Now that the kids are back in school, I’m trying to take a few days to get the house back together. It’s been a mess with all the gardening, dogs, painting, and constant activity, so I’m a green cleaning machine (my family’s working their elbow grease, too). At the same time, I’ve been adding some new pages to my blog’s sidebar with some tips for going green. I’m always looking for ways to be eco-wise in my home, but I’m still learning and incorporating, too, trying to make it all routine. Being eco-wise is obviously important to our planet, but sometimes it’s hard to get started or hard to think beyond what you have done all your life. So if you find a useful tip or two, I’m happy! Part of the reason I decided to work on these pages was to remind myself to continue helping my family take positive strides toward reducing our negative impact on the planet.
To launch the new pages, I’d like to pay homage to the Indispensable Vinegar. It might not be fragrant like that rose in your garden, but it’s oh so very useful. Take a look at all it can do for you!
Inside the home, vinegar can be used to:
Clean kitchen counters and sinks
Clean bathroom counters, sinks, and bath tub – either use diluted spray or making a scouring cleanser with baking soda, liquid detergent, and vinegar
Get soap scum off of glasses
Break down bodily fluids, such as vomit or feces, in the carpet or on your floor (dilute 1:1 with water)
Clean and soothe irritated skin after working in the garden (or touching poison ivy)
Deoderize a garbage disposal
Clean the inside of a refrigerator
Keep ants out of the kitchen
Soak pot stains to get them clean
Soothe itches from bug bites and poison ivy
Clean toothbrushes (and dentures!)
Laundry – add to your wash cycle for stubborn smells in your clothes or in your machine. Use dilute vinegar to loosen stains on your clothes before washing
Absorb smells – just put a bowl out overnight!
Clean litter boxes
Clean toilets, inside the bowl and on the exterior
Remove stains and smells from counters, pots, dishes, and hands
Mop the floor (particular useful on ceramic tile with grout; however, don’t use on marble)
Clean stains from carpet
Outside the home, use vinegar to:
Clean your barbeque grill
Clean upholstery stains
Clean birdfeeders (always rinse well, regardless of how you clean)
Keep pests away from your garden bed, including rabbits and cats (be careful where you place, and don’t spill – it’s a natural plant killer)
Clean your trash bin
Clean stains off concrete
Clean clay pots
Remove ice or bugs from car windows
Kill weeds — no need for Round-Up! Spray directly on weeds (careful of your other plants), on stubborn tap roots, and even on poison ivy! Some people use a combination of vinegar, dishwashing liquid, and salt on their poison ivy, too. Others heat the vinegar first to strength the acidity.