Friday, May 1, 2009

The wonders of vinegar

I've always heard that vinegar is a great natural cleaner, and recently I've had the chance to witness its wonders first-hand.

Since moving into our house nine months ago, I've realized just how hard our water is. About six months ago our coffee maker died and I'm now convinced it was because of hard water deposits. I have to stay on top of a cleaning regiment for our new coffee maker, otherwise it starts to get clogged, and I really don't want it to die like its predecessor.

The coffee maker manual says to use their special made-for-coffee-makers cleaner, but a friend told me to use plain vinegar. I pour a cup or two of white vinegar into the reservoir and run it through the coffee maker, then run two cycles of water through to get rid of the vinegar. (Letting it cool between each run.) It really gets the job done!

Several months ago our dishwasher started to act wonky. We'd turn it on, and I swear it sounded like it was going to explode at any moment. The noise was horrible. One night I even got online and looked at how much a new dishwasher would cost because I was certain this one was on its death bed.


I began to think about the coffee maker. I also thought about something I had read online, that using a rinse (such as Jet Dry) was supposed to be the best thing you could do for your dishwasher.

Hmmm. What if I used vinegar as a rinse?

So I did. I poured some into the rinse dispenser, just like I would for a regular rinse. Can I tell you what a difference this has made?? I feel like I have a brand new dishwasher.

I also cleaned out the dispenser area - I hadn't used it before, and when I opened it I realized it was completely clogged with gunk. I had to do quite a scraping job to get it clean, but now it stays clean because of the vinegar.

After using vinegar for several weeks, my dishwasher is much quieter when it runs. It has a consistent sound, where before it was getting to the point that it made different horrible noises for different lengths of time every time it ran. I am so thankful I don't have to worry about getting a new one any time soon!

I know there are lots of other great ways to clean with vinegar, and even came across this post by Pioneer Woman about using it on your hair. (Her post is what prompted me to write about this.) I did a quick google search and came across this site. I'm curious to see what else I can do with vinegar!


mom said...

When I was a little girl we used to rinse our hair in vinegar and it made it real shiny. Of course that was back in the days when we did not have a shower or a nozzle in the kitchen sink and we washed our hair in the little sink in the bathroom and used a cup to pour the water over our heads! We did not wash our hair every day!!!! My word! this makes me sound so old.

Monica said...

I know there are whole books written with ideas for vinegar usage. In fact, I saw one or two last week when we were in Arthur. I personally have used vinegar in my washing machine and also on the kitchen floor. I should probably check into this more, as I know it's a good natural disinfectant.