Sunday, January 20, 2013

Vinegar Top Ten

I'm sure this subject line has you at the edge of your seat.  But I have to say, vinegar is one of my very favorite things and it seems everyday I am discovering another valuable use for the pungent liquid.  Here is a list of ten of my favorite....
Brooke's Vinegar Top Ten

10. Let's start where I did, in food.  I love it in Bean Soup, which seams to be an upper Midwest thing, so I won't fault you for not appreciating it; I use the apple cider vinegar on the bean soup if possible.  But the handy thing about vinegar is that it can be used to make buttermilk.... simply place a Tbsp of white vinegar {or lemon juice, but I never seem to have that on hand} in a liquid measuring cup, add enough milk to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line.  Let stand for five minute. Then, use as much as your recipe calls for. Voilà!  I also like vinegar in salad dressings.  A lot.  Red wine vinegar & a good olive oil.... Yumm!

9. Those pesky little bugs & ants that sneak in are no match for an open dish of vinegar.  We have a couple of areas in our house {near the fireplace & by a lamp in our kitchen} that seem to attract the pests, so I fill up a little jar of vinegar and they are deterred by the smell.  Adiós, insects!

8. We have a lot of minerals in our water, it's just the nature of the beast here in Ohio.  The downside to this is the rapid buildup in such places as our shower head.  A quick fix: remove shower head & immerse in a vinegar bath.  I usually use 100% vinegar, but you can dilute it with water if you like.  I like to do this for several hours.  Simply return to its station in the shower and run water through it before bathing.

7. Need to remove mold & mildew from caulking in the bathroom?  Saturate a paper towel with vinegar & lay over the infected caulk.  Allow to sit for as long as possible, then remove.  Presto.  Bub-bye yuck.

6. Fabric softener fix.  Fact: Liquid fabric softeners clog up your agitator and they also make your towels less absorbent.  Not only will vinegar in lieu of fabric softener soften your garments, it also helps to remove detergent build-up in your.  Seriously, softest towels EVER!

5. Streak-free window & mirror cleaner magic!  I actually keep a couple of bottles of this around the house.  Just a regular old squirt bottle {I'm a big fan of the ones they sell at Fleet Farm} filled with about half water & half vinegar.  I use this weekly to clean my mirrors, and whenever I need to clean my windows.  It is seriously like magic!

4. Not only is the 50/50 solution great for windows & mirrors, it makes a great multi-purpose cleaner.  It comes in quite handy where there is a sticky spill on the floor.  And while I haven't used it to scrub my floors {yet!} a lot of people use vinegar in lieu of Pine-Sol for their scrubbing needs.

3. Yet again, another use for the 50/50.... I use it for my weekly cleaning on my shower walls.  Spritzing it on the walls, then wiping it down with a dry cloth is all it takes.

2. Smurf Vomit!  From time to time the build up of soap & minerals in the shower needs some extra cleaning power.  That is when I turn to what I affectionately call Smurf Vomit: 1 cup of vinegar, boiling hot, mixed with one cup of blue Dawn liquid dish soap.  Add to a spray bottle, spray on shower walls & doors and let sit for at least two hours.  Wipe down with water, and smile at the clean.  It may take a couple of doses to really take care of business, depending on the severity of the build-up.

1. Fruit cleaner.  I know, I know, who wants to eat fruit that tastes like vinegar?  I was a skeptic, too.  But the nurse who taught my communicable disease class had me convinced enough to try it and I'm hooked.  For one, vinegar is a natural germ-killer.  Awesome.  For another, it adds life to your fruit.  Double awesome.  I use it primarily for my berries, and here's what you do: Soak fruit in a bowl filled with water & vinegar.  Drain, rinse & eat.  I also use baking soda, sometimes instead of vinegar, sometimes in addition to it.  Either way, I feel much better about feeding clean fruit to my kids knowing this kills off all of the pests & pesticides that get stuck in those hard-to-reach places.  And I kid you not, your strawberries are so fragrant when you're done drowning them in vinegar, they're hard to resist!

There are a million other uses for vinegar that didn't make my list.  My grandma told me her mother used it to rinse my grandmother's hair when she was little, as it worked as a conditioner.  Some people use it to kill weeds, though I admit I haven't tried that one yet.  Many add essential oils, or soak orange or lemon rinds in the vinegar to add a delicious scent to their cleaning.  Others swear by using hot vinegar with baking soda to clean drains.  I'm the first to tell you it isn't the most pleasant smell on the planet, but it certainly is a handy & inexpensive secret weapon!

Happy Vinegaring!

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{About Me}

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Fairborn, Ohio, United States
I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.