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Vinegar as a Cleaning Agent

Vinegar as a Cleaning Agent

AUBURN, Ala. – As today’s society fixates on organic and all natural products, homemade cleaning supplies have become a trend that dominates the world of green products.

Vinegar has become a popular cleaning agent replacement for people trying a more natural approach to store-bought cleaners. The acidic-based chemical is a healthy and cheap option when you compare it to some store-bought products. Vinegar is also a cost-efficient, environmental friendly ingredient.  It has countless uses for cleaning that are as simple as adding water or baking soda to eliminate odors.

“It is a low-toxicity product that can be used alone or also with other low-cost products to clean the home. People interested in green cleaning find vinegar a useful product,” said Donna Shanklin, a regional Extension agent for Alabama Extension.

Many people don’t believe in the value of homemade cleaners. However, using a little patience and some elbow grease, these cleaners can be as effective as any brand-name spray. The trick is to understand which at-home mixtures are the most effective to use and when to use them.

“Vinegar is primarily used for cooking, but it is also a key ingredient in many homemade cleaners. The acid-based product is useful for breaking down difficult stains and also rust. Acidic cleaners break down rust, mineral deposits, water stains as well as mold,” added Shanklin.

Vinegar cleaning recipes

Always begin by using mild recipes. These recipes mostly include vinegar and baking soda. Use stronger formulas for tougher stains but don’t  overuse, as this might be harmful.

Try these combinations for cleaning:

  • Mix vinegar, baking soda and hot water to create a mild all-purpose cleaner.
  • Combine vinegar and water to create an all-natural window and mirror cleaner.
  • Mix borax, vinegar and hot water to create a stronger all-purpose cleaner needed to get those tough-to-reach areas.
  • Combine baking soda, castile soap, water and vinegar to create an effective tile cleaner.
  • Mix white vinegar, baking soda, castile soap and hot water  to make a strong recipe for all-purpose cleaners.
  •  Combine vinegar and baking soda to create a toilet bowl cleaner.
  • Combine hot tap water, vinegar, castile soap, borax, tea tree oil and essential oil to create an efficient mildew cleaner.

Hide the scent

One major flaw to this multi-use ingredient is the pungent odor vinegar gives.  By simply adding lemon juice or essential oils, the smell can be transformed to something less potent.


About Emily Goodman