Guest Post By Diane Kuehl
There’s always something around the house that needs to be cleaned. Always. Especially if you live at my house, which is run by two little boys.
And there are many things around the house that need to be cleaned in order to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the home. Sometimes, things need to get cleaned just to ensure the sanity of everyone in the home. Right?
With all the cleaning that needs to be done, I’m sure you have to run back and forth to the store to get cleaning supplies. I used to. Now I just use white vinegar.
Seriously. Just regular ol’ white distilled vinegar.
Here are a few of the best ways to use your white vinegar.
Clean and disinfect baby toys – Baby toys can get pretty grungy and gross pretty quickly. All that slobber and time on the ground creates a petri dish of germs and bacteria ready to take hold in your baby. To clean the toys, add a healthy dose of white distilled vinegar to soapy water and soak the toys.
Clean and deodorize urine on a mattress – Kids pee in the bed. It happens, it’s a fact of life. But it doesn’t have to ruin the bed and bedding. To clean up this little mess, use a white distilled vinegar and water solution. Sprinkle the area with baking soda and let it dry. Brush or vacuum the area once it is dry to the touch.
Clean up pet accidents – Another fact of life: Pets have accidents, too. Unless you plan on covering every surface in your house with housebreaking pads, you’re going to need to do some cleaning every once in a while. So, here’s how: Get most of the area cleaned with a towel. Add a white distilled vinegar and water solution. Blot until it is nearly dry. Sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it dry. Vacuum the area the next day.
Kill germs in the bathroom – If I need to tell you how many germs there are in a bathroom, then I guess we live in different worlds. Typical bathroom fixtures have more germs on them than accumulate in the rest of the house… combined. To clean, use a spray bottle full of full strength white distilled vinegar and spray the bathroom. Wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
Remove a label, decal, or price tag – Those pesky labels and price tags. I could quite possibly be the biggest proponent for completely doing away with tags and labels altogether, but I suppose that is something for another article. To remove these banes of my existence, cover the label with a rag soaked in white distilled vinegar. Leave it overnight and the label will slide off the next day.
Clean cloudy glassware – There are many different theories on how to get rid of that cloud that seems to always be in your glassware. I’ll give you the easiest way to get rid of it. Soak cloths or paper towels in white distilled vinegar. Wrap both the inside and outside of the glass. Let it sit for a while before rinsing.
Deodorize and clean the garbage disposal – This one is fun and really handy. I can’t tell you how many times my husband, seemingly, has thrown month-old Chinese food down the disposal and left it there to rot and ruin everyone’s lives. So, pull out those old ice cube trays. Freeze full strength white distilled vinegar in an ice cube tray. Place several of the cubes into the disposal and run it while rinsing with cold water.
Clean a plastic bookcase – Typical bookcases are a boon to those with bad dust allergies. They’re difficult to clean because, with all those books, you can’t get to all of the nooks and crannys, leaving much of the dust sitting there. To clean, dust, and keep dust away for a short period of time, use a white distilled vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the bookcase (minus the books, of course). Let it sit for five minutes then dry with a cloth.
There ya have it! There are so many different things you can clean using white vinegar, so this is just a small list of my favorites. Enjoy your new found freedom!
Diane Kuehl is a home improvement professional and owner of DIY Mother. She lives in Springfield, Illinois with her husband and two kids.