When I think green, expensive cleaning products, recycling, and leprechauns come to mind… it seems like if you’re trying to buy anything organic, natural, or eco-friendly it will automatically cost at least $5.00 more sans the leprechaun.  In today’s economy this is a huge (and reasonable) deterrent for most, the money part not the mythical green character.  I am not convinced that I need to buy Windex just to use it to clean dirt and throw it away, let alone it’s fancy more expensive eco-friendly counterpart.  Industrial cleaners contain all manner of poisonous, flammable vapors- cautioning consumers to use with open ventilation and warning them to contact the poison control center if ingested.  Most of us don’t swallow household cleaners so that might not be a major concern, but how many people hold their breaths or manage to not have a drop of the mist land on our skin while spraying the toilet cleaner, and the glass cleaner and the floor cleaner, which actually shouldn’t even be used in combination with other cleaners, lest we forget basic chemistry that compounds will interact with each other and even good ole’ O2 can create a chemical reaction.

Studies are coming out in hordes citing this chemical is linked to that, or that chemical promotes tumor growth etc… How can anyone know what’s actually harmful, let alone find the time to figure it out in the wake of the staggering amounts of info out there. I certainly can’t, however I do have a great resource, people have used them for years for their wisdom and ancient ways, I call mine Grandma.

She’s great, she’s thrifty, taught from her mother who was taught by her mother to use what you have and “don’t gussy it up”.  My mom told me stories of my great great Grandma Skipton wearing my uncle’s Vans when he outgrew them, my mother said she looked like Jeff Spicoli gardening and walking around the house.  I don’t think you would have seen my grandma in the kitchen using 409 to scrub the counters- she used vinegar.  Vinegar can be used for just about anything, literally.  So from my great great grandma down to me and now to you- 3 easy ways to use vinegar and skip the pricey chemical injected cleaners and opt for a natural eco-friendly and cheap alternative.

1. As a kitchen cleaner– Mix with some water and lemon and you can use this to wipe down your counters, appliances and floors. The lemon will leave behind a nice scent and the vinegar is pretty much streakless. Vinegar is also a powerful disinfectant and will kill any harmful lurking germs.  For heavier cleaning, mix with baking soda to create a paste, slather it on and let it stand for a bit.  This works great to wipe up caked on grime.

2. As a disinfectant– Ever thought about the germs hanging out in your dishwasher or washing machine?  Most bacteria, fungus and mold don’t make it through the virulent cleaning process but for left behind particles stuck in the nooks and crannies things can begin to grow… just run a cup  of vinegar through the wash cycle every so often (I try to at least quarterly) to washout your washing machines and get rid of soap scum buildup.  

3. As a deodorizer– Many frou-frou sprays have tons of toxic chemicals and when sprayed are inhaled over and over again.  Most lack the ability to eliminate orders and are simply covering up the offending odor, not to mention most are expensive, not environmentally friendly and are a waste of packaging.  Try mixing vinegar in a spray bottle with some water and lavender and spray on the offending scent.

Keep it simple, keep it clean- happy hauntings!