Monday, November 1, 2010

Cleaning with Vinegar

Vinegar as a disinfectant?

Heinz company spokesperson Michael Mullen has cited numerous studies to show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar such as you can buy in the supermarket kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses). He noted that Heinz can't claim on their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, it seems to be common knowledge in the industry that vinegar is powerfully antibacterial.

White Distilled vinegar is best for cleaning

Maybe the oldest use for vinegar yet (besides as a food) is for cleaning, and it is much safer than using commercial products.

Window Cleaner

A quarter cup in a quart of water makes a good window cleaner. When you use vinegar in your water to wash windows, dry with newspapers. Your windows will sparkle! Keep a solution of 50/50 white vinegar and water in a spray bottle to use for cleaning windows.

Tarnished Copper

On heavily tarnished copper or copper-alloy to be cleaned up, use a paste made of salt and vinegar.


White vinegar mixed with water for rinsing off the dishes after washing them takes the soap off and leave them squeaky clean. This also takes the soap residue off of your hands at the same time.

Pour 1/4 cup vinegar with dish soap-water must be hot (not boiling hot). This is great for cleaning your Corningware dishes (it removes all the stains and grease), cleaning your stainless steel pots and pans etc., clean your oven and all of stove top (this is better than oven cleaners. it will remove all of the grease. just dab on and let it set for a few minutes then wipe clean), and cabinets in kitchen.

Pour 1/4 cup vinegar to your dishwasher rinse cycle for streak free, sparkling dishes every time!!

Floor Cleaner

Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a gal. Of water to keep your vinyl no wax floors clean and shining.

Those mops with the detachable, washable heads, and squirt distilled vinegar on the floor, mop it up and squirt more as needed.

Carpet Spot and Stain Remover

***This REALLY works***

As a carpet spot and stain remover -take a trigger spray bottle and fill with one part white vinegar to seven parts water. Take a second spray bottle and fill with one part white, non-sudsy ammonia and seven parts water. Saturate stain with vinegar solution. Let dwell for a few minutes and blot thoroughly with a clean, white cloth. Then go over the area with the ammonia solution, let dwell and blot again. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Coffee Maker

Fill the water reservoir half way and run the coffee maker as you normally do and then run it once full of water and the coffee maker will be spotless.

Grease Cutter

Vinegar is an excellent grease cutter. In college cafeterias we boil out our fry vats every week with vinegar and water. Very cost effective and very safe-no harsh chemicals, no risk of fire. We also use straight vinegar to clean the grill hoods. Again, very inexpensive and does a fantastic job.

Waxing a Floor

When waxing a floor after scrubbing with a floor stripper, use 1 cup of vinegar to rinse water. It neutralizes the chemicals and makes wax or floor finish adhere better.

Oven Cleaner

To keep your freshly-cleaned oven from stinking up your house next time you bake something, wipe it with white vinegar poured directly on the sponge as a final rinse. It neutralizes the harsh alkali of oven cleaners.

Remove Water Stains

Remove water stains from leather by rubbing with a cloth dipped in a vinegar and water solution.

Remove Staining Flower Pots

That staining that occurs in clay and plastic flower pots and their saucers comes right out--no scrubbing needed. Just fill the kitchen sink with cold water and add plain white vinegar about 2/3 water-1/3 vinegar. Soak pots and saucers till they look clean and new (sometimes takes an hour). Wash with soap and water before reusing.

Clean Raw Wood

White vinegar can also be used to clean raw wood, such as a wooden cutting board. Pour straight vinegar onto the wood and then use a sponge to literally push the dirt away. Be sure to wipe in the direction of the wood grain, starting at one end and working to the other. This way the dirt you are trying to get rid of won't be pushed back into the wood grain.

Whirlpool Tub

Pour 1 gallon of white vinegar into the water of our whirlpool tub, once a year and run it. This will keep the jets from clogging up from soap scum, etc.

Cheap Cleaning Solution

1/3 part white vinegar
1/3 part rubbing alcohol
1/3 part water
3 drops dishwashing liquid

Mix this into a (recycled) spray bottle and you have the equivalent of the floor cleaner. Just spray and mop; also great for deodorizing a room and for a fast cleanup. Use this on any tile floors with great results, the alcohol is added to make it dry faster.

Hard Water Deposits

Use vinegar to get rid of the hard water deposits around your sink. Soak a paper towels with vinegar and place them around the area that needs to be cleaned or for cleaning the faucet you can soak the towel and wrap it around and then rubber band it in place. Do this overnight and the next morning it's a cinch to wipe clean. This has been safe for brass faucets as well.


Clean your microwave, use 1 Tablespoon of vinegar, one cup of warm water and 1 or 2 drops of dish soap in a small microwave safe bowl. Put it in the microwave on high for 3-4 minutes and let stand for 15 minutes. Then wipe the microwave out with a damp sponge. The steam and use of vinegar loosens up the build up in the microwave.

Furniture Polish

Furniture polish using equal parts of white vinegar and vegetable oil. Wipe it on and buff with a soft cloth.


To clean brassware to like-new condition without scrubbing, soak in 1:10 parts of white vinegar: water. To clean brass lamps, unscrew sections, soak in bucket. All green and black tarnish comes off in no time.

Steam Vac

Use distilled vinegar steam vac to rinse your carpets with after shampooing. The carpet will stay fresh longer, it removes any detergent residue. Use a quarter of a cup, per gallon of water.

Rust off Cast iron

White vinegar solution 2 parts vinegar 1 part water to clean the rust off cast iron pans. Cleaning antique cast iron pans soak the pan overnight in the vinegar solution and the vinegar just dissolves the rust. Very rusty pans many take an extra evening. Don't leave it in there too long or you will not have a pan. The vinegar actually dissolves the metal. This would work on new cast iron pans also.

Antique Appliances

For cleaning antique appliances: Pour white vinegar straight out of the bottle onto a sponge, or pour it into a dishpan to soak stubborn buildup for a few minutes. After your appliance's first-time cleaning, future quick cleanups are easiest using a small spray/squirt bottle with diluted vinegar-water.

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