Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waste Not Wednesday: The Secret Weapon of Natural Cleaning

Now introducing...

The Wonderful!

The Amazing!

The All-Powerful!


(And I'm only partly joking.)

Seriously, do you even know how many uses you can get out of vinegar?  I'll highlight just a mere few, and then I'd love to hear any more of your suggestions and uses.  My housemate, Jocelyn, clued me into this wonder...uh, thing (what exactly is vinegar, anyways?) shortly after we moved in by making homemade all-purpose cleaner.

The ingredients?  Equal parts water and vinegar (although I think we go a little heavy on the water part).

What -- you may ask -- exactly do we clean with this all-purpose cleaner?  Here's a quick run-down:  the sink, the counter, the stove, the floors (be it tile or wood), the toilet, the bathtub, the shower, etc...

Need I go on?

My favorite part about the spray is that we don't have to worry about spraying toxins around little bitty babies.  So they like the spray too.

And if you're not too keen on having your kitchen smell like vinegar (it's not that bad and you get used to it fairly quickly), you can try to put some peppermint oil into the mix.  Although be forewarned:  sometimes your spray will smell like peppermint, sometimes it will smell like vinegar.  It's hard to evenly distribute the peppermint oil.

A word before we go on:  you may be asking yourself (I know I did) about why exactly vinegar is so good an all-purpose cleaner.  Don't we eat it after all?  How can it be so powerful that germs and bacteria will be killed off?  Here's what I found out (with some linkage):  According to The Vinegar Institute (oooh, fancy!), "Vinegar is made by two distinct biological processes, both the result of the action of harmless microorganisms (yeast and "Acetobacter") that turn sugars (carbohydrates) into acedic acid."  Yay, harmless microorganisms!  And I just found out from this website that vinegar has several vitamins and is made from fruit.  Cool.

But I digress.  We want to know why it cleans.  Ah, here we go:  "The acid in vinegar cuts through the grease and germs on your counter tops and is also the ingredient that makes your favorite pickles so tart and safe to eat by inhibiting bacteria and mold."

Ok, are you sold yet on the power of vinegar?  No??  Let's go on, then...

As I've mentioned previously, we use cloth diapers in this house, which means (yup!) we have to clean them ourselves.  We have special cloth-diaper detergent, but it's also important to be extra careful about removing bacteria in the pre-rinse wash cycle.  Now, I could spend a bit of money on specialized cloth-diaper-bacteria-killer, OR....

I could use vinegar!

Just put a 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the pre-wash, and say goodbye to bacteria!

(Are you excited yet??)

The next use of vinegar I want to highlight I have not actually tried yet, although I am planning on it soon.  I just need to find some extra time when I don't have to actually go out anywhere, just in case it flops.  I've heard (and have known some people who have done it) that you can use a vinegar concoction to clean your hair.  I am thoroughly intrigued, and will post the recipes I try and the results once I go through with the process.  I have to admit that I am thoroughly hooked on volumizing shampoo, so it might take a bit of time to get used to a vinegar rinse.  BUT it doesn't take away from the fact that vinegar is amazing.

I also enjoy eating the balsamic variety on my salads.

And so in the Waste Not Wednesday series, I'm giving vinegar

10 out of 5 stars.

Because it's my blog and I can.

For more green resources, check out this link every single week!  AMAZING!!!

1 comment:

  1. Vinegar is awesome! You can add a pinch of borax to your concoction to help the peppermint evenly distribute, but start with warm water to help it dissolve so it won't clog your bottle. :)


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