Top Tricks

When the charter school where I used to teach decided to use vinegar– VINEGAR!– to wash the cafeteria floors each day I was completely skeptical.  After doing a little research it turns out vinegar is a healthy cleaning alternative to products with scary ingredients.  Plus, it’s cheap and safe for both the environment and the 400+ kids we were in charge of caring for each day… BUT.

Top Secret Tricks for Cleaning with Vinegar-- green cleaning for grout, sinks, and tubs in minutes!
BUT There’s that one little detail, the thing I silently wondered and was scared to ask–  wouldn’t the cafeteria smell of vinegar all day?  Because if it did, believe you me, we would hear about it from those 400+ darlings I previously mentioned.  They don’t hold back.  On anything.  EVER. That is used in best tile grout cleaners

Guess what?  The smell dissipated within moments of being put on the floor.  Our school saved tons of money using vinegar to clean, and soon I was slinging the stuff all over my home, too.  It combines beautifully with other non-toxic products to clean your home naturally,  safely, and cheaply.  

What’s not to love?

Over the years I’ve discovered a few cleaning tricks where vinegar is a star.  Since I’m always looking for new cleaning solutions, I decided to try out Heinz Cleaning Vinegar.  Here’s three ways you can achieve chemical-free cleaning, a fresh home, and good eco-karma to boot!

Our previous kitchen had large white tiles with {very dirty} grout.  When we first moved in, we’d spend hours scrubbing with a chemical grout cleaner.  Now that we’ve undergone a kitchen renovation, we only have a small section of the tile left– and it turns out cleaning it is a breeze because of this trick.  Plus, my “helpers” can get involved and I don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals!

1.  Sprinkle baking soda on the grout.  Use your finger to make sure it covers all the grout, also wiping away excess powder.  Use a spray bottle filled with vinegar to apply it over the baking soda. Sixth grade science project lovers unite– the {safe} chemical reaction does all the work for you!  Let it sit and bubble and scrub itself for a few minutes.  But not too long, or the dirt settles back into the grout.

2.  Using a grout brush, give it a little scrub to get the dirty solution off the grout.  Prepare for it to be muddy!  Keeping a cup of water to quickly rise the brush off helps, but don’t add too much water to the floor– the grittier the solution, the less elbow grease you’ll have to put into it.

3.  Wipe up the muddy solution (I used rags instead of paper towels, to further my green cleaning mojo).  Then, clean as usual: quickly run the vacuum to get up excess baking soda, and then go over it with a mop.

There you have it, clean grout with half the work, and no expensive special cleaner to buy.  I cleaned this section in under 30 minutes and it had– and I’m mortified to admit this– over 7 years of build-up.  My ‘ah-ha’ moment came when I opened the door to the bathroom, and saw this line where I stopped cleaning.  YUCK!  And yet, so cool to see how well the vinegar trick worked.