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Vinegar & Soap Cleaner

An eco-friendly solution for housecleaning.

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Vicki Marcok's Most Excellent Solution to Cleaning Problems

  • Nov 13, 2009
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Going to see your publisher can be most rewarding, sometimes in unexpected ways.

Wednesday I dropped by the Véhicule Press offices with the proceeds from the books sold at the Fields of Walking last weekend in Kamloops, B.C. I filled in Simon Dardick, Véhicule’s co-publisher, and Vicki Marcok, the general manager, on the conference. Then I said, rather sadly, that the next thing on my agenda—having exhausted all the interesting tasks--was digging the house out since I’d been so busy lately that grime was everywhere. That is when Vicki gave me the best household hint I’ve had in years.

“One part dish soap to two parts vinegar,” she said. “A friend told me about it a couple of years ago. Put it in a spray bottle, spray it on, wait five minutes and wipe it off. Terrific.”

She’s right! Got rid of almost all the burned-on crud in the oven, took grease off the walls behind the stove and shined the bathtub to a brilliance not equaled in years.

The last is particularly rewarding as the tub is a big old one with iron feet that we had refinished several years ago with acrylic. At the time, the contractor warned us not to use abrasives or harsh cleaners on the surface. Since then it slowly has gotten dingier and dingier, despite frequent and energetic applications of elbow grease, fancy-dan green-style cleaners, baking soda, and vinegar on its own.

But Vicki’s miracle solution really was one: the collected whatever rolled off the surface without much effort and what was left rinsed off with clean water. The last step, I suspect, is important, because if you don’t you’re likely to have leave residual soap film that will collect more grime.

Hey, Simon: got a sure-fire bestseller for you. Have Vicki do a “Secrets of Successful People” book, featuring their household hints, and beginning with hers!

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November 13, 2009
One part dish soap and two parts vinegar?  Sounds simple and eco-friendly enough!  Did you have to dilute it with water?  I think the scent of dish soap and vinegar would be much more pleasant than Windex, so I'm going to have to give this a try!  I'm sure that the followers of the Green Living Community will appreciate this tip.  As always, thanks for sharing, Mary! :)
November 13, 2009
This is an awesome tip! I've been trying to replace all of my products (household and others) with organic/natural substitutes and this sounds like a good combo. Do you use white vinegar? I assume so because it wouldn't leave any marks..but you never know :)
About the reviewer
Mary Soderstrom is a Montreal-based writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her new collection of short stories, Desire Lines: Stories of Love and Geography, will be published by Oberon Press in November, … more
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This vinegar and dish soap cleaner is made with two parts vinegar and one part dish soap and can be put into a spray bottle to be used on ovens, bath tubs, etc.
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