10 Vinegar isn't just for fries

I decided to take the Change the World Wednesday challenge of using more eco-friendly cleaners. I already use mostly eco-cleaners at home so I decided to take the challenge to the next level and make my own. I focused on vinegar because it is simple to use and I wanted to see how effective it would be in the dishwasher, washing machine, sterilizing toys and cleaning the windows.

The Dishwasher (aka - seriously you are 5 years old...why do you sound like you are 50 years old?)
I filled the rinse agent dispenser full of vinegar and started the first load. My dishes are always rinsed prior to going into the dishwasher but there are still some food bits on them. I think I was expecting to open the door and be blinded by the shining awesomeness that is clean dishes. Sadly this did not happen. My dishes were no more clean than when I wasn't using vinegar. I would say the only real difference was that my white plates seemed shinier but this could just be my mind making me see this so I could say 'YEAH VINEGAR RULES!!'

The Washing Machine (aka - the buddy to the Sock Eater)
We have a front loader so I added the vinegar into the fabric softener compartment. I did the first load which was towels on hot. After it was done I put them into the dryer and I could already feel a difference. The second load I did was clothing and these did not go into the dryer. I hung them to dry (inside) and was really surprised when I didn't have crunchy jeans!

Sterilizing Toys
Some days my days are filled with a lot of poop. Some days the tub is filled with poop. I found that vinegar worked well for cleaning the toys.

Washing the Windows
I love using vinegar and newspaper to clean the windows. I don't know why but it just seems to make them clean easier. The vinegar easily got all the little hand prints, paw prints and little nose marks off of the glass. And really I don't have to worry about B sticking his mouth on the glass to blow 'window farts'.

In conclusion I think I love vinegar. I am still disappointed that it didn't give me the results I would have liked to see in the dishwasher. I read that I can use vinegar to clean the dishwasher itself so that will be something I will do this weekend. I am going to top the water softener up too and then see if that changes the results at all.

What are your favourite uses for vinegar?

Related Posts - Check them Out
Fixing My Toe with Apple Cider Vinegar
You Take the Good and you Take the Bad

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  1. Oooh, I love this post!! I wonder if using vinegar in the dishwasher would alleviate having to rinse them first? And ... did you feel that using vinegar worked as well as those additives (like Jet Dry)? I'm a total "vinegar as laundry softener" devotee. I knew it softened but what surprised me this winter is that it also reduces static cling. Wowee ... who knew! :-)

    Thanks for taking the challenge ... which, as you know, get you into tomorrow's Honor Society! WhooHoo! :-)

  2. Wait, vinegar and newspaper? Can you explain how this is done?

    Also when you used it as a fabric softener, did your laundry smell like vinegar?

    I've used it to clean countertops etc. before and it worked well, but gave it up because my husband HATES the smell of it :-/

  3. I don't think it would make it so you have to no longer rinse the dishes. I think it just helps to get rid of spots from drying. But I didn't even find that it did that. Perhaps because we have hard water and I need to maybe top up the water softener?

    I haven't used Jet Dry in eleventy billion years so I can't even remember what its impact is on dishes!

    Oh I loved the lack of static too. I was getting sick and tired of hairspraying my legs to make my pants not stick (no I am not kidding).

  4. I spray some vinegar on the window (you can cut it with a bit of water) and then instead of using a cloth to wipe it I use a crumpled up piece of newspaper. It does the best job on windows!

    No vinegar smell at all Sam! I was wondering the same thing when I first added it and I couldn't smell anything when it came out of the wash.

  5. I use a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water for countertops. I didn't like it in the dishwasher. I tried it with 50/50 borax/washing soda. I use it in the clothes washer. I dilute a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a 20 oz cup of water to rinse my hair.

  6. How do you like the results for your hair Julie? Do you use any shampoo or are you 100% no poo?

  7. I may try that some day it sounds like a really helpful advice. I've stumble upon on many blogs that suggest using vinegar as a cleaning detergent and almost all of them give a positive feedback. Still, I was wondering whether the acid in the vinegar can be harmful to the appliances in the long term?

  8. You know I was just googling on whether it would be ok or not to dump the cascade and just go with vinegar ... but I see by your experience it hasn't been ideal.

    I let my dishes sit in the sink with soapy water and then pop 'em into the machine and then run the load.

    I've been using cascade and alone it sucks. But cascade WITH vinegar is great. 100% perfect.

    But I worry abt all those chemicals in the cascade... my original concern was whether I could wash just in vinegar and I think if the hygiene answer to that is YES then ... maybe a different wash setting would do the trick. Like wash and no dry ... or something.

    THANKS for your post ... ! I wanna go green for my family and my pocket book.

    Would never have thought to wash clothes with vinegar ... hmmmm will have to try.

    - Christina Hansen

  9. Thanks for stopping by Christina! You know I never thought about using just vinegar and no soap. I wonder if that would work?

    I switched from Cascade a few years ago and have tried some real duds. You can see my reviews here http://www.jenandjoeygogreen.blogspot.com/2010/03/green-cleaner-reviews.html

    I find that the green cleaners I am buying cost the same or maybe a tiny more than non green cleaners.

  10. I just cleaned my wood cabinets with vinegar and was amazed at the outcome! The vinegar cut right through finger prints and left my cabinets with the original sheen!

    I will use it on my windows with crumbled news paper today.

    Thanks for the tips!!!
    -Debra Johnson