Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cleaning with Vinegar

This is my third speech on the ToastMaster club. More information about the topic can be found here.

Cleaning with Vinegar

Some things in life are unavoidable. Tax is one of them. Cleaning is another one. If we neglect to file our tax, the government will come knocking on our door. If we don’t do cleaning, our house will be messy and full of bacteria and viruses.

When it comes to cleaning, a lot of cleaning products are available out there. But believe it or not, the title “The Perfect Household Cleaners” is hold by vinegar. This is the same vinegar that we use for cooking. Households around the country have proven the effectiveness of vinegar.

Vinegar is surprisingly effective, when compared to other cleaners. It is an 'all-in-one cleaner,' so there is no need to buy specific cleaners for different purposes. Vinegar is good for cleaning kitchen surfaces, sink, bathtubs, toilet, ceramic tiles, appliances, painted walls, floors, messy microwave, top of the fridge, and other solid surfaces. It can also be used to shine mirrors, glass, stainless steel, and chrome, to remove unpleasant odors, and to remove stains from clothes.

Vinegar is non-toxic, so there is no fear of breathing harmful chemicals while cleaning. It is a natural organic bi-product of vegetables and grains. It is therefore edible and biodegradable. If in the course of normal household cleaning you 'pour it down the drain', its impact on municipal sewer and water treatment systems is just like any food product. It is very safe for the environment, for family members, especially those with asthma, and around young children.

Vinegar is economical, much less expensive than other cleaners. You can buy a big jug of vinegar and use it for a long time. The shelf life of vinegar is almost indefinite, according to The Vinegar Institute’s research studies. Because of vinegar's acid nature, it is self-preserving and does not need refrigeration. When an opened vinegar is let sit for a long time, sometimes you can see changes in color or development of sediment. This is, however, only an aesthetic change. The product can still be used with confidence.

Vinegar is also gentle on hands, so there is no need to wear rubber gloves.

Now, what about the smell of cleaning of vinegar? Vinegar does have a distinct odor that some find unpleasant. But it is a clean smell and it dissipates quickly. Some have suggested mixing peppermint oil to counter the smell.

In the course of cleaning, sometimes we you accidentally spray our eyes with the cleaning solution. Vinegar will sting your eyes if sprayed directly into them, so direct contact with eyes should be avoided. However, vinegar will not cause any short or long-term damage to your eyes.

To start cleaning using vinegar, put distilled white vinegar in a trigger-spray bottle. Spray it on the surface you want to clean. Let sit for several minutes, wipe with a paper towel, and that’s it. Vinegar cleans streak free, so there is no need to rinse after cleaning.

I hope I have convinced you to start cleaning using vinegar. I have prepared a short handout of how to clean using vinegar, and I wish you will try some of these methods. Your wallet will thank you. Your environment will thank you. And your family will thank you.

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