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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
6 Ways to Clean with Vinegar (Tuesday Tips: Kitchen Edition)
I have always stocked apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and distilled white vinegar in my pantry for cooking. Over the years, I have added several gourmet varieties for use in salads and other recipes. Recently, in my quest to reduce our cleaning product cost as a way of saving money at the grocery store, I have discovered vinegar as a cleaning agent.
The first thing to know is that the variety used for cleaning is distilled white vinegar. Secondly, vinegar should never used on porous surfaces like granite or marble because its acidity can be damaging. Lastly, I can perceive no difference in the taste or performance of apple cider or distilled white vinegar, regardless of price, so I purchase the most economical brand available (usually a house brand). Shop for other vinegars like wines: taste a few in each price range and find out what suits your palate and budget.
Here are a few cleaning-with-vinegar tricks I have tried:
1. Rid your microwave of that awful "burnt popcorn smell": Put 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar in a cup of water and boil for 2-4 minutes. Then leave the microwave door open to air out overnight.
2. Clean your microwave: Use the same method as above, making sure the water boils long enough to steam up the inside of the microwave. Leave the door closed a few minutes to give the steam a chance to loosen any food debris, then wipe it down with a damp cloth.
3. Remove mineral deposits from your tea kettle: Fill your kettle half full of water and add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar. Boil for a few minutes, then dump out the water and dry inside the kettle.
4. Clean your coffee maker: Run 2 tablespoons vinegar and a pot of water through a brewing cycle in your coffee maker. Then run clear water through once or twice, until the vinegar smell is gone.
5. Freshen your garbarge disposal: Freeze distilled white vinegar into cubes and run a few through your disposal. The ice will clean the blades and the vinegar will freshen.
6. Another way to clean your garbage disposal: Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into your disposal, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. When the foaming stops, rinse with hot water.
I have found formulas using vinegar for everything from toilet cleaner to weed killer and am dying to try a few. I'll let you know the results!