Remember in 4th grade when you made volcano science projects using vinegar and baking soda? I wondered if it was safe to use something that made such a cool explosion. Little did I realize it was non-toxic and completely natural substances in there!
When you think of cleaner, you probably don't jump to vinegar unless you are from a much older generation. Nowadays, Lysol, Clorox or 409 are the brands names more likely to pop into your head as household cleaners. These products are great, but sometimes they leave behind a sticky film or chemical that isn't ideal for your home. With the rising and falling of cleaning trends between all natural and antibacterial products, the consumer industry is constantly changing. But one thing that will never change is the value of using vinegar in your household.
Believe it or not, the use of vinegar has been traced back to Egypt in the year 3000 BC! How's that for experience? Take that Procter and Gamble :)
Besides the the volcano, here are a few of my favorite uses for vinegar:
Cooking: (of course)
Vinegar is often found in European and Asian cuisines.
1) Salad dressing - hence Balsamic Vinaigrette
2) Pasta sauce - unlike oil, vinegar fuses with the pasta enhancing the taste
3) Rice preparation - uses on Sushi and other Asian dishes
4) Condiment - popular on fish and chips
5) Potato salad - often used for German dishes
Whether is it internal or external, it is has many uses for the human body.
1) Cuts, scrapes or bug bites - Itching? dab a little white distilled vinegar on the area.
3) Dieting - Apple Cider Vinegar is often used as a diet controller or cleanser.
2) Aftershave - replace that $6 Gillette bottle with a $1 vinegar, it will smell great! OK, maybe not- but if you are in a pinch it will do the trick!
NOTE: Most consumer sold vinegar is between 5-10% acidity. Anything found above 10% acidity should be used with caution when ingesting as it can burn the esophagus.
1) Drain un-clogger: Matt's been pushing me to unclog the shower drain for the past few days and before I hopped in the civic to pick up some Draino, I walked over to the corner store and picked up some white vinegar. Following the instructions at www.VinegarTips.com, I was able to easily remove the gunk with baking soda, vinegar and hot water! The best part is that the all-natural ingredients won't hurt the pipes. (Actually the best part was the small explosion that amused me like an 8 year old.)
2) Surface cleaner: Whether it be your kitchen counter, bathroom tub, car dashboard or windows, diluted vinegar does a fantastic job at cleaning all hard surfaces. This also includes hardwood floors! If you have young ones, using vinegar and water as your main cleaning agent will reduce toxins in the air and allow you to worry less about accidental ingestion.
3) Stain remover: It amazes me, you can even treat stains with vinegar before washing. Ketchup, mustard, sauce - you name it! Read instructions here.
For more natural cleaner ideas, check out this article: 10 Unexpected All-natural Cleaners I had no idea Oatmeal was so useful.
4) Fruit fly exterminator: If you have a problem with fruit flies, put a small dish of vinegar out and it will eliminate them! I am trying that one tonight...
Falling into the "Expert Shopper" demographic, I also like to compare prices. Luckily the all natural products are extremely cheap! In fact, there is no use in purchasing the "Green" products that use vinegar as a base, when you can make your own for less. Sometimes you can find online coupons. Here is one for $0.50 off: http://offers.heinzvinegar.com/Coupon/
As you can see, vinegar is definitely a useful item to keep in the house. Please share your vinegar stories or tips, good or bad.
To get more info or learn about other natural products, check out these resources.
Vinegar Uses - Heinz
Make Your Own Vinegar
Uses for Baking Soda
Healing remedies with honey