Mop At The Foxfire Museum
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Mop Water

I wrote the article below several years ago as a guest post on a blog that I can't even remember the name of-sad uh? Anyway-here it is-why I use vinegar in my mop bucket.

Cleaning with vinegar

Do you like to clean house? Maybe I should rephrase the question-do you like to have a clean house? While most of us may not like to clean-I’m sure we’d all agree we enjoy a clean home.

Personally-I do like to clean house. Years ago when I first became a home owner-I loved picking out my cleaning supplies. I read all the labels to see how tough the product was on germs and grime-but more important to me was the smell. I had a love affair with products that smelled good. Kind of like the corny commercials where a lady dances through a meadow of flowers with her mop in one hand and the cleaner in the other- yep that lady was me.

The reality of becoming a stay at home Mom-with no job-threw a bucket of ice water on my love affair. All those delightful scented cleaning products come at a high price. It didn’t take me long to realize I could buy an extra pack of diapers for my twin daughters or I could buy the latest wonder cleaner with the incredible fragrance.

I first saw the merits of using Vinegar as a cleaner on a daytime talk show. At the time I had 2 babies crawling through my house-or I should say 2 babies who loved to lick the floor crawling through my house-so using a water vinegar mixture to mop the floors was especially attractive to me.

As you know, vinegar doesn’t smell all that great (remember my love affair)-but I found out early on-that I could improve the scent by adding a few drops of my favorite essential oil. Once I started using vinegar to clean with-I discovered very quickly that it worked as well as commercial cleaners-if not better. And with my little sweet floor lickers-it was a relief to know they were only ingesting a minuscule amount of vinegar with essential oil-instead of chemicals that warned of dire consequences if they were misused.

My girls are 13 now-and over the years my cheap cleaning arsenal has enlarged to include not only vinegar but peroxide, alcohol, baking soda, and borax-all of which are tremendously cheaper than my old flame ‘the smell good cleaning product’.  Check out these links for a few of my favorite cleaning tips:

*1001 Uses For White Distilled Vinegar

*Using Hydrogen Peroxide For Cleaning

*27 Ways To Clean With Baking Soda

I can’t imagine how much money I’ve saved since my pre-children love affair with fragrant cleaners ended. And-back in the day who knew-my frugal cleaning would also make me pretty cool with the Green Movement in full swing. If you’ve never tried any of the alternate cleaners I mentioned-I urge you to give them a try. What can it hurt? If you don’t like them-you can return to your usual cleaner-but if you do like them-then you’ve found a new way to clean, as well as a new way to save money.

For all you who are wondering-it took a while-but my girls finally did out grow the floor licking thing.


I hope you enjoyed my old guest post. All of it's true-and I still use vinegar to clean with today. I mix it with water and put it in a spray bottle to use on my mirrors, counters, bathroom fixtures-and I still add vinegar to my mop water. Over the years I stopped adding essential oil to the mix-I suppose I began to associate the smell of vinegar with the smell of clean. 


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Vinegar is an amazing thing! So many uses. I use it, too!

Yep, back in the old days, all we used was vinegar, or baking soda, or Clorox (then called 101 for some reason) or Fels Naptha which brings back the scents of Grandmas from that time..

Our mom got into cleaning with Spic N Span, I suppose because of the commercials about it on tv, but after having to scrub that huge kitchen floor on my knees with it for over a decade, the smell of Spic N Span is not something I care for anymore.

I use vinegar to take the last uneven sheen of oil or grease off of kitchen cabinets and appliances after I've scrubbed them with hot soapy water. It cuts that haze like a knife. Alcohol does too, but you have to be careful if you're using it on a gas stove with pilot lights, so vinegar is safer.

A half cup of baking soda added to a full gallon of hot water is great for cleaning windows and mirrors, along with old sheets torn into rags cause those don't leave lint.

But my favorite cleaner now I found in the Hispanic section of the grocery and dollar stores. It's lavender scented Fabuloso which is very inexpensive. And a few drops of a product named Tea Tree Oil added to any cleaner is great for disinfecting countertops and sinks, etc., and both Tea Tree Oil and Fabuloso leave the house smelling great. I even add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil to my bath foams and washes because it's great for super dry skin. And if you have any abrasions or hangnails, etc., it disinfects those at the same time.

God bless.


This is not about cleaning but here's something my brother swears is true about vinegar. He was having trouble with shoulder pain and our aunt told him that one of her boys would take a tablespoon of apple vinegar (I think that's the brown kind) each day for his joint pain. My brother tried this but, couldn't tell much difference. The surprise thing it did do was it lowered his cholesterol down like you wouldn't believe after about a month. It lowered it drastically. I'm sure you know to dilute it in water or some liquid should you try this or it will be so strong it'll take your breath. He still does this from time to time. He told his doctor about this and the doctor just laughed and said, "Well, whatever works." I can't stand the smell of vinegar myself, I think it smells like dirty socks.

Love vinegar for everything. Cleaning the kitchen floor, put it on my burning feet at night cleaning the bathroom, counter tops. Pretty much anything that needs cleaning. My dentist told me if I get calcium deposits on my dentures to soak them in vinegar. Works like a charm. My husband is a truck driver and can't get to a shower every time he stops so he keeps a roll of paper towels in a Rubbermaid container with vinegar and water. Yes he smells good. When I get home with produce I run the sink full of water put in some vinegar and wash everything that isn't going to be cooked. To date I have never had a food born illness. Knock on vinegar.

White Vinegar has always been my first choice for cleaning many things, including my electric coffee pot. Great choice!

This is especially good in warmer
weather. I wear shoe-boots to help
support my ankles and those things
create heat that makes my toes itch.
So, once a week I pour distilled
vinegar on my feet holding them
over the commode. That works better
than all them creams and powders,
and with no side effects...Ken

I do enjoy a clean house, but I'm sure glad our cabin is small! So easy to maintain:) I've been using vinegar and baking soda as cleaning staples for quite some time now...and I like the smell of vinegar!

I use a white vinegar and water mix to clean too. did you know it disinfects as well.

Crusty Old Guy's dad struggled with MRSA virus for a while. After several rounds of antibiotics, I decided to try vinegar soaks along with the prescribed meds. Worked like a charm and cleared everything up quickly.

Some days the house smells like a pickle factory, but it goes away quickly.

Much love - t

Yes, I've used vinegar to mop/clean with. I have friends who are sensitive to chemicals. They use vinegar because it is natural and doesn't set off their allergies.
I use baking soda in my laundry detergent mix. It is far less expensive that commercial laundry detergent and works just as good.
I like making my own household products. It saves lots of money as well as removing some chemicals from my house. I would not call myself a green freak but I do prefer to eliminate as many chemicals as possible, and who doesn't like to save money.
I use hydrogen peroxide, a quarter cup, in a sink full of water to soak all my vegetables. It cleans them and helps them last longer in the refrigerator.
I'm gonna check out those three links and see if I can get some new ideas!

I also use vinegar for floors and baking soda for anything that needs a little scrub or freshening up. For most of my day-to-day cleaning I have a spray bottle filled with half water, half rubbing alcohol, a few drops of dish soap and a few drops of essential oil. It cleans everything from spills on the kitchen floor to mirrors and chrome faucets. I always have a quart of peroxide in the bathroom cupboard and a pill bottle of peroxide in both the goat barn and the workshop for quick flushing of nicks and cuts on both me and the critters, depending on who gets into more trouble at any given moment. (Just to give you an idea, last time I used it on a goat was January. I used it on myself...yesterday.) Never knew peroxide could be a household cleaner! Will definitely read your link - thanks!

Floor licking, new one for me, mine all pu everything and every microscopic piece of lint into their mouths. Vinegar is a great grease cutter too, making it the best for your kitchen floors, counters and splashes.

Those natural products are wonderful. Ever since all the scares about contaminated vegetable, I have kept a spray bottle of water and vinegar mix at the sink. I spray all lettuce, apples, strawberries etc. then rinse it off. Vinegar is effective on bacteria. I learned in a course of Microbiology that many effective germ killers are corrosive to the skin with an example being bleach. Vinegar works on coffee pots and dishwashers, and you don't have to worry about rubber gloves and masks. One of the cheapest and best cleaners I learned from a lady who cleaned houses. Mix Dawn in the water to clean windows, and you will have a sparkle those expensive products don't have. I always hated trying to rub all that store bought cleaner off, as it was trying to add a shine. For men who do not find household cleaning products interesting, the vinegar or Dawn works wonderfully on auto windows or Dawn great for washing down campers.

mee to,

I loved this post! I'm glad your little girls switched from licking the floor, hmmmm to holding lizards...LOL
Not laughing at you but with you, as I could tell of some things my boys put in their mouths at that age!...Yuk, yuk!
One sunny day, has to be for me to clean windows, I was out of windex. Remembering the times I have used vinegar and newspaper to clean windows, I dug it out from under the cabinet. The kitchen windows were done and the boys were walking in the door from school....Oh boy, Moms making pickles!
Those boys are pickle lovers! I sure hated to burst their bubble!
They couldn't believe I had used vingegar to clean the windows and not have a pot of vinegar with spices heating on the stove!
Thanks Tipper,

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