Apple cider vinegar has so many uses everyone should always have at least one bottle in the house (and if you don’t, you can get a giant bottle from here). It’s gotten a lot of press recently about its medicinal benefits, and offers a myriad of ways to use it in all sorts of recipes, but did you realize there are ways to use it to clean every room in your house?
Like all types of vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or ACV, offers powerful antimicrobial properties that are at least as effective as store-bought products without harmful chemical ingredients. In fact, when it comes to your health as well as the health of our planet this natural disinfectant is far superior and strong enough to handle just about any germy task. While it can be mixed with other natural cleaning ingredients like lemon juice, salt or essential oils, don’t mix it with baking soda as it neutralizes the acidity of the vinegar. According to Canada’s National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health, the acid in vinegar crosses the cell membrane of bacteria and prompting a release of protons, which causes the cell to die.
Once you’ve read about the many ways to utilize ACV, you may never want to use those chemical cleaning solutions again.
1. Get rid of bathtub mildew
Battling mildew in your bathtub is no fun, but ACV can come to your rescue. You can use a 1:1 mixture, diluting it with water, for lighter stains, but for bigger problems, use its full strength and then spot scrub. If the entire tub has a lot of mildew and other stains, pour three cups of ACV under running hot tap water and allow the tub to fill until the stains are covered. Allow it to soak like these for at least four hours. Then, drain the water and the stains will keep easy to scrub off. It will also leave your tub nice and shiny! You can do the same for your sink to get it sparkling clean.
2. Mildewy shower curtain
A shower curtain with mildew looks absolutely disgusting and is nearly impossible to clean by hand, which is why so many people just toss theirs out when it gets nasty and buy another one. But did you know ACV can get rid of it fairly easy? Just throw it into your washing machine and add a cup of ACV to the rinse cycle. When it’s done, it’ll be almost like new.
3. Glass shower doors and tracks
If you don’t have a curtain, but doors instead, obviously you can toss them in the wash, but you can get them sparkling again with ACV. Use a 1:1 solution of ACV and warm water. Dampen your rag or cloth in it and wipe them down – it will get rid of all of those frustrating water spots that can seem impossible to eliminate too.
While you’re wiping, you’ll probably notice that the tracks of the shower doors aren’t looking so hot either, as they tend to accumulate a lot of dirt and grime. To clean them, fill up the tracks with two cups of undiluted ACV and allow it to sit for four to five hours. Afterward, pour hot water over the tracks, which will help flush away the gunk that’s now easily removed. If there are very tough stains, you may need to scrub some of it off with a small scrub brush or an old toothbrush.
4. Your toilet
Toilets can get pretty gross too, but you can clean and disinfect them using full strength ACV. Pour in two cups of undiluted ACV just before you go to bed. Don’t flush. Allow it to sit overnight and those stains will begin to disappear. Whatever is left will be easily scrubbed away. If you do this once a week, it will even help prevent water rings from appearing just above the water level too.
5. Bathroom fixtures
You can use ACV to clean the rest of the bathroom too, like door knobs, chrome faucets, and towel racks. Simply pour a small amount of undiluted ACV onto a soft cloth and wipe them all down to leave them clean and glistening. To clean mirrors, you may want to use an old newspaper, which helps to eliminate lint and other residues that a cloth can leave.
6. Polish the silver
You can make that tarnished silver shine again by using ACV. Polish it by soaking your silver in a solution of a half cup of ACV and baking soda (in this case it’s okay to use as its abrasive texture helps to get rid of the tarnished look while the ACV works to shine and clean things up). Let it sit for several hours, and then rinse it under cold water. Dry thoroughly, and it’ll be just like new again.
7. Polish bronze, brass, and copper
To polish other items, including bronze, brass, and copper, you can make a paste using equal parts of sea salt and ACV. Coat your items with it and then rub until the tarnish is removed. Afterward, rinse with cold water and then dry thoroughly.
8. Deodorize the house
Is a bad odor permeating through your house? Those strong, persistent smells that are difficult to get rid of, such as smoke, can be eliminated by simmering ACV in a saucepan on the stove for about an hour. If the odor is really powerful, you might want to leave a bowl or two of full-strength ACV in the room.
9. Freshen up wood and hide scratches
To fresh up wood furniture – forget the Pledge! Simply mix about a quarter cup of ACV with two tablespoons of olive oil and two cups of water. Dip a cloth in the solution and use it to make that furniture shine again. You can also use ACV to hide any scratches, but you’ll need iodine too. Add just enough iodine to turn the water to a similar darkness of the wood and then use a paintbrush to apply it to make the scratches disappear.
10. Get rid of candle wax residue
If you use candles, you’ve probably ended up with candle wax on some of your furnishings as inevitably, some always seems to run over. While most of it can easily be scraped off with something like a credit card or a spatula, the residue that remains is hard to remove. But if you dampen a cloth with 1:1 diluted ACV and apply it to the residue, it’s easy to rub away.
11. Water rings
No matter how many coasters you have lying around your home, someone always seems to forget to use one. Or, maybe you just don’t have any, in defiance to your mom who was constantly nagging you to use them when you were growing up. Either way, now you’ve got water stains on your tables. The good news is that by using full-strength ACV, they’ll rub right off. Sorry, mom.
12. Carpet stains
As you may have begun to realize, ACV is a superhero when it comes to removing stains. And, when it comes to your carpets, there is no exception. Depending on the type of stain, you can use various solutions to eliminate it. For really tough stains like ground-in dirt, make a paste using a tablespoon of ACV and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Rub it into the stain with a dry cloth and allow it to sit for two days. After that period, vacuum and it should be gone. For light carpet stains, or other dark stains, use a mixture of a half-cup ACV and two tablespoons of sea salt. Allow it to dry thoroughly and then vacuum.
13. Eliminate kitchen grease stains
You can also get rid of those nasty grease stains from your stove, broiler or counters using ACV. Dampen a cloth in a solution of equal parts water and ACV and then wipe them down to easily remove them. The vinegar also helps to neutralize the odor. You can also add ACV to some of your usual dishwashing soap to make it more powerful for regular, day-to-day cleaning that makes it easier to remove grease right away.
When you have a pan or a pot covered in stubborn grease, boil one to two cups of ACV in it for 10 minutes or so and it will help it to melt away.
14. Make your cutting boards bacteria free
ACV is great for cleaning those cutting boards that are a haven for all sorts of bacteria. Just wipe them down with full-strength apple cider vinegar and they’ll be free of that bacteria.
15. Clean the microwave
Microwave ovens tend to get really dirty rather quickly. By steam-cleaning it with ACV you can easily get rid of stains and other gunk that collects. Just add a quarter cup of ACV and a cup of water to a glass bowl. “Cook” it on high for five minutes. Allow it to cool a bit first, and then dip a cloth into the liquid and use that to wipe it down.
16. Freshen up that refrigerator
ACV may be even more effective for cleaning your refrigerator than baking soda, which has been the go to cleaner for many fridges over the decades. Just use an equal part of ACV and water to wipe down the exterior and the interior. You can also add it to your produce bins and allow them to soak in the solution for a few minutes to make them easier to clean and prevent the growth of mildew too. If you’ve got grime, dust and other gunk on top of your refrigerator, use full-strength ACV to wipe it down.
After you’re done, you can still put that baking soda box to use by placing it on a shelf to keep it smelling fresh.
17. Clean your coffeemaker
Many people go months and months, or even years, without cleaning their coffeemaker (and here’s why you really should), and when that happens, you end up with weaker, or bitter, coffee. You should be cleaning it after every 40 brew cycles if you have hard water, and ever 80 if your water is soft. To do so, add two cups of ACV and one cup of water to your decanter. Add a paper filter, if your machine requires one, and then pour that solution into the water chamber, like you would when you’d fill it with water to make coffee. Turn it on, and allow it to run through a complete brew cycle. Now remove the filter and replace it with a fresh one, or clean out your reusable filter, and then run fresh water through the machine through two more cycles, replacing the filter or cleaning it again, for the second brew as well.
18. Electronic devices
It’s important to keep all of those electronic devices, like your laptop, printer, cell phone and so on, free of dust and dirt so they continue to run like they should. You can use vinegar to get rid of all of that, and the germs that tend to accumulate too. First, before you begin, be sure that the item you’re going to clean is turned off. Then, mix up equal parts of ACV and water in a bucket. Don’t use a spray bottle as you can easily get the liquid into the circuits inside, causing damage. Dampen a clean rag in the solution and then wring it out as much as possible to wipe down your device. You can dip a cotton swab in the solution in order to get in those really tight spaces, like the keys on your computer keyboard.
If you have a mouse, you can use the solution to clean it too, but you’ll need to remove the ball underneath it by twisting the cover over it first. Then take your damp rag, that’s been wrung out well and wipe the ball clean. A cotton swab can be used to clean out any debris that’s inside the ball chamber. Before you put it back together, let it dry for a couple hours first.
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