A few years ago, while volunteering with a local tour of homes through Junior League, I was a docent in a home where the owners worked to live a life of zero waste. Their spotless home was cleaned naturally with just white vinegar and baking soda. Several of the other docents and I marveled at how clean it was, especially with children in their home and no traditional cleaning products.
That should have been enough of an endorsement for me to explore this miracle substance, but, alas, it was not. However, when I was having issues with my garbage disposal, everything I read directed me to white vinegar. I decided to give it a try.
First, put 1/2 cup of baking soda down the disposal, followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Immediately after you pour the vinegar, cover the drain with a cloth. This keeps it from completely bubbling out. After ten minutes, pour boiling water down to flush out the disposal.
I was amazed at how well it worked, and impressed by the simplicity of it. After cleaning the garbage disposal and the sink drains, I knew this was a household item I planned to keep in stock.
I've since then discovered that mixed with baking soda, it makes a great cleaner for glass shower doors. Also, when my boyfriend's athletic polo shirts still smelled right out of the wash, I was deeply disturbed and googled ideas for how to prevent/fix this. Again, I found white vinegar was the most popular remedy. You can either pre soak the items in the vinegar or you can add a cup of the vinegar to the laundry load with your regular detergent. I've found this to be effective, particularly the pre soaking.
What are your favorite cheap cleaning tricks? Have you used white vinegar?