View Full Version : Cleaning with vinegar--what's your recipe?
01-05-2006, 11:01 AM
What's the ratio of vinegar to water? Do you add Tea Tree Oil and/or Lavender? Does it have any disinfecting power?
01-05-2006, 11:43 AM
I use a gallon of warm water with 1/2 cup of vinegar. The vinegar smell is not too powerful and dissipates soon after. So it smells fresh afterwards without any fragrances. Although I might have to switch to something else, because I heard that vinegar eats away the grout on tile floors. Not sure though.
01-05-2006, 01:01 PM
Vinegar (an acid) will eat away at anything that is calcium carbonate based - like limestone tiles, marble, some granites. Not sure what grout is made of, but I suppose it's possible that it could eat away at it, too.
I've heard that vinegar really doesn't clean, though many many people use it for that. It makes sense, really - no soaps or detergents to grab the dirt.
01-05-2006, 01:37 PM
I use 50:50 vinegar to water + 20-30 drops of peppermint oil. But if I want to disinfect, I fill a 16 or 24 oz spray bottle with distilled water, add 3 tablespoons of liquid soap like Dr. Bronner's and 20-30 drops of Tea Tree Oil. It not only cleans, but it also disinfects.
ETA: But I use the vinegar/water mixture for just about everything else (i.e. not the bathroom or kitchen where I'm trying to disinfect) and it does a good job of cleaning. If I need a bit of scrubbing power, I'll add some backing soda. For glass surfaces or my oven top, I'll always finish up the cleaning with club soda with lime (or lemon) oil. It smells wonderful and leaves a streak free shine.
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Kaya's a cousin! 10/1/05, 5lb13oz
I guess it depends what you mean by clean: a moist washcloth with nothing but water is able to clean "dirt" that is water-soluble (which is a lot), but soaps and detergents are able to clean things that are fat soluble (like grease, among other things). Detergents and soaps are also able to damage the cell walls of bacteria, which is why they are considered antiseptic (and soaps/detergents with added antiobiotics are not necessarily in most cases).
A vinegar/water solution cleans many things, but not everything. Although vinegar is acid, a low concentration of it will not kill many types of bacteria, so I wouldn't consider it a disinfectant, but true disinfectants really aren't necessary for most cleaning purposes.
Sue, mommy to Aurora (Rory) born 5/13/04
03-31-2006, 05:39 PM
Soap is a surfactant that just acts to make the dirt slip away from the surface, and water will do the same thing most of the time if you scrub hard enough (which is the theory behind microfiber cleaning cloths).
The Queen of Clean book suggests that you use 1/2 cup per gallon of warm water on vinyl floors and this is what we do.
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