Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Using Vinegar To Clean The Kitchen

Being “green” involves the everyday little steps taken to be kind to mother earth. One of these steps involves your weekly household cleaning products. There are so many disinfectants, cleansers, and de-greasers that are toxic to you, pets, and the earth. These items should be avoided and substituted with natural every day products that are not only safer for the family and earth, but also a lot cheaper.

The most notorious earth friendly kitchen cleanser is vinegar. Vinegar, like baking soda and lemon juice, can be used a few hundred different ways throughout the house and within the body. These are products that should be purchased in bulk as they will be used. Here a few great vinegar cleaning ideas to practice in the kitchen.

Using Vinegar to remove hard water deposits in the coffee maker

We have had a Kitchen Aid coffee maker for ten years that runs like a champ most of the time. Every few months the appliance will stop brewing during mid cycle as the inside percolating tubes appear to get clogged with hard water deposits. The situation is remedied by mixing a coffee pot of half vinegar and half water and brewing. This cleaning solution will clear away all deposits and get the coffee pot running in no time. I always remember to run a pot of 100% water through after the initial cleaning stage to eliminate any potential “vinegar” flavor in the next pot of coffee.

Cleaning Counters

Keep a spray bottle of 50/50 water and white vinegar available to clean kitchen counters. Avoid using this solution on counters that are marble which can incur damage from the acidity of the vinegar solution. This solution goes a long way to cleaning counters, stove tops, kitchen cabinet handles refrigerator surfaces. The added benefit to the vinegar solution will be the added sparkle and shine left behind when wiped clean with a dry cloth.

Cleaning Microwave With Vinegar

Aside from the coffee pot trick, this is my other favorite. Take a small bowl of half water and half vinegar and microwave for about three minutes. When the microwave timer goes off, allow the solution to sit for a few minutes. Open the door, then wipe clean. The steam produced from the solution will loosen up even the toughest caked on stains.

Vinegar as a Freezer Odor remover

I was handed down a standalone freezer from my parents a few years back. Excited as I was unloading the freezer from my Dad’s van, I was welcomed to the distinct odor of rotten seafood inside the appliance. Though the freezer was entirely empty, the appliance had the horrific odor of rotten fish. I labored on the freezer for an hour with a good bleach soapy cleanser using sponge and toothbrush. The cleanser did not get rid of the odor. My next step was using coffee grounds in an open container and I shut the freezer door. A few days later the smell was greatly reduced, but still there. My final approach involved a healthy amount of vinegar in a plastic bowl placed at the base of the freezer. A few days later and the fish smell from the freezer were entirely gone. The vinegar odor dissipated quickly as I left the top door open for a few hours.

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