Homemade Cleaning Remedies – The Power of Vinegar

Although we at Cincinnati Maintenance focus mainly on carpet, upholstery, floor and tile, we sure do love clean homes and offices. And, we love natural and organic remedies to keep that good clean going.
Which brings us to the power of good ol’ vinegar. A few weeks ago we blogged about using vinegar and baking soda to get rid of pet urine odor in carpet and rugs. But, vinegar can do so much more.
Why do we like to use vinegar in homemade cleaning products?  It’s non-toxic. That’s the biggie. It’s inexpensive. That’s a biggie, too.  And, it’s good for a lot of different small cleaning jobs around the house and office.
Here are a few cleaning ideas for vinegar, but, as with ANY cleaner, be it homemade or store-bought, test in an inconspicuous area first.
Cabinets and paneling: Mix ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, and 2 cups of warm water. Apply with a soft cloth and wipe dry with a different soft cloth.
Showerheads: To remove hard water corrosion, soak in vinegar overnight and scrub gently with an old toothbrush.
Hard water and soap buildup: Liberally wet soft cloths with vinegar and place on hard water corrosion and soap buildup around faucets; leave for several hours or overnight; then, wipe away the gunk.  Soap buildup can tenacious, though, so you can try rubbing away the scum with a mixture of vinegar and salt.
Disposal: Get that nasty smell out of the kitchen disposal but pouring in a cup of vinegar; let it sit (do not run water nor run the disposal for at least an hour) and then run water and the kitchen disposal to vanquish bad odors.
One note about vinegar – be wary of using vinegar to clean marble surfaces, granite countertops, or stone tile.  The acidity of vinegar can etch these surfaces.
Keep check back on the Cincinnati Maintenance blog as we will be posting more green, eco-friendly homemade cleaning remedies soon!

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Pet Urine Odor

We get asked often, “How do I get the pet urine smell out of my carpets?”  In Cincinnati, it’s still that iffy time of year weather-wise where pets are spending more time indoors than out – naturally leading to a few more accidents that can leave some unpleasant odors in your rugs and carpets.
It’s great to keep some good DIY or homemade remedies on hand to help you and Fido out.  First and foremost, Cincinnati Maintenance ALWAYS recommends that you test any cleaner or “remedy” you are trying in an inconspicuous area of your rug or carpet.  You certainly don’t want to make an accident area worse.  
First things first, be sure to blot as much of the offending accident material as possible. You don’t want to be dealing with a liquidy mess when trying to rectify these issues with a cleaner. So, get rid of as much of the urine as you can by blotting with a clean, preferably white, absorbent towel.
Likely the most effective DIY pet odor remedy and the one we want to share with you is a Baking Soda – White Vinegar Spray.  Put two equal parts of white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle and add 2-4 tablespoons of baking soda.  (Note: be sure it’s baking soda and not baking powder.)  For example, for two cups each of water and vinegar, add 4 tablespoons of baking soda.  For one cup each of water and vinegar, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
Spray the area liberally. Let it sit at least 5 minutes and blot dry with a clean towel.
An alternate way to use this remedy is:  Blot as much of the mess up as possible. Instead of adding the baking soda to the spray bottle containing the water/white vinegar mixture, sprinkle the baking soda onto the accident area.  Let it sit on the area for a minimum of 5 minutes. Vacuum up the baking soda and then proceed with spraying the area with the vinegar mixture and blot dry.
Lastly, another alternative is: Blot the offensive material as thoroughly as you can as described above.  Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda.  Then spray the water/vinegar mixture on top of the baking soda. Let sit for at least 5 minutes and then blot and blot some more.
We’re big fans of using homemade cleaning products whenever possible and we are fans of pets. And, if you have pets, you really should always have tried and true DIY cleaning remedies on hand.   
As always, feel free to contact Cincinnati Maintenance should you have a mess you can’t handle and for your regular carpet and upholstery maintenance cleanings.