Review: Vinegar Uses as #DIY Home Cleansers and More

I like to save money and use less chemicals in my home, so I have tried several of the suggested vinegar uses. Here are my reviews on ways to use vinegar in your home for cleaning and more.

I’m sure you have heard or seen posts on Facebook or Pinterest about the many uses of vinegar – 11, 20, 31, 50 or 101 – but does it really work as a home cleanser? What are the benefits of using distilled vinegar vs. store bought cleaners?

vinegar-usesVinegar really does have many uses and due to high acidity, it is effective to kill many bacteria, mold, mildew and germs. It is safe for the environment, does not harm plumbing, does not leave stains or harm most non-porous surfaces, so it’s safe to use around children and pets.

I like to save money and use less chemicals in my home, so I have tried several of the suggested vinegar uses. Here are my reviews on ways to use vinegar in your home for cleaning and more.

  1. Household Disinfectant – Works just as good as a general purpose cleaner. No harsh scent or residue. I dilute with water and put in a clearly marked spray bottle for frequent use. Kills most bacteria, mold, mildew and germs that cause allergies and illness.
    Uses: Bathroom and kitchen surfaces, inside trashcans and refrigerators, sinks, and any non-porous surface.
  2. Extend freshness of fruits and vegetables – Best way to keep fruit and veggies from spoiling.  Put equal amounts of water and distilled vinegar in a small spray bottle. Spray once and they will last several days longer and sometimes up to a week before the skin starts to wrinkle. You do not have to refrigerate many fruits and vegetables to keep them fresher longer. I have a couple large flat bottom baskets that I leave on the kitchen counter or table with the fresh produce.
    Uses:  Instead of washing fresh fruits and vegetables before eating, spray it with the diluted solution and it’s safe to eat. Especially good for soft edible skin produce such as tomatoes, oranges, apples, eggplant, cucumbers, and green peppers.
  3. Removes coffee/tea stains – Combine with salt for stubborn stains and a little elbow power and you’ll have a safer cleanser than bleach in a can. Use full strength for stubborn stains, let it sit for awhile (an hour or overnight), scrub, rinse and you’re done!
    Uses: I use on my stainless steel coffee pot, and plastic or glass iced tea containers as well as stained coffee mugs. (No, it won’t taste like vinegar.)
  4. Removes lime buildup – Yes, it does work on lime scale buildup on shower heads and tiled bathroom/kitchen walls. Remove your shower head and put in a container (bowl or bucket, depending on the size). Add enough full strength vinegar to cover water inlets. Allow to soak for several hours or overnight, and rinse in fresh water. You’ll see an improvement with your shower stream!
    Uses: Removable shower heads or tiled walls. For stubborn buildup on walls, make a paste with salt and vinegar and scrub walls. Rinse clean and dry.
  5. Carpet Stains – Have pet or food stains on your carpets? Use vinegar and baking soda (yes, together!). Remove as much as the substance as you can by blotting the stain (never rubbing or scrubbing). Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and spray or cover with vinegar. It will bubble and foam, do not stand directly over the stain until the foam settles. Cover with a plate and allow to sit overnight. Remove plate and vacuum up remaining residue. Poof! Stain disappears!
    Uses: This works on old stains too, however, you may need to repeat the process a couple times to remove the stain. This method is so much less cumbersome than using a store-rented carpet shampooer and much less expensive than having your carpets cleaned.

I’ll add more as I try them, but I love the many uses of white vinegar instead of using toxic commercial household cleaners.

What have been your experiences using vinegar? We’d love to hear your stories!

Keep Your Body and Bathroom Clean and #Green Part 2

Tackle turning your house green one room at a time. The next room in this series is the bathroom. Besides using non toxic chemicals such as vinegar and peroxide to clean your bathroom, you’ll want to treat your body with toxic free scrubs and rubs.

I use coupons with just about every product I buy; however, I started using plain baking soda as my facial scrub with surprisingly success and now I don’t pay exorbitant prices on brand name facial scrubs and soaps. You can make your own body soaps, scrubs and lotions that are good for your skin and the environment.

 

Use handpicked herbs to create your own green and chemical free homemade body soaps.

Milk and Honey Soap

Rosemary and Lavender Homemade Soap

Moisturizing Hand Balm

Sugar Body Scrub

Brown Sugar and Honey Body Scrub

Brown sugar is a natural exfoliate while honey and almond oil are natural moisturizers that your body will love.

What you will need

3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sweet almond oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
2 tablespoons oat bran

Instructions

Place the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Spoon into a storage container. To use, apply to damp skin on your face or body and gently exfoliate. Wash off with warm water, then moisturize.

Storage

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Create your body lotions and lip balms with easy to follow recipes from The Urban Farm Handbook available on Amazon.com.

What types of bath, body and beauty products have you made at home with success or learned from your failures? I’d love to hear your stories!

Clear, Clean and #Green Your Home Room by Room Part 1

Green your home one room at a time with these helpful hints from Just About Greener Living. Avoid commercial and scented detergents instead replace with chemical free alternatives for doing laundry and keeping your clothes smelling fresh.

Spring has come and gone, but you can still clear out the summer’s clutter and green your house one room at a time. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a 4 room apartment or a 2 1/2 story house, you can tackle it a little each week or each month. Oftentimes the biggest rooms seem the most daunting, so let’s start with the room most often used – the laundry room.

Clean and Green up your laundry area.

Commercial Detergent or DIY Detergent?

How many loads of laundry do you have every week? Two, four, six, ten loads of laundry and how much are you spending on commercial laundry detergent? And what about the chemicals in those plastic bottles and allergies? If your budget is tight and you want to stretch your dollars farther and reduce toxicity, consider a green alternative to commercial detergents.

Detox Your Laundry Area

Dryer Ventilation– Dryer vents can contain more than 25 toxic chemicals especially if you use scented dryer sheets and commercial detergents are used and are even more toxic if not vented outside or become clogged. Clean out your vent once a month and vent outside if possible. Use a ventilation fan to prevent breathing in toxic fumes. Clogged vents are also a fire hazard, clear vents both from your dryer and external vents yourself or contact a dryer vent cleaning company.

Clogged vents are toxic and can be a fire hazard.

“Researchers have found that dryer vents can emit more than 25 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets are used, including seven VOCs classified as hazardous air pollutants,” according to an article from Natural Home and Garden.

Manufacturers are not required to list all their ingredients especially ones that are scented, and oftentimes contain hazardous ingredients known to be harmful to you. (What you don’t know, can hurt you.)

Laundry Pre-treatments – These too can be toxic if inhaled and can contaminate your water. Instead try a mix of washing soda, baking soda and water. Peroxide also works pretty good on whites, test first though.

Eco Friendly Laundry Detergents – If you don’t have time to make your own detergents, then do make the eco conscious choice and look for eco friendly detergents that are plant based such as Method Laundry Detergent, Seventh Generation, Planet Inc., and Eco Soap Nuts. Look for coupons on Facebook and in your local newspapers to save on Method and Seventh Generation too.
Clean Washer – Sounds redundant, but residue from softeners and detergents remain in your washer even after the rinse cycle as well as bacteria, grease and other contaminants. Run a cycle with white vinegar and hot water to remove such residue from your washer periodically.
Avoid Bleach – Choose vinegar and hot water or pre-soak stained clothing to avoid the toxicity of bleach. Only use in small amounts if absolutely necessary. Do NOT mix bleach with vinegar or ammonia as it creates a toxic chlorine fume.

 

Look for more ways to clear, clean and green your home room by room soon!