White distilled vinegar is commonly used in the kitchen to tenderize meat and create delicious sauces and dressings. Vinegar is also a bit of a “miracle cleaner”, as it can kill most bacteria and molds without being toxic to humans. Not only is the cleaning power of vinegar incredibly effective, but the economical benefits are remarkable as well. You can potentially save a ton of money by using vinegar instead of buying multiple specialized products. Fill an old spray bottle with a half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water for a quick and easy cleaning solution! Check out some of these incredibly versatile uses for vinegar that will help you save money and get rid of some of those pesky stains and odors:
Stainless Steel Appliances – Vinegar can be used to remove those stubborn smudges, streaks, and fingerprints from your refrigerator and other kitchen appliances. Instead of spending a fortune on specialized stainless steel cleaning products, you can simply use a small dab of vinegar. Apply the vinegar directly to a soft cloth and gently rub it into the surface of the appliance in a circular motion.
Sticker Removal – There are few things more irritating than stickers that won’t peel off cleanly, especially when you find them on newly purchased dinnerware. Apply vinegar to the stickers until they are completely soaked. Wait 5 – 10 minutes and then peel them off!
Garbage Disposal Cleaner – Is there a funky odor coming from your garbage disposal? Fill up an ice cube tray with a half-and-half mixture of water and vinegar. Once the cubes are frozen, drop them into the running disposal. After the cubes have passed through the system, continue running cold water through the running blades for at least one minute. You can also deodorize your kitchen drains by pouring a cup of vinegar into them once a week. Wait for 30 minutes and then flush the drains with cold water.
Showerhead Cleaner – Mix 1 cup of vinegar with ½ cup of baking soda in a plastic sandwich bag. Fasten the bag around the showerhead with a rubber band and let it sit for at least an hour. Remove the bag and wipe down the showerhead with a damp cloth, then run cold water through the shower.
Grill Cleaner – Spray vinegar directly onto a ball of loosely wadded up aluminum foil. Use the foil to scrub the grill, spraying more vinegar onto the foil as needed.
Grout Cleaner – Pour vinegar directly onto the grout and let it sit for 5 minutes. Scrub the grout with an old toothbrush and wipe it down with cold water and a damp cloth.
Grease Removal – Soak a sponge in vinegar for 5 – 10 minutes. Use the sponge to scrub grease off of a stovetop, oven, or exhaust fan.
Pest Deterrent – You can help keep ants and spiders away by washing floors, countertops, and doors with vinegar on a regular basis.
Clean Cloudy Glassware – Wrap the outside and inside of the glass in paper towels soaked in vinegar. Let the paper towels sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse the glass clean with cold water.
WARNING – Vinegar is a great cleaning solution, but it can’t be used on everything. Always test the vinegar on a small area of what you’re intending to clean. Remember to NEVER use vinegar on marble floors and countertops, as the acid can cause damage to the surface.
Be sure to check back next week when we’ll be taking a look at the practical uses of toothpaste around the home.