There are several items right in your very own kitchen that provide cheaper and environmentally-friendly alternatives for cleaning and sanitizing. Items like lemons, baking soda, and even vanilla extract are all chemical-free alternatives to everyday cleaning solutions. One of the safest and most effective eco-friendly alternatives to using toxic chemicals is cleaning with vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, and more are all popular types of vinegar found in the kitchen pantry; but when it comes to cleaning, both diluted and undiluted white vinegar is the optimal choice.
Continue reading to learn what you can clean around the house using diluted and undiluted white vinegar.
Diluted White Vinegar
Diluted white vinegar is only mildly acidic, so it’s perfect for dissolving dirt, limescale, hard water deposits, soap scum, and other residues from smooth or delicate surfaces. Although acidic enough to dissolve caked-on residues, it can also be gentle enough to clean hardwood floors when combined with fresh water. It is a natural deodorizer that absorbs odors rather than covering them up. So it not only rids unwanted dirt and residue, it freshens the surface and removes odors as well.
It may seem like your surfaces will only smell of vinegar after cleaning, but the acidic smell evaporates and goes away as it dries. And since white vinegar is colorless and lacks coloring agents, it will not stain tile, flooring, grout, marble, granite, or other surfaces. One interesting fact about diluted white vinegar is that it can replace fabric softener! Since it has detergent residue cutting abilities, it softens fabrics for those with sensitive skin.
To use on countertops, tiles, backsplashes, toilets, and similar kitchen and bathroom surfaces, simply add white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply as needed. Then just wipe away with a clean rag as you would with any other store-bought cleaning solution. For extra soiled surfaces, warm the solution up just slightly, and allow it to sit on the surface for 15 minutes before rinsing clean.
Undiluted White Vinegar
Undiluted white vinegar is simply white vinegar, straight-up. It is not cut with water to make its acidity levels lower. It is very acidic, but still perfect for tougher around-the-house chores. Heaver soap scum deposits on shower walls, sinks, and more can all be cleaned with undiluted white vinegar.
Tough hard water deposits, clogged shower heads, mineral buildup on faucets, stained toilet bowls, tough toilet odors, refrigerator odors, soiled bathtubs, and more can all be cleaned with undiluted white vinegar as well. Be sure to use gloves and protective eye gear when working with large quantities of acidic solutions like these. Eye and skin irritation can occur for some.
To clean a caked or clogged shower head, fill a plastic bag with undiluted white vinegar, place it around the shower head so that the head is submerged in the liquid. Then secure the bag around the head with a tie or band. Allow it to sit overnight, then rinse thoroughly the next day.