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My Magic Helper: Vinegar

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One boring day of spring cleaning, I was tired of scrubbing the shower, yet again, and making no progress on the soap scum build up. As I was researching the best miracle cleaner, again and again these articles on the many uses of vinegar for cleaning came up. I decided to give it a try, and thus began a love affair with this simple, cheap, smelly household staple.

My Magic Helper- Vinegar


While there are many, many uses for vinegar, here are the ones that have amazed me (I use white distilled vinegar for all the items below).

Eliminate soap scum:
  • Mixing equal parts with Dawn dish soap, I used a small spray bottle to spray down my entire shower. This is not a pleasant fragrance – it’s best to spray and leave the house while it sits and does its thing. The buildup in our shower was exceptional (9 different cleaning products did little to bust it) so it took several sprays over about 2 days before it looked new again. Now, it just takes a spray down once a week, and I don’t even have to scrub!
Carpet cleaning
  • This is legit. I have not found a single stain remover that has worked better than spraying straight vinegar on my carpet. It works every time! I blot up what I can, spray, leave for 5 minutes and scrub with a washcloth.
Deodorize laundry
  • I live with 3 increasingly smelly boys. My life is one pile of sweaty shirts and socks after another. I’ve found that it can be difficult to get the sweat smell out of the underarms of shirts. This is true, even for me! I spray down the underarms of t-shirts, blouses, polos, and even cardigans and it’s amazing how well it works! My own personal experience has been that spraying and letting them set for a bit helps more than spraying and tossing straight in the wash.
Deodorize washing machine
  • I’ll admit it – there have been one too many times I’ve started the washer and forgotten to move the load to the dryer for a day…or two…or three. That can leave a REALLY strong smell of mildew. After rewashing to load, I find the smell can still remain. So I set the machine on a full load, hot water, and add one cup of vinegar. It’s best if you can let the water/vinegar sit for an hour before running the rinse cycle. Smell = gone!
Kill weeds
  • The same spray bottle I use to treat carpet stains and smelly armpits, I also take outside and spray down trouble spots in the yard. The weeds dry up quickly and make them much easier to pull.
Clean windows and mirrors
  • Who needs glass cleaner? Vinegar is a great alternative, and never leaves streaks. Make sure to use a microfiber cloth, or newspaper makes a great cloth as well!
Clean counter tops and hard surfaces
  • I love me some Clorox wipes, but I still find there is a film left behind. A soapy buildup. Spraying vinegar not only sanitizes and deodorizes, it also leaves a clean shine. I use it on the kitchen and bathroom counters. I don’t know about wood finishes – I used it once on our kitchen table and it seemed to leave the wood matte and sticky. I am afraid to use it on stained wood anymore!

What are your favorite uses for vinegar? I hear it’s pretty powerful when used with its household staple cousin baking soda…

Originally posted May 27, 2015

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Wednesday 27th of May 2015

I love vinegar, I use it for all the things you mention. I also wipe vinegar around windows to repel the ants that seem to suddenly appear this time of year. I am really sensitive to chemical odors and get bad headaches so I love using just vinegar and baking soda for as many things as I can. And it's cheap!!

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