Thursday, January 7, 2016

Vinegar, it's not just for canning pickles!

So what can there possibly be to say about vinegar. It's sour, it's good for pickling stuff, and that's about it, right? Wrong! Vinegar is one of those often misunderstood and under used products we need to look at closer.

By definition, vinegar is an alcoholic liquid that has been allowed to sour. The word is derived from the French words vin, which means wine and aigre, which means sour. 

What is little known about vinegar these days is just how versatile it really is. It is a critical part of any kind of pickling done in canning foods. It is used in salad dressings and marinades. Vinegar has long been used as a cleaning agent. And on top of all that, there are real health benefits to consuming vinegar.

Today's post is the first of a two parts. Today I will talk about vinegar's place as a medicine in a healthy lifestyle, as well as its use as a household cleaner. Next week I will talk more about vinegar in foods.

For centuries vinegar has been used as a medicine and a cleaning agent. Let's start with household uses for vinegar. We all know about how expensive it can be to buy cleaning products from the store. There is literally a cleaning product for every type of mess we can make in every room in our home. I use to have a multitude of jugs and bottles and powders and liquids to keep my home clean. I learned through research that all those chemicals don't just disappear when wiped away. They go somewhere and that somewhere is in our environment. For more information, here's a link.

There is a way to clean your home and protect the environment. Now get started cleaning. Here's what to do:

In the home:

· To clean your windows use the water vinegar bottle. Spray the glass and wipe clean. 

· Those pesky price stickers come off with a little vinegar. Moisten sticker and let sit for 10 minutes and remove.

· For an odor that won't go away, place a bowl of vinegar in the room overnight.

· Clean silver, pewter, copper, and brass by dissolving 1 teaspoon salt in one cup vinegar. Add flour to create a past. Apply to the metal and let stand for 15 minutes Rinse with warm water and polish with a soft cloth.

· Wood paneling can be cleaned with a mixture of 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 cups warm water. Apply with a soft cloth and dry with a clean cloth.

· Shower heads can be cleaned by soaking in vinegar overnight.

· Add baking soda and vinegar to your toilet bowl and scrub with brush to remove stains.

· Soap build up in the sink can be removed with 1 part salt and 4 parts vinegar.

· Spray walls and shower curtains with vinegar to help prevent mildew.

· For bathtub ring, fill tub with about 3 inches of hot water. Add 1 cup baking soda and 2 cups vinegar and let the two explode. When the water settles, scrub down the walls and bottom of the tub. Let the water drain out and you will be cleaning your pipes as well. Rinse and you have a clean tub.

· Ants don't like vinegar, so spray vinegar along doorways, windowsills, and countertops. 

· If there are odors coming from your sink drain, pour a cup or two of vinegar down and leave for an hour or so.

· If your drain is clog, pour in 1/2 cup baking soda, then pour in 1/2 cup vinegar. When these two products combine there is a great deal of commotion. Once the bubbling stops, pour warm water down the drain.

· You can clean your cutting board by simply wiping it down with vinegar

· Don't hesitate to use vinegar to clean all your kitchen surfaces.

· If your microwave needs cleaning, put 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup water in a plastic bowl and microwave until it boils. It will remove odors and also loosen food bits from the walls.

· 1/2 cup vinegar in the rinse cycle with decrease lint in clothes.

· Persistent stains can be removed by rubbing the stain with vinegar before washing.

· If you want your brights to be bright, add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.

· To remove soap residue from the washing machine, run an empty cycle with one cup vinegar.

Did you know that vinegar was the very first medicines? Hippocrates considered the father of medicine, used vinegar to treat his patients. Vinegar is a natural antiseptic, meaning it is a germ killer.

I remember as a kid, when I got a sore throat, my mom would make me gargle with salt water. I hated that, but it actually did work. But there's an even better way to naturally heal a sore throat.

Here's a recipe for you:

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (something you 
should always have in your home and it keeps forever)**
1 teaspoon raw honey
juice from 1/2 of a lemon
pinch of cayenne pepper

Combine the above with 1 cup hot water and sip it slowly. Repeat 4 times a day. All these ingredients are good for you bringing their own specific benefits with them. This remedy will also help with a cough.

For more information on the health benefits of vinegar take a look at this site.

** When selecting your apple cider vinegar, make sure to get organic, unfiltered kind.  There is something called "the mother" in good vinegar and that simply means there are strands of proteins, enzymes and good bacteria, which are goods things for your body.  

We would never want you to skip seeing the doctor when you are feeling ill.  We do want you to consider  simple remedies that you have close at hand when a cold comes your way. Keeping a bottle of vinegar in your cupboard is a wise and healthy thing you can do for yourself.

Now, go out and make something good for your home and yourself.

1 comment:

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