Cleaning with Vinegar

by Kristin Andrews

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We all know about the wonderful taste of balsamic vinegar on a salad or the fruitiness cider vinegar adds to cooking bratwursts, but have you ever tried cleaning with vinegar around the house? It's got great capabilities to make your kitchen sparkling clean and all without the use of chemicals!

Vinegar is the second fermentation of wine, fruit, or sugar molasses. It was discovered when a batch of wine went sour, which is exactly what its name means, "sour wine." It has great preservative powers, and itself is a preservative, with an indefinite shelf life. You'll also find that it has a myriad of uses from health, to beauty, to cleaning, to eating. But today I'm going to focus on its cleaning ability in the kitchen.

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Did you know that you can kill germs and clean at the same time without using harsh chemicals? Use straight white vinegar on a cloth to wipe down your counters and follow by a soft cloth to polish any stone countertops. What a shine!

While we're at your counters, let's move over to your stainless sink. Straight white vinegar on the stainless will clean and sanitize it. Follow up with another cloth with olive oil to bring that "just bought it today" shine back. Have a porcelain sink instead? No problem, just skip the olive oil. And don't worry if some of the vinegar goes down the drain. It's a deodorizer too! But the best way to keep that garbage disposal smelling sweet is to freeze cider vinegar into ice cubes and grind them through the disposal. Not only will it freshen the smell, but also it will clean the blades. And while we're at the sink, take a look at that particularly greasy pan. A tablespoon of vinegar will cut right through that grease, making it a cinch to clean.

Likewise, a sponge soaked with vinegar will cut through grease splatters on your stove and backsplash. And will "unglue" any baked on goodies. Using vinegar in your oven will keep spills from adhering and will clean them up easily. This is a great alternative to those harsh, strong smelling oven cleaners with all the warnings on them!

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