By Taryn Tacher
Are you sick of that nasty carpet stain in the living room? Has your china lost its shine? Are you fed up with the mildew that has been accumulating between the tiles on your bathroom walls? Finding it impossible to remove the water stains from your shower doors? White vinegar can fix all these annoyances, plus so many more.
The seemingly universal problem solver starts out as sugar that is converted to alcohol through fermentation. The alcohol then undergoes another round of fermentation to become acetic acid. This acid is what makes vinegar such a successful cleaner. According to The Kitchn, white vinegar is the most potent type of vinegar because it is made up of a mixture of artificial acetic acid and water, rather than from natural sugars found in apples, grapes and rice, like other types of vinegar. The strength of the acidity of white vinegar can break down soap scum and other buildups, as well as glue and sticky substances. And because white vinegar is technically fermented sugar and water, not only is it non-toxic, but it is also edible — something that cannot be said for many other cleaning products.
In the kitchen
When disposing of expired food items, their odors can permeate your kitchen. Pouring vinegar down the drain or into the garbage will eliminate the nasty stench — just remember not to rinse out your sink or garbage for at least an hour after you pour the vinegar in it. This miracle worker can also cleanse cutting boards, countertops, stovetops and refrigerators with a simple wipe down. To clean your microwave, fill a microwave-safe bowl with 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water, and heat in the microwave until the mixture comes to a boil. Not only will this alleviate smells, but it will also lift food residue from the walls of the appliance.
In the bathroom
The bathroom is notorious for accumulating scum, stains and germs. Soak your showerhead in vinegar overnight to get rid of buildup. Spray your shower walls and curtain or shower door with the all-purpose cleaner to prevent mildew and to remove water stains (from glass). You can even use vinegar to remove toilet bowl stains by simply spraying vinegar into the bowl and scrubbing away the discolorations.
In the laundry room
Vinegar can make doing laundry a lot less dreadful. Soaking clothes in vinegar prior to washing will prevent colors from running. Adding just half a cup of vinegar to your wash will make your brights even brighter, as well as get rid of the lint on your clothes. Have a tough stain you cannot seem to get rid of? Gently massaging with vinegar before washing can make chocolate, coffee, wine and ketchup stains disappear.
In the rest of the house
Combining 1 part vinegar with 1 part water and blotting can remove tough carpet stains, and using the same ratio, you can wipe windows clean. To keep ants from invading your home, spray vinegar along any seams — doorways, windowsills, etc.
You can find uses for vinegar in any and every part of your house. So, next time you head to your grocery store, be sure to pick up this all-natural, non-toxic, jack-of-all-trades cleaning product.
When using vinegar to clean your home, be careful not to mix it with bleach or ammonia as the mixtures can release toxic chlorine gas and create a corrosive acid, respectively.