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Confessions of a vinegar addict

My name is Diva Patti and I’m addicted to vinegar.

Why should vinegar be the object of such affection? Let me explain. Simple white distilled vinegar is all natural. It’s harmless on skin, perfectly safe to ingest because it is food and completely nontoxic. Yet vinegar’s high acidity kills all sorts of germs, bacteria and even mold making it an amazing cleaning product. And best of all? It’s dirt cheap!

You can pick up a gallon for about $3 and find uses for this miraculous stuff all over your home.

Years ago I decided to limit my use of chemical cleaners because of an epiphany I had while cleaning. I was wearing gloves so I wouldn’t get the cleaner on my skin (should have been a red flag right there). I took off a glove to reach for my cup of coffee and stopped. I realized that besides inhaling the fumes directly into my lungs, the chemical mist from the spray cleaner was leaving a toxic residue on food preparation areas, dishes, the baby’s high chair tray, the dog’s water dish and my cup of coffee. Eeew.

So I found a better way.

Orange is the new green … cleaner

1 clean jar with a lid

2 or more oranges, peels only

Vinegar to cover

Place the orange peels in the jar. Pour enough vinegar in the jar to cover the peels and put the lid on tightly. Let the mixture steep for one week. Strain through a cheesecloth and put it in a spray bottle for all your general cleaning purposes. This can be diluted with water if you wish. Very effective and smells delicious.

But wait — there’s more! We have hard water in Southern Nevada but much of the nuisance resulting from mineral buildup can be resolved by monthly maintenance with vinegar. Clean your dishwasher by placing one cup of vinegar in a glass measuring cup on the top rack of an empty washer and running the washer on the hottest cycle. Use vinegar in place of spot-free rinse aids to keep glassware sparkling.

You can easily remove hard water deposits in coffee makers by running a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water through the coffee-making cycle. Follow with several cycles of plain water until the vinegar smell is gone. Make vinegar ice cubes to deodorize the garbage disposal. Boil vinegar and water in the microwave to make removing cooked-on splatters a breeze. Of course, check your appliance’s manufacturer’s guide before cleaning.

Hard water and soap residue affect our clothes washers too. To keep it running great; run an empty machine on “hot” with three cups vinegar through a normal cycle. Adding a cup of vinegar to your laundry removes soap buildup, deodorizes and acts as a fabric softener. There are literally thousands more uses for vinegar so I hope you’ll pick up a gallon and join me in this addiction.

Oh — you can make pickles with it too!

Frugal Finds contributed by Patti Diamond author of Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!, www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom

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