A Cleaner Home with Less Chemical Use

I grew up with using the typical cleaning solutions to clean around the house (Windex, Clorox, Pledge, Etc.), but when I began to have lung problems my doctors told me that I needed to change my ways. While I’ve been doing this for years, I’ve found that there is a trend of people reducing their chemical use and changing the ways that they clean, whether it be for health or environmental reasons.

The one magical ingredient I use around the house is vinegar. I’m starting to really think it can clean just about anything! Here are some ideas of how you can use it around the house:

Windows and Mirrors: Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Spray on and wipe clean for sparkling glass with NO streaks.

Carpet Stain Removal: Mix equal parts liquid detergent and white vinegar (usually you only need about 1 teaspoon of each). Apply it lightly to the stain and brush or rub gently. Rinse with a slightly damp towel. If the stain is gone blot dry, if not repeat the process until it’s gone. This works on pet stains too and even helps to deodorize them!  Be sure to try on a hidden piece of carpet first.

Garbage Disposal Cleaner: Pour 1 cup of white vinegar evenly into an ice tray. Then add water until the ice tray is full and freeze completely. Run the mixture through the disposal and then run the cold water for about a minute. This will not only clean your disposal but help keep it odor free. I also sometimes like to run a little citrus through it as well for a fresh smell.

Cleaning the Microwave: Mix 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and bring it to a boil. It will deodorize the microwave and loosen any food particles to make it so much easier to wipe down no elbow grease needed!

Clean the Refrigerator: Mix equal parts white distilled vinegar and water. Dampen a cloth with it and wash shelves and walls. The vinegar also helps deodorize any smells that might be in there too.

Produce Wash: Mix 3 parts water and 1 part  white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray produce lightly and wash with warm water to help remove bacteria and chemicals.

Stainless Steel Appliances (and sinks): Spray vinegar liberally onto the appliance and rub in the direction of the grain. It removes streaks better then windex! Be sure to try in a small inconspicuous area first though!

Cleaner Dishes and Glasses: Pour about 1 cup onto the dishwasher door (along with your typical dishwasher soap) and run your dishwasher as you normally would. If you have hard water like me this one is a lifesaver!

Shower Doors: If you have a film or residue on your shower doors run them down with a sponge and white distilled vinegar.

Kill Bathroom Germs:  Use white distilled vinegar (full strength!) around sinks and tubs and wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Clean a Toilet: Pour 1 cup white vinegar into the bowl and let it sit overnight. By morning it should be easy to clean and deodorized.

Laundry: Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to your wash cycle. It helps deodorize so you never get a mildew smell and it helps to reduce static cling.

Blinds: This is the only way I can get my blinds clean! Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl. Put a sock on your hand and dip into the solution. Wipe each slat clean.

These are ways that I have used vinegar to reduce chemical use in my house. Anyone have any other must try ideas?

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