One of the first things you may have done when you started your journey towards greener living was head right towards the vinegar.
Vinegar at Costco is relatively cheap – it’s always touted as a wonderful natural cleaner to the more toxic cleaners on store shelves. Am I right? It has always been something in my cabinet too – and while I don’t use it for cleaning surfaces often if at all, I do use it co clean my floors and 2 huge hugs usually last me a month if not two.
I’ll have to admit, that even though it was touted as a natural cleaner and it was cheap, I just wasn’t always thrilled with using vinegar. Perhaps that’s why I switched over to Hydrogen Peroxide and made my own cleaners with Eucalyptus and Tea Tree. I loved that cleaner a whole lot better.
Last month, I was picking up items on Vitacost and noticed that they had Organic Vinegar. And I was blown away… for a second. Organic Vinegar? Wait a minute... what have I been buying all this time from Costco?
For all these years I had been using vinegar in the rinse cycle of my laundry – and i’ll be honest and say that m husband hates vinegar. Detests. It smells. And although the smell dissipates, he wasn’t convinced that it was effective.
That led me to do my own research on the efficacy of vinegar and came across some interesting information that blew me away. There were a lot of things I discovered about vinegar that I never realized before.
First things first though – admitting to people that you have changed your path is VERY hard. I have been using distilled vinegar in my laundry for several years – occasionally on my floors. I have shared recipes and tips for the last few years on using vinegar in your home.
Just like many people, I evolved in our thinking and that happened through self research. Self research can be an amazing thing – because if you don’t put some effort into looking up the topics that concern you or your family, then nobody else is going to do that for you.
Vinegar can be an amazing cleaner – it’s very effective in most cases. Not all, but most.
Vinegar is Kind of Effective
Peruse Pinterest and you will find healthy living recipes left and right that include using vinegar as an effective and greener option to toxic chemical cleaners. While vinegar is effective in the home and is a natural disinfectant, it’s not so good at cleaning up dirt and soil.
Vinegar is better used as a rinse to help disinfect a surface after you have cleaned it with a soap based cleaner.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to drag two bottles around just to wipe up after I clean. I clean enough with 1.
Never Mix Vinegar and Castile Soap
So many cleaning recipes on Pinterest will tell you to add Castile Soap to your vinegar… for a popular cleaning solution that will blow the top off the varieties in store.
Don’t do it.
Vinegar and Castile Soap do not mix. Vinegar is an acid. Castile Soap is a base (soap). And when you mix both of them, the acidic vinegar unsoapifies the soap – turning the mixture into a gross mess. Instead of getting the best of both, you will get quite a mess of a combination to clean with.
Using them one after the other works fabulous. Using them together, however, not so much.
Never Mix Baking Soda & Vinegar
One of the first experiments my kids did was to mix both together to see what kind of reaction they could get. In the end, it doesn’t take a super smart person to realize that combining them will create a a largely fizzy reaction.
However… that reaction basically breaks the solution down into water with a little bit of salt.
In the end, you’ll score a salt water solution. Not really a great idea if you need something to deep clean. Baking soda is wonderful on it’s own – and vinegar can be a a wonderful “rinse” once you have cleaned an area with soap. But it’s not the best idea to combine the two.
Think Twice about Combining Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar
Just don’t do it.
Never mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together in one container. The resulting chemical, peracetic acid, can harm you when mixed together this way if you accidentally create a strong concentration in this fashion.
Combining them can create peracetic acid, which is irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory system.
Regular Vinegar is a GMO Product
Vinegar is made of corn. And over 80% of corn in the U.S. is genetically modified – it’s sprayed with pesticide and toxic to your health. Obviously opinions may differ on this subject, but would you spray your food with round up if you had intentions of eating it? I didn’t think so.
Most people would agree that we need to stay clear of cheap, processed food – but vinegar is no different. Those inexpensive jugs you buy at Costco are made with GMO corn. When you purchase that vinegar, you are you are supporting the conventional, GMO farming practices. Moreover, you are basically voting against organic farmers who work so hard to bring you better products.
One of the best ways to avoid GMO’s and show your support for better food, and better farming practices is to vote with your wallet. Every dollar you spend is a reflection of your protest – and it goes far beyond the fork and spoon you put in your mouth.
Sure, you can buy organic distilled white vinegar, but it’s fairly expensive. I’m not so sure I would be able to afford that.
It’s disheartening to find out that what was once your go-to is no longer a viable option for you… agree?
Every single person is at a different place in their journey towards natural living and better health – while some people may not want to ditch that gallon of vinegar just yet, I would encourage you to think about moving in that direction.
$2 and a single gallon might not seem like a big deal.
In fact, it might seen trivial in the big picture.
But your money is the best way to advocate change.
Change is happening every day – and it all starts with our choices. We can’t be perfect, and goodness knows that it’s impossible to free ourselves completely from everything that might not be in our best interest, but we can work towards meaningful change.
Alternatives to Vinegar
There are so many alternatives to vinegar that you can use ~ don’t panic and assume that all options are lost. It is a challenge to find something that isn’t toxic, that is affordable, and is effective.
I clean a LOT – I have 7 bodies in my house and cleaning is an on-going process. I want something that works. I want something that won’t cost me an arm and a leg and I want something that is safe.
You can make your own Eucalyptus and Tea Tree Cleaner- it’s relatively easy to do. You can also use Hydrogen Peroxide as your cleaner, because that is also an effective cleaner without even adding any essential oils.
I’ve been using my own homemade cleaners for quite some time, in addition to Thieves Household Cleaner.
Thieves Cleaner lasts me quite a long time – if I had to guess, I’d say 3 or 4 months. One capful of cleaner in a pint spray bottle filled with water sprays my entire house – from kitchen to bathroom and surfaces in between. It smells amazing. It’s not nauseating. It’s safe for us to use.
From a budget perspective, that 14.4 oz bottle of concentrate can last up to six months depending on how many people you have in your house and how often you clean.