Monday, May 7, 2012

Five Uses for Vinegar Your Great-Grandmother Would Approve

Most commercial products we have access to are loaded with chemicals that are bad for your health. Have you ever looked at the warning labels on cleaning products? What about lawn care products? There are organic alternatives, but they can be pricey and just as lethal. I propose a different alternative: vinegar!

I am sure you all have heard about the many uses of vinegar. You can find them all over the web. Here are five such uses that you can easily put into practice now. They will save you money and eliminate the need to purchase commercial products. These are all jobs your great-grandmother would have accomplished using good ole vinegar.

1.   Do you use liquid fabric softener in the washing machine?  All those chemicals that make your clothes smell fresh and feel soft are not needed.  You can make you clothes incredibly soft, smell fresh and reduce the lint in the dryer with vinegar.  Fill up the liquid fabric softener dispenser with vinegar every time you wash clothes.  I promise your clothes won’t smell like vinegar and they will last longer too.

2.   Do you use a rinse agent in the dishwasher?  Most new dishwashers use a reduced amount of water. They require a rinse agent to help keep the food particles off the dishes.  What are the ingredients in a rinse agent anyway?  I personally have no idea but I am sure you can’t eat them.  Let your rinse agent dispenser completely empty and then refill it with vinegar.  Your dishes will shine and you won’t have spots on the glasses either.  Word of caution, don’t add vinegar if your dispenser has rinse agent in it, wait until it is empty then refill it with vinegar.

3.   Do you have unwanted weeds on your patio or in the driveway?  What about in your landscaping beds?  Grass killer is expensive and full of harmful chemicals that you shouldn’t get on your skin.  Vinegar works just as well. I keep mine in a sprayer bottle – buy a plastic sprayer bottle at a big box store and label it with a permanent marker.  When you see a weed pop up, use the sprayer bottle to zap it.  Cover the weed completely; 2 or 3 squirts will work.  The weed will be gone in a few days at the most.  If you are spraying near plants you want to keep, wait until evening or spray on a non-windy day. You don’t want to get the vinegar on the desirable plants.

4.     How many different kitchen cleaners do you have?  They really are not necessary.  Vinegar is an excellent alternative.  For the kitchen counter tops, add a mix of 50/50 water and vinegar to a spray bottle.    Just spray and wipe as you normally do.    This mixture works on the weeds too if you only want to keep one spray bottle.  However, with a mixture of water and vinegar, you may have to spray the weed more than once. 

5.     How many different bathroom cleaners do you have?  One for the toilet, one for the shower, and something different for the sinks and counter tops?  Strong chemical cleaners are not needed in the bathroom either.  To clean the toilet, try ½ cup of vinegar in the bowl with a few drops of liquid dish washing liquid.  Swish with the toilet brush and flush.  For the bathroom sink and counter tops you can use the 50/50 water and vinegar mix same as in the kitchen.  I just read about a new ‘recipe’ using vinegar for the shower. It says the new recipe will take off dirt, hard water stains as well as mold and mildew without scrubbing.  I will try it in the next few weeks and let you know the results!

I buy a lot of vinegar and use it to clean all kinds of things.  Try it!  I bet you will find it does a better job, and it’s cheaper to use too.   The best part of all is that it doesn’t come with a warning label!

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