Yikes, You’ll Never Want To Use Bleach Again! 61 Reasons Vinegar’s Your New BFF.
~ Tracy Neely
I recently had a conversation with a girlfriend on the reason she was feeling sick all the time. She mentioned that she has four bathrooms in her home with no windows and because of this she does not have proper ventilation and has a pretty bad mold problem. She mentioned that she uses chlorine bleach to clean and sanitize each of the bathrooms. I was very shocked, but did not let on at first because I did not want her to feel embarrassed, however after a few moments I had to give my opinion why chlorine bleach is so toxic to our bodies and the environment.
Chlorine bleach has many common names: chloramine, sodium hypochlorite, bleach, hydrochloric acid, trihalomethanes and disinfection byproducts. Chlorine is a highly corrosive gas with a pungent odor that is derived from natural sources such as salt (sodium chloride) and produced in mass quantities for industrial use.
Chlorine is a building block for PVC plastics (vinyl) and for numerous chemicals, including pesticides, refrigerants, anti-knock compounds, and antifreeze. Dissolved in liquid to form sodium hypochlorite, or bleach, it is widely used as a disinfectant, in bleaching, and to purify public water supplies. Another form, hydrochloric acid, may be used in some toilet bowl cleaners. Household bleach is a weak sodium hypochlorite solution.
Household bleach is the most common cleaner accidentally swallowed by children. Children can also be exposed to dangerous gases when cleaners containing bleach are mixed with other cleaning agents, such as ammonia.
Instead of using chlorine bleach to clean every day household items, switch to distilled white vinegar. A straight 5% solution of vinegar kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of viruses, however in the USA; it cannot be declared a disinfectant without registering it as a pesticide with the EPA.
Having said that, mix distilled white vinegar (found in any supermarket) with water and keep spray bottles of this non-toxic disinfectant in your bathrooms and kitchen – to disinfect and clean.
Here are some suggestions on how to incorporate distilled white vinegar in your everyday lives:
2. On heavily tarnished copper or copper-alloy to be cleaned up, use a paste made of salt and vinegar.
3. Use vinegar mixed with water to rinse dishes after washing them to take the soap off and leave them clean.
4. As a carpet spot and stain remover – take a trigger spray bottle and fill with one part white vinegar to seven parts water.
5. Vinegar is an excellent grease cutter. In cafeterias they boil out fry vats every week with vinegar and water. Very cost effective and very safe-no harsh chemicals, no risk of fire. Also use straight vinegar to clean the grill hoods. Again, very inexpensive and does a fantastic job.
6. Pour 1/4 cup vinegar with dish soap – water must be hot (not boiling hot). This is great for cleaning your Corningware dishes (it removes all the stains and grease), cleaning your stainless steel pots and pans etc., clean your oven and all of stove top (this is better than oven cleaners. it will remove all of the grease. just dab on and let it set for a few minutes then wipe clean).
7. Pour 1/4 cup vinegar to your dishwasher rinse cycle for streak free, sparkling dishes every time!!
8. Remove water stains from leather by rubbing with a cloth dipped in a vinegar and water solution.
9. That staining that occurs in clay and plastic flower pots and their saucers comes right out–no scrubbing needed. Just fill the
kitchen sink with cold water and add plain white vinegar about 2/3 water-1/3 vinegar. Soak pots and saucers till they look clean and new (sometimes takes an hour). Wash with soap and water before reusing.
10. If you do dishes by hand, sometimes glasses seem to have a sour smell. A little vinegar in your rinse water will help get rid of the smell.
11. Air freshener, used with baking soda – use 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 cups of water. After it stops foaming, mix well, and use in a (recycled) spray bottle into the air.
12. Stain remover – for stains caused by grass, coffee, tea, fruits and berries. Soak clothing in full strength vinegar. Rinse and throw in with the wash.
13. Corn and callus remover – soak a piece of stale bread (a cloth or cotton ball would probably do as well) in vinegar, and tape it over the callus or corn overnight.
14. Remedy for age spots – Mix equal parts of onion juice and vinegar and use it daily on age spots. This will take a few weeks to work, just like its expensive relative from the store.
15. Kill grass or weeds by pouring hot vinegar on it. This might take a couple of times to work completely.
16. When you have to leave your car outside overnight in the winter, mix 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water and coat the windows with this solution. This vinegar and water combination will keep windshields ice and frost-free.
17. If you have a septic tank, use vinegar instead of harsh chemicals to clean the toilet bowl. Let it set overnight if you can; it will help keep germs down.
18. Spray your hands with a mist of vinegar, or dip them in vinegar and dry after washing dishes or having them in soapy water, to keep your hands soft.
19. Splash vinegar on your varicose veins. The vinegar is supposed to reduce the veins and relieve the pain and swelling.
20. Use 1 tablespoon vinegar (apple cider vinegar) to an 8 ounce glass of warm water for a sore throat. Gargle every hour and swallow after gargling, with two mouthfuls. If started at the first hint of a sore throat, it always works, usually within a night’s sleep.
21. It is also helpful when children get lice, if you take warm vinegar and put it on the hair also take your nit comb and dip it in the vinegar. As you run it through the hair it helps remove the nits. The vinegar will help to break down the glue the nits use to
stay attached to the hair.
22. Set a container (shallow bowl) of vinegar throughout the house to absorb unpleasant odors. Works great on burned food odors. Do not use Styrofoam (not a great idea to use Styrofoam anyway). It will soak thru it.
23. Vinegar in a towel, then twirled around the head of the smoke detector will quickly stop the smoke detectors from screaming. It also freshens the air, and captures the smoke fumes before the whole house is smells.
24. For cleaning dentures – leave your dentures in vinegar for as long as you would leave them in a denture cleanser – about 15 minutes to half an hour, or longer, if you wish. Then brush them thoroughly. Your dentures will be cleaner and whiter than a proprietary dental cleaner can do it!
25. When you “let out” hems on children’s clothes such as skirts, dresses etc., usually there is a white mark where the cloth was turned up. Warm up your iron, and with an old toothbrush dipped in a little vinegar diluted with small amount of water, scrub the mark and press. It usually comes right out, if not, then repeat.
26. To eliminate cat litter box odors: When you clean the litter box, rinse it out and pour about 1/2 inch of white vinegar in the box. Let it stand for 20 minutes or so, then swish it around, rinse with cold water, and dry the box. The acid in the vinegar neutralizes the ammonia smell.
27. Use white vinegar to clean the mineral deposits that accumulate at the top of fish aquarium. Take a hand towel and soak it in the vinegar. Simply wipe around the inside of the tank where the water has evaporated and left the white mineral deposits. You don’t even have to scrub. Also use it to clean aquarium ornaments. It is harmless to fish so don’t worry if some of the vinegar happens to get into the water.
28. You can use vinegar for fleas on puppies too young for regular flea products. Straight white vinegar applied with a cotton ball, keep from nose and eyes. Warm it a little bit first, the puppies don’t seem to mind the smell and their coats are so soft.
29. To prevent mildew on plastic shower curtains, keep a spray bottle of vinegar and water in the bathroom and spray the curtain after every shower.
30. You can use vinegar to remove wall paper. First remove top layer of wallpaper. Then spray vinegar on and let set for a minute or two. Then pull backing away. Scrape excess glue off wall. Wipe remaining glue off with vinegar and rinse with water. You don’t have to use harsh chemicals and it is very inexpensive.
31. Use vinegar as an antiseptic for abrasions, to reduce itch from poison ivy or mosquito bites, and even to help rehydrate sunburned skin.
32. Pour vinegar around the sides of your pool and it helps keeps flies away.
33. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a gallon of water to keep your vinyl no wax floors clean and shining. Not only does it keep the floors shiny but it kills the dust mites!
34. Heat vinegar to boiling point. Then poor over your fixtures that have deposits of lime. This will release or remove the deposit.
35. Use a cup of vinegar in two gallons of water in the diaper pail to neutralize the urine in cloth diapers. It also helps keep them from staining. Using cloth diapers and baby keeps breaking out in a rash? Try adding a cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle. It equalizes the ph balance.
36. Athlete’s foot, try soaking in vinegar, it changes skin ph so that the fungus could not grow.
37. Run your humidifier with vinegar as a rinse cycle, then wipe out and use it again as normal.
38. Toilet, just flush, pour in good cup of vinegar and let set overnight. Use brush and you’ve got a sparkling clean toilet bowl.
39. If you have problems with ants and other insects invading your home, they are probably crossing your door and/or window sills, baseboards, etc. Pour vinegar across the opening sill, it stops their coming in. For some reason, they will not cross it.
40. A 1/2 cup vinegar to a quart of water sprayed onto the coat of a dog works like a hair rinse. Their coats glisten! An extremely economical alternative to expensive show shine products.
41. Great ear cleaner for dogs: Mix 1/3 rubbing alcohol and 1/3 white vinegar and 1/3 water. Store it in any old clean dropper bottle (like Visine eye drops) and use it to clean out your dogs ears!! It also works fine on dogs and cats. Just squirt 8-10 drops in ear holding head to side; let it stand in ear for a minute then drain. Massage the ear around in a circle then tilt and wipe out with Kleenex; usually apply once a month or if they are ear scratching. If applied daily for 3 days and dogs are still scratching or rubbing ears–see VET; they have mites or bacterial infection.
42. White vinegar can also be used to clean raw wood, such as a wooden cutting board. Pour straight vinegar onto the wood and then use a sponge to literally push the dirt away. Be sure to wipe in the direction of the wood grain, starting at one end and working to the other. This way the dirt you are trying to get rid of won’t be pushed back into the wood grain.
43. White vinegar is also a solvent for most glues. To dissolve any unwanted glue bonds, simply apply vinegar to the glued area and let sit until the bond becomes weak (how long depends on what kind of glue and how much was applied).
44. White vinegar can also be mixed with water-based inks to make a wonderful stain for wood. The resulting finish is the color of the tint with a silvery sheen. Simply pour vinegar into a mixing jar, add the ink until the desired color is achieved and apply to wood with a brush or rag. Wipe off excess and let dry. Since the bulk of the mixture is vinegar, wood-warp age is minimal.
45. Pour vinegar around children’s sand box to keep cats from using it as their litter box. About every two months reapply just to be sure.
46. Dipping a wet toothbrush in white vinegar and brush teeth. It does away with any bad breath, especially after eating onions. And it also whitens teeth. (Always rinse your mouth well with plain water after using vinegar, as it will dissolve the enamel of your teeth over a period of time.)
47. Pour 1 gallon of white vinegar into the water of our Jacuzzi tub, once a year and run it. This will keep the jets from clogging up from soap scum, etc.
48. Every week mop with water and white vinegar, not only does it keep the floors shiny but it kills the dust mites! Great for who suffer with severe allergies.
49. Use vinegar to get rid of the hard water deposits around sink and it’s so simple. Soak a paper towel(s) with vinegar and place them around the area that needs to be cleaned, or for cleaning the faucet you can soak the towel and wrap it around and then rubber band it in place. Do this overnight and the next morning it’s a cinch to wipe clean. This has been safe on brass faucets as well.
50. Use boiling vinegar (no water) to clean hardened acrylic paints from paint brushes. Don’t soak them too long, since it could loosen the hairs from the brush.
51. Make your own very frugal furniture polish using equal parts of white vinegar and vegetable oil. Wipe it on and buff with a soft cloth.
52. Use vinegar for removing rust on the screws of hand me down baby equipment. Also removes rust from nails (you know the big and expensive ones) that were left out in the rain. The trick is to put the metal object(s) in a container and cover with vinegar, seal the container and shake, let stand overnight or 24 hrs.
53. To clean grout pour white vinegar full strength let sit and scrub with a tooth brush. This works great!
54. When waxing a floor after scrubbing with a floor stripper, use 1 cup of vinegar to rinse water. It neutralizes the chemicals and makes wax or floor finish adheres better.
55. I have seen it suggested in baths for yeast infections, both Mom and Daughters and rashes in infants.
56. Anyone who has cats knows that cat urine is almost impossible to get out. Just mix 1/2-1 cup vinegar to you laundry, and wash as normal. Vinegar is great if you want to rid pet odors.
57. Rinse fresh fruit and vegetables in it. This replaces the expensive advertised vegetable wash and also makes your produce last longer.
58. Put it in steam vac to rinse carpets with after shampooing. The carpet will stay fresh longer, because it removes any detergent residue. Use a quarter of a cup, per gallon of water.
59. To get rid of calcium buildup on brick or limestone, use a spray bottle with half vinegar and half water, and then just let it set. The solution will do all the work.
60. Used as a hair rinse, vinegar neutralizes the alkali left by shampoos.
61. Fabric softener and static cling reducer – use as you would liquid fabric softener.
**While we haven’t tested these out ourselves, it’s sure nice to think that people could find more natural solutions to some standard toxic household and personal health products.**
Let’s all make chlorine bleach a thing of the past.