Vinegar is useful for several cleaning tasks. Photo: cafemama via creative commons.

You don’t need to invest in dozens of costly, harsh chemical cleaners that only aid in the deterioration of our ozone layer and impair indoor air quality. The answer lies in the basics.

New, fancy cleaners come and go, but classics such as distilled white vinegar still serve the same bountiful purposes as always. The ancient Egyptians were on to something when they began using vinegar for health benefits back in 3000 B.C. and today, vinegar remains the ideal household go-to. Perfect for battling bacteria and germs, laundry and more, vinegar can be used for just about anything.


Cleaning With Vinegar

Here are some of our favorite uses:

  • Get rid of that second world growing in your fridge: Scared to open the refrigerator? Is the unbearable wave of odor making you opt for takeout instead? Arm yourself with some rubber gloves and a mixture of half water, half vinegar. Wipe down the interior shelves and walls with a sponge and battle the grime and unpleasant smell in no time.
  • Give your laundry an extra boost: Vinegar is a great laundry booster and can strip away the chemical build-up that detergents leave behind. Unlike masking stinky smells, vinegar gets rid of clingy odors. Add ½ cup of vinegar in your final rinse.
  • Make glassware sparkle: If you’ve ever wondered how restaurants make their wine glasses so shiny, the secret – if you haven’t guessed it by now – is vinegar. To get rid of streaks and cloudiness, wrap a vinegar-soaked towel around or in the glass and let it sit for a few minutes. Remove, then rinse with warm water. Your guests will be simply dazzled.
  • Stop ants in their tracks: It’s hard to tell where those incessant critters come from, but you can combat ants even if you are outnumbered. Simply spray outside doorways, windowsills and anywhere you spot a trail to stop them marching in their tracks.
  • Clean the microwave: What is it about spaghetti and microwaves? Loosen the grime by filling a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water and ½ cup vinegar. Heat it on full power for 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Let the steam fill the microwave, then wipe down interior walls with a sponge.

Vinegar has endless possibilities and we’ve shown only a fraction of them. From deodorizing your toilet bowl to tenderizing meat, vinegar truly is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to tackling household chores. Step away from those artificial chemical cleaners and pick up a cheap bottle of vinegar. Your home and wallet will thank you.

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