Multipurpose cleaners are convenient because they’re usable on many different surfaces. But while effective, some of these cleaners aren’t exactly healthy or environmentally friendly.Vinegar, on the other hand, is nontoxic and eco-friendly, making it the ultimate multipurpose cleaning solution. And the best part, it’s super cheap.Keep reading to learn what types of vinegar to use, along with nine ways vinegar can be used to clean and disinfect your home.
Benefits of vinegar as a household cleaner
You probably have a bottle of vinegar sitting in your cupboard right now. But like so many, you might only use vinegar as a salad dressing or as a marinade for vegetables, meat, poultry, or fish.
Made from acetic acid
Vinegar isn’t only useful for cooking, though. It also makes a great cleaner and disinfectant because it’s made from acetic acid.Acetic acid is a colorless organic compound that gives vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell. It’s also an ingredient in some store-bought household cleaners.The acidic nature of vinegar is so powerful it can dissolve mineral deposit, dirt, grease, and grime. It’s also strong enough to kill bacteria.
Different types of vinegar include:
apple cider vinegar
white distilled vinegar
red or white wine vinegar
Best type of vinegar to use
White distilled vinegar is the best vinegar for cleaning because it doesn’t contain a coloring agent. Therefore, it won’t stain surfaces. Staining can happen when cleaning with a darker-colored vinegar.Plus, distilled white vinegar has about 5 percent acidity, which is also similar to the acidity level in many everyday multipurpose cleaners.
About that vinegar smell
The strong odor of white vinegar can be unpleasant, in which case you can use apple cider vinegar instead.It has the same cleaning properties as white distilled vinegar, but since it’s made by fermenting apple juice, it also has a slightly sweet scent.Apple cider vinegar is darker in color, so dilute it in water before using it as a cleaning agent.If you’re using vinegar as a cleaner, the scent may linger for about an hour or so. However, this might be a small price to pay for a cleaner that’s nontoxic, natural, and environmentally friendly.You can mask the smell by adding a few drops of essential oil, such as lemon oil, lavender oil, or peppermint oil, to a spray bottle containing a vinegar water solution.Or, open a window and let some fresh air in to help remove the scent quicker.