April 5, 2009–Today’s Way: What’s in your average window cleaner?   That bottle of blue stuff typically contains a chemical cocktail of unpronounceable volatile solvents, detergents, ammonia, fragrance to mask the smell of all the aforementioned ingredients and–last but not least–dye.   The funny thing is, simple white vinegar achieves all the same things as the blue stuff, without the harsh chemicals and vapors.  Okay, yes, vinegar does have a smell, but the scent dissipates quickly and can easily be made a bit more tolerable by adding a drop or two of  lemon and lavender essential oils.  The trick that I’ve found is to use vinegar straight; I’ve seen a lot of recipes that dilute the vinegar with water, but I always find it can cause streaks and takes longer to dry.  Just fill an empty spray bottle with straight white vinegar (organic is nice), add the drops of essential oils if you like, and get your green clean on!  We use vinegar at home as well as in the WoodSprite workshop to clean everything from mirrors and windows to countertops, cupboards, toilets, tubs, tile, walls and other surfaces and makes an indispensable laundry softener as well (just fill into one of those laundry balls).  For those of you concerned about household germs, I’ve got good news: Vinegar is a fantastic natural disinfectant, due to its high acidity (this is why it’s used in pickling and other foods without the need for additional preservatives).  Straight, ordinary vinegar will kill germs, bacteria, mold and even viruses, without killing your budget.

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