DIY Network

Vinegar: The Magic Cleaning Product

If you have any sense of smell, you know the pungent scent of vinegar. Think of it as the smell of clean.

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This mild, organic acidic can clean and sanitize a coffeepot, keep drains running clear and smelling fresh, and among other uses too numerous to mention, it can even repel insects. And if that’s not enough, it’s safe and inexpensive to use. But first, a few cleaning tips:

- Removing lipstick from carpet can be tedious. Use a mild solution of liquid dish soap and warm water. Work in gently with a soft cloth and flush with club soda or water. A carpet spotter may also work on the stain.

- To clean solid brass, mix lemon juice and salt together, dip a cloth into the mixture and clean the brass. Rinse and dry. An application of car wax on the clean brass will help repel future tarnish.

- Keep white wine handy to neutralize the color in red wine if a tile grout stain occurs. Clean the stain with a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar, or use hydrogen peroxide. The process may have to be repeated to remove the stain completely.

Vinegar and Its Applications:

- Cleaning eyeglasses: Rub with vinegar and dry with a soft cloth. Don’t worry about any odor from vinegar remaining on the glasses -- it will quickly dissipate.

- Repelling Bugs: Dab vinegar on skin when working outdoors; bugs will hate the taste of the skin and leave.

- Getting rid of musty odor in trunks, drawers and closets: Place a slice of white bread (it must be white bread) in a bowl and cover with vinegar. Leave the bowl in the musty area for 24 hours. The yeast action in the bread combines with the acid values of the vinegar to absorb the odor. Close doors and drawers for the best result.

- Eliminating fish frying odors: Place a shallow dish of vinegar by the pan while frying fish.

- Eliminating onion odors: Spray vinegar on hands, knife and cutting board while chopping onions.

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