How To Begin a Non-Toxic New Year: Soap, Then Vinegar
Like I mentioned here, there is a reason your grandma and her grandma had white distilled vinegar in their kitchen cabinet, under their sink, and down the hall. Vinegar is environmentally friendly, affordable, and incredibly versatile. It is a universal disinfectant that is also a deodorizer and grease cutter. Disinfecting with vinegar eliminates bacteria that is known for causing pneumonia, meningitis, and the flu virus.
You may wonder if it can truly kill household germs found in your bathroom and kitchen. Yes, it can. It may not be as strong as commercial cleaners sold in Bed Bath & Beyond (i.e. it does not claim to kill 99.99% of germs) but it is still a very useful and potent disinfectant.
How it works: Vinegar is 5% acetic acid. The acid kills the bacteria and viruses by chemically altering the proteins and fats that the germs consist of and demolishing their cell structures.
When it comes to wanting to obsessively-full-on-clean your home Monica Geller style, it is best to start with the basics first: soap and hot water. A lot of our everyday germs found in our home just need a good scrubbin’ with the basics. After that you can determine if you need to disinfect. I always opt to disinfect because I’m a self-proclaimed Monica Geller in the making. The physical act of rubbing and scrubbing the germs away with soap is what breaks down the icky matrix that makes up certain bacteria. Cleaning surfaces like that first is what allows vinegar to penetrate the germs easier and more efficiently.
A few ways to use vinegar as your cleaner:
Surfaces like counters and stove tops (mix equal part vinegar and water in a spray bottle)
Window cleaner (mix equal part vinegar and water in a spray bottle, apply to window with sponge, squeegee away).
Clearing up your automatic coffee maker (fill the reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run the coffee maker through a brewing cycle. Empty the carafe. Rinse away vinegar residue by running a full reservoir of water through the brewing cycle).
A misconception that a lot of commercial cleaners give off is that you don’t have to do the work to clean… just spritz and the germs-be-gone! While that is not always the truth #marketing, it is also introducing toxic ingredients in our household. For example, mipo-borate is an ingredient found in our beloved Lysol. Mipo-borate is a known endocrine disrupter (a fancy phrase meaning it messes with your hormone levels and reproductive system). A lot of these commercial cleaners are too strong and continue to be over-used in our households which is what keeps the exposure to these harmful chemicals alive.
THANK U, NEXT. #VINEGAR