Anyone who's been in my kitchen knows, even if they're too kind to say it, that my kitchen could use a little more cleaning a little more often. The crumb-covered cutting board from breakfast is still sitting there by the toaster, the dishwasher needs emptying to make room for the dirty dishes blocking the coffee maker, and a few too many non-kitchen items like small toys and unopened mail are hanging around. I'm trying to change that. I'm trying to spend a little more time each day leaving the kitchen the way I want to find it when I'm ready to cook: clear of clutter and properly cleaned.
I know me, and I know if I'm going to be successful at something it has to be enjoyable. That's why I've made the switch to cleaning with an easily-mixed vinegar and water solution in a cute spray bottle (turquoise, of course. Thank you, IKEA!). That bottle now lives by my kitchen sink with a mixture of water and pickling vinegar inside it. Why pickling vinegar? Because it's stronger than plain white distilled vinegar. While distilled vinegar is about 5 per cent acetic acid, pickling vinegar is about 7 per cent acetic acid, which means I can make it go further.
Here are 8 reasons I'm enjoying the switch to cleaning with vinegar:
- It's cheap. Bottles of cleaning solutions can add up over time. A spray bottle of vinegar and water costs pennies.
- It saves space. A large jug of vinegar can take up valuable kitchen space, sure, but I already use it in my kitchen for other uses like salad dressings, marinades and, of course, pickling. This is me just using what I've already got.
- Vinegar is naturally antibacterial. Vinegar effectively kills most bacteria, molds and germs for everyday cleaning.
- It works great. The surfaces of my kitchen look just as great after being cleaned with vinegar than they did cleaned with other solutions.
- It's safe around food. I used to move the bread, the sugar bowl, and other consumable items off the counter when I cleaned with chemical solutions. With vinegar, I don't need to be so careful.
- It's safe around kids. I'm more concerned about my kids getting getting their hands on a bottle full of chemicals that a bottle of vinegar and water. That's one less safety thing to worry about.
- It's compost friendly. Our city recently switched to a kitchen scraps program, which means we need to produce less garbage and separate our compostables. I can't put paper towels soaked in chemicals into the green bin, but paper towels with a little vinegar and water on them are totally fine.
- Vinegar smells nice. Okay, maybe this one depends on the individual. But I make a lot of pickles and I love the fresh and tangy smell of vinegar.
1/3 cup pickling vinegar (7% acid)
1 cup cold water
Using a funnel, I pour both ingredients into my spray bottle. To clean, I spray surfaces and wipe clean with a paper towel or dry cloth.