For keeping a green home clean, vinegar is your best friend: it’s a powerful disinfectant, it’s safe and natural, and you can bring home a huge jug of it for pennies. Vinegar is your best friend!
But when we get done cleaning the house, we want it to smell fresh — not burn our nostrils out. That’s why we’re infusing vinegar with lemon and thyme to make an all-natural cleaning spray. It has all the scrubbing power of vinegar, but with a lovely, refreshing scent.
Fans of natural cleaning products know that they can be pricier than their chemical-laden counterparts. But making your own is cost-effective and easy.
Just plop your herbs and lemon peels in a mason jar and steep them in the vinegar for about two weeks. It’s worth the wait — a study in the Journal of Environmental Health found that vinegar was more effective in removing microbial contamination than other DIY home cleaners.
De-crudify your keyboard
Your keyboard is starting to look like it was discovered in an archaeological dig. Get rid of those gross stains by lightly dipping a clean cloth in a mix of equal parts white vinegar and water and wiping down the keys. Be careful to not overload your cloth with liquid – it could be damaging to the circuitry.
Underarm Stains – Soak underarm areas of clothing in vinegar for 10 minutes before washing. Or make a paste of baking soda and vinegar and apply to area before washing.
Remove Gum – Apply warm vinegar with a tooth brush to fabrics with gum and brush until gum comes out.
Clean Shower Head – Remove shower head and place in a bowl of vinegar overnight. It also removes calcium and lime.
Rid Smoke Scent – Boil 1 cup of vinegar in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes to get rid of the smell of smoke or burnt food.
Sunburn – Rub vinegar on a sunburn to cool the skin.
Lift stains out of carpets
Your morning cup of coffee decided to take a tumble to the ground. Again. Don’t freak out! Mix two tablespoons of salt into half a cup of white vinegar. Vacuum up the spot once the solution has dried.
It preserves the colors:
To make spray-on spot and stain remover, fill a spray bottle with 5 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Fill a second spray bottle with 1 part non-sudsy ammonia and 5 parts water. Saturate a stain with the vinegar solution. Let it settle for a few minutes, then blot thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Then spray and blot using the ammonia solution. Repeat until the stain is gone.
Breathe new life into your coffeemaker
If your coffeemaker’s taken a beating and starts producing bitter, weak coffee, we’ve got the solution.
Place a solution of two parts white vinegar, one part water into the decanter and pour where you would usually place water, making sure that you have a fresh filter in place. Let it go through a full brew cycle, then swap out the filter for a new one and this time, run only water through the water chamber. Repeat the second step and your coffeemaker will be as good as new.
Clean your computer mouse
If you have a mouse with a removable tracking ball, use a 50/50 vinegar-water solution to clean it.
First, remove the ball from underneath the mouse by twisting off the cover over it. Use a cloth, dampened with the solution and wrung out, to wipe the ball clean and to remove fingerprints and dirt from the mouse itself. Then use a moistened cotton swab to clean out the gunk and debris from inside the ball chamber (let it dry a couple of hours before reinserting the ball).
While commercial vinegar is generally made quickly with acetic acid and water, you want to get your hands on some that’s been naturally fermented – red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or aged balsamic vinegar.