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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Natural Cleaners Part II: Vinegar

Last week I started a mini-series on our blog about natural cleaners for your house, which is such a fabulous way to cut costs and keep things natural and healthy for your kids! I wrote about the power of lemons as a cleaning tool last Thursday, and today I want to discuss options for cleaning with vinegar.

Vinegar helps inhibit the growth of nasty things like mold, mildew and bacteria, and costs only about $2 for a quart. As long as you can handle the smell, there's absolutely no excuse to not utilize this stuff for cleaning!

cleaning suggestions for vinegar (courtesy of Real Simple):
*coffeemaker - pour equal parts of vinegar and water into the water chamber of the coffeemaker, and turn on the brewing cycle. Halfway through, turn it off and let sit about an hour. Turn it on again to complete the brewing cycle; then run several times with water alone.
*dishwasher - use vinegar to disinfect the interior; pour 1/2 C vinegar into the reservoir and run an empty cycle.
*drains - pour vinegar down them, and wait 30 minutes before flushing with cold water
*floors - add 1/4 C vinegar into a bucket of warm water and start cleaning. (do NOT use on marble or wood, though)
*glassware - add 1 C to the rinse cycle
*showerheads - pour vinegar into a plastic bag and knot the handles over the showerhead's neck, securing with rubber bands. Let it soak overnight, and rinse in the morning with water.
*steam iron - rid the iron of mineral deposits by filling the iron with equal parts vinegar and water; press the steam button, turn off, let cool, empty and rinse.
*windows - mix 1/4 C vinegar, 2 parts water, and a squirt of liquid Castile soap in a spray bottle. Spritz the windows with the mixture and wipe down with newspaper sheets.

Part III of our natural cleaning series will return next Thursday!