For real, ya'll. White vinegar is where it's at. We've all seen those posts online about "1000 Uses For White Vinegar," right? Well, they're all totally true. Okay, so I haven't tried out that many uses for it. But seriously, every single thing I've tried vinegar for totally works.
I think I started cleaning with white vinegar maybe 2 years ago. Though maybe its been closer to 3, since my child is now 3, and all this "crunchy" stuff started shortly after her birth. Anyway, I started with vinegar pretty slowly, just using up my regular cleaning stuff before replacing it with vinegar-based cleaners. And by that I mean homemade cleaners. Probably the first time I used vinegar for cleaning was when I ran out of Windex. I rinsed out the Windex bottle really well and filled it back up with 1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar. I started using that to clean up tough messes in the kitchen. After that, I started cleaning the glass in the house with the solution. Not long after, my bathroom cleaners ran out, so I started using the same solution in the bathrooms. (Eventually, I discovered tea tree oil and its awesome powers, so my bathroom solution also got a few drops of TTO essential oil squirted in.) From there, my love of vinegar for cleaning has just spiraled.
When I switched to cloth diapers, I discovered that I am allergic to fabric softeners. (I had to quit using fabric softener since it builds up on cloth diapers, making them worthless, and it wasn't long before I realized I wasn't itching any more!) After some research, I realized that white vinegar is a great natural alternative for fabric softener. I've been using it ever since and I love it. Our clothes do NOT come out smelling like vinegar at all - trust me, if they did DH would complain! One thing I have found is that vinegar does NOT help much with static. Maybe I'm just not using enough in the washing machine, but when I dry clothes (I line dry almost everything, but then I "fluff up" the clothes so they're not wrinkly), there is always a TON of static. I use 2 dryer balls, but I'm thinking I need to invest in a few more, and possibly some wool ones. Either way, a little static doesn't bother me too much.
Basically, if I have something to clean in the house, I'm gonna grab the vinegar first. 9 times out of 10, that does the trick. My husband doesn't care for the smell, but he's usually not around when I'm cleaning, and by the time he gets home the smell is completely gone. It doesn't bother me at all, and I'd much rather smell vinegar than some of the cleaners that you can buy in the store!
One use for vinegar I've never tried is the ol' clean out the microwave trick. Why? Basically cause I don't clean the microwave very often. Ew, I know. I don't put anything in the microwave without a cover on it, to avoid splatters. DH forgets, but normally I'm right there with him to remind him if he microwaves something. I honestly don't use the microwave at home all that much, and when I do I'm in a hurry (which is why I'm using it in the first place...!) and don't even notice how gross it is in there.
Well, Jen at I Heart Organizing has started a daily cleaning task challenge on her blog. Its been very motivational for me. I get the basics done weekly or every other week, but things like wiping down cabinet fronts and cleaning the microwave usually get overlooked in my busy schedule. Jen has inspired me to get these little (yet annoying) tasks completed a little over time, instead of all at once (like on a "Spring Cleaning" day - ugh, I hate those!). One day last week, she cleaned her microwave and I was amazed at how easy it was. So on Saturday, I gave it a whirl.
I was already on a roll with my vinegar/water spray bottle that day. I wiped down the bathroom, the kitchen, and the washing machine. At lunch I had heated up some leftovers and noticed how yucky the microwave was, so after lunch I tried Jen's trick: I filled a bowl with about 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and a few drops of lemon essential oil (for the smell). I set the microwave for 10 minutes and continued my cleaning around the house. After 10 minutes, the microwave interior was nice and steamy (and the house smelled great from the lemon!). I just took a rag and wiped it down and voila! Clean! Admittedly, I did have to spray a little extra vinegar in there and go over a few tough spots (man, did we have a lot of butter build up in there!), but it really didn't take much elbow grease at all. And hopefully now it'll be easier for me to keep clean.
Oh, and I didn't take any before/after pics, cause who needs to see a gross microwave? And we all know what a clean one looks like. ( ;
Moral of the story: vinegar saves the day again! Do YOU have a favorite use for white vinegar around the home?? ( :