It’s time to tidy up. So, arm yourself with vinegar.
You likely already have it at home and the amount of chores you can get done with it is remarkable.
Before you start your spring cleaning list, check out how you can clean using vinegar.
1. Clean Your Garden – Eliminate Weeds
Now that the cold weather is behind us, one of the first places you’ll likely want to start is outside. Easily target those pesky weeds and leave your garden growing strong using this formula.
Use a funnel to add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt, a quart of white vinegar, and a few squirts of dish detergent to a spray bottle. Shake it up and spray directly on weeds. The detergent will help it stick to the leaves. Within two or three days, the weed will dry up and die.
The vinegar with a little help from the sun will quickly burn the weeds up. Stubborn weeds may require a second application and English ivy may resist the treatment altogether, but most weeds will be gone in a few hours.
Keep in mind vinegar is an acid and can cause damage to plants.
2. Clean a Grill
Springtime is grilling time. Cleaning the grill grates is a must before every new meal. This job is made easier by using some white vinegar and aluminum foil.
The acid in the vinegar cuts through grease and cooked on food, while the foil acts as an abrasive to remove the food residue.
– Pour white vinegar in a clean spray bottle.
– Spray the cooking surface on the grill with the vinegar.
– Allow the vinegar to remain on the surface for a few minutes.
– Rub the cooking surface with crumpled up aluminum foil.
– Dispose of the aluminum foil in a garbage can.
3. Stripping Door Hardware
To strip paint from door hardware using vinegar:
– Heat 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of water in a pot on a stove.
– Pour the heated mixture into an old cake pan with the painted hardware.
– Let the hardware sit in the vinegar until the paint softens.
– Remove the hardware from the vinegar, and clean using a soft-bristled brass brush.
– Rinse the hardware with water and dry.
4. Improve Your Shower with this Simple Tip
To clean a showerhead so it sprays uniformly:
– Place a plastic bag filled with white distilled vinegar over the showerhead.
– Attach a twist tie around the showerhead arm to hold the bag in place.
– Allow the shower head to soak in the vinegar for one to two days.
– Remove the bag and turn the showerhead on full force.
– If the nozzles are still clogged, repeat the soaking process until clear.
5. Clean Copper Pots and Pans
Pots and pans with copper-clad bottoms are great for cooking, but the copper can become stained and tarnished over time. Here’s an easy way to clean copper-clad cookware naturally using only vinegar and salt.
How to clean copper cookware:
– Pour a 1/2” or more of distilled white vinegar in a frying pan or skillet and sprinkle in the salt.
– Heat the vinegar/salt mixture on a stove to almost boiling.
– Put the bottom of the copper pan in the hot vinegar, and pour enough water in the pan to prevent it from floating in the vinegar solution.
– Allow the pan to remain in the vinegar for about 10 minutes.
– Remove the pan from the vinegar and rinse it off.
– If needed, sprinkle salt on a sponge dipped in the hot vinegar, and use it to scrub the pan to remove any remaining stains.
6. Clean Hardened Paint from Paintbrushes
Quality paint brushes can last a long time, as long as they’re cleaned properly after being used.
Cleaning hardened paintbrush with vinegar:
– Place the paintbrush in a disposable aluminum baking pan.
– Heat vinegar up in a pot on the stove to almost boiling.
– Pour the hot vinegar over the paintbrush in the pan.
– Allow the brush to soak for 10 minutes or longer.
– Use a brush comb or wire brush to remove the softened paint.
– Wash the brush with warm water and soap.
– Rinse the paintbrush with clean water.
– Allow the brush to dry on a flat surface or hanging up.
7. Clean the Garbage Disposal
To safely and easily disinfect your garbage disposal using baking soda and white vinegar:
– Measure out 1/2 cup of baking soda, and pour it down the garbage disposal.
– Measure one cup of white vinegar, and pour it down the garbage disposal.
– Allow the chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar to work for a minute.
– Pour a pot of boiling water down the garbage disposal, and allow it to sit for five minutes.
– Turn on the cold water tap in the sink with the garbage disposal, then turn on the disposal to flush it out.
8. Clean Grout Lines on Tile Floors
Grout lines on tile floors can become dirty and discolored over time. To clean either light or dark colored grout lines, try the following methods using common household cleaners.
To clean dark colored grout lines on tile floors:
– Mix baking soda and white vinegar in a cup to a paste-like consistency.
– Use a small brush to apply the mixture to the grout lines.
– Allow the mixture to remain on the grout lines for a little while.
– Use a small scrub brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the grout lines.
– Clean the floor with water to remove the baking soda and vinegar solution.
9. Clean Glass Shower Doors
White vinegar works great for removing soap scum from the glass on your shower door. When the door is clean, spray a car windshield sealer, such as Rain-X Glass Treatment, on a rag and wipe the door down thoroughly. Once the sealer has dried, use a clean rag to remove any remaining sealer.
10. Add a Cup to Your Laundry
Get cleaner laundry with Vinegar!
– Wash only with cold water.
– To save water, wash only full loads, and don’t use the permanent press cycle on the dryer.
– Dry clothes on a clothesline rather than in the dryer.
– Choose eco-friendly detergent.
– Add a quarter cup of vinegar to save water and reduce energy to your next load.
11. Clean a Faucet Aerator
When a faucet has a weak or intermittent flow, the problem is often with the aerator. Aerators contain a fine wire screen that mixes water with air to provide an even flow. Over time this screen can become clogged with mineral deposits or debris, reducing the amount of water coming through.
To solve the problem, unscrew the aerator from the end of the faucet, and soak it overnight in a cup of white vinegar. The acid in the vinegar will dissolve any deposits and make the aerator as good as new.
12. Clean Dishwasher Spray Arms
If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning as well as it used to, the problem might be caused by clogged holes in the spray arms.
To unclog dishwasher spray arm holes:
– Remove the spray arms from the dishwasher.
– Use a piece of wire, such as coat hanger wire, the same diameter as the holes to clean out the holes in the spray arms.
– Put the arms back on the dishwasher and spin them to make sure they turn easily.
– In extreme cases, soak the spray arms in warm water and vinegar to dissolve mineral deposits.
13. Steam-Clean Your Microwave in Minutes
To easily clean a microwave, pour 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar into a bowl. Add a toothpick to break the surface tension. Microwave for 4 minutes. Dip a sponge in the solution and wipe the inside of the microwave clean.
14. Nontoxic Oven Cleaner
Here’s a recipe for an effective nontoxic oven cleaner, with no noxious fumes. Add two orange peels to a jar and fill with white vinegar. Let the jar sit for about a week.
Use a funnel to pour the vinegar solution into a plant mister. Sprinkle baking soda on the oven and glass door, then spray the vinegar solution. Let sit for 20 minutes before wiping with a sponge.
15. Clean Narrow-Neck Bottles and Vases
Here’s a trick for cleaning a vase or bottle with a narrow neck, without using a bottle brush. All you need is:
- Warm water
- White vinegar
- Liquid dish detergent
- Uncooked rice
Add the ingredients to the bottle and swirl. The rice acts as an abrasive to break up the stain.