For the love of Vinegar- a blog by Greener Faster Participant Tammy Markee-Mayas

December 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm 3 comments

I love vinegar. I didn’t grow-up loving vinegar or even really being exposed to vinegar at all. My wife loves to cook with vinegar, and I admit that when she does it is absolutely delicious, but I don’t cook with it (apparently she has the touch for that). And I never really understood folks sprinkling vinegar on their salads and vegetables (frankly, I still don’t … glad that they like it that way because it’s good for them, but I just don’t get it). While my ingestion of vinegar is very limited, I use vinegar for tons of other things and hope you’ll think about doing the same.

In the laundry it keeps our clothes soft and odor-free. It enhances the effectiveness of my detergent and eliminates the need for dryer sheets (reducing the risk of dryer fires and actually maintaining dryer efficiency—LOVE that!).

In the kitchen it keeps my floors, sinks, counters, and stove clean and bacteria free. I’m always careful to completely dry all surfaces as vinegar can encourage rusting (I learned that from storing my kitchen vinegar in a glass jar, over time it completely corroded the lid!)

My bathrooms are my favorite place to use vinegar (sorry, borderline germaphobe here, I feel the bathroom is THE grossest area in the house!) I spray vinegar all over the bathroom (everyone already knows that vinegar and newspaper are the best way to get spotless, lint-free windows and mirrors, right?). I have to admit, I’ve stopped using vinegar for the toilet bowls… I’m still researching how to keep our bowls tidy and sparkly white (I absolutely will not use bleach for anything anymore). Now, it may be our yellow-let-it-mellow policy or perhaps we simply need to increase our cleaning schedule for the bowls, but vinegar just isn’t maintaining my desired level of cleanliness, so I’ve returned to the cedar-scented earth-friendly bowl cleaner for the time being.

I keep a spray bottle in shower to give a quick spritz-down in between regular cleanings and to mist on between shampoo and conditioner to keep my dry scalp/dandruff tendencies in check.

It works for pest control too, yup, really. If I see a trail of ants, I follow it with a cloth doused with vinegar and the trail ends there. We had a mud dauber set on moving in to our neighborhood—literally on our front porch! The first house I knocked down and within a couple days the little dude had built a new one a couple of bricks down. Not having researched the on the internet as to whether it would work or not, I knocked down the second house and followed that with a thorough dousing of vinegar. The little mud dauber never returned. And gnats, fruit flies, black flies, midges, punkies, no-see-ums or whatever you call ‘em … they LOVE vinegar too! All I do is set out a bowl of apple cider vinegar with a squirt of dish liquid and within a couple of days the majority of the little pests are in the drink (so to speak) and I’m no longer swatting at my own face and I never have to worry about an animal or family member being bugged because this is completely non-toxic pest control.

That’s really about the extent of how I have used vinegar over the past few years. However, a couple weeks back I was reading the October/November 2010 issue of Herb Companion magazine and happened upon the “Body & Soul: Herbal Vinegar for Skin and Hair” article. Heaven! I actually learned a thing or two and I’m very excited to try the vinegar elixirs—especially the skin toner and facial mask.

Vinegar is an effective, affordable tool for use in the home and the beauty cabinet, it can make for a thoughtful and personalized gift, and it’s a low-impact product (go for organic vinegar—if it’s in your budget [I average about a gallon or more each week, so organic is not in my budget at this point]—and really punch up your personal benefit of using vinegar). I hope my appreciation of vinegar will inspire you to explore some “new” uses for this miracle nectar and that you can start a vinegar love affair of your very own!

Tammy Markee-Mayas

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Entry filed under: sustainability, tips, waste, water. Tags: , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Susan Graham  |  December 29, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Try using borax to clean the toilet bowl – it’s recommended in Clean Green, and has worked for me for the last 15 years since I discovered it. Leaves toilets shiny, white and odor-free. Borax is a natural mineral that is mined out west, I believe, is non-toxic to people, and also works as an ant repellant (tho I’ll try vinegar next spring when the ants try to investigate my kitchen again). You can find it shelved with laundry detergent in large grocery stores like Woodmans.

    Reply
  • 2. insect pest control  |  January 5, 2012 at 1:20 am

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  • 3. naturesownsolutions  |  March 7, 2012 at 4:09 am

    this article are really great very informative..I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often

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