Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The wonders of vinegar!

What is vinegar?  I realized that I have been using this substance quite a bit for a variety of things from cleaning to hair conditioner, and I did not know exactly what it was.

Vinegar can be made from any fruit or any material containing sugar.  Vinegar is made by two distinct biological processes, both the result of the action of harmless microorganisms that turn sugars into acetic acid.  The first process is called alcoholic fermentation and occurs when yeasts change natural sugars to alcohol under controlled conditions.  In the second process, a group of bacteria converts the alcohol portion to acid.  This is the acetic, or acid fermentation that forms vinegar.  

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can be used for so many household chores.  Plus, it’s available in gallon containers and it’s ECONOMICAL!  I have at least 2 gallons going at all times.

Vinegar as an all natural cleaner:  Mix 1 part distilled water with 1 part white distilled vinegar in a labeled spray bottle.  Use on appliances, mirrors, counter tops, tub and the outside of toilets.  Use anywhere you would use a chemical all purpose cleaner.  I mix use a citrus mix of vinegar by taking citrus peels and soaking them with white vinegar for at least 14 days, then mix  with the water for the cleaner.  Smells wonderful!

Vinegar as an all natural toilet bowl cleaner:  Flush the toilet and then pour undiluted vinegar around the rim and scrub with a toilet brush to effectively clean and disinfect your toilet.  I have been doing this for years, and it does really work!

Vinegar as an all natural floor cleaner:  Use 1 cup of white distilled vinegar for every gallon of water.  Mop as usual.  I make my own Swiffer WetJet refill solution too.  Gotta love Pinterest!

Vinegar as an all natural weed killer:  Pour undiluted white vinegar directly on weeds or grass growing where you do not want it.  Works especially well in sidewalk or driveway cracks.

Vinegar as an all natural pesticide:  Pour directly on anthills to eliminate.  Kill slugs by spraying with the all natural cleaner mentioned above.  Discourage ants in your home by spraying undiluted vinegar in doorways and window sills or wherever you see them coming in.  Get rid if fruit flies by setting out a small dish of undiluted white vinegar.  We had some ants coming in the kitchen window last summer.  Some sprays of vinegar had them heading the opposite direction!

Never use vinegar on marble, and test your tile and grout before using on those surfaces.  Don’t worry about your house smelling like vinegar, the smell goes away when it dries.  If you cannot handle the smell while cleaning, add a few drops of a citrus essential oil to the mix, or soak your citrus peels in vinegar, as mentioned above.  

In my home, we use vinegar for all cleaning purposes except dish-washing and dusting.  Counter tops, toilets, mirrors, floors, virtually any surface that needs to wiped down and/or disinfected.

There are so many uses for vinegar in your home, garden, garage and beyond. Please check out http://www.vinegartips.com/ for more tips, pick your favorites and you are on your way to more healthful, non-toxic, all natural cleaning and disinfecting!

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