Friday, August 2, 2013

Love of Vinegar

Love Me Some Vinegar!

While on this new "frugal" adventure, I've discovered a new love of vinegar. It may conjure sensations of tangy bitterness for some, but for me, it rouses an uncharacteristic passion for household chores. I'm amazed at its many uses and now have a new-found respect for this pantry staple of grandmothers the world over. Let me list a few favorite reasons why:

  1. Cheapest Rinse Agent Around: If you're like me (a little ADHD), then you can easily overlook when that infrequently used little bottle of dishwasher rinse agent runs low. It inevitably happens when it's late at night or really early in the morning--typically sometime when you really don't want to change out of your pajamas--and need to run a load of dishes. So, just take some handy-dandy vinegar and fill the rinse-agent dispenser. Voila! Problem solved. It also helps deodorize the dishwasher while it's at it.
  2. Weed and Grass Killer: See, in our foray into frugality, my perfect husband and I try our hands at yardwork, which we both, let's just say, don't particularly love. We decided rather than hiring out these cumbersome tasks, we'd do them ourselves. Like so many inexperienced gardeners, we jaunted off to our local Lowe's or Home Depot and purchased expensive weedkillers and groundclearers, but all to no avail. We were so surprised that two people who successfully can kill any cute plant in a mile radius can't successfully do the same thing with the unwanted ones. In our desperation, we decided to try vinegar. That's right: it kills unwanted grass and seemed to suck the life out of weeds, too! Channeling my inner wannabe chemist, I boiled big pots of water, added in vinegar (half a gallon), then put the concoction in a sprayer. We then decided I should add in some bleach for good measure, since we knew it kills mold, and sprayed away. Finally, the unwanted grass is shriveled up and can be dug up easily. We discovered an added bonus: vinegar seems to also kill pesky little spiders pretty well, too.
  3. Stain-zapper: I've heard mixed suggestions about vinegar and stain removal, so I'll share what worked for us. We had a mystery stain on this awful carpet in our den--we're frugally waiting to replace it with click-and-snap hardwoods when the daughter leaves for college. It just lurked there all weird and brownish on our already ugly pale-blue carpet travesty. So I soaked this old carpet stain (it came with the house) in vinegar. Then I placed a white towel over the spot and applied a low-heat iron over it. The vinegar and heat lifted the nasty booger and now it's barely noticeable.
  4. **To make your own "buttermilk" for cooking. I forgot this one, but my grandmother taught me to add a touch of vinegar (for this, I prefer apple cider vinegar) to milk to make it "curdle" so I can make my own buttermilk substitute for baking, particularly in her brownie cake recipe. It only takes a small splash to make it happen.
  5. To clean the microwave: I just saw this on a friend's wall on Facebook, and I can't wait to try it. Add 1 cup of vinegar + 1 cup of water and heat 10 minutes in the microwave to steamclean it! It says it zaps any gunk so it wipes out more easily.
I'd love to hear some more great uses for what I am convinced in this cure-all. Please post your ideas!

No comments:

Post a Comment