Tips

Versatile vinegar is handy all around the house

 

The Orange County Register

No doubt we have enough chemicals in our life, from plastics in the food chain to beauty products and home and garden care. You can cut a few out of your life by reaching for the vinegar.

A solution of half white distilled vinegar and half water in a spray bottle was all that was recommended by installers to keep my new glass shower enclosure clean. And you know what? It works to remove and reduce water spots.

White vinegar comes from corn, first distilled into corn alcohol, then fermented into vinegar. It’s as old as the ancients. The word vinegar means sour wine.

Here are some more tips to try on the vinegar front:

• Fabric softener: Oh, yeah, this works, too. Even more interesting, your clothes won’t smell like vinegar, either. Vinegar is a go-to in the garment trade for giving cottons a worn and vintage softness. Try it — 1 cup in the rinse load is all you need.

• Unclog the coffee pot: If mineral deposits are clogging up your coffee pot and slowing down the brew cycle, run a few cycles with vinegar. Note: Take the pot outside before you brew or it will stink up the entire house. I run it through twice, outdoors, with a paper filter to catch the calcium deposits. Run a rinse cycle with water. Done.

• Remove pet smells: This is an old trick in the flooring industry. If you ever have the opportunity to get old flooring or carpet up, mop your foundation with vinegar to remove pet smells that may still linger in the subfloor and continue to reek even with new flooring.

• Shine pennies: Here’s a fun one for the kids. Shine up pennies like new by soaking them for a few hours or overnight in distilled vinegar. Rinse, then dry.

• Acidify your soil: Acid-loving plants can benefit from a weak solution of vinegar applied to the soil. The website Vinegartips.com recommends 1 cup of vinegar to 2 gallons of water. Drench the soil with this solution once a year.

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