Salad dressing, step aside. Apple cider vinegar may liven up your lettuce, but did you know that it’s also a miracle liquid, especially when it comes to keeping your house clean without chemicals?
Like all vinegar, apple cider vinegar has potent antimicrobial properties, making it an excellent way to clean your home. And unlike most cleaning products marketed to us as having “miracle” cleaning properties, apple cider vinegar contains no harmful ingredients. Studies have shown that vinegar can disinfect just as well as bleach! But it’s safer for your family and the planet.
You can dilute vinegar in with water (1:1 ratio) and it can be mixed with other natural cleaning products like lemon juice, salt, alcohol or essential oils. A note about baking soda, which is a common natural cleaning item: mixing baking soda and vinegar will impair the bacteria-killing properties of vinegar. (It’s a little science lesson: the alkalinity of the baking soda and the acidy of the vinegar neutralize.) So, if you’re planning to clean surfaces that come in contact with food, it’s best not to mix with baking soda. You can mix the two, however, for cleaning your oven, or even unclogging drains.
1.} Digital devices. Be it your smart phone, tablet or computer, you can wipe them down with vinegar to de-germ them and get them shiny again.
2.} Unstick scissors. Don’t use water, which can lead to rust. Wipe down sticky scissors with Vinegar instead.
3.} Remove candle wax. Heat that pile of wax up with a hair dryer and soak up as much of it as you can with a rag. Then use a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water to remove the rest.
4.} Remove ink stains from walls and floors. Use full-strength vinegar on this one. Apply to cloth and wipe until gone.
5.} Unclog drains. Here’s where baking soda and vinegar work together. Mix ½ cup baking soda with 1 cup vinegar and pour into your drain for a volcano effect. More effective and way less harsh than the chemical cleaners.
6.} Remove mildew your bathtub. Give heavy mildew full-strength attention and for lighter stains use a 1:1 mixture diluted with water. You might want to add essential oils to the mix too for a fresh scent. A few drops of lavender or eucalyptus.
7.} Remove mildew your shower curtain. Toss it into your washing machine with 1 cup vinegar for the rinse cycle and add ½ cup baking soda to the detergent load.
8.} Clean the washing machine. Give your washing machine a good cleaning with 2 cups of vinegar poured into the machine (minus any clothes) and running a full cycle.
9.} Freshen clothes. Pulling out your summer or winter wardrobe? Or just returned from a fab thrift store run? Remove musty odors and brighten colors by adding 1 cup of vinegar to the wash cycle. Bonus: keep bright colors like red from staining other clothes by soaking new garments in straight vinegar for 20 minutes before the first wash.
10.} Sanitize clothes. We won’t ask about the blood, but you can get rid of bacteria by adding one cup of vinegar to the load.
11.} Remove yellow clothing stains. Ring around the collar can ruin a good shirt. Eliminate it with a 12:1 ratio of warm water to vinegar. Let soak overnight before washing.
12.} Remove wrinkles from clothing without an iron. Fill a spray bottle containing a 3:1 ratio of water to vinegar and spritz the wrinkles. Let the clothes hang dry.
13.} Clean your iron. But if you’re still a fan of ironing, keep it clean by filling the reservoir with vinegar, turning it onto steam and letting sit upright for ten minutes. Follow with water and let sit again on steam for 10 minutes.
14.} Clean the toilet, tub and sink with full strength vinegar on porcelain surfaces. For hard water stains in sinks, fill with hot water and 2 cups of vinegar. Let soak 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on the stain.
15.} Degrease your kitchen—stoves, counter-tops with a 1:1 vinegar water solution.
16.} Clean window blinds.
17.} Remove water stains from furniture. People who don’t used coasters should be sent to live on deserted islands. But in the meantime, use full-strength vinegar to remove the stains.
18.} Wash carpets with vinegar to remove odors and liven tread. Worn down stinky rugs are pretty depressing. Revive rugs by spritzing with a vinegar water mix letting sit for an hour before vacuuming.
19.} Remove carpet and (cloth) furniture stains. Add a couple tablespoons of salt to vinegar and rub onto the stain. Let dry, then vacuum.
20.} Clean stainless steel with straight vinegar.
21.} Clean the piano keys.
22.} Freshen wood. Ditch the Pledge and mix ¼ cup vinegar with 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to bring back shine and luster.
23.} Hide wood scratches with vinegar and iodine. Adjust the iodine level to the darkness of the wood. Use a paintbrush to apply.
24.} Polish silver with a ½ cup vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons baking soda. Soak silver in the mixture for a few hours then rinse clean.
25.} Polish bronze, brass and copper. Make a paste of equal parts white vinegar and salt and coat the items rubbing until tarnish is removed. Rinse with cool water and towel dry.
26.} Prevent spots on wine glasses. Add ¼ cup ACV to your dishwasher rinse cycle.
27.} Remove coffee or tea stains from dishes. Scrub with 1:1 ratio of vinegar and salt.
28.} Deodorize your house. Simmer vinegar in a small saucepan on the stove top for an hour or so. For really strong, persistent smells (like smoke), leave bowls filled with straight vinegar in the rooms where the odor is really strong.
29.} Clean cutting boards. Hotbeds for bacteria, a thorough wipe down with straight vinegar will keep them bacteria free.
30.} Remove odors from portable coffee mugs, thermoses and lunch boxes by placing a piece of vinegar-soaked bread in the container and leaving overnight.
31.} Clean your fridge. Baking soda may keep odors out, but vinegar does a better job at removing mildew from the door seals. Wipe them down with full-strength vinegar. And clean your whole fridge with a 1:1 water vinegar mix.
32.} Clean ice trays. Always forget them when you clean the house? Soak in straight vinegar for several hours, then rinse, dry and use.
33.} Sanitize jars. Reusing jars is way better than sending them to a landfill. Disinfect with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to warm soapy water. Scrub well.
34.} Clean your coffeemaker. Pour a 2:1 vinegar to water ratio into your coffeemaker and run a normal brew cycle. Should be done every 2-3 months to ensure the best tasting coffee.
35.} Clean your tea kettle. Boil 3 cups of vinegar in your kettle for 5 minutes then let sit overnight. Rinse with water.
36.} Clean pots and pans. Make a “scrub” with equal parts salt and flour or cornstarch. Dilute with enough vinegar to make a paste. Scrub off burnt or sticky foods.
37.} Remove stickers. Soak stickers with vinegar and let sit 20 minutes. Then scrape off with a butter knife.