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5 Home Cleaning Uses for Vinegar

How can one simple product work so well and as a household cleaner and yet be fit for human consumption? “Would you like Italian dressing with your salad, mom?”  “No thank you, oil and vinegar, please. But don’t put the vinegar away.  I need to unclog the kitchen drain before we clean up.”

That’s a made-up conversation, of course, but one that might easily take place in countless homes every single day.  And yet, if vinegar is such an effective cleaning agent – and it is! – why don’t more people make it part of their cleaning arsenal?  Well, in today’s world with fancy bubbles, sprays, pastes, and scrubbers, going back to “simple” might just be a little frontier-like for some.

Our suggestion?  This one time, it’s okay NOT to go with the flow and stick to what works:  vinegar.  Especially knowing it will save you money and can be used in so many ways.  Here’s just a small sampling:

Laundry: Adding vinegar to a load of washing softens, kills odor, and brightens without harsh chemicals. Adding vinegar to a load of mildewed towels also will eliminate that powerful mildew smell. Plus, just a half cup of vinegar in your laundry softens your clothes without perfumes. The softening aspect of vinegar is important for another reason – it won’t destroy the flame retardants in children’s clothing that otherwise can be broken down by commercial fabric softeners.

Disinfectant: Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that works like a charm on countertops and floors. But it’s also gentle on electronics and can be used to clean screens, mouse pads, and keyboards. Mix a 50:50 solution and wet the end of a cloth (be sure it’s just damp so no liquid gets into the computer). Then, wipe away all the frightening things that our hands get into from your favorite electronic devices.

Eraser: Vinegar is a natural eraser of pen and marker stains plus ink stamps. Using undiluted vinegar, wipe pen marks from painted walls, or fabrics. The vinegar is gentler to colorful fabrics than bleach and works just as well.

Wood Surfaces: Scratches, scuffs, and ring stains all leave a noticeable mark on wood surfaces. Mix equal parts of oil and vinegar (just like Mom’s salad dressing), shake well, and dab onto a washcloth. Rub over the scuffs and scratches and watch them disappear!

Brick: Vinegar and water can brighten up brick and tile. Used in equal parts, they can restore lost luster while removing dirt, wax, and polish. Your fireplace will look so new  you’ll wish you tried this cleaning tip sooner.

And yes, vinegar is also a potent, natural drain cleaner.  In fact, you can use it in combination with baking soda and boiling water both to prevent and remove drain clogs. Pour a half cup each of baking soda and white distilled vinegar down the drain, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then flush with a tea kettle full of boiling water.  If at first you don’t succeed, by all means try it again.  And if that still doesn’t produce the desired result, contact Kalamunda Plumbing for our professional drain cleaning services.