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Friday, June 30, 2006

10 Ways Vinegar Can Effectively Replace Toxic Household Products

Vinegar has been instrumental in helping rid our home of toxic “cleaners”. It actually works better than commercial cleaners, and it’s safe to have around the house with children! Here are a few of the ways we use it in our home:

1. Window & All Purpose Cleaner: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Use on tabletops, counters, mirrors, appliances, windows, etc. For tough cleaning jobs, use straight vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing.

(After having used only this cleaner for years now, I recently used a commercial glass cleaner at a friend’s house and after a couple of sprays, I had to leave the room. I literally couldn’t tolerate breathing the toxicity in the air!)

2. Dishwasher Rinse: Add white or apple cider vinegar to final rinse to eliminate toxic detergent residue.

3. Grease Build Up: Soak item in white vinegar for a few minutes then wipe clean. Or add a few tablespoons of vinegar to hot soapy water and let soak.

4. Floor Cleaner: Add 1-2 cups white vinegar to 2 gallons hot water. Mop floor as usual.

5. Air Freshener: Set a small bowl of white vinegar in an area that needs freshening. For strong odors, set a few bowls around the room.

6. Stain Remover: Apply white vinegar liberally to clothing or carpet stains. Let sit for 5 minutes or so before rinsing or washing. (I have removed dried grape juice stains out of carpet using vinegar when nothing else worked!)

7. Fabric Softener: Pour ½ cup of white or apple cider vinegar in the rinse cycle as a fabric softener. (The vinegar also completely eliminates detergent residue and works as a color brightener.)

8. Insect Bites: Dot irritated area with white vinegar to relieve itching.

9. Hair Conditioner: Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 2 cups of water and pour over hair after shampooing. Rinse. (This removes shampoo residue and build up.)

10. Body Rejuvenator: Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water (and desired sweetener) for a healthy pick-me-up and alternative to coffee!

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