Today I tended to a few patches of poison oak in the back yard, dealt with a musty, moldy barnyard (due to the 40 days and nights of rain we've had here lately!), cleaned the grease out of the bottom of a forgotten warming drawer, washed some windows, took the sales stickers off some glasses I found on clearance and was about to put a few home remedy drops in Emma's ears when I realized how much white distilled vinegar we use every day at the farm. Here are just a few ways outside of making pickles and salad dressing that this inexpensive staple gets employed 'round here.
Goo/Wax remover. I keep 1 part vinegar to 1 part water with essential oil* in bottles* around the house. This works great on those gooey sales stickers they put on things at places like HomeGoods and the clearance stickers at Target (I swear those things are stuck on with Gorilla glue!) Dampen the sticker with the mixture and then scrape off with an old credit card. Wipe any residual stickiness with a bit more of the mixture on a cloth. For candle wax, first melt wax with a hair dryer and then follow same directions as above. This same mixture works great as a spray to keep in the bathroom for a quick Toilet spray to keep things under control between cleanings and GREASE cutter for the kitchen.
My favorite place to get essential oils ---> Mountain Rose Herbs
I love these bottles! ---> IKEA Korken
Window wash 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon liquid dishsoap (I like Dawn). Here's what's up with the DAWN or dishsoap... commercial window cleaner leaves wax on your windows and if you just use water or vinegar then you get streaks and frustration happens... bad. The dish soap helps take this wax off your windows.
Mold/mildew In the house, I use the 1 part water to 1 part vinegar with essential oil mixture mentioned about on areas prone to mildew. If there is an area with a hard surface that has mildew on it, I will wipe it with straight vinegar and wipe with hot water. Outside in the barn area when we have had an abundance of rain, we have a big problem with mildew and mold on the ground and in certain parts of the barn. Here I will spray straight vinegar on the mildewed areas in order to help curb the musty odors and inhibit growth until the sun and fresh air can cure the problem. Vinegar can be used in laundry that has mildewed by washing the clothes on the hottest setting with 1-2 cups of vinegar (no detergent).
Fruit/Vegetable wash 3 parts water/ 1 part vinegar
Salt replacement sometimes the bite a dish needs can come from a good quality vinegar instead of salt. The longer we live on the farm and experiment with new vegetables our pantry gets a more varied assortment of vinegars. We are also learning to infuse the vinegars with different herbs and such... but that's another post altogether =).
Kitchen Pig Cleanse (aka the garbage disposal) run hot water through your kitchen pig. whirl 1/4 cup of baking soda down the pig and let sit for up to 15 minutes. rinse with 1 cup vinegar and watch her bubble away! Rinse and swirl with hot water.
Pickle juice (ear infection home remedy) 1 part vinegar/ 1 part rubbing alcohol in clean dropper bottle (kids acetominophen/tummy drops etc. work great) 2-3 drops in each ear when cold symptoms appear, summer swimmers, etc. to prevent ear infection. (can be warmed in hot cup of water so not so cold). Hat tip Martha Gano- this stuff saved us from ear tubes =)
White water rings on wood furniture 1 part vinegar to 1 part olive oil
Burned popcorn/other smells (I burn a lot of stuff ;) bowl of vinegar placed in room for a few hours (essential oil nice but not necessary). Vinegar 'stink' goes away much more quickly than burned popcorn stink! You can also wave a cloth with vinegar on it in the air to dissipate bad odors.
Urine in carpet 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Blot. Sprinkle with baking soda let sit and vacuum.
Disinfect the microwave 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar on high for 5 minutes. Wipe down.
Sink and tub scrub 3 parts baking soda to 1 part vinegar plus squeeze of lemon.
Eggs splash of vinegar (tablespoon or so) to the water of water for boiled eggs to keep them all together if they happen to crack during the boiling process.
OK...I'm tired from all that vinegar talk and you are most likely bored from all that vinegar talk if you made it this far. I will spare you all the crazy things we've found to do with hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice. Hehehe. Write to us- we'd love to hear your vinegar tips! Much love from a soggy farm tonight.