This week’s Hot Tip involves everyone’s favorite pasttime, cleaning. I have yet to master the nose-wiggle used to great effect by Samantha Stevens in completing all sorts of chores, especially housecleaning. If any of you have mastered that spell, please contact me. However, I have found a very inexpensive cleaning agent that has made housekeeping a lot more pleasant. It’s called white vinegar.
Many of you are probably already familiar with white vinegar and some of its uses. It does a nice job of cleaning a coffeemaker, for example. But white vinegar can also be used as a fabric softener, furniture cleaner, flower freshener, and ant deterrent. When I typed “white vinegar uses” into Google, I got more than a million hits.
One main reason why I started using white vinegar was because I really hated the smell of the harsh chemicals in many cleaning products. I also didn’t want anything toxic around Mossimo and Angel, as I had noticed that Angel seemed to sneeze a lot more after I was done cleaning the bathroom or kitchen. Now I keep a spray bottle full of white vinegar and use it as needed. Here are some of my favorite uses:
Cat box cleaning: When it’s time to give the litter box a good scrubbing, I remove all the litter and then spray the box with white vinegar, using a cleaning brush to get off all the gunk. I rinse it off with water, dry the box, and then refill it with litter.
Mirrors & windows: I spray white vinegar on the surface, then wipe it off with a paper towel or lint-free cloth. This works great on eyeglasses, too.
Rangetop: When I want to get all the food splatter and other gunk off my gas stove, I sprinkle baking soda all over the top, being careful not to get it on the burners. Then I spray the soda with white vinegar and watch it bubble and sizzle, which for some reason makes me so happy. I clean it with a slighly abrasive sponge. If the rangetop is filthy, I have to add more elbow grease in order to get everything clean, but it is so worth it.
Bathtub & shower: I spray white vinegar all over the shower & tub, let it sit a few minutes, then wipe it off with an abrasive sponge. Works great at getting everything clean, eliminating mildew, and there’s no intense fumes.
Kitchen counters and table: Again, I spray the surfaces with white vinegar and wipe them up with a sponge.
My favorite uses barely cover all the possibilities, however. The Vinegar Institute has a good list of uses, broken down into categories such as laundry, garden, and health. There are a bunch of other websites as well – the following sites look very promising:
You can get a jug of white vinegar for a few bucks at the supermarket or discount store. I like to get mine at the 99 Cents Only store, since the price is right and the jug lasts for several months. The store sell spray bottles there, too, so it’s one-stop shopping and I am a big fan of getting everything I need in one place.
Try it out and see what you think. If you’ve got a favorite use for white vinegar, please share it in the comments.