How to Use Vinegar As a Cleaning Agent & Disinfectant

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Vinegar is not only a popular condiment, but also an eco-friendly, economical and effective cleaning agent. Use vinegar to disinfect baby toys and appliances, wipe out odors and remove tough stains and residues.

Things You'll Need

  • White distilled vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Clean the coffee maker. If you use your coffee maker frequently, it will collect lime deposits and other residue. At least once a month, fill half of your coffee pot with white distilled vinegar and fill the rest of the way with water. Run the coffee maker. Do this twice. The acetic acid in the vinegar will dissolve the deposits.

  • Eliminate pet odors. If your cat or dog had an accident on the carpet, you can remove the odor and clean most of the stain with a blend of white distilled vinegar and baking soda. Use a bowl for your mixture, as it should have more liquid than powder. Pick up or wipe up as much of the mess as you can, dip a small brush into your mixture and apply to the carpet. Scrub the stain in small, circular motions. Wait 24 hours before vacuuming. You can repeat the process if the stain is still visible.

  • Remove lime deposits from steel pots. Pour a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent white distilled vinegar into the pot and bring to a boil. The lime deposits should clear. Wash your pot as normal using soap and water.

  • Disinfect kitchen and bathroom areas. The U.S. government does not recognize vinegar as a disinfectant because it is not registered as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency. However, according to Self-Healing Expressions, studies show that a 5 percent vinegar solution "kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of viruses." Keep a mixture of vinegar and water in spray bottles in your kitchen and bathroom. Use it to disinfect cutting boards, kitchen counters, dishes and bathroom surfaces.

  • Disinfect baby toys by washing them in a blend of white distilled vinegar and soapy water. This is a nontoxic alternative to ensure that your baby's toys remain germ-free.

Tips & Warnings

  • White distilled vinegar is inexpensive, and you can find it in all major supermarkets. You might even be able to buy it for less at a nearby dollar store.

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