A lot of people are using vinegar these days to clean their home. Vinegar is a strong acid and has fantastic cleaning properties.
The problem is that no one really likes the vinegary smell that lingers around afterward. Even though the smell will dissipate on its own, this can take a while.
Why Use Vinegar?
The strong acidic properties of vinegar make it an excellent household cleaner and a fantastic substitute for harsh chemical cleaners. White vinegar is a simple chemical solution of 95 percent water and 5 percent acetic acid. It is the acetic acid that creates the smell.
In fact, the acetic acid is so powerful an agent in these small quantities that it’s better than many commercial cleaning solutions. But it needs to be used diluted, because even using white vinegar without dilution would potentially damage surfaces, such as tabletops and furniture.
If you’ve never used it before, here are some reasons you might want to consider switching to it:
1. Environmentally Friendly
Of course, for many people the number one reason to use vinegar as a household cleaner is because it is more environmentally friendly than commercial cleaners. It’s not bleach or some other harsh chemical and it will break down naturally in the environment.
In this day and age, there’s no reason not to be using it around the home for basic cleaning duties.
2. It’s a Versatile Cleaner
Did you know that regular cleaners, such as bleach, don’t get rid of mold? But the good news is that vinegar actually destroys mold. If you really want to get rid of the mold around your shower, use vinegar for it instead.
Vinegar is also very versatile. It not only gets rid of mold, but it also kills bacteria, and cuts through grease and grime. It can soften up the buildup of gunk and can even remove the adhesive of old stickers that the kids put on everything around the home.
For those who have pets in the home, vinegar is also worth having in the cupboard. If your little furry friends ever decide to do their dirty business in the house on your carpet, you can easily use vinegar to remove the stain and the smell.
It will even mask the smell so that your pet won’t be tempted to use the same spot again for their business.
3. No Harsh Chemicals
Even though vinegar is a strong acid and it can clear away soap scum and other stuff, it’s not harsh on your health. Commercial cleaners, such as bleach, can be dangerous. You have to use them in well-ventilated areas, and they can cause chemical burns if not used correctly.
Vinegar might be hard on stains and grease, but it won’t harm your health. The very fact that we can use vinegar in our foods is evidence enough that using it as a cleaner is far less harmful to our health!
4. It’s Also Inexpensive and Easy to Buy
One of the biggest draw cards of using white vinegar in your household cleaning routine is that it’s inexpensive and readily available at supermarkets.
In fact, buying white vinegar is less expensive than spending money on commercial cleaners and other supposedly superior chemical cleaners.
Getting Rid of That Vinegar Smell
There’s no denying that vinegar is a fantastic alternative to commercial cleaners, and it is very versatile. The big problem for many people is that the smell of it lingers.
While vinegar might be okay in small doses on your food, spraying it on surfaces around the home can get a bit too much. This is perhaps why more people don’t like to use it.
So, what can be done about this smell? Are there any methods of masking the smell or getting rid of it? Consider the following:
1. Dilute the Vinegar
Normally, you’d use a mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle for cleaning duties. One of the easiest ways to reduce the vinegar smell is to use less of it in your cleaning recipe. Try cutting the normal amount you use in half.
This dilute cleaning solution will still do the job of general household cleaning, but it will leave less smell when you’re done. Of course, the resulting smell may still be too much for some people.
2. Use Nice Smelling Herbs
The other thing you can do is use some strong, but nice smelling herbs in your vinegar and water mix. By putting in some lavender or rosemary, you can mask the smell of the vinegar to some extent and leave a fresh smell around your home.
3. Spray with Fresh Lemon
If you’ve just used vinegar and water to clean a kitchen bench or some other surface and you want to get rid of the smell, you can also use lemon juice.
The way to do this is to squeeze two fresh lemons into two cups of water and put the mix into a spray bottle. Once you’ve cleaned the surface with vinegar, just spray it with your fresh lemon juice bottle and leave it to dry.
Rather than mix up a separate solution of freshly squeezed lemon, vinegar, and water, you can actually drop half a lemon into your vinegar and water mix in a pot before you use it. This will have the same effect as the strong herbs in terms of masking the smell and neutralizing it.
4. The Baking Soda Solution
Baking soda is also a great way to get rid of smells in the home. In fact, by placing a small dish of baking soda into your fridge, it will absorb the smells. The good news is that this also works with vinegar smells too.
If you’ve just cleaned your kitchen with vinegar and you want to quickly get rid of the smell, just sprinkle baking soda over it. You can then work it in with a sponge and rinse with water. Just like that, the acidic smell of the vinegar will have disappeared.
5. Circulate the Air
This is perhaps the easiest way to get rid of the vinegar smell, but it is not always feasible in bad weather. By circulating the air around your home, you can pretty quickly decrease the smell of vinegar.
If the weather permits, open all of the doors and windows in your home. You can also turn on the air conditioner or a dehumidifier if you have one. This air circulation will quickly get rid of the vinegar smell in your home.
If you are using vinegar in a room with only one window, see our tips for getting better circulation.
White vinegar is a great alternative to many regular commercial cleaning agents. It’s natural, environmentally friendly, inexpensive, versatile, and very effective. Unfortunately, many people also dislike the strong smell that it leaves behind.
The good news is that getting rid of the smell is not difficult. There are a number of methods of masking or neutralizing the smell, such as adding lemon or herbs, absorbing it using baking soda, or simply airing out the home by increasing circulation.
White vinegar is well worth using in your home for cleaning duties. Don’t let the strong smell put you off using it, because there are multiple ways of getting rid of it and leaving your home smelling fresh.