I’ve seen the idea of using white distilled vinegar as a fabric softener bandied about, particularly by #unfuckyourhabitat , but not so much on how it works (like, quantities, how/when it goes in the machine, and so forth), and things I’m finding on google are contradictory. Can anyone tell me how it works?
Use between 1/2 and 1 cup, depending on the size of the load. My default is 1 cup. If you have a dispenser for fabric softener in your washing machine, put it in there. If not, add it to the rinse cycle. It will hep to remove residue from other fabric softeners, so it’s a good solution for towels, since fabric softener can interfere with absorbency.
If you’re using vinegar to de-funk musty or stinky clothes, you can just add it in (same quantities) with the detergent, or if you have a bleach dispenser that you don’t use for bleach (don’t mix bleach and vinegar), put it in that.
Plain white vinegar. I know it’s harder to find in places like the UK, but it’s the best for cleaning.
(I don’t usually buy the name brand, but this is just for an example.)
Run an empty load with hot water and use a cup of vinegar instead of detergent. Make sure you clean out the detergent cup and around any seals or gaskets. Once the cycle has run, wipe out the inside of the machine with a water/vinegar mix, and let it air dry with the door/lid open. Vinegar’s safe for clothes, so you don’t need to worry about rinsing or re-cleaning it before your next load of laundry.
If you try all that and it doesn’t work, repeat using half a cup of bleach instead. As always, I think bleach is generally overused and underdiluted, so save this only for if the vinegar doesn’t work. As bleach will discolor your clothes, either run another empty load or one with whites when you’re done.
Run your tap water as hot as you can get it, or heat some water up, but not to the point of boiling. Fill a decent-sized bowl. Wear some gloves. Using a rag or sponge, and repeatedly dipping it into the bowl of hot water, wipe up the residue. If needed, let the rag or sponge sit on part of the stain until it cools (which doesn’t take very long, hence the repeated dipping), which should loosen it up a bit. Once you’ve loosened and wiped up the bulk of the mess, wipe it down with some diluted vinegar (food-safe!) to de-stickify it, then give one more wipe with a clean sponge or cloth.
Wisdom from my septic guy: the toilet is not a trash can. Nothing but biological matter and toilet paper should get flushed. Ever.
That said, I don’t really know how this would work. Magic Erasers are melamine foam, which act, essentially, as micro-grit sandpaper to buff away stains. I would think you’d need actual physical contact between the Magic Eraser and the ring for anything to happen. Melamine foam, while it does disintegrate, doesn’t dissolve into anything that would clean a toilet ring.
My septic guy (no, seriously, it’s a thing) is totally OK with white vinegar going into the septic system, so that’s usually what I use to clean my toilet bowl.
Vinegar spray! Just spray the surface and let it sit as long as you can, then rinse. For stubborn areas, try a paste of Comet or Barkeepers Friend, let it sit, and then rinse. Repeating the vinegar spray frequently should let you avoid scrubbing.
I cleaned my electric kettle with a white vinegar/water solution, following a tip I got from Unfuck Your Habitat. The coils had been disgustingly crusted with minerals and… well I don’t know what all else, but since I’m still recovering from a nasty H Pylori infection, I don’t want any of it in my tea.
It worked like a charm. The coils are de-crusted, and now it smells really delicious. Running it with just water now to remove anymore traces of vinegar (cause I like vinegar, but not in my tea), and after dumping that I think I’ll make myself a nice cuppa.
Kettles and coffeepots!
Backstory… I currently don’t have a laundry machine in my apartment (yet). About once a week, I take my laundry to my grandparents’ place and bring the wet laundry back to my place so I can hang it to dry (Finnish people usually don’t have dryers). This Wednesday I kindasorta forgot to hang the laundry to dry… So the wet laundry sat in a basket.
For three days.
Because I kind of abandoned them as a lost cause after I had forgotten them for a day. I figured they’d need to be washed again anyway because of that musty smell clothes acquire if you leave them sitting around when they’re wet.
Solution… which unfortunately is unlikely to be possible for most people aside from Finns, but anyway.
Today, on Saturday, I decided I’m going to have to either take them to my grandparents’ or try to get rid of the musty smell, but I can’t let them sit in the basket any longer or I’ll soon have mouldy clothes, not just musty smelling clothes.
I had read a lot about vinegar and how it works so well to remove bad smells from things, so I wanted to try it.
I have a sauna (like most Finns do, even the relatively poor ones like myself). I spread all the clothes around the sauna, making sure they’re not too close to the sauna stove so I will continue having a sauna instead of a burned down sauna-like room.
Then I grabbed a small bowl, filled it with vinegar, and turned the sauna on for some 2 hours and let everything sit there for about 4-5 hours total.
And… Tah-da! I almost couldn’t believe it, but three days’ worth of musty smell was GONE. My clothes smell clean and fresh now.
Clearly I have underestimated the power of the Vinegar, because I didn’t REALLY think it would work. That musty smell is so hard to get rid of without washing the clothes all over again.
I’m afraid I don’t really have any ideas on how to make it work without a sauna though… I’m assuming the heat of the sauna made some of the vinegar evaporate in the air or something like that. Drying musty smelling clothes in the sauna doesn’t rid the clothes of the smell without the vinegar, and I assume that vinegar in a bowl in a normal temperature room isn’t quite enough to get the musty smell out of clothes.
I read a tip on Pinterest which claimed that you could clean window screens with Magic Erasers without removing them…so I tried it 15 minutes before my sister-in-law and her boyfriend came over to play Catan, because even though I’d cleaned the screen earlier that year, it was coated in dust and grime. Well, if by “worked” you mean “got little bits of black crud everywhere”, you’d be right. So in a panic I took it out and washed it in the shower. However, this gave me an opportunity to tackle the black crud around the window with vinegar, a toothbrush, and paper towel. It worked quite well, so two days ago I tackled the bedroom window, and the spare room which I’m not sure has ever been properly cleaned. Here’s the window before:
Success! Although I would point out that cleaning things with straight vinegar and no rubber gloves will damage your finger nails…just sayin’.
I cleaned the toolshed!
That, my friends, is the work of a spray-bottle of vinegar, two rags, and an oft-replenished bucket of water.
I didn’t check in with the landlady about it, because she was on a week-long vacation, but it turned out not to matter. Yay, worries that turn out unimportant!
1. Dilute it. For most cleaning, you don’t need full-strength vinegar.
2. Essential oils. They’re stronger than citrus peels, but take care, because some can stain.
3. Ventilation! Fans, open windows, air.
4. If you infuse your vinegar, let it sit with the peels or herbs or whatever so they can get up to full strength.
5. Use it when Mr. Nose is out of the house.
6. Tell him if he doesn’t like it, he’s welcome to come up with a non-toxic cleaning product that he won’t complain about.
I dilute vinegar in a spray bottle with water and chuck a bunch of lemon peels in it. The effect is pretty immediate but gets stronger over time until the lemon overpowers the vinegar. Either way, it fades pretty quickly once it’s sprayed.