I have a friend who told me that she would love to have me clean her house, but that she wants the "toxic" stuff, to make sure the germs are kept to a minimum. I understand. Bleach kills germs. It also kills color, if you accidentally get it somewhere it's not supposed to be, and it will burn your skin if you get it on you without washing it off immediately. If you have a big job to conquer, the fumes from breathing it are quite irritating. The worst thing about bleach is that it's not so good as a cleaner! Basically, all it does is kill germs.
On the other hand - Vinegar kills germs and cleans wonderfully! I came across a nifty science project that set out to prove the germ killing power of vinegar. In other research, I discovered that if you use hydrogen peroxide hand in hand with vinegar, that the results are almost as good as using bleach, and some claim, maybe better! Apparently, it is not a good idea to mix and store the two elements together. If you want to clean green, but are really concerned with germs, use two spray bottles, one for each ingredient. Spray one right after the other to get optimal germ killing results! This method is a little more work, but really - there are only a few instances most would want to use this kind of disinfectant anyway: toilets, cutting boards, and maybe on door knobs and telephones when someone in the house is sick.
I must share some personal opinion on this matter, after all, I successfully completed a very difficult college microbiology class a few years ago . . . consequently, I have pondered the effects of germs on our lives a little more than I would have liked to! I spent months surrounded by very dangerous bacteria and viruses, even spilling a vile on my desk and lab coat at one time, (what was it, uhh, e. coli, maybe staph ~ hee hee). I have learned first hand that human beings are very resistant to "germs"! Unless one's immune system is compromised by a disease or some sort of very extreme stress, toilet goobers and eggs over-easy (yum!) aren't going to hurt anybody! Before I became a *professional* housekeeper, I rarely even used cleaners to clean my house! I used water and sometimes plain ole' soap. About once ever four to six months or so, I would buy some comet to clean the toilet really good, and maybe the shower, but I have since seen the light!
Vinegar, by itself, is plenty efficient at zapping germs and cleaning your house. It can be used for almost everything too! Here's a list:
GLASS!!! It is the best to clean glass and get a streak free shine!
Chrome and brass fixtures - gets 'em shiny!
Hard water build up - if your faucets are yuck and/or the water tray in your fridge has become grimy, soak in vinegar for a few minutes to an hour, depending on how bad the case is! For faucets, soak a towel in straight or diluted vinegar and wrap them for a few minutes to an hour.
Floors - any floors. Vinyl, Tile, Wood, spot cleaning for carpets
Showers and shower doors - gets the water spots off, use a straight solution for tough jobs! Use baking soda with it for a mild abrasive and boosting power!
Greasy stoves!!! - and stinky microwaves become SHINY again!
Grimy Ovens!!! - use with baking soda. Turn the oven on for a few minutes at 350 or so after you have doused it with vinegar, then wipe, scour, plastic spatula it clean!!! (commercial oven cleaners are horrible!!!)
Dusting - I even use vinegar to dust by spraying just a small bit on my towel, it doesn't have the junk in it that makes a foggy build up on your furniture, and I don't have to switch cleaners when I get to the glass furniture, or the combination glass/wood furniture.
When diluting vinegar with water, I say, use what works! For the toughest jobs you may want to use it straight, but be warned, it is strong and will burn your eyes if you get too close to the mist. It won't damage your eyes, again, I figured this out for myself. (someday I will tell you the story of when I thought I grabbed my water bottle but actually grabbed the vinegar!) A quarter of vinegar to water is a pretty good solution.
I just realized that earlier in this blog I used the words: - toilet goobers & yum - in the same sentence! I can't help but wonder what that says about me . . .
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