Lean Green Mommy Machine

Thoughts on health, wellness, living green and motherhood

Vinegar, The Gateway Drug


I love finding new and interesting ways to use natural products around my house. It can be quite an obsession. Like the time my friend, Jessie, told me to try olive oil on a soft cloth for my wood trim and door frames. It polished away any sign that I have 4 kids and a dog! Well, at least on the woodwork. I was overjoyed. I went around gleefully polishing the scuffs and scratches into nothingness. I even saved a section for when my husband came home so he could witness the transformation.
If you have never contemplated Greening your Cleaning, I highly recommend you do.  It is nice to know that when you clean your house, not only are you not contributing to environmental decline through a multitude of nasty cleaning solutions, but that if you accidentally spray your toddler in the face while wiping down the kitchen table you do not have to worry about what he or she may have ingested or aspirated.

I think the best place to start is vinegar. Plain distilled white vinegar.  This simple unassuming jug in your pantry can do so many things.  I think I could talk all day about what you can do around your house with vinegar. But, since you and I both have many things on our to do lists, how about we just touch on a few.

Mix vinegar 1/2 and 1/2 with water in a spray bottle to make a great all purpose cleaner.

You can also use this mix to clean windows.  You get a bonus for using crumpled up newspaper instead of paper  towels!

Vinegar is an odor eliminator.  I know right now you are thinking of how stinky vinegar is. True. But once its smell dissipates (and it WILL dissipate) it actually eliminates odors.  So if you have some household odors, don’t cover them with a spray “Freshener”.  Then your house will just smell like flowers and whatever stank in the first place. Soak a rag in vinegar and wave it in the air (feel free to dance around to make this more fun!). Also if you accidentally leave a load of laundry in the wash (my friend Scarlett calls this “bad load”) and it gets that inevitable musty odor. Run it  through the wash again with some vinegar in there. Smell is gone!

Make some vinegar ice cubes.  They do double duty in your garbage disposal by eliminating icky food odors AND sharpening the blades as you grind them up.

Have an ant problem? Vinegar masks the scent trail the ants leave for their friends.  After clearing out the ants, spray vinegar where they were and they won’t be able to find their way back.

I really could keep going all day.  Vinegar is amazing!!  And I think that you will find if you start with just a bit of vinegar that pretty soon you’ll be wondering what other natural options are out there for you to try.  It is only a matter of time before you are hooked too!


Author: leangreenmommy

Hi, I'm Sonia! I'm the mom of 4 wonderful daughters and wife to one amazing man, trying to live a healthier life, care for the earth and just survive the day. When I'm not cooking up new recipes in the kitchen or shuttling kids to soccer, volleyball and lacrosse I run an in-home daycare and am a freelance writer.

2 thoughts on “Vinegar, The Gateway Drug

  1. Hey, my in-laws use vinegar to prevent bruising. This means actually drinking about a teaspoon, however. But I’ve actually seen this work. My nephew got a huge goose egg on his forehead, and she first smushed it down (painful, but necessary, I’ve been told), and then made him drink the vinegar. He never bruised. Nothing. I can’t belive I’m just now finding out that you blog.

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