Vinegar is an acidic solution that is commonly used in the kitchen and for general household cleaning. Its composition comprises of water and a small percentage of acetic acid. The wide use of vinegar for cleaning purposes is credited to benefits such as environmental friendliness, ability to get rid of bad smell, versatility, affordability, pets and children friendliness, and ease of use.
The Benefits of Vinegar as a Household Cleaning Agent
Environmental-friendliness: Unlike most commercial home cleaning agents, vinegar is an all-natural cleaner that does not release toxic and hazardous components to the environment.
The acetic acid that is found in vinegar is formed through the fermentation of natural sugars.
Ability to get rid of bad smell: Although vinegar has its own smell that lingers for sometime after use, one of its uses is to absorb bad odors.
Distilled white vinegar is widely used in homes to absorb bad odors from surfaces, dishwasher and upholstery. For people that keep felines and dogs, vinegar is used to help with pee odor elimination.
Versatility: Vinegar is one of the most versatile household cleaners. Its uses range from laundry cleaning to fruits and vegetable cleaning.
White vinegar is mixed with water, lemon juice, dishwasher soap, baking soda and other components to remove stains from carpets, floors, upholstery, shower heads, glass shower doors, fireplace glass, shower fixtures and faucets, windows, toilets and appliances. Vinegar alone and its solutions is also used to remove mildew from carpets and surfaces.
Affordability: Most commercial cleaners will cost you an arm and a leg. However, vinegar is very cheap and always available in the pantry basket.
Pets and children friendly: Cleaners such as bleach and ammonia should be kept away from children and pets because they are toxic. However, vinegar causes no harm to both children and animals. In fact, it is used to clean spaces that are occupied by both effectively.
Ease of use: Unlike other cleaners that require you to use gloves, vinegar is safe to touch with hands. Additionally, it is easy to mix water, baking soda, lemon juice and other components without the fear of safety issues.
How to get rid of Vinegar Smell
Despite its powerful cleaning abilities, most people do not like the smell that vinegar leaves behind. If you happen to feel the same, below are some easy ways to rid of the smell permanently.
Mix Vinegar with Lemon Juice
Both vinegar and lemon juice have cleaning properties. In addition, it is possible to use them together or separately.
The primary benefit of using them together is that the citrus aroma of lemon juice masks the smell of vinegar completely.
The ratio in which you mix the two together should depend on the things you intend to clean and the aroma of the desired final product.
Use more lemon juice of you desire a strong lemony aroma.
You can also use lemon essential oil in place of lemon juice. Just add few drops of the oil into a solution of vinegar and shake well.
The other option to follow up by spraying lemon water after cleaning surfaces with vinegar.
Use essential Oils
Since essential oils are aromatic in nature, they have the potential to get rid of the smell of vinegar instantly. Ideally, any sweet smelling essential oil can be used for this purposes but it is better to select the ones that are most suitable for cleaning.
Citrus essential oils such as lemon, sweet orange and bergamot fall in this category. Examples of others that are commonly used in household cleaners include lavender, rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus and peppermint.
What you will need
- White distilled vinegar
- 2 or 3 essential oils of your choice
- Spray bottle
Step 1: Mix water and vinegar in a spray bottle the ratio of 1:1 and shake well.
Step 2: Add 5-10 drops of each essential oil to the solution and shake well.
Step 3: Use the solution to clean as desired.
Infuse Vinegar with Citrus Peels
The citrus peels method works in almost the same way as using essential oils. On the upside, it is cheaper and friendly to people that are allergic to essential oils.
You do not need to have a specific citrus fruit in the house. Anything from orange to lemon or grapefruit peels will work effectively. You can also combine peels from more than one type of a citrus fruit.
What you will need
- White distilled vinegar
- Fresh citrus peels
- A mason jar/ glass jar with an airtight lid
- A sieve
Step 1: Take 3 large citrus fruits and separate the flesh from the peels.
Step 2: Transfer the peels into a mason jar and fill it with distilled white vinegar.
Step 3: Close the container tightly with a lid and store in the fridge or in a dark place.
Step 4: Let the jar sit for at least 3 days and use a strainer to separate vinegar from the peels.
Step 5: Wait for at least a week if you want vinegar to become more fragrant such that it can be diluted with water.
Step 6: Transfer infused vinegar into a storage container and use as desired.
Infuse Herbs in Vinegar
You can opt to infuse garden herbs instead of citrus peels in vinegar. Herbs such as rosemary, lavender and sage produce a nice aroma and some are also associated with antibacterial properties.
What you will need
- Fresh herbs of your choice
- Distilled white vinegar
- A glass bottle with a cork
- A strainer
Step 1: Take a bunch of fresh herbs and crush them a little bit so that they can release the aroma.
Step 2: Transfer the herbs into the glass bottle with the stems touching the bottom.
Step 3: Fill the bottle with vinegar and use a cock to close tightly
Step 4: Transfer the bottle to a dark place or into the refrigerator.
Step 5: Wait for at least a week and strain to separate the herbs from the infused solution.
Step 6: Transfer the solution into a clear bottle and store or use as desired.
Besides the above methods, other tactics that can help eliminate the smell of vinegar include:
Proper ventilation: The smell of vinegar lingers in rooms, vehicles and surfaces after cleaning. Opening windows and doors can help with proper air circulation thereby speeding up the process of smell dissipation.
Baking soda: Placing an open container of baking soda in a room helps with odor elimination. Baking soda absorbs all kinds of odors including that of vinegar.
Activated charcoal: Place activated charcoal or a piece of charcoal in the room with vinegar odor and leave it for sometime. It will absorb the bad odor.