5 Things That Can Be Cleaned With Vinegar

White distilled vinegar has quickly become a popular natural cleaning product to use throughout your home, with good reason. It is cheap, not bad for the environment, and is quite effective when used properly. Here are five things in your home that can be cleaned with vinegar as effectively as with commercial cleaners.

1. Hard water spots: Hard water spots, such as on glasses, pots and pans are formed by the minerals and salts in water which crystallize and condense to become visible spots on your household items. Vinegar, because its active ingredient is a mild acid, acetic acid, reacts with these alkaline minerals and can easily remove them. If you have hard water spots on your glasses, for example, just spray the glass with a solution of 2 parts vinegar and one part water, and lightly rub the glass and the hard water spots will wipe right off.

2. Soap scum: You may have seen a sticky film on your shower door, for example, which won’t rub off. That is soap scum, and it comes from a build up of soap or detergent that has not completely rinsed away, leaving behind that film. Soap scum is alkaline in nature, so the acidity in vinegar is very helpful for attacking and removing it. To clean your shower doors of soap scum just spray the white vinegar and water solution mentioned above on the door and lightly scrub with a cloth or soft brush, and that scum will be history.

3. Windows and glass: Vinegar can be used as part of a homemade glass and window cleaner which is both cheap and effective. A very simple recipe is to use 1 part distilled white vinegar and 1 part hot water, combine in a spray bottle, and spray on the dirty window, wiping with a squeegee or old newspapers. Your windows will shine without much effort at all.

4. Dishwasher: Because vinegar is good at dissolving hard water build up, and also at removing detergent residue, it can be very useful for cleaning your dishwasher. To kill two birds with one stone run your dishwasher through a full cycle while it is empty, except for a couple of cups of vinegar, and look at how clean it is when it is finished.

5. Brass and copper: Vinegar, when combined with salt, can also make an excellent brass and copper cleaner. To clean and polish these metals quickly and easily all you need to do is combine equal parts of salt, white flour and vinegar to form a paste and rub it all over the metal. After one hour rinse off the dried paste, and then buff the metal with a soft cloth until it shines.

Donna J. Seymour