Sanitary Doesn’t Always Smell Good

By Andrea Freedman

Recently, when I ran out of all of my cleaning supplies at once and nothing I needed was on sale, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to try cleaning with good old-fashioned vinegar and water, especially since it is said to be better for the environment and costs less than it does to purchase all of the individual cleaning supplies I usually need.

I had only previously used vinegar in the kitchen, not as a cleaning product, but rather as a condiment or part of a garnish or salad dressing. While vinegar is great with things like French fries or fish and chips, I had always been skeptical about cleaning with it, especially since when I was growing up, my mom kept a spotlessly clean home and I was always used to walking into our house and immediately smelling cleaning products.

Still, I started imagining all the fun things I could buy with the money I would save by cleaning with vinegar, not to mention the space I would cut down on in my cupboard. Also, I figured if vinegar and water is good enough as to be used for feminine hygiene it certainly must be good enough to clean with.

I obviously used white vinegar for cleaning but laughed to myself that if I were to try balsamic or red wine vinegar for cleaning, I would be able to tell people that they could literally eat off my floor.

I must confess that I was not completely happy with the results. The mirrors and other glass surfaces were slightly streaky, the floor looked a little on the dull side and trying to give the bathtub a good scrub just wasn’t the same. Further, when I got home after going out later that afternoon, I did not get the same sense of satisfaction I usually do after devoting hours to cleaning and let’s face it, that’s part of the reason I do it in the first place.

When my husband walked in later and immediately had to go outside on the balcony (even though it was a freezing cold winter day) because of being assaulted by the smell of vinegar I knew it was time to rethink this experiment. After all, food and cooking smells are some of the odors I try to eliminate when I clean. Our place actually smelled better before I used the vinegar!

It just goes to show you: Even when you try to save money, everything comes with a price. When I clean in the future I may try one of the more environmentally friendly, less harsh cleaning supplies on the market, but I think I will save the vinegar for my salad dressing.♦


Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2017


About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on February 11, 2017, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hi Andrea,
    Great article, thanks. This just reaffirms that vinegar is for salad and / or fish and chips!


  2. Maybe your husband thought when he smelled the v.inegar, that he was, in fact, having fish and chips for dinner. Windex is still the best for cleaning mirrors. I sometimes use it on my broadloom to get rid of stains, and it smells alot better, I think. It was a good thought though. Better luck next time. GF


  3. Thanks Andrea, I always wondered if I should try cleaning with vinager and now I have my answer 🙂


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