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!

DIY Eco Friendly Cleaners – Dishwashing Soap

Thinking of homemade laundry detergent, reminds me of creating my own dishwashing soap and general purpose household cleaner. I found a great recipe that’s also easy and inexpensive. Now I have a better use for those plastic dish soap and laundry detergent bottles!

Try this recipe from NaturalHomeMagazine.com (one of my most favorite magazines for finding DIY ideas and greening my daily routine).

This eco-friendly dishwashing soap can be used for dishes, handwashing, floors, stoves, refrigerators, and sinks. The eucalyptus and mint provide a disinfecting quality as well as a fresh scent.

5 cups grated castile soap
1/2 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon borax
6 cups hot peppermint tea
1 teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil

Put grated soap into a three-quart stainless-steel saucepan and add hot mint tea. Simmer for 15 minutes on low heat. Add baking soda, borax, and eucalyptus oil and remove from heat. Allow to cool, then store in a labeled plastic jug or squirt bottle. Shake before using.

Save Money with Homemade Laundry Detergent

Spend less with this homemade laundry detergent recipe.

Everyday I think of how I can make 1 change in my daily routine to be more green or substitute a commercial store bought product for something that is safer for the environment as well as for myself and family.

Today, I did a load of laundry using a phosphate free laundry detergent. I buy the largest bottle of the least expensive brand I can find every month. However, I still cringe that I have to buy my laundry detergent in a plastic bottle (I try to avoid buying products that are plastic). I have a friend who makes her own laundry detergent in bulk, which she says lasts her family of 5 about 2 months!

So I found this DIY laundry detergent recipe that is not only easy to make, but also eco-friendly and safe for your family to use too.

-1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s Lavender, Citrus, Peppermint, Almond or Baby soap
– 1 dry cup of Borax
-1 dry cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
-optional a few drops of tea tree for disinfecting (esp. good for cloth diapering)

*grate soap into sauce pan- add 2 cups of water- stir, dissolve.
*into a five gallon bucket add Borax, washing soda and tea tree if using.
*dump melted soap liquid into bucket and stir quickly
*add water to about 3/4 of way to top- stir and put lid on.
*set overnight- measure out 1/2 cup of liquid for light loads and 1 cup for normal.

Source: Reply to DIY laundry detergent on DIYNatural.com

What recipe have you used for homemade laundry detergent? What is the cost comparison & effectiveness of using your own detergent vs. commercial brands? I’d love to hear your comments below!

Eco Friendly Household Cleaners

This weekend I’ve been moving out of one apartment and into another, and I’m committed to only using eco friendly household cleaners to do the necessary cleaning when one moves out of a place.

So far I’ve been using lemon juice and hot water and it’s been doing a great job on cleaning and disenfecting the refrigerator and it leaves a fresh lemon scent as well.

Other eco friendly household cleaners that really do a great job are:

  • Baking soda
  • Baking soda and lemon juice – for cleaning a stove’s interior.
  • Mule Team Borax soap
  • Table salt – great for getting the grime out of your tub.
  • Vinegar

Combinations of the above work well together too, but vinegar and baking soda do cause quite an adverse reaction, although this might work well on those stubborn food stains in your oven.

What eco friendly household cleaners work for you? I’d love to hear other ideas. Post your comments below.