The Cleansing Wonders of Baking Soda & Vinegar
Over the past year, I have fallen in love with distilled white vinegar. My admiration is not due to its taste or somewhat pungent odor, but white vinegar’s incredible versatility as a cleaning agent, drain cleaner, an overly curious cat deterrent, and more.
In the heat and humidity of summer, I have found that a simple elixir of vinegar and distilled water is not only an excellent counter and sink cleaner, but also works wonders at keeping mildew at bay. This concoction is better for one’s health than store-bought all-purpose cleaners, even those labeled as “natural” and “non-toxic”. A majority of these products still use synthetic preservatives such as benzisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone, both of which have been deemed moderately hazardous to health by the Environmental Working Group.
As for that vinegary smell?
Fear not, it fades away within 10-15 minutes. You can also add a few drops of tea tree or lemon essential oil for a crisper scent and more antiseptic power.
For heavy-duty scrubbing, such as around the sink or shower drain, use the vinegar-water mix in conjunction with baking soda.
Note: While vinegar is a fine cleaner for most surfaces, do not use it on marble or granite. Both are quite porous and vinegar’s high acidity level can result in corrosion.
Vinegar Almost All-Purpose Cleaner
- 1 part Distilled White Vinegar
- 1 part Distilled Water
- Optional: 20 or more drops Tea Tree or Lemon Essential Oil
- Mix 1 part distilled white vinegar and 1 part distilled water in a spray bottle. If you’d like, add tea tree or lemon essential oil.
- Give the bottle a good shake and spray directly on the surface you’re looking to clean. Wipe down with a cloth or damp sponge.
- For heavy duty cleaning, use in conjunction with baking soda and a scrub sponge.
For more information about natural DIY household cleaners, we recommend the book Salt, Lemons, Vinegar, and Baking Soda by Shea Zukowski.
writing and photos by Sophie Slater