How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

I’ve always wondered how to make apple cider vinegar, and this weekend I thought I’d give it a try.  I actually made pineapple vinegar instead of apple cider because I had pineapple scraps.  You can use fruit scraps to make fruit scrap vinegar, and apple cider vinegar is just another fruit scrap vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, and is great for making salad dressings, using in a bath for detoxification, and even cleaning.  Apple cider vinegar has been often called a wonder drug, and contains vitamins and minerals essential to good health.  Losing weight, lowering blood pressure, and even healing headaches have been some of apple cider vinegar’s benefits.  Personally, I take it when I feel a cold coming on because I think it helps ward off the bad germs.

When you make your own apple cider vinegar, you control what goes in it, and you know you are getting the real deal.  When I purchase apple cider vinegar, I buy the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar because it contains all the goodness of unpasteurized vinegar.  It’s unheated, unfiltered, and contains the “Mother”.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

You can make apple cider vinegar, or any fruit scrap vinegar using this method.  All  you will need is some fruit scraps, sugar, and water.

1. Chop your fruit scraps up.  You don’t have to chop it into tiny pieces, so chunks of fruit are fine.  I made sure to wash the pineapple very well before I used it for my fruit scrap vinegar.  Use the core and skin of the pineapple or fruit you are using.  Apples and pineapple are the most popular fruit to make into vinegar.

2. Mix 1/4 cup of real sugar with 1 quart of warm, filtered water.  Allow the sugar to dissolve in the warm water.  You may need to stir to help the sugar to dissolve.

3.  Put the fruit scraps into a large clean jar.  Make sure you wash it well with hot water and soap.  You don’t want your vinegar getting bad bacteria in it.

4.  Add sugar water solution to the scraps and place a kitchen towel over the opening of the jar.  I secure mine by using a rubber band.

5.  Place jar in a warm area (around 70 degrees) for about two days to a week.  Check it every day and stir if you are able to.  When it smells like vinegar and has a darker color to it, remove the fruit scraps and use!

Please remember: when making fermented foods, if it smells bad, don’t eat it! If it has mold on the top, throw it out!

Apple cider vinegar and fruit scrap vinegar can be added to salad dressings, soups, and even green smoothies.  A tablespoon won’t even be detected by your family.  If you don’t like consuming the vinegar, you can actually use it for cleaning or even conditioning your hair with the no poo method.  Making apple cider vinegar is a great way to use up fruit scraps and provide your family with a great quality vinegar!

Have you made apple cider vinegar?  Do you like it?

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How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally

The other day I was cleaning in my kitchen and I realized that our stainless steel dishwasher was looking pretty bad.  I think stainless steel appliances are beautiful, but after having a stainless steel dishwasher and refrigerator, I think next time I’d go with just plain white or black.  Stainless steel is a pain to keep clean! It attracts fingerprints, dust, and if you get water stains on it, forget it.  Those are so hard to get out.  Luckily, after three years of cleaning stainless steel appliances, I have found the best way for cleaning stainless steel.  Of course, you know it would have to be a safe and natural alternative to stinky chemicals!

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally

-Olive oil & a soft cloth. This is the tried and true method that works for me, and I know you’re going to be baffled when you hear what it is.  I use some olive oil and an old prefold cloth diaper that my mom picked up at a thrift store. What I do is dab a small amount of olive oil onto a corner of the cloth diaper.  I then take the diaper and work with the grain of the stainless steel, polishing as I go.  Make sure you work with the grain so you don’t end up scratching your expensive stainless steel appliances!  I make sure that the oil is rubbed in well, and then move onto the next area. Using olive oil to clean my stainless steel has been a lifesaver! It removes fingerprints, smudges, and even water stains from the dishwasher!

-Vinegar and water. A simple spray of water and vinegar is great for cleaning stainless steel appliances.  The vinegar works well because it is acidic and dissolves dirt and grime.  I make a mix of about 25% vinegar to 75% water, spray on the stainless steel, and wipe with a soft cloth.  I’ve found that vinegar and water works the best for the in-between cleanings of your appliances.  Vinegar is also great for polishing stainless steel!

-Club Soda. Club soda is good for removing streaks and stains.  Just put some club soda onto a rag and apply with the grain.  It will help clean and polish your stainless steel.

-Gentle dish washing soap and water. I like to use Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap because it smells great and works well without damaging the stainless steel. I never have to worry about it being too harsh for the metal.  Sometimes after I get done doing the dishes, I take my dish cloth and just wipe down the appliances.  Of course, this can leave streaks so it’s best to follow up with another one of the methods described above.

How to Care for Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is beautiful, but can be hard to care for.  Here are some things to keep in mind as you clean your stainless steel appliances.

-Always work with the grain, never against it.

-Don’t ever use abrasive cleaners on your stainless steel.  They can scratch your appliances easily.

-Always use a soft cloth.  Never use anything like steel wool (seriously, I know someone whose housekeeper did this!)

-It’s easier to take care of your stainless steel appliances if you clean them regularly.  The longer you let it go, the harder it is to keep them clean.

Those are my tips on how to clean stainless steel appliances.  Of course, you can apply them to any type of appliances as well!

How do you clean your stainless steel appliances?

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Homemade Soft Scrub Recipe

Have you wanted to make homemade soft scrub to clean your bathroom? The other day I decided my bathtub was pretty dirty, so I set out to come up with a recipe for homemade soft scrub.  It contains just a few safe ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen.  Of course you knew that this is one of the baking soda uses. 😉

Making your own soft scrubber for cleaning your bathroom should only take about five minutes.  What’s even better is that you will keep the heavy bathroom cleaning chemicals out of your bathroom.  Have you ever gotten dizzy using bleach to clean the bathroom?  You won’t get that way when you use baking soda, water, and soap.  It’s all natural and safe for your family.  You may even wish to clean your bathroom as you shower!

Homemade Soft Scrub Recipe

-1/2 cup baking soda

-3 Tablespoons liquid castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s )

-1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of water

-5 drops of tea tree oil (for it’s antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, using a spoon and ensuring that all ingredients are incorporated well.  At this point, you may add in a few drops of other essential oils if you wish.  Different essential oils are nice to scent your soft scrubbing solution.  When the mixture looks like a runny paste, you’ve got your completed product.  You can use the soft scrub to clean the bath tub, sinks, floors, kitchen and pretty much anything else your heart desires!

The baking soda adds a mild abrasive action to cleaning.  It’s nice because baking soda is very gentle and doesn’t scratch like other cleaners may.  You can use more or less baking soda to your mixture to get the consistency you desire.  I’ve found that after I’ve left my homemade bathroom cleaner sit for awhile, I do need to add more water and shake well to mix.

I would save an old squeeze ketchup bottle to use for dispensing the bathroom cleaner.  It works very well, and helps keep the bottle out of the landfill!  If you don’t have an old squeeze bottle, you can just pour some of the cleaner onto the surface and use a sponge or cloth to clean with.  It will work just as well!  Be sure to cover tightly so your mixture will keep well.

What’s so nice about this recipe is that it’s all natural, super easy to make, and contains ingredients that you have on hand.  I think it’s important when you’re transitioning to an all natural lifestyle that it’s an easy transition.  There’s no need to get stressed out about going natural!  You should enjoy saving money and living green!  Once you start making your own homemade cleaners, you won’t want to go back to harsh commercial bathroom cleaners.  You’ll feel much better as you clean your bathroom, and knowing that you aren’t poisoning your family is also a wonderful feeling!

Have you tried a soft scrub recipe before? Do you use homemade cleaners to save money?

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