Vinegar is magic. Also: A frugal Swiffer hack.Posted by Donna Freedman on Feb 17, 2017 | 39 comments
Still visiting my daughter and drinking the weird water of Phoenix. She and my son-in-law cope by using a reverse osmosis system to turn the hard H20 into something approaching potable agua.
Probably I’d get used to it if I lived here; for now, I cope by turning it into iced tea.
What I really resent, though, is the weirdly random stains the mineral-saturated water makes in the toilet bowls. I made it my mission to eliminate them.
And, as Abby noted in “The beauty of a clean toilet,” I succeeded. That’s because I had a secret weapon.
Oh, vinegar: Is there anything you can’t do?
Not according to those who write frugality and homemaking blogs. Vinegar cleans windows, counters, stovetops and refrigerators. Mixed half-and-half with blue Dawn dish liquid in a spray bottle, it works the same way as Scrubbing Bubbles products (and the smell does go away).
Vinegar makes a good fabric softener and also a good post-shampoo rinse. It kills germs, weeds, nits, athlete’s foot fungus and pet-accident odors on the rug. And on and on and on.
When I searched for “remove hard water stains toilets,” I learned that this is another example of vinegar’s superpowers. Pour it in, let it sit a few minutes and start scrubbing with what my mom used to call “the johnny mop.”
Seeing the stains disappear filled me with satisfaction. Yes, I need more to do.
A frugal floor hack
Last time I was here the Swiffer Wet Jet bottle was almost empty. When I found out how much the refills cost I got really irritated. Then I remembered having read about a way to remove the cap and refill the bottle at home.
An online search yielded this article from Lifehacker, with simple instructions: Stand the bottle briefly in boiling water, twist off the cap, use a nail clipper to snip away the locking tabs and refill the bottle with the cleaning solution of your choice.
To my delight, it worked. The only trouble was that I didn’t have a big enough nail clipper to snip off the tabs. I filled the bottle with water plus a teeny squirt of Murphy’s Oil Soap, replaced the cap and mopped to my heart’s content.
This time around I brought an industrial-strength nail clipper with me. When the bottle was almost empty I removed the cap and snipped off the tabs. More water, a squirt of soap, cap back on – and I just saved anywhere from $9 to $14, depending which Amazon price you believe.
(You could also use water and bleach, water and your favorite cleaning product or – you guessed it – water and vinegar.)
I’m not sure how long the bottle will last, but it’s a pretty sturdy plastic. Knowing that each bottle refill means decent savings makes me very happy. I really do need more to do.
Readers: Do you use vinegar for non-food purposes? And if you have a Swiffer Wet Jet, will you go the DIY refill route?