The Most Versatile Cleaning Product You Already Own

Earlier this week, my trusty non-Keurig brew bot demanded to be descaled. It has an automatic cycle so it was no sweat. My husband, however couldn’t help but wonder what, if any, cleanser he had to buy to keep our coffee lime-scale free longer. The company’s descaling powder retails for $6.99. Now, this isn’t exactly bank-breaking, but rather than waiting for it to ship and going days without the convenience of our beloved coffeemaker, isn’t there a solution in the kitchen cupboard?

Of course! One of my favorite go-to products for cleaning, cooking, and science projects: White. Vinegar.

White vinegar you ask? What is so special about the sour liquid that usually only sees the light of day in conjunction with its basic buddy baking soda? The amount of household uses are almost endless, that’s what! About 2 tbsp of white vinegar in the water chamber of your brew bot will remove any limescale you’ve got. Just run your descaling cycle and then run the bot until empty if there is any water left. Rinse the chamber with a touch of soap afterward and you are good to go. The same applies with your teakettle! Whether electric or not, 2 tbsp of vinegar in your kettle will remove  lime scale and buildup from hard water. Just fill the kettle with water and vinegar and bring to a boil. Voila! I will mention however that the vinegar tends to smell a bit especially when cleaning a kettle. It actually is reminiscent of coloring Easter Eggs with the famous PAAS coloring tablets which required none other than boiling water and vinegar. Still it is not a scent you may enjoy in your kitchen. Simply add lemon juice (about 1 tbsp) to offset the vinegar smell. Its acidity will also help remove some of the scaling. Bonus, you can also use the heated lemon/vinegar mixture to rinse out your tub. Some scaling may come out when you do this but it rinses away easily. Your tub will be lemony fresh!

Vinegar is useful for so much more than cleaning limescale. For a mildly clogged drain, sprinkle baking soda into the drain (it doesn’t have to be precise, Just on top of the drain will do) then pour vinegar on top. The fizzing mixture will loosen the clog. Feel free to reminisce about being in the third grade making your volcano science project while you watch! Rinse with hot water. Plunge if needed. Bonus, this also deodorizes the drain!

Another great use for vinegar is deodorizing and cleaning your dishwasher. I happen to have a portable dishwasher that requires cleaning fairly often simply because the soiled water must be forced up to drain into the sink. Whenever my appliance has a less than desirable odor, I simply fill the closed compartment with vinegar and sprinkle baking soda right into the bottom inside the machine. I then run a regular cycle, and any debris and odors are cleared.

For even more household chores that can be done using vinegar, check out this from Reader’s Digest. If you know any great vinegar tips, share them below!

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