Tuesday, January 10, 2012

All you need is....vinegar!

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Experiments in Natural Family Living

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have reported on weeklong trials to make their lives a little greener. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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My cleaning cabinet has been cleaned out and restocked with just one product.

Image Credit: lisaclarke on Flickr


Vinegar.

The hubby would tell you that I've been toying with the idea of trying vinegar for cleaning for awhile. We'd switched to greener cleaners after having kids, and I figured what would be lost by trying out some vinegar? My mom used it a bit when I was little. It's safe for the kids. It doesn't smell (or at least doesn't make my house smell like it took a chemical bath). It's cheap.

When we ran out of our Method lavender spray, I rinsed out the bottle and filled it with (roughly) equal parts of vinegar and water and a bit of grapefruit seed extract (leftover from our recurrent bout of thrush in 2010). At first Hubby complained of the smell, but later I added some orange essential oil and it definitely cut down the vinegar smell. But, really, who wouldn't rather smell vinegar than some of those commercial cleaners?

I've used the vinegar spray on just about every surface in the house. It works great. The only time I noticed a slight problem was when I went to clean the mirror; it looked pretty streaky as I wiped (I'm guessing from the orange oil), but once it dried up it looked great.

One thing is for sure; I will never be buying a $3 or $4 bottle of cleaner at the store again. Considering the cost of a gallon of vinegar and the fact that it'll clean just about anything, I can't imagine coming to another conclusion.

I'd like to get a couple more spray bottles. One for just vinegar and another for a yet-to-be-determined concoction.

The other small change we made last month was trying to use rags instead of paper towels. We've had a stack of rags for the kitchen and other cleaning, but we often used paper towels for cleanups anyway. I've been trying to be more mindful and use the rags when cleaning off the counters, tables, and etc. That's what they are there for, right?

I'm still kind of new to this, so do you have any great "recipes" for cleaners? What do you use to clean in the kitchen? bathroom? windows?

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

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17 comments:

  1. Vinegar's totally what I use, too! I use 1/4-1/3 vinegar and the rest water, and it still works great. I've been using microfiber rags to clean with, and that's good, too.

    I totally need more decent spray bottles, like the ones in your picture; I don't know why I can never find or keep track of ours.

    I've noticed the streakiness on mirrors as I wipe, but then they dry just fine. Makes me wonder why I believed the glass cleaning companies all those years…

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  2. We use vinegar on everything too and love it! I use a mix of vinegar, water, and lavender essential oil. Your mirrors and windows will get better as you use it more. The streaking happens when you've used a commercial cleanser before. Once that buildup goes away, it's as good as Windex ;-)

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  3. I'm so glad you liked using vinegar. I have been using it for a while and love it! I love the smell too, it smells like clean to me :)
    Another ingredient I use in copious amounts is bicarbonate of soda, I put it in a shaker bottle and especially use it as an abrasive (non-scratch though) scrub for the bath.

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  4. I use vinegar, water, and a few drops of Thieves EO in my cleaner; just water for cleaning glass. And we use cloth too - I don't like the fibers paper towels leave behind!

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  5. I have been pondering over vinegar for some time, and keep telling my husband that we are going to switch, but I haven't yet made the change. I had been curious about the smell lingering, but it's a great idea to add some essential oils. Citronella in the summer might deter some bugs?!

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  6. Vinegar is awesome. I use it to clean the floor... just dump some on the floor and step on two towels and slide around!

    I have an awesome recipe for an all-purpose cleaner. I use it to clean up dried up food residue on the high chair, the stove... anything. If you spray it on, let it sit for a minute, it wipes off anything without even scrubbing! This is it: (http://www.tmuffin.com/2011/10/my-miracle-cleaning-solution.html)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the recipe! No scrubbing sounds great. I'll definitely try it out.

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  7. I've been using vinegar for years. However, recently I've become concerned about how much of the distilled vinegar is being produced now. I still think the end product is better around my family, but the process has me looking for vinegars that are more environmentally friendly.

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    1. I've never even considered about how vinegar is made... I'll Google it!

      I like using vinegar & water b/c I can wipe things up while hold the baby in her wrap and never fear for her safety. Sure, vinegar leaves a slight "salad" odor, but it's way better than getting a headache from the chemically cleaners. I'll never look back (though, as I said, I will Google about how it's made. I hope that doesn't make me have to look back!)

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  8. use it instead of jet dry in your dishwasher - streak free and clean!

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  9. I use vinegar and baking soda in my drains, too. And old burp rags for cleaning... We never use paper towels. You get used to it quickly :)

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  10. I love vinegar! Try adding a shot to a sinkful of soapy water when washing dishes; it helps remove grease and reduces streaks when dishes air-dry. I even wash my hair with vinegar.

    Another favorite cleaner is baking soda. Try it in this homemade wonder cleanser!

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  11. You’ve convinced me…I’m adding vinegar to my shopping list this week and giving it a try! What do you use to clean the toilet?

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    Replies
    1. I just used vinegar by itself amd it worked great. The toilet was pretty grimy too!

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  12. I love vinegar. I was waiting to use up my old cleaners when one day I had a spill (baby tylenol) on the carpet that my regular carpet cleaner didn't touch. Plain vinegar did a way better job! So I ditched the rest and just use vinegar. It works great for toilets (I believe toilet scum is alkaline, so the vinegar dissolves it), sinks, counters, floors, hair, diapers, mirrors, lightbulbs ... you name it! It also kills mold and deodorizes.

    Bonus: you can make your own from apple scraps, old wine, or many other liquids -- just add a bit of raw vinegar (like Braggs) to the starting liquid and wait for the cultures to take over. Try looking up "apple scrap vinegar."

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  13. 25.http://www.hope007.com.tw/

    26.http://www.mrs-wu.com/

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