More of us are now ditching the toxic chemical cleaners in a bid to make cleaning Eco friendly. But, giving up your old cleaning products does not mean you need to go out and buy a whole new cupboard's worth of expensive green cleaners. One of the most environmentally friendly ways to clean our homes is to use natural store-cupboard basics we already possess.
Which Vinegar for Green Cleaning?
One of the most versatile store cupboard cleaners is vinegar. Now, most vinegars will have some cleaning power, but ideally you want a relatively high acidity of 5% or more, and you want a clear vinegar. Otherwise your vinegar cleaning could just be vinegar staining. To ensure you have the correct vinegar choose distilled malt or white wine vinegar.
The Green Disinfectant
Vinegar has a multitude of cleaning uses. It has anti-bacterial qualities due to its high acidity. In fact, it is this attribute that makes vinegar the ideal product for pickles and chutneys. Food doesn't spoil because the vinegar prevents microbial growth. But, vinegar cannot be sold as an anti-bacterial cleaner as such products must go through rigorous (and expensive) testing to prove their bacteria beating qualities. Regardless, many advocates of green cleaning rely on vinegar for all the anti-bacterial cleaning they need.
There are several good green anti-bacterial cleaners available, which are useful if you really must guarantee certain microbes are destroyed (for example around immune suppressed individuals. But for more general disinfecting qualities vinegar is perfectly sufficient.
Vinegar makes the perfect multi-surface cleanser. Just pop some on a clean cloth and use to clean up your counter-tops and other work surfaces. You will find it is mild but effective at cutting through grease and helping polish stainless steel surfaces such as sinks and cooker tops.
Eco Friendly Odour Eliminator
Vinegar does have a rather strong smell, which puts some people off using it as a green cleaner. But, that smell dissipates exceptionally quickly. More importantly it has an odour absorbing ability. So when the vinegar smell is gone, so too are unpleasant odours. This is why vinegar is such a good product to use on urine smells which can so hard to remove from upholstery and carpets.
This odour absorbing nature of vinegar also makes it a good addition to the rinse cycle of the weekly wash. Laundry comes out smelling clean and fresh, no matter how smelly it was when it went in, and without the need for polluting and irritating fabric softeners.
Cheap Green Limescale Remover
Anyone with hard water will know how quickly the kettle goes from shiny new, to grey and scaly. This limescale build up can quickly spoil your morning cuppa. Conventional limescale removers are expensive but vinegar is just as effective but a fraction of the cost.
Simple squirt a little vinegar into your kettle and add a cup or two of water. Then boil (twice if exceptionally scaly) and rinse. Boil up some fresh water and then empty to find your kettle shining just like new and ready to provide you with a grit free cuppa.
This ability to dissolve calcium means you can use vinegar to tackle limescale all over the home.
These are just a few of the cleaning jobs which can be tackled with vinegar. Once you start, you'll develop many more. After all, you cannot get a more natural Eco cleaner than simple vinegar, which is cheap and always to hand. This must surely be one of the most versatile Eco friendly cleaning products you already own.