Green Cleaning with Vinegar
When going green, it is a great idea to consider the products and methods you use to clean your home. After all, the average person in the U.S. uses about 40 lbs. of toxic household cleaning products each year! Whether you dread cleaning as a chore or think it is theraputic, vinegar is a simple, inexpensive first step to protecting the environment both in and outside of your home. A large bottle of white, distilled vinegar can be purchased at your local grocery store for a few dollars and will last a lot longer than the expensive chemical cleaners or even brand name green cleaners. It also works just as well as any commercial cleaner I have used, making it a great cost savings.
The common, chemical cleaners that many people use can wind up tainting ground water and impacting the health of our families. The largest organ in the human body is our skin and it absorbs bits of everything we come into contact with…but let’s save that topic for another day!
Why vinegar? Well, believe it or not, vinegar has an anti-bacterial quality to it that will clean all kinds of surfaces without damaging the environment. I simply mix one part white distilled vinegar with one part water in a clean spray bottle. If you’ve never used eco-friendly cleaners before, you may have some chemical build-up in your home so you may want to add a few drops of dish washing detergent (I use and love the lavender scented Dishmate from Earth Friendly Products that I buy at my local food coop). The detergent will help cut through any build-up that is present and set the stage for future eco-friendly cleaning. I use this mixture on my bathroom counter tops, in the shower, and I spray it in my toilet towl (and add a little Borax) for a sparkling shine. Many people also use this vinegar and water solution to clean mirrors and windows.
In case you are wondering about the smell, don’t worry! The smell goes away faster than the fumes created by chemical cleaners and leaves everything with a clean, fresh scent! Don’t worry about the lack of foaming action or other fancy footwork that you might be used to with other cleaning options. If you are used to foam or bubbles, cleaning with vinegar it might take a couple weeks to get used to the difference.
For all kinds of great ideas on how to use vinegar, you may want to visit The Vinegar Institute at http://versatilevinegar.org/