your-fries vinegar.
Here are my 5 favourite ways to use vinegar to clean around the house:
- Clean your microwave! put a micro-safe dish with 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar in your microwave. Set the microwave to full power for long enough that the mix boils (usually about 3-4 minutes.) Keep the door closed and let everything cool for about 30 minutes, remove the dish, and wipe clean! The steamy vinegar will loosen any stuck-on gunk, and take away any lingering odours.
- Add it to your laundry! We all know you’re not supposed to use fabric softener on towels right? The chemical softeners get sucked up by the towel and decreases its absorbency. To fix this, pour about 1/2 cup of vinegar into your washer’s ‘softener’ section (or add it when you usually add the softener). It will help remove the softener residue, and make them nice and soft. If you use the dryer sheets, make sure you don’t use one when drying these towels, or you will be right back where you started! Vinegar can be used in place of fabric softener for all your clothes and washables, and it’s really beneficial for towels. I promise it doesn’t make your clothes smell like vinegar either!
- Clear a slow drain! Everyone remembers making a baking soda and vinegar volcano at some point, right? These two common items react very strongly with each other, causing lots of gas and bubbling. This is perfect for a slow-moving drain. put 4 tablespoons of baking soda in the drain, and follow with 4 tablespoons of vinegar. It will probably bubble back up into your sink/tub, that’s ok. Boil the kettle while the soda and vinegar are working away, and pour the hot water down the drain. Voila! This should clear any minor-medium slowness in your drains. If you’ve got a major blockage, try it again!
- Clean glass and mirrors! Use vinegar on your mirrors and windows to avoid the streaks that can come with soap or commercial glass cleaners. Make sure you use a non-linty cloth, such as microfiber to ensure you don’t leave anything behind! I haven’t tested this out, but I’m also told you can do this with the windows in your car, and they will resist forming frost and ice in the winter.
- Clean everything else! You can use a mixture of 50% water to 50% vinegar to clean countertops, faucets, cabinets, door handles, sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets. Basically anything you would use a commercial cleaner for, try vinegar first! (Except marble. Please don’t use vinegar on marble. The acid can permanently etch it.)
- So there you have it! My newest favourite cleaning product that doesn’t harm the environment, is ok to pour down the sink, and is totally edible! (drinkable?)
What is your favourite green cleaning tip? I can’t wait to hear them!