Green Thursdays: Vinegar

Every Thursday I do a post about living green.  This week’s topic is vinegar.  Why vinegar?  It’s just about the most useful substance ever created.  It is environmentally friendly, cheap, non-toxic, and can be used in a variety of ways.  I’m talking about distilled white vinegar. The odor will disappear as it dries.  You can buy it by the gallon at most grocery stores.

1. Use to clean : Mix 1 TBSP vinegar for each cup of water as a general cleaner.  Some people use equal parts vinegar and water, but I find that overkill.  My current favorite cleaner is 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 to 4 cups hot water in a spray bottle with 1/4 teaspoon Castille soap to the mixture.

2. Clean Glass: Use undiluted in a spray bottle to clean your mirrors or windows.  Use newspaper to wipe your windows for no streaks.

3.  Laundry:  Add one cup vinegar to a hot cycle without clothes to remove build-up in your machine.  Add 1 c to the final rinse to remove soap residue and urine stains on baby clothes.

4. Unclog Drains:  Pour 1/2 c. baking soda down the drain.  Add 1/2 c. vinegar and stop up the drain.  Let stand a few minutes then flush with at least 6 c. hot water.  (Add red food coloring to the vinegar to make an erupting volcano for your kids’ science project.)

5. Furniture Polish:  Mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil.

6. Air Freshener:  Mix 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vinegar, 2 c.  hot water in a spray bottle.  Mist around a room to eliminate odors.

7.  Clean Wood Floors:  Vinegar is very gentle and pulls dirt out of the wood.  Mix 1 c vinegar per bucket of hot water.

Vinegar is a great multi-purpose ingredient.  I keep a gallon on hand at all times.  Do you use vinegar?  Do you have any other uses for it?

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10 Responses to “Green Thursdays: Vinegar”

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  1. Sofia's Ideas
    Twitter: SofiasIdeas

    Hey – the bottom of your post repeats 4 & 5.

    I use vinegar too but I hate the smell of it (to the point that just thinking about the smell makes me sick) so for those vinegar type jobs, my husband handles it. My friends are baking soda, olive oil, lemons, and tea tree oil. Oh, and peppermint Dr. Bronner’s – I could smell that all day!

    • Jessica Anne says:

      Thanks for the head’s up! Vinegar does smell at first. I love baking soda and lemons too. You can replace vinegar with lemon for a lot of these and still have the same cleaning power. Although, it won’t unclog a drain.

  2. Mama Hen says:

    This is so great that you are doing this! I use vinegar also! I gave you an award! Come and get it!

    Mama Hen

  3. Katie says:

    I use vinegar on my wooden cutting boards to get out garlic/onion smells.

    • Jessica Anne says:

      Great idea! You can also use it with hydrogen peroxide to disinfect cutting boards. Spray on one, wipe it off, spray on the other, doesn’t matter which order.

  4. Alyna @ Better Your Blog
    Twitter: BetterYourBlog

    Vinegar is also good for, ready for this? Sunburns! Don’t know the why or how but I lived in Florida and one fine summer my (neglectful!) mother let her little girl (me) fall asleep on the beach. Big time ouch!!! White vinegar on a sunburn *really* does help.

    Oh, and a little as a rinse in the shower every so often makes your hair shiny too – removes residues from shampoo without over-stripping your hair. You can use either white or apple cider for this and, if I remember correctly, you dilute it to half strength. Don’t worry, neither of these uses will leave you smelling like a pickle for too long. The smell dissipates very quickly!

    I didn’t know you could use it to clean floors or as air freshener. I’m definitely trying those!

    Great post!!!

    • Jessica Anne says:

      I had heard of the hair rinse but not the sunburn! I could have used that info on Monday when I apparently missed my shoulders with the sunscreen. I really love it for my floors, they get squeaky clean with it.

  5. adrienne says:

    After a super morning of learning that my daughter learned to take off her diaper (I’ll let you imagine what happened next), I used the vinegar/baking soda air freshener! Because whew, did her room need it. :) Thanks for posting this!