Monday, August 3, 2009

More Vinegar Solutions ...

Awhile back we talked about using vinegar in the house to clean (you can read that article HERE). Vinegar is an amazing product ... it's inexpensive, it kills bacteria, mold and germs ... and, it's earth friendly.

Today we're taking vinegar outside. Here are some ideas (unless otherwise specified, we're using white distilled vinegar for these tips):
  • Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Hydrangeas and Gardenias all do better in acidic soil. Rather than use harmful chemicals, water them with a solution of one cup vinegar to a gallon of water.

  • Did some of your garden tools get rusted over the winter? Soak them in undiluted vinegar overnight or for a few days ... rust will disappear and your tools will be good as new.

  • We recently talked about using weeds to make a liquid fertilizer. But how about those weeds (or grass) that grow in tight spaces ... the cracks of a walkway or driveway? Spray them with vinegar and they're gone.

  • If you have an outdoor fountain or pond that uses a pump, soak the pump in full strength vinegar to remove mineral deposits and keep it working in tip top shape.

  • Have an ant problem? Spray the area with vinegar and they'll go elsewhere.

  • Soak clay, plastic or glazed pots in a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar for at least an hour to clean out stains, mineral deposits and to kill any bacteria, germs and mold before using them for new plants.

  • Nothing is better than watching wild birds take a bath. To keep our feathered friends happy and healthy, clean out the birdbath often by scrubbing it with undiluted vinegar. Rinse it well and fill it with fresh water.

  • Having a problem with garden lime? Neutralize it by adding vinegar to the area.

  • Keep your patio furniture clean and sanitary by wiping it down with vinegar. Keep a spray bottled filled and clean away.

  • Clean the hummingbird feeder with vinegar instead of soaps and detergents ... it will kill bacteria and germs and won't leave any harmful film.

  • Bothered by mosquitoes? Drink a little apple cider vinegar each day and you'll become unattractive to them.

  • Do you have brown spots on your lawn because "Fido" uses it as his urinal? Put a little Apple Cider Vinegar in his water bowl and no more brown spots (by the way, this trick also helps keep fleas at bay. Check out this link: for more information on vinegar and canine health).

  • Speaking of pets ... does your cat (or the neighbors) get into your garden or think your kid's sandbox is their own private litter box? Spray the area with vinegar ... they don't like the smell.

  • I have very sensitive skin and ... I don't like gloves when I work in the garden. The result is usually red, blotchy, itchy skin. To solve the problem, rinse hands in vinegar ... problem solved.

  • If your plants are being eaten by rabbits, discourage "Bugs Bunny" by putting vinegar soaked cotton balls in a 35mm film container or small pill bottle. Poke a hole in the top and place in the garden. "Bugs" will shop elsewhere.

  • Do flies like to hang around the pool? Pour vinegar around the perimeter of the pool ... not in the water ... just around the edges.

  • Have an unsightly stain on the concrete patio? Pour some vinegar on it, let it sit over night and then rinse it off. The stain will miraculously disappear.

  • Tired of scraping bugs off your windshield? Put about 3 cups of vinegar into the windshield wash reservoir ... no more problem.

  • Love to grill? Clean a cooled grill with vinegar and a brush.

  • If you have a wooden deck (sustainable, earth-friendly wood, of course) then you might be bothered with slippery mildew. Rather than use a bleach based cleaner, use vinegar.

  • Have birds used your furniture or deck for target practice? Spray down the "droppings" with vinegar, let it sit for awhile and then wash them away.

  • How about a camping trip? Vinegar cleans coolers and canvas tents. Don't forget about tarps ... stop that mold and mildew with ... yep ... vinegar. And here's a bonus ... using vinegar helps reduce the amount of dust that normally sticks to camping equipment.

So there you go ... earth-friendly, healthy ways to keep the outdoors pleasant.

As always ... I would love to hear from you.