Today we are going to talk about disinfecting with vinegar. We already talked about why you should start doing it (here) and how we are tremenduosly exposed to toxins from the day we were born (here).
What is vinegar?
Vinegar is 5% acetic acid.
Vinegar is inexpensive, non toxic, and biodegradable.
How does it work?
The acetic acid kills bacteria and viruses by denaturing (chemically changing) their proteins and fats (what their made of).
Does it kill household germs?
Yes! Vinegar is 90% effective against bacteria and 80 to 83% effective against viruses and mold. It can also inactivate the flu virus.
Cleaning vs Disinfecting
Our priority should be on cleaning our homes as opposed to disinfecting them. Just plain hot soapy water combined with good old-fashioned elbow grease can scrub away organic material. Rubbing and scrubbing breaks down the slime around certain viruses and bacterias, like salmonella for example, allowing the disinfectant to work.
Bacteria grows on porous, moist and warm surfaces. Thus removing porous material – such as food- from surfaces, getting rid of standing moisture, and also heating surfaces to higher than comfortable temperatures will help eliminate them.
Remember, we don’t need the level of disinfecting that commercial cleaning products advertise. Beware of products that promise dirt will disappear before your eyes (something else may be appearing in your own body).
What to do?
First you clean it and then you ask yourself if you want to disinfect it. This might come as a complete shock to you but not everything needs to be disinfected (I know, I can hear the gasp through the screen)! Much like when we use antibiotics, high levels of disinfecting will also kill the good bugs that protect us.
Commercial products usually offer a dilution they consider safe. The problem, though, is that the same toxins can be found in commercial soaps, shower gels, toothpastes, deodorants, mouthwashes, shampoos, skin care products, cleaning products, air fresheners, makeup, etc. So people who use those things are being exposed to the same toxins and chemicals many times during a single day (thousands of times over the course of a year), resulting in high amounts of these in our bloodstream.
Let’s refuse the common “kill all the germs now” mindset that is so often intricately put in our brains by marketing of those same products. If I was considering perfoming surgery on my bathroom floor or my kitchen counter, I would most definitely go for sterilizing. Otherwise I am happy just to have them clean. The environment, our pockets and our immune systems would all benefit if we stopped using powerful chemicals to eradicate germs from our lives.
And don’t worry, after green cleaning for awhile you may notice how your resistance picks up again.
if i can do it, you can DIY Vinegar Cleaner
- Fill your spray bottle with half water, half vinegar. The one I use will fit 10 oz of each.
- For glass, spray and wipe with the glass cleaning cloth.
- Use it to remove soap scum and residue from the bathtub and sink – soap leaves an alkaline residue which vinegar (because it is slightly acid) can rinse off.
- Use it to remove stains from the toilet bowl, to freshen up the refrigerator, to disinfect and deodorize cutting boards, to clean stainless steel, electronics, brickwork, wood paneling, leather and etc.
- Vinegar is particularly good for getting rid of molds (eg in the shower) whereas bleach breaks down to feed mold and ultimately make the mold worse.
If you loved this post I am sure you are going to enjoy the DIY All Purpose Cleaner. If you are excited about starting your own green cleaning regimen, stop by the Te Amo Too Shop and grab a bottle of the Vinegar Cleaner and the All Purpose Cleaner. They both come with the recipe and directions on a laminated label, so you know exactly where to find it when it’s time to make a new batch. You will also get a glass cleaning cloth with your new Vinegar Cleaner and a microfiber cloth with the All Purpose Cleaner. They are gonna look gorgeous even if left out on the counter. Perfect for a “housekeeping box”. Check it out!
And if you do not wanna miss any other post on health, housekeeping and DIY don’t forget to subscribe to this website on the top right of the screen.
Sources and Resources
Does vinegar really kill household germs? from Professor Peter Collignon at ABC Health and Wellbeing
How to kill germs naturally from Kitchen Stewardship
Why is bleach bad for me? from Kitchen Stewardship
Natural disinfectant as effective as bleach from Kitchen Stewardship
95+ household uses for vinegar from Reader’s Digest
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