Vinegar is most commonly used in recipes, but were you aware that it has other benefits as well? Here are ten great uses for vinegar that you may not have thought about before. These are tailored toward regular distilled white vinegar.
Use Vinegar as a Bleach-Free Laundry Disinfectant
Do you dread using bleach to disinfect your clothes? Maybe you can't stand the smell or it makes you sick. Try using one half cup of vinegar and one fourth cup of baking soda along with your detergent in your load of laundry. It whitens, brightens, cleans, and disinfects your clothes.
Plus, it's much safer for the environment. Another bonus is that vinegar can be used on all colors. It's much less expensive than color-safe bleach, totaling about $1.50 per gallon versus 4 or 5 times that for color-safe bleach.
Use Vinegar to Clean the Fish Bowl or Tank
Do you have a fish tank or bowl with glass that is brown in some areas? When you clean the fish's residence, put a generous amount of vinegar on your cleaning cloth with a dab of liquid dish soap. The vinegar clears away the residue and disinfects the tank.
The combination of the vinegar and dish soap makes it easier to slide the cloth around. Your fish will finally be able to see you through his glass and you don't have to be embarrassed at a tank that looks as if its never been cleaned.
Vinegar Makes a Great Window Cleaner
Are you tired of spending money on expensive window cleaning sprays? Just get yourself a good water bottle. Then, fill it about two-thirds of the way with water. Next, put about 3 drops of liquid dish soap into the water. Finally, fill the remaining area with vinegar. Shake it a little bit. Let it sit for a few minutes and then voila!
Now you have a really good window-cleaning solution that costs less than a candy bar to refill and gives you a great streak-free clean for your windows and mirrors. I suggest keeping one in each bathroom, one in the kitchen, and one in each vehicle. With them in reach, you'll never have streaky, dirty windows and mirrors again.
Use Vinegar to Clean Moldy Tupperware
Does your husband tend to leave moldy storage containers and dishes in his work truck? Or maybe you leave it in the fridge too long. That's okay. Just empty them outside and bring them on in. Place them open in the sink. Put a dab of liquid dish soap in each one. Then, put about 2 tablespoons of vinegar in each. Fill the rest of the way with hot water and let them soak.
For the lids, fill the sink only high enough to cover them with a dab of dish soap and about one fourth cup of vinegar and the rest hot water. Once the lids and containers have soaked for at least 20 minutes, wash them as you normally would. I prefer to use the dishwasher as an extra disinfection/sterilization process.
Clean Your Countertops With Vinegar
Vinegar can replace your chemical-ridden kitchen counter cleaners. Just mix half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle. Spray the counters and wipe clean. You can also use hydrogen peroxide for this. If you like to see your cleaners soap up, just add a couple drops of dish soap to the solution.
The vinegar disinfects the counters and takes away odors as well. If you have a really tough stain, put a dash of baking soda on top of it. Then, spray with your vinegar solution and wipe clean. If there is white residue, you need to spray and wipe the vinegar solution until it is gone.
Vinegar Kills Fish Odors in the Microwave
Do you like to steam your fish in the microwave, but hate the smell? Place a cup or bowl of vinegar inside the microwave with your fish. Don't cook the fish in it. It should be beside the container the fish is in. The vinegar absorbs the odor.
Use Vinegar as a Deodorizer While Cooking
This trick is good if you are cooking something that is particularly pungent in odor, such as chitterlings, fish, or fried foods. Boil a pan of vinegar diluted halfway with water. This will help to absorb the odors. Just remember to start it before you start the "stinky" foods. This also works if you are baking something and don't want the smell to go throughout the house.
Vinegar Can Be Used to ease Heartburn
If you suffer from gas or heartburn frequently, you'll want to try this one. Drink a tablespoon of vinegar right before each meal. It helps to dissolve the acids, so there won't be as much left for the heartburn to feed off of.
Clean Your Refrigerator With Vinegar
Cleaning your refrigerator with vinegar frequently helps to kill germs and keep it smelling fresh. Use the same solution used to clean the counters above.
Use Vinegar To Ward off Stinky Feet
This is the really odd one. Do you know anyone who has smelly feet? Most people know at least one person who suffers from this. The person can soak their feet in a tub that has half water and half vinegar. The vinegar takes away the smell, kills germs, and relaxes sore muscles.
So, if you know anyone like this, you may want to hint about it. Try using the muscle relaxer part, though. You don't want to lose a good friend by telling them their feet stink, unless you have the kind of relationship where this conversation would be acceptable.
Know of any other awesome uses for vinegar? Comment below!
Hydrogen Peroxide is most commonly used to treat cuts and scrapes, but did you know there were many other uses as well? Even if you knew, aren't you curious to see how many you've tried and how many you haven't?
Helpful Hints Before Using Hydrogen Peroxide
Before using any of these, you should remember to always keep the peroxide in the dark container it comes in. Once it has been exposed to air and light, it loses some of its efficacy. It is best to use it straight from the bottle and right away after you take it from the bottle with a cloth or tissue.
It's also important to remember to be safe with peroxide. If swallowed, it can be harmful and should be kept out of reach of children. Should accidental poisoning occur, you should contact a poison control center and possibly 911 immediately. If a large amount is swallowed, 911 should be called rather than poison control. This goes for adults as well as children.
Ten Awesome Uses For Hydrogen Peroxide
Mouthwash - Hydrogen Peroxide can be used as an alternative to mouthwash. It disinfects the mouth, freshens the breath, and whitens the teeth all in one step. Of course, you'll still need toothpaste, but you won't need your mouthwash anymore. This costs less and is more effective. Just ask your dentist or doctor about it and they're likely to agree. Use it every day right after each brushing and flossing. All you need is about a capful. Swish it around for 30 seconds, just like mouthwash. Don't rinse your mouth out afterwards.
Countertop & Cutting Board Sanitizer - If you need to sanitize your countertops, hydrogen peroxide will do so, killing the germs and even salmonella. Fill a spray bottle with half water and half hydrogen peroxide, spray and wipe clean. Keep in mind that using this solution will discolor or damage some surfaces, so do a spot test in an inconspicuous area first and then wait 24 hours to see what happens. You can also use hydrogen peroxide as an effective means of sanitizing your cutting boards. It will kill salmonella and other harmful bacteria. Use the same solution as you would for sanitizing countertops.
Toothbrush Rinse - Rinse your toothbrush with hydrogen peroxide before and after each use to keep it sanitary.
Bleach Alternative - If you need an alternative to bleach, you can add 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide to your load of laundry. It even gets out blood. Be careful, though because it really does bleach. Don't use it any dyed clothing, only whites.
Fight Mold - Peroxide is effective against some toxic molds, but be aware that it doesn't kill germs from all of them, so it's best to leave it up to the professionals. However, I do recommend applying it in areas of your bathroom that are prone to mold, such as the cracks in the caulking of the bathtub and shower.
Computer Keys & Screen - Peroxide is a great cleaner for your computer keys as well. It kills the bacteria and air dries quickly, so the equipment doesn't get damaged. While you're at it, it's also safe for the screen, outside of the computer, outside of speakers, and the outside of any other equipment.
Bathroom Mirrors - Peroxide cleans the bathroom mirrors without leaving behind any smears, plus since it kills bacteria, you have the added benefit of knowing it's okay for your kids to kiss the mirror. Oh, come on, you know they love to do it.
Treat Acne - You can use peroxide to treat acne as well. It's the main ingredient in most acne medicines and the other ingredients in them aren't necessary. Just apply it to the affected area once or twice a day and watch how quickly the acne disappears.
Kill Bathroom Bacteria - You can keep a spray bottle of peroxide in the bathroom. Use it to spray the shower/tub, sink, and toilet area to keep away bacteria and viruses. Spray regularly.
Clean Off Fruits & Veggies - You can use it to clean fruits and vegetables. Here's how: Fill your sink with cold water. Then, add 1/4 cup peroxide and some salt. Scrub the vegetables and rinse them. This kills any lingering viruses or bacteria. It also keeps the food fresher longer.
If you don't have hydrogen peroxide in your cabinet, get some today!
The bathroom is one place that should not be dirty. It is the room that is used to get clean in, therefore to get you the cleanest, it should be as clean as possible at all times. As a cleanliness-conscious as well as natural-conscious mother, I have researched and experimented with several different cleaning methods for all areas of the house. Some were better than others, healthwise as well as in regards to cleanliness. Here are ten simple ways to keep the bathroom germ-free, plus instructions on preparing the products you will need.
2 Black or Brown Spray Bottles
Eco-Friendly Paper Towels
Fill one spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide. Then, fill the other spray bottle with vinegar. Have your paper towels and baking soda handy. Put on your gloves. The cleaning rituals described below should be performed at least once per week, but preferably more often.
Treat For Mold to Help Keep the Bathroom Germ Free
Even when mold is not visible, it’s still important to treat for it. You can do this easily by using your hydrogen peroxide spray bottle to spray all around the cracks of the bathtub, shower, toilet, and sinks. Spray all around each and be sure to get behind them where possible.
The tiles in the bathtub and shower and any other tiles on the walls should also be sprayed down. Don’t forget about corners and crevices. Once you are done spraying, let the peroxide soak in for about 15 minutes. Then, spray it again and wipe clean with a paper towel. Do not rinse it. This helps the peroxide disinfect the mold-causing agents.
If there is already mold damage, I suggest treating it as suggested above, then respraying and leaving it on for 24 hours. If mold is visible, rotate the two methods every other day. Do this until the mold is no longer visible. Then, just use the normal cleaning method as often as necessary to keep your bathroom clean.
Keep The Toilet Germ-Free
The toilet is arguably the place where you leave the dirtiest messes. After all, you are using it to get rid of your body's waste. You certainly wouldn't want that waste building up inside your body, so why would you want it building up inside your toilet and around your bathroom?
First, you need to shut off the water in the toilet. Usually the shut-off valve is located directly behind the toilet. Once you have turned the valve off, flush the toilet. All of the water should go down. If not, flush it until it does.
Now, lift the toilet seat. Spray your vinegar all over the inside of the toilet. You are choosing vinegar because its acidic properties break down food materials and also kill bacteria. Leave the vinegar there for 15 minutes. Next, spray your peroxide in the same area and wipe clean with paper towels.
The paper towels will need to be disposed of right away. I recommend using a grocery bag to collect the paper towels from the bathroom. Then, when you are finished with the whole process, take the grocery bag to your dumpster or outdoor trash can. Turn the water back on and flush the toilet.
Every time a toilet is flushed, the unseen germs float into the air, settling on all other surfaces, even those five to seven feet away. To help prevent this, always flush the toilet with the lid down. Once it has stopped "hissing", if you're concerned about the contents, lift the lid to be sure everything went down. If not, repeat with the lid closed.
Keeping Floors and Throw Rugs Dry Helps Avoid Bathroom Germs
Floors and rugs are one of the biggest harborers of mold and mildew in the bathroom. They are likely tied with the cracks in the shower and tub. Wet rugs and floors cause mold quickly and easily. To keep your floors and rugs dry, each time a shower is taken, you should check underneath your rugs. If the rug is damp underneath or on top, simply hang it up to dry over the shower curtain rod.
You can spray it with your vinegar spray bottle for disinfection. If it is dirty, follow the fourth tip instead. If you have carpeting in your bathroom, you should really consider taking it out. Carpeting in the bathroom can cause unseen mold damage and germs.
Keep Floors Disinfected and Clean Rugs Often
Bacteria thrives in dirty and wet environments. To help keep your bathroom germ-free, your floors need to be clean at all times and your throw rugs also need to be kept clean.
Sometimes the throw rugs don't get washed as often as necessary because people simply forget about them. All rugs that are kept on the bathroom floor should be cleaned at least once per week. The best kind to use are ones which can be placed in the washing machine. Use the hot or sanitary setting, using 2 cups of vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda as your detergent to wash the rugs.
Put the baking soda in the powdered detergent dispenser and the vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. If you like it to be scented, you can add a tablespoon of tea tree oil. The vinegar acts as a cleanser, disinfectant, and fabric softener. The baking soda acts as a cleanser and fabric softener. Liquid fabric softener is not recommended because it will sometimes ruin the fibers in rugs.
You may need to use the gentle cycle, depending on your rugs. If the rug has backing, you may or may not be able to use the washer. Some rugs cannot be placed in the dryer, so they will need to air dry either outside or in, being careful to allow for plenty of air circulation to prevent mold from forming on the wet areas.
Be sure the rugs are completely dry before placing them back in their proper locations. If the rug has a backing, spray the backing with hydrogen peroxide and allow to air dry before placing it back on the bathroom floor.
Keep Sinks, Tubs, and Showers Clean to Help Keep the Bathroom Free of Germs
Since these are used to keep yourself clean, you need to keep them as clean as possible. For this job, you will use the vinegar spray bottle. Plug the drains and spray away. You need to cover the entire area. Let it soak for a few minutes. Then, use eco-friendly paper towels or a cloth to wipe the surface clean. Repeat if necessary until the area is clean.
The first time you do this, it may take more than one time, but afterwards, it should be much quicker. If you use cloths, throw them in the wash immediately, following the same washing instructions as the rugs, minus instructions for backings.
Keeping Countertops Dry Helps Keep the Germs Away
Wet countertops can lead to mold and bacteria. The water and other liquids sink into the cracks, crevices, and pores of the areas, causing a great home for the mold to live. To prevent this, always wipe away any wetness from all surfaces immediately. You can use either the vinegar or peroxide spray bottles to do this. Both will be effective in helping keep your bathroom countertops free of germs.
Keep Bathroom Countertops Germ-Free By Keeping them Clean
Germs from other areas, such as the toilet, settle onto countertops and they are also invisible, so it is important to clean countertops often. Using your vinegar spray bottle, spray the countertops and other surfaces daily and wipe them clean with a cloth or the eco-friendly paper towels.
Depending on the size and habits of your household, you may need to do this more than once per day. One helpful memory trick is to wash these surfaces each time you need to use the toilet. This way, it gets done often.
Avoid Carpeting in the Bathroom to Help Dispel Germs
Carpeting is a bad idea for a bathroom because mold and mildew can build up underneath the carpeting. Even if you cannot see it, it may still be there. Steam and other wetness from the bathroom absorbs into the carpeting and goes underneath the surface creating an ideal environment for mold spores to survive and thrive.
Carpets are also an easy environment for things like urine and spills to collect because they get stuck deep in the fibers, even with regular cleaning. This creates a big problem with germs in the bathroom.
Disinfect Bathroom Walls Completely
Like the countertops, walls are a resting place for bacteria. Because many people are focusing on the other surfaces in the bathroom, the walls are often neglected or forgotten. To clean your walls, use the vinegar spray bottle and the eco-friendly paper towels. This should be done at least weekly, more often if there are visible stains to the wall or you have a large number of household members.
Disinfect Hard-To-Reach Areas Frequently
Areas that are hard to reach, such as ceilings, tops of mirrors, shelf tops, and on top of the medicine cabinet are often neglected in the bathroom. Be sure to clean these weekly with the vinegar spray bottle and eco-friendly paper towels. The more surfaces you can keep clean and disinfected, the less you will need to deal with bathroom germs.
You're trying to relax in your zen garden when you start seeing dots. Wait, those aren't dots at all. Those are aphids and they are coming from the precious plants you have been giving love and care to. This is supposed to be your relaxation zone. Not to mention how your plants might be feeling about this unwelcome invasion. So, how do you get rid of these pesky aphids without dousing the poor plants with harmful chemicals? Below are 10 eco-friendly ways to rid, reduce, and prevent aphids, also called plant lice.
Neem Oil as a Natural Aphid Pesticide - Pure neem oil, an oil derived from the neem tree, has long been used in many natural remedies, including pest control. The oil, or Azadirachtin, acts as a repellent and growth regulator. To the insects, the neem oil has a bitter taste, so they will not eat the leaves treated with it. Also, if the insects do come in contact with the Azadirachtin, it prevents the larvae from growing into adults. Neem oil can be purchased at various online stores or made from neem trees.
Homemade Lemon Spray to Get Rid of Aphids Naturally - This natural aphid pesticide works as an instant remedy, killing the aphids on contact. To make this natural pesticide, grate the rind of a large lemon. Boil it in enough water to fill a garden spray bottle. Let the mixture sit overnight. Drain the liquid into the garden spray bottle. Spray the aphids and larvae directly. It will cause them to convulse.
Using Homemade Vinegar Spray as Defense Against Aphids & Larvae - Get out a spray bottle and fill it 1/3 of the way with distilled white vinegar and the rest of the way with water. This will kill the aphids and larvae on contact. Some plants react badly to the vinegar. It's important know which plants you can and cannot use this method with.
Aluminum Foil is One of the Unexpected Natural Aphid Pesticides - Place a square of aluminum foil around the base of plants affected by aphids. This causes light to bounce around to the underside of the leaves, which repels the aphids. It is also good for the plants, as it brings them more natural sunlight.
Calcium Powder is a Good Aphid Repellent - Sprinkling calcium powder around the base of the plants is another natural aphid repellent. The aphids do not like the calcium and will generally stay away from it.
How to Use a Yellow Plastic Bowl to Trick Aphids - Aphids are naturally attracted to the color yellow. Place a yellow plastic bowl filled about 1/3 of the way with water in the center of the infested area. Many of the aphids will be drawn to the bowl and will go into the water and die.
Banana Peels Repel Aphids Easily - Burying shredded banana peels around the base of plants is an odd, but effective remedy. It has been around for ages and many gardeners will swear by it.
Smash Aphid Buddies as a Warning. It works! - Squashing a few aphids near the infested area will signify to the other aphids that it is time to go. It's a chemical reaction.
Ladybugs Are an Aphid’s Enemy - Ladybugs can be purchased at garden and home improvement centers. The ladybugs feed on the aphids and if you purchase enough, the aphids will be gone in no time. Ladybugs are also good for the garden in other ways.
Garlic or Onions Are an Aphid Deterrent - Planting garlic or onions is another natural aphid deterrent. They do not like garlic or onion and will not likely come near an area they are in.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Need that bright, clean white look for your lights and whites? Need to disinfect all shades of clothing? Did you know chlorine bleach isn’t the only way? Keep your family clean with safer homemade bleaches and disinfectants that contain less harmful and more effective ingredients.
Chlorine-Free Bleaching Spray
Instead of inhaling harmful fumes when spot-cleaning your clothing on-the-go or at home, try this. In a dark-colored spray bottle, mix equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water. For an extra strength solution, instead mix equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 100% lemon juice from concentrate, and water.
To use this solution, simply place a white cloth on the back side of the stain. Then, spray the solution onto the affected area and pat the stain into the cloth. Turn the clothing inside out and repeat. This solution should only be used on white or light colored clothing, as it may cause whitening of fabrics. Test a small, non-visible area prior to use to test the effects.
Whitening Clothing in the Laundry without Chlorine Bleach
Hydrogen peroxide is one way to whiten and disinfectant your whites during the laundering process. For this method, mix hydrogen peroxide and water 50/50, to make about one cup of solution. Pour this into the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine. This way, it will come out during the correct cycle.
If you do not have a fabric softener dispenser in your machine, pour in the bleaching solution during the rinse cycle. You can also alternatively pour the hydrogen peroxide mixture in with the water while the machine is filling. If you hand wash your clothing, simply mix the hydrogen peroxide into the wash water with your detergent of choice, wash as usual, and rinse.
The other method for bleaching and disinfecting clothing during laundry involves food-grade white vinegar. Follow the same instructions as with the peroxide, only use white vinegar instead. For more strength, you can also add some lemon juice and baking soda. I recommend using equal parts of the liquid ingredients and a couple tablespoons of baking soda.
If you use the baking soda, put the baking soda directly in the washer with the clothing or in the powdered detergent dispenser. In addition to bleaching and disinfecting, vinegar can soften your clothing. Therefore, you should try to make sure it gets poured in during the rinse cycle, if at all possible.
Are These Alternative Bleaching Methods Safe for HE Washers?
While I have not personally attempted to use these natural bleaches in a high efficiency washing machine, I have done some research on it. So far, in all cases I have found, people have reported these to be safe for their machines and not cause damage. Of course, you should always use your own discretion and better judgment.
If you attempt to do this, it is recommended to put the vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser and the baking soda directly into the machine with the clothing. The main issue high efficiency machines have is actually with more soapy cleaners, such as normal non-HE detergents. Over-sudsing can break the machines. These alternative bleaching solutions cause very little, if any, sudsing. Therefore, that particular issue shouldn’t be a problem. But again, use your own discretion.
Do you have another bleach-free disinfectant method? Let us know in the comments section.
Life hacks, finances & money, DIY & home improvement, gardening, cleaning & organization, and so much more!
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
Lyn is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! While rescuing civilians from boring business practices and energy vampires, this awesomely crazy family conquers evil and creates change.
They live among tigers, dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and other fantastic energies, teaching others to claim their own power and do the same.
By supporting us, you support a dedicated parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to several causes. Profits from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature support these causes and our beautiful family!
HIRE OR SHOP WITH LYN | CONTACT LYN