Incredibly affordable and environmentally safe, vinegar is an ideal product for homes with small, curious children who love to touch and taste. How can you use it? Keep reading for eight ideas!
1. General Cleaner and Disinfectant
From countertops to windows to bathtubs, many household surfaces can be cleaned with vinegar. "You can clean and disinfect just about anything with vinegar and water," Joy B. shares. And as mother-of-two Katherine C. advises, you can use pure vinegar or a diluted solution, depending on the severity of the dirty situation: "Use vinegar full-strength for tough cleaning jobs and to remove lime or hard water stains, or mix the vinegar with warm water for a milder green cleaner."
2. Fabric Softener
"I use vinegar in the rinse cycle to remove residue from detergent and to soften clothes," shares mother-of-five Lori P. "I use 1 to 2 oz depending on load size. And when clothes are dry there is no vinegar scent." As a natural fabric softener, vinegar is an especially smart choice when a family member has sensitive skin or allergies to dyes and perfumes.
3. Odor Remover
Is a strong scent lingering in your home? Vinegar is a natural odor remover. Ontario mom Jessica G. boils vinegar to remove odor evidence of her wood-burning stove, while Ohio mother-of-five Deborah B. simply sets out a small bowl of vinegar. She explains: "Remove lingering tobacco odors by filling a small bowl or saucer with apple cider vinegar and placing it in the room where the odor is. . . . Within a few days your room will smell fresh and clean."
4. Stain Remover
Whether you're cleaning carpets or cloth diapers, vinegar is a powerful stain remover. Mother-of-one Toni L. gives the following directions: "Put a good amount of baking soda on the stain, then spray/sprinkle some white vinegar over the baking soda. It will go really bubbly and smell very strongly of vinegar. Put in wash and ta-da! Stain gone!"
5. Blemish Treatment
Some moms claim vinegar is also a simple remedy for curing pimples. As Joanne E. suggests, "To banish blemishes fast combine one teaspon salt and three tablespoons vinegar in a bowl and dab on pimples using a cotton ball. Let sit 30 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water."
6. Drain Cleaner
Moms like Jodi L. swear by baking soda and vinegar for freshening up kitchen drains. "To keep sink drains clean and odor free, I periodically pour baking soda into the drain, then white distilled vinegar," she relays. "The foaming action cleans the pipes."
7. Pots and Pans Cleaner
Why spend 20 minutes scouring off burnt food when vinegar and baking soda can do the work for you? As mother-of-three Sharon G. suggests, "Use vinegar and baking soda for stainless steel pots. . . . Sprinkle the bottoms (inside bottoms) of the pans with baking soda, put on over the heat (stove), [and] pour on vinegar after a minute. This will lift any baked-on crud."
8. Weed Killer
Vinegar can be a helpful tool outside, too. Vicki H. advises: "Vinegar in a spray bottle kills grass and weeds in sidewalk cracks too . . . my new fave."
How else do you use vinegar in your home? Share your tips in the comments below!
This article first appeared on Circle of Moms on April 11, 2011.