Archive for the ‘Vinegar’ Category

Once again, vinegar proves to be a wonder-liquid. A while back, I stopped using dryer sheets to cut back on some of the chemicals. It hasn’t been bad, but my biggest complaint is stiff clothes. Enter vinegar. Turns out, a half-cup or so of vinegar in the rinse cycle softens clothes. And don’t worry about remembering to add it– most machines have a rinse cycle receptacle, or just buy the Downy ball and use it for vinegar instead of liquid fabric softener. And no, your clothes do not come out of the dryer smelling like vinegar — the scent evaporates.


Now, if only vinegar could actually fold my clothes and put them away too!


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Fruit flies and red wine

flyDo these little suckers bug you? Yeah, well they bug me too.


The other night, I discovered a bittersweet way to get rid of fruit flies, quite by accident. You see, I was sitting on my couch, enjoying the quiet of two sleeping children accompanied by a wonderful glass of red wine. And whilst I was sipping, I noticed — not once, not twice, but THREE times — that a fruit fly had drowned in my red wine. Not that I can blame them, I mean, who doesn’t love a good Cabernet? And of course, being the waste-not, want-not person that I am, I simply scooped them out with a spoon and continued enjoying my wine.


So, if fruit flies are flying rampant in your house this time of year, and if you have a little wine to spare, consider setting out a sip of wine in a shallow bowl. After all, drowning in wine might be one of the more humane ways to kill fruit flies, don’t you think?


And if sharing wine isn’t your thing, I hear that apple cider vinegar works well too.



Photo by Robert S. Donovan.

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It’s early in the summer swimming season, which also means it’s prime time for sunburns. This is especially true for those living in the cooler climates — you finally shed your winter gear and reveal your tender pale skin for the first time to the sun. If you’re not wearing the right SPF (which you should always remember to do!) you’re in for a nice burn. If you’re unfortunate enough to get burned, try using a natural home remedy with some of the things you probably already own.




Vinegar. I swear this is the miracle liquid. What can’t vinegar do? To soothe a sunburn, spritz plain white vinegar over the affected area and let it air dry.


Dairy. Either cold plain whole milk yogurt or whole milk can be applied to sunburned skin using a soft cloth. Let sit for up to 20 minutes and then rinse with cool water.


Baking soda. Sprinkle a good amount of baking soda in a cool/lukewarm bath and soak. Don’t rinse off — let the water air dry on your skin.


Plain ole’ water. Go au naturel and soak in a cool bath. When you go to dry off, don’t rub your skin, but rather pat it dry. If you’ve been burned before, this is probably a no-brainer.


Disclaimer: I’m the furthest thing from a doctor, so use your common sense. If you’re severely sunburned, experiencing chills, fever, etc., stop doing Internet research and go see a doctor.



Photo by blmurch.

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Do you know about the underground world of vinegar? It’s not just for salad dressing folks. Apparently it can be used to do just about anything — from cleaning counter tops to babysitting your children. Kidding on that last one, please don’t try it. The next time you run out of your favorite cleaning solution, try using vinegar. Here are directions for four useful concoctions:

All-purpose cleaner. Combine in a [recycled & cleaned] spray bottle 2 parts water to 1 part white vinegar and a 261942094_603c8f3f6bcouple of drops of dishwashing liquid. Use to clean counter tops, stove tops, sink basins, stainless steel, refrigerator doors, etc.

Laundry softener and miracle worker. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to your laundry’s rinse cycle in place of fabric softener or dryer sheets, kill off bacteria (helpful for cloth diapers), brighten whites or set the color of new fabrics.

Weed killer. A few years ago, the USDA confirmed that regular household vinegar, which is a 5% solution, is effective at keeping some of the typical garden weeds at bay. Higher concentrations (10% to 20%) were shown to be more effective at keeping persistent weeds away. Keep in mind that vinegar can kill all plants, so be sure to spray away from your precious flowers and veggies. For more detailed information on using vinegar in the garden, check out this article.

Animal ear cleaning solution. If you’re a dog or cat owner, you know first hand how dirty their ears can get. And, you also know how expensive ear cleaning solutions are at the vet’s office. Here’s an alternative: mix 2 parts white vinegar to 1 part water and apply on a soft cloth (like an old sock) to clean out yucky, smelly ears. This solution should not be used if your pet has an open cut or wound.


Photo by Walsh.

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