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8 reasons vinegar is my new kitchen cleaner

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:
  1. It's cheap. Bottles of cleaning solutions can add up over time. A spray bottle of vinegar and water costs pennies.
  2. 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.
  3. Vinegar is naturally antibacterial. Vinegar effectively kills most bacteria, molds and germs for everyday cleaning.
  4. It works great. The surfaces of my kitchen look just as great after being cleaned with vinegar than they did cleaned with other solutions.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
The vinegar and water solution is easy to prepare. Here's how I make it:

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.

Do you use any natural cleaners? What's your go to kitchen cleaning solution?