If you are looking for an inexpensive, all-purpose cleaner, vinegar is a safe option, especially in households where small children and pets roam. It is affordable, environmentally friendly and much safer than the cleaning products on the market.
White distilled vinegar is best for cleaning. This type kills the most bacteria, germs and molds, thanks to its high level of acidity.
The word vinegar is derived from the French "vinaigre", which means sour wine. Wine that has gone bad, usually due to cork shrinkage resulting in unwanted air exposure, takes on a sour, vinegar-like taste.
White vinegar works well for cleaning counters, refrigerators and other hard surfaces. Run white vinegar through your coffee pot or dishwasher to clean and keep them working their best. Mix white vinegar with salt to make a paste that will disinfect and polish chrome fixtures in your kitchen and bathroom.
Add vinegar to a large pot of boiling water to make socks and dish clothes extra bright. Turn off the stove and let the socks and cloths soak overnight. White vinegar can also be used as an inexpensive and effective spot treatment before washing.
Never mix bleach with vinegar. Combining the two will create a toxic chlorine vapor.