A walk down the cleaning supplies isle makes it overwhelmingly apparent that not only are there dozens of cleaning products to choose from but also, that most only tackle a few issues which unfortunately, means a higher cost for you. What’s more? The products you need could have high amounts of toxic chemicals or even just be sold out at your local stores.
If you are looking to avoid pointless trips to the store, harmful chemicals, and unnecessary costs, this list of lemon and vinegar cleaning techniques could help you!
How it Works
These kitchen staples are great for your cooking needs, but their uses extend so far beyond that! Lemon and vinegar are both cheap and eco-friendly products with naturally occurring cleaning agents.
Natural vinegar is made from the nontoxic organic compound, acetic acid. As a testament to its ability to kill bacteria and dissolve grease, grime, and mineral deposits, acetic acid is often found in commercial cleaners.
Though acetic acid gives vinegar that pungent smell, the odor will fade after an hour or so. We believe a temporary sour smell is a worthy tradeoff for a nontoxic, eco-friendly, and low-cost clean, but even so, the smell can also be masked with your favorite essential oil!
Distilled white vinegar, which cost less than $2 per gallon, is the best vinegar for cleaning.
Lemons are one of nature’s most powerful and versatile cleaning agents as well. While the lemon rind’s oils can clean and polish, the acidic juices have antiseptic and antibacterial uses. Their pleasing, citrusy aroma and low price make this product a triple threat in the cleaning game.
Important to Know
Like many other cleaning products, vinegar should not be used for every surface. Electronic screens, hardwood floors, and stone countertops are all examples of surfaces that might be damaged by continuous vinegar treatment.
Also, important to keep in mind, while lemons work remarkably for most household cleaning jobs, they should not be used as a direct substitute for bleach or disinfectant. For example, to whiten your clothes or clean a plate that had raw chicken on it, lemons would not be your best bet. To whiten clothes and remove dangerous microbes, more intense disinfecting procedures are required.
As a general rule of thumb, always make sure that your cleaning products do not harm but surfaces you are using them on.
1. Hard Water Build Up on Faucets
You know those white, crusty deposits that form around your faucet? If you have tried to remove them before, you are probably well aware of how tricky it can be. Sometimes cleaning wipes and thorough scrubbing just aren’t enough! Though there are plenty of commercial cleaners made to target this issue, you can save money by just using vinegar.
Get a hand towel and saturate it in distilled vinegar. Wrap the towel around your faucet and let it soak for about an hour or longer. After you remove the towel, give the faucet a quick scrub with a toothbrush and rinse off the residue to reveal a faucet that looks like new!
2. Shower Heads
When mineral deposits build up in your shower head, not only does it look unappealing but it also affects your water pressure.
To remedy this issue, you’ll need a plastic baggie, filled half way with vinegar.
- Secure the bag at the base of the shower head with a string or twist tie.
- Fill the bag with more vinegar if needed, to ensure that the shower head is completely submerged in vinegar.
- If you have a gold, brass, or nickel-coated shower head, be sure to only leave the bag on for 30 minutes to avoid damage. If not, feel free to leave this treatment on for several hours or even overnight.
- After you unfasten the bag, run hot water for a minute or so.
- With a toothpick or toothbrush, clean out any leftover debris from the shower head holes.
- Run hot water again to ensure all the mineral deposits are cleaned out
- Use a soft cloth to dry and polish your shower head.
Last step? Treat yourself to a well-deserved and lavish shower experience!
3. Cloudy Glasses
Glasses can get hard water build up too. This is especially true if you use a dishwasher with high heat drying.
To get them sparkling again, use a paper towel or rag with a bit of vinegar to wipe them down. For more stubborn cases, soak the glasses in vinegar for five minutes and rinse. It’s really that simple!
While oh-so useful, we all know how quickly the microwave can become a smelly and food-splattered mess. Instead of spending money on wipes and sprays, this method will give you the clean finish and a wonderful smell, without the cost and waste.
You’ll need a lemon sliced in half and one cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Squeeze the juice from each of these halves into the bowl of water and place the rinds in the bowl after.
- Place the bowl on the center of the tray and set the timer for 3 minutes or until it begins to boil.
- After the timer finishes, leave the bowl in the microwave for an additional 5 minutes. During this time, the steam from the lemon concoction will break down built up grease and food residue.
- After the 5 minutes, set the bowl aside and use a rag or paper towel to wipe away the mess with ease.
- Begin by removing the turntable plate and wiping this down separately. Then, move on to the inside of the walls.
- Use the leftover lemon water recipe to clean off the outside of the microwave as well!
5. Clogged Drains
A clogged drain can be one of the most annoying appliance issues. When you wash a few dishes and your sink fills half way, it’s clear that you will have to fix this problem soon. Instead of buying another product that only tackles this specific issue, this simple method will save you money and a trip to the store.
Though this hack also requires baking soda, you will still be saving money because of baking soda’s versatility.
- Begin by setting a gallon of water to boil.
- TIP: Depending on your stove top, this can take anywhere from 20 minutes (for induction cooktop) to 40 minutes (for electric stovetop), so for a seamless process, please plan accordingly.
- Next, you will pour half a cup of baking soda down your drain.
- Follow this with a cup of vinegar and cover the drain right after.
- After 15 minutes, remove the cover and pour the boiling water down the drain.
There you have it! No more blockage! Feel free to repeat the process if you would like a more thorough cleaning.
6. Garbage Disposals
This quick trick works wonders for neutralizing any foul odors coming from your garbage disposal. Just slice up a few pieces of lemon and run them through the garbage disposal. The result? A kitchen filled with a lovely citrusy scent.
7. Coffee Makers
Frequent coffee drinkers are well-aware that a dirty coffee maker can negatively affect a coffee’s taste, but did you know that these appliances can be a breeding ground for germs if they are not cleaned frequently? For daily cleaning, soap will work just fine, but for a deep monthly cleaning of the coffee reservoirs, vinegar is a great option!
- To begin, make sure to take off any removeable parts and wash those separately.
- Add 4 cups of vinegar to the reservoirs and let it sit for approximately 30 minutes.
- After the 30 minutes, run a brewing cycle with the vinegar.
- Pour out the vinegar and run a few cycles with tap water until the vinegar odor is gone.
- Pour out any water left over in the reservoirs and leave the top open to air dry.
With that clean and fresh taste, you’ll enjoy your morning cup of joe a little bit more.
8. Toilet Bowls
Nobody really wants to clean it, but we know it needs to be done. While many might opt for a bleach-based cleaning agent when it comes to your toilet, lemons are a perfect substitute if you are out of cleaning supplies or are searching for an inexpensive, eco-friendly option.
This technique works best if paired with salt and/or baking soda. Simply squeeze half a lemon into your toilet bowl, coat the bowl with some salt and/or baking soda and start scrubbing with your toilet bowl brush. Flush it down and you are all finished!
Whether you are aiming to live a greener lifestyle, save money, or just throw something new into your cleaning routine, these small hacks could be a great start! We hope you enjoy!