Friday , 18 August 2017

Thinking Green: How Sour Thou Art

There are a million types of cleaners and cleansers on the grocery store shelves.  How in the heck do we ever make a decision?  What specifically do we need all these products for? 

The answer is to sanitize, remove grime and make our floors shine. Soaps and detergents have an illustrious history dating back to Roman times, but my favorite cleaner has been useful for over 10,000 years, making it the one of the oldest forms of medicine and hygiene ever! Let’s get down and dirty with VINEGAR! 

Did I mention vinegar is cheap too? Vinegar comes in a variety of flavors and can cost anywhere from 97 cents to 97 dollars. For about $2.00 you can purchase a gallon of distilled white vinegar at the supermarket.  For the purposes I propose today, find the cheapest stuff you can get as long as it lists “five percent acidity”.  If there are more cleaning suggestions than cooking suggestions on the label of the jug, then you know you are not spending too much money. Brand name and gourmet vinegars would be best served in a salad.

Someone’s in the Kitchen….

  1. Every surface in your kitchen, from cutting boards to counter      tops, will sparkle and become sanitary with full strength vinegar applied to a soft cloth. 
  2. Boiling ¼ cup vinegar to one cup water in the microwave will soften the splatters from a chili and cheese hotdog and make an easy cleanup.
  3. A cup of vinegar poured down the sink drain once a week will eliminate those suspect smells you blame on the trash can.
  4. Washing your floors with a half cup of vinegar to one gallon of water will make them clean as well as deter the sugar ant invasion.   And, yes, I have used this solution on hard wood floors using a barely damp mop.  It was even recommended to me by the installers of the flooring as the only solution I should use on wood floors. 
  5. Speaking of wood, the same recipe adding one cup ammonia and ¼ cup baking soda will safely loosen grease from your cabinetry as long as you rinse the solution with a cloth and water.
  6. My favorite is to freeze vinegar with a little water in old ice trays. You can grind a few of these little cubes in the garbage  disposal and the family hog will be free of grease and smells. These little gems will keep odors under control in the freezer as well while they are freezing. That is some serious multi-tasking.

How much longer are you going to be?

  1. Your time cleaning the bathroom won’t be long at all if you rub down your shower doors with a sponge soaked in distilled vinegar. The same bathtub film can be removed the same way.
  2. Toss some vinegar in the toilet bowl. Let it sit for a short while you find the bristle brush.  Give a scrub, grab a newspaper and let it sit for a half hour more. Flush your germs away.
  3. Rather than using products that require rubber gloves to unclog you shower head and faucets, try soaking a terry cloth towel in vinegar and wrapping the fixtures overnight.  Vinegar is excellent for breaking up hard water deposits.

I would love to delve into the medicinal and gardening aspects of this miracle of fermentation as well but I have run out of space this week.   My main enthusiasm for vinegar is that it is a natural, eco-friendly product that does not need to sit quietly in your pantry, but can become the star player in your quest to become green.   For more information about vinegar and its unlimited powers just Google “Vinegar”.

Trudy Whitney is a contributing writer to TownSquareBuzz.com.  She welcomes all comments, (there’s even a space for that below), and invites readers to ask questions about taking care of our planet.  It keeps her mind from going to potting soil!

Trudy and Bill Whitney are the owners of Rapid Refill Ink, an independently owned retail franchise that refills and remanufactures inkjet and laser/toner cartridges for office and home printers. In an effort to encourage recycling, empty cartridges are brought to the store that can be reused many times.  Sustainable and recycled products were utilized in the build out of the shop located in McKinney.  For more information call 972.548.9393 or email trudy.whitney@rapidrefillink.net.
 

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