Vinegar – Not Just for Cooking!


IMG_6113I am getting to the end of the cleaning products that I brought into my marriage to the Southern Gent and those that he had as well. It took only two and a half years but hey, eventually they do run out. As a result I have been thinking about trying some “not from the grocery store aisle” options.

It is surprising that it has taken me this long to consider doing this. For several years now all I have cleaned my hardwood floors, tile and linoleum with is hot water and vinegar. My mom is a powerful good house cleaner and this recommendation came from her years ago. She usually has some pretty good advice and there was no exception when it came to this gem.

So, the other day I was chatting up my hair gal and come to find out she uses a lot of “homemade” cleaning products. She was nice enough to share with me what she uses (she got them from Grocery Shrink)* so I thought I would pass it on to you and see if any of you out there had any recommendations to add to these ideas.

  • Orange Infused Vinegar 

Stuff the peelings of 4-6 oranges into a glass quart canning jar. Cover with vinegar and seal with a lid. Shake every once in a while for 1-2 weeks. Strain out peelings. When finished the orange vinegar should be a dark orange color.

It is okay to start the jar with your first orange and add peelings to the vinegar as you eat them. Just be sure to leave room in the jar for the peelings when you pour the vinegar.

Use this in any of the recipes below in the place of white vinegar.

Note: When making infused vinegar, any citrus fruit will work: lemons, limes, grapefruit, and tangerines.

  • Organic Disinfecting All-Purpose Spray 

1/4 C vinegar (white or orange, see recipe above.)

2 t borax

1/4 C liquid castille soap  

2 C hot water

1 drop food coloring (optional)

A few drops of essential oil (optional)

Swirl all ingredients together in a spray bottle. Shake before using. Spray and wipe. Ideal for counters, table tops, stove tops, high chair trays, etc.

  • Window Cleaner 

4 C water

2 drops Joy brand concentrated dish detergent

1 drop blue food coloring (otpional)

Combine in a 32 oz spray bottle and shake. Use as you would any glass cleaner.

  • Automatic Dishwasher Detergent (75 oz)

1 C salt 

2 C baking soda (the kind you cook with, not washing soda) 

2 C borax

Mix all together and store in an air tight jar.

Use 1 T in each compartment and wash normally.

  • Dusting Spray and Wood Polish

2 C water

1 C vinegar (white or orange)

5 drops essential oil (optional)

Mix in a spray bottle and use as you would commercial cleanser.

  • Microwave Cleaner

Fill a glass measuring cup with a cup of water and a dash of salt. (The salt prevents exploding water syndrome.) Microwave on high for 2 minutes and let set with the door shut for 5-10 minutes. The microwave will wipe clean easily, even the baked on stuff. This works great.

  • Soft Scrub

Make a paste with baking soda and handwashing dish detergent. Rub in with a stiff brush or non-scratching pad. Rinse well. Adding water to this to cleaner really dilutes the cleaning power. Save the water for the end.

  • Toilet Cleaner 

Add 1 Cup Borax to the toilet bowl and leave overnight. Swish with the brush in the morning and flush.


*If you sign up to receive her e-mails, the first one she sends to you is a listing of the above cleaning product ideas, plus some others, as well as their cost.


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