Clean with Vinegar

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Where cleaning is concerned I would qualify as a lazy tyrant. I want a clean house but I don’t want to clean my house. With that in mind, I am always looking for the house cleaning path of least resistance. I believe I’ve found he easiest way is to Clean with Vinegar. Particularly, Cleaning Vinegar.

Learn How to Clean with Vinegar
Learn How to Clean with VinegarLearn How to Clean with Vinegar

How to Clean with Vinegar

I was originally looking for a product that would clean my stainless steel refrigerator. I had put furniture polish (per the geniuses on Pinterest) on my fridge; while it did keep handprints to a minimum it didn’t do well when a drop of water got on it. The water would cut through the furniture polish and there would be a huge drip on the fridge. This drip could not be wiped away, either. Because it was waxed on, the only way to get rid of it was to apply another layer of furniture polish. #neverhappening

So, like forever, I was stuck with a stainless steel fridge with perpetual water spots and drips with the occasional reapplication of furniture polish done in desperation. I tried just about everything out there to, first, get the furniture polish off of my stainless steel fridge AND, second, keep it relatively shiny.

Then the clouds parted and I discovered how to clean stainless steel with Cleaning VinegarNote: You’ll also want a microfiber cloth for the polishing part of this method because cotton doesn’t really work as well and will leave streaks. More on this later. Right now I want to sing the praises of cleaning vinegar.

Here’s why Cleaning Vinegar is so amazing!

Basically, cleaning vinegar has 6% acidity while regular vinegar has 5% acidity. That doesn’t seem like much of a difference, however, that 1% bump in acidity really changes the cleaning power of vinegar – making it somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20% more powerful! I think that extra boost of cleaning strength is what makes it ideal for keeping stainless steel so clean. It cuts right through those oily handprints. And, it is still mild enough to handle without wearing gloves.

I wish I had some before pictures to show you my hand-printy/water-drippy stainless steel fridge, but {holla’} they don’t exist. #thankyoucleaningvinegar

However, I do have this disgusting toaster oven that gets lots of use. It sits near the stove so it has plenty of opportunities for greasy splatters and spots. I wipe it down from time to time with soap and water, but the greasy stains stay put.

Learn How to Clean with Vinegar

Enter Cleaning Vinegar. Using about 1 T. of cleaning vinegar and 45 seconds of time I achieved this. Not out-of-the-box perfect, but good enough for my imperfect kitchen. It’s splatter free in less than a minute.

Learn How to Clean with Vinegar

Now, my stainless appliances are pretty much in a state of perpetual shiny-ness because this is just plain fast and easy.

Cleaning Vinegar Steps

Disclaimer: ALWAYS test a small area first. The side of the door would be a good place to start.

Step 1:

Pour a bit (2-3 t.) of cleaning vinegar onto a microfiber cloth. I do this by removing the lid and pouring a dab on one corner of my microfiber cloth.

Alternative Option for Big Messes:

Disclosure: This portion of the post is sponsored by Swedish Wholesale. All opinions are my own. 

Learn How to Clean with Vinegar

I was recently introduced to Swedish Dishcloths as another alternative for this process. I’ve found them to be especially effective when heavier cleaning is called for. They are ideal for cleaning something like an oven door with spatters from food and oils.

These unique flattened, sponge-like sheets are highly absorbent. Because of this, they allow you to evenly distribute the vinegar and avoid drips.

They also have a textured surface which makes cleaning baked-on food stains a little easier. If used properly, they won’t scratch your appliance but will allow you to gently remove drips and splatters.

I’ve found the best way to use them is to put the cleaning vinegar on the Swedish Dishcloth and then apply to the appliance surface. Wipe away with a microfiber cloth following the directions below.

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Step 2:

Wipe against the grain of the stainless steel. That’s the key – wiping against the grain of the stainless steel with a soft microfiber cloth.

Step 3:

Wipe off excess with with the grain using a dry corner of microfiber cloth. That way you won’t have a wet streak.

Step 4:

Grab your keys, go the salon, and get your nails done ‘cuz you got lots of time.

Learn How to Clean with Vinegar

Awesome ways to use Cleaning Vinegar!

Kitchen and Bathrooms

So, once my stainless problem was resolved (and never to return), I began using cleaning vinegar and a Swedish Dishcloth everywhere. Yep, I splash a bit in my stainless steel kitchen sink and it makes it so clean and shiny. I use this method to clean the bathroom sinks, tubs, tile floors, mirrors, you get the idea. It even gets rid of hard water spots on shower glass.

Cutting Through Grease

Cleaning vinegar is especially awesome at cutting through grease. I found this out the hard way when I dropped an entire jar of ghee on my tile floor. It was like the ghee wanted to marry the tile and stay together forever. Soap and water didn’t cut it, but a little cleaning vinegar made it all disappear -including the ghee that wanted to live forever in the grout.

Where to Find Cleaning Vinegar

So, where do you get Cleaning Vinegar. I find mine on the vinegar aisle at Walmart. As a matter of fact, I’ve started using Four Monks because I can pick it up at Walmart or order it online. And, I love the spray bottle. Spritz a bit on a Swedish Dishcloth and go to town.

Best of all, it is inexpensive. I’m sure regular vinegar will get you similar results, but probably will require a little more elbow grease – which is why I use Cleaning Vinegar.

A word of caution – when cleaning with vinegar there are a few Vinegar Don’ts.

Use White Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can stain!

Marble and granite are porous and can be worn down by acid such as vinegar. Instead, use a gentle cleaner made specifically for stone to avoid corroding the surface.

Do not wash natural stone floor tiles with vinegar. The acidic nature of vinegar could damage the stone.

Be cautious when cleaning cast iron or aluminum pans with vinegar. If left too long, the acid could corrode the metal and damage the pan.

Do not add vinegar to an egg stain. It can cause the egg to coagulate and make it harder to clean.

Do not clean the inside of an iron with vinegar.

Do not clean waxed wood with vinegar. It can ruin the finish and leave a cloudy mark.

Do not mix bleach and vinegar. These two common cleaning agents should never be used at the same time, as it will emit toxic vapors.

Do not scrub grout around ceramic tile with vinegar. The combination results in an acid, which could be potentially corrosive and irritating.

Do not use vinegar to clean your smartphone and laptop monitors. Both have a thin layer of oleophobic coating that limits fingerprints and smudges, and acidic vinegar can strip this coating, causing the layers below to be exposed.

Do not use vinegar when cleaning pearls. The vinegar can dissolve the pearls.

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