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Posts Tagged ‘germs’

I guess that’s a pretty crazy title and I better explain it.  If you think this one’s weird, I almost titled it CATCHING BEES WITH HONEY AND HOW TO CLEAN.  Enough – this is Thursday’s post and so I have some top tips for you.  Not 10 this week, just 9 BUT they are really good to know. 

Your Clean Machine in a Bottle

Your Clean Machine in a Bottle

Cleaning from within  was my attempt at cleverness – look within your kitchen cabinet and find that bottle of white vinegar which is probably way in the back because you haven’t used it since Easter when you mixed dyes for Easter eggs.

White vinegar, unassuming and cheap! It’s your miracle method for cleaning and it’s antibacterial too.  Let’s start in the kitchen.

1.  CUTTING BOARDS:  If you’re cleaning your cutting boards with water or bleach (oh no!) then STOP right now.  Wash the board with white vinegar and scrub it with a rough sponge or brush.  Vinegar is safe for human consumption, bleach is not!

2. SPONGES:  Just like the cutting board, vinegar is your best bet for cleaning and disinfecting your germ-prone sponges.   Soak your sponges in white distilled vinegar overnight. In the morning, rinse the sponges in cold water, then allow to dry naturally.

3.  COUNTER TOPS:  Your counters see a lot of direct contact with food, raw meat, and human hands…so not a good combination!  Unlike water, vinegar disinfects your counters, and is safer than bleach or harsh chemicals. From this day forward, vinegar is your counter top’s new best friend! Simply mix equal parts white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, spray and wipe!

4.  FRUIT AND VEGETABLE SUPER CLEANER: You definitely need to give your store bought produce a good washing. The process of farm-to-table is loaded with pesticides and wax coatings (gross right?). Clean with vinegar!  Use your sink or large basin and fill halfway with lukewarm water and 1 cup of vinegar.  Wash the vegetables, rinse with water and let dry – you will NOT taste any vinegar.  Vinegar is a particularly fab way to wash your fruits and veggies because it easily breaks down the wax coating and kills bacteria and mold. No joke, the editors of Cook’s Illustrated set out to find the most effective way to wash fruits and vegetables, and vinegar came out the clear winner, beating antibacterial soap, water and just a scrub brush in removing bacteria.  I wipe fresh strawberries with a paper towel soaked in a water and white vinegar mix.

5.  WILTED GREENS:  White vinegar can work wonders on wilted, tired lettuce.  Soak the leaves in a bowl with 2 cups of cold water and 1 tablespoon white vinegar for 10 minutes. Finish with a hearty rinse. If you plan to use the lettuce in salad, dry it using a salad spinner and use a vinegar dressing like apple cider vinegar, balsamic or red wine.

6.  CARPET STAINS: Here’s a no-fail recipe; Fill a spray bottle of 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water.  Spray it directly on the carpet stain, and after letting it sit for a few minutes, dab (press down, don’t rub) the spot. Be sure to test the solution out on a small portion of your carpet before cleaning with vinegar, just in case. Vinegar is able to get out almost everything, 

7.  WINDOWS:  It’s finally sunny and pleasant out, yay! Time to let the glorious sunlight into your home by giving your windows the best clean of their lives! Mix  1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 4 drops of dish soap. First spray the windows and wipe clean with a (microfiber is best!) cloth. The real secret to streak free windows is to wipe dry with newspaper.

8.  REMOVING OLD WALLPAPER:  Difficult wallpaper is no match for white vinegar! Apartment Therapy’s Kate Legere found that cleaning with vinegar, or dousing really, was the only way to remove 20 year old wallpaper. Her technique calls for boiling hot water, vinegar, and a spray bottle. First she removed all possible wallpaper, then mixed equal parts boiling water and vinegar into a spray bottle. After a liberal spraying session, she waited for 5-10 minutes then gently scraped away the stubborn wallpaper with a putty knife. The tougher spots took a few more vinegar and scraping sessions, but after an afternoon, the 80s wallpaper was completely removed.

9.  COLOR RESTORER:   The best way to restore color and vibrancy to carpets is by cleaning with vinegar.  Mix together in a foam dispenser: 2 teaspoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon household ammonia, 4 tablespoons liquid dishwasher detergent, and 1 cup of water.  Apply the foam solution directly, and blot with a sponge. Divide up the total surface into small areas to maintain your focus. For sturdy fabrics, scrub with a flat brush to work in the vinegar.

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