We are going to use white vinegar, balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar to both clean your home and temp your palate.I love a clean house, but it's always been a love/hate relationship (until recently). What do I mean by this? I mean, I've always thought there was a problem if I had to clean in a "well ventilated" area and turn on my vents in the bathrooms, or open the windows just to make it easier for me to breathe. I also hated telling my 4 year old that she couldn't help me clean the bathrooms because of the toxic smells. This just seemed like a problem to me. I heard about people using vinegar to clean, but frankly, I can't stand the way the stuff smells. It's almost as bad as the toxic smell of the conventional cleaners.
"Vim & Vinegar!"
So what’s great about vinegar? You name it, vinegar can take care of it! It’s an incredible cleaning agent. It’s also cheap, non-toxic, a health remedy, a neutralizer, a cleaner, a condiment, and a preservative. It can kill bacteria, mold, and germs, yet it is environmentally safe. It contains acetic acid which makes it an incredible cleaning agent and is typically made from grapes, apples, barely malt, or corn that has undergone a fermentation process.
The word vinegar comes from the French, meaning "sour wine."Vinegar is most commonly made as a bi-product of the drink industry. Malt vinegar originally comes from beer production and is the vinegar of choice in northern European, beer drinking countries. Balsamic Vinegar originated in Italy while rice wine vinegar's come from the traditional rice wine makers of the Far East. Vinegar is a product of fermentation where sugars in food are broken down by bacteria and yeast. The sugars are turned into alcohol in the first stage of fermentation. Once the alcohol ferments further, you get vinegar. While vinegar can be created using any number of foods like fruits, veggies, and grains-- apple cider vinegar is exclusively made from crushing apples and using their juice.
IN THIS MONTH'S GREENBOX:
ORANGE PEEL VINEGAR CLEANING & MORE
Many of you already know that we have quite a crush on vinegar. Upon further research, we found tons of things that good ol’ vinegar can do all by itself, most of the time for way cheaper than the product it’s replacing. We love that it’s a cost savings, and we love how it simplifies life: you are saving storage space by not needing tons of different products, you are saving time and energy by not clipping coupons and searching out the best deals for those products, and you are replacing toxic items with all-natural, super effective alternatives…sounds like win-win to us!
As useful as vinegar is, it doesn’t always smell the greatest. The smell usually fades once it’s rinsed or it dries, but the scent really bothers some people. When we discovered infusing vinegar with orange peels, we had to give it a try. It is super easy– just take the dried orange peels and toss them into your Mason jar with vinegar, and let it sit for up to two weeks (the longer it goes, the more orange-y it’ll smell!). Strain out the orange peels and any excess bits of orange, and pour into a spray bottle to use around the house. Easy-peasy, and it smells great!
ADDITIONAL VINEGAR USES & INFORMATION YOU MAY HAVE NOT THOUGHT OF...
Here are some of the many uses for vinegar–some you might have thought of, some might be new (hair conditioner?? Who knew?!). You could probably use the orange-infused vinegar for most of these, but I’d save it for the ones where the smell might be hanging around for a while.
How to clean pesticides off fruits and vegetables
Soak them in a 1:4 ratio of vinegar and water to help remove toxins and pesticides. Leave them soaking for up to an hour, longer with non-organic apples. At the end of the bath, sometimes you can even see cloudy like stuff in the water from the skins and waxes, and dirt on the bottom. And No, it doesn’t change the taste.
2. Make a Nontoxic Bathroom Cleaner
Here’s a terrific deep-cleaning cleanser that works on any bathroom surface. It cuts through soap scum and mildew as well as any commercial bathroom product and costs just pennies.
1 2/3 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid soap
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 clean 16-ounce squirt bottle with closing cap
1. Mix baking soda and liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute with water and add the vinegar. Stir the mixture with a fork until any lumps have been dissolved. Pour the liquid into the bottle. Shake well before using.
2. Squirt on area to be cleaned. Scrub with a nylon-backed sponge. Rinse off with water. Keep cap on between uses.
3. Remove Stains on Carpet
You can lift out many stains from your carpet with vinegar:
Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum. For larger or darker stains, add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture and use in the same way.
Clean your whole house with Baking Soda & Vinegar
1. Clean a Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
Follow these steps for a sparkling, fresher-smelling kitchen sink:
Wet the sink, sprinkle baking soda over the surface and scrub, then rinse. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and the same paste on the rim and caulk. Line the sink with paper towels that you've soaked in white vinegar. Leave them there for 20 minutes.
For garbage disposals: Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain, then a cup of white vinegar. Boil a kettle of water. Pour the boiling water down the drain. Add two cups of ice and one cup of rock salt to the drain. Turn on the disposal until it goes down. Take a lime or lemon, cut it in half, and send each half down the disposal. Use soapy water and vinegar-soaked paper towels to clean the faucet, too.
3. Boost Laundry Detergent
It may sound like a cliché, but adding 1/2 cup baking soda to your usual amount of liquid laundry detergent really will give you "whiter whites" and brighter colors. The baking soda also softens the water, so you can actually use less detergent. Adding 1/2 cup baking soda in top-loading machines (1/4 cup for front-loaders) also increases the potency of bleach, so you need only half the usual amount of bleach.
THE BENEFITS & USES OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits:
We will call it ACV for short….
Apple cider vinegar is one of our top two natural remedies that we use every day along with coconut oil. We take it personally for several reasons including detoxification, improved digestion and for a quick burst of energy.
Also, we include apple cider vinegar uses for personal care reasons like conditioning my hair, whitening my teeth and as a household cleaner.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
New medical research also suggests that apple cider vinegar use can help cure acid reflux, lower blood pressure, improve diabetes, and support weight loss.
The benefits of apple cider vinegar come from it’s powerful healing compounds which include acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes.
Acetic acid has the ability to kill dangerous “bad” bacteria, and at the same time to foster the growth of beneficial “good” bacteria. Because acetic acid kills unwanted bacteria when it comes into contact with it, it essentially acts as a natural antibiotic. This means apple cider vinegar naturally provides numerous benefits related to skin, digestion, and immunity health without any side effects.
Additionally, apple cider vinegar is a good source of polyphenols. Research supports the role of polyphenols in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and diabetes
BAKING SODA SHAMPOO & VINEGAR RINSE
Did you know that baking soda is an incredibly easy way to clean your hair? Yep, the rumors are true. What shocked me even more than the fact that this actually works is how much better my hair began to look when I started using baking soda compared to traditional shampoo!
Start by mixing 1 part baking soda with 3 parts water. I have shoulder length hair and mix about 2 to 3 tablespoon of baking soda with 3 times that amount of water in a small squeeze bottle. You can adjust this depending on your hair length.
Apply the baking soda and water mixture to dry or wet hair by starting at the roots and working to the ends.
Let it sit for 1 - 3 minutes then rinse with warm water.
After washing and rinsing with the baking soda mixture, you'll want to apply a vinegar rinse.
Mix 1 part white or apple cider vinegar with 4 parts water. To minimize the vinegar smell, I also add lavender, peppermint, and/or rosemary essential oils to the vinegar mixture. I like to mix a big batch of this ahead of time and keep it in a squeeze bottle in the shower.
Tilt your head back, close your eyes (to avoid getting this mixture in your eyes), and distribute through your hair.
After a few seconds, rinse with cold water. The cold water helps to seal in moisture, smooth the hair, and add shine. I have straight hair and have noticed that this really made a difference with eliminating frizz and static.
BALSAMIC VINEGAR & PASILLA PEPPER SPICY INFUSION
Pepper- and fruit-infused vinegars are easy (and economical) to make at home, and they add fresh, bold flavors to salad dressings. They also make a wonderful gift. Read on for our recipes and tips.
Pasillo Pepper Spicy Vinegar
8 oz. Balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
Have ready a clean, large nonreactive bowl.
Thoroughly rinse the peppers and then pat dry with paper towels. Rough chop the peppers. In a nonreactive saucepan over low heat, warm the vinegar until hot but not yet simmering; do not let it boil. Remove from the heat. Place the peppers and garlic in the bowl. Pour in the hot vinegar and stir to combine. Set aside to cool. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 weeks; the longer the vinegar stands, the stronger the flavors will be. Gently stir the vinegar every few days to blend the flavors.
Sterilize you cruet.
Strain the vinegar through a fine-mesh sieve and then through a coffee filter. Using a funnel, pour the filtered vinegar into the bottles. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 months. Makes 2 one-pint bottles.