Vinegar: The Dark Horse In Your Pantry


If you’re creeped out by the loads of chemicals lurking in traditional cleaning products, one of the purest and safest ways to keep your home spotless is by mixing up cleaning solutions yourself. And if you think you’ll need to turn your kitchen into some sort of DIY eco-friendly cleaning lab, you’ve got it all wrong. Distilled white vinegar can do wonders all on its own or with a little water – and the lack of stink will surprise you. Here are seven easy ways to clean with vinegar.

All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix equal parts water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. It’ll work on tile, countertops, glass and chrome.

Windows: Put 1/4 cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle and fill the rest up with water. Use the solution to wash your windows with reusable towels, or if you have old newspapers, they’ll help you achieve streak-free results.

Garbage Disposal: Make a tray of ice cubes from distilled white vinegar. Once frozen, run them down the disposal followed by cold water.

Fabric Softener: The addition of 1/4 to 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine will help dissolve detergent residue and leave your clothes soft and static-free. While this trick is great for heavy and absorbent fabrics like towels, cloth diapers and jeans, don’t use it for linen and other delicate fabrics.

Grills: Spray distilled white vinegar on crumpled up aluminum foil (try to reuse clean foil used for cooking if you can). Use the foil to scrub the grill grates vigorously.

Coffee Maker: Stains and oils go hand-in-hand with our morning brew and if you let the gunk build up in your coffee maker, it can make fresh coffee taste stale. Luckily, cleaning is super easy. Fill the coffee maker’s reservoir with six cups cold water and one cup white distilled vinegar. Skip the filter and turn the coffee maker on, allowing it to run through a full cycle. Empty the pot and refill the reservoir with water. Run the cycle again to flush away the vinegar. This project can smell and if you’re not satisfied with one rinse cycle, feel free to run water through it again before you make a pot of coffee.

Wood Floor: Plagued by streaky wood floors? Add 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar to your water pail for rinsing and take care to keep your mop as dry as possible by ringing it out frequently.

Image: mollypop