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Vinegar Dish Washing System

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How many of you use vinegar to augment your ordinary dish soap? The idea is simple. Find a large pump squirt bottle and fill it half and half with vinegar and water. Add in a squirt of your favorite store bought bio-degradable dish soap and use your new pump bottle mixture to wash your dishes in cold water. Yup, you read me correctly, cold water!

Save on hot water bills and also on store bought dish soap. Try it and and see for yourselves!

Source: I tried mixing a few products together and vinegar mixed with water and ordinary bio-degradable dish soap proved to be a winner. That makes me the source of this tip.

By Joseph R. from Laval, Quebec, Canada

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By 'Miss' Bonnie [10]10/06/2011

Greetings, Joseph,

Whether we are restricting our discussion only to the washing of dishes by hand or are including using a dish washing machine, using HOT water is essential for proper cleaning of flatware, dishes, bowls, glasses, plastic storage containers, pots, pans, casserole and baking dishes, and any other item used for cooking, eating, freezing, baking, storage of food, microwaving, and so on.

Back in the 1950's, when we were tiny children, all of us were getting sick a lot, passing illnesses back and forth. The family doctor told my parents to "get an automatic dishwasher to sterilize the dishes." We ended up getting one of the first dishwashers, NOT to wash the dishes, because we had to do that ourselves before loading them into the dish racks. It was to make use of the heating element in the bottom of the machine, to destroy as many bacteria as we could, in a simple home environment.

Since then, I have researched commercial dish washing procedures, required by the health department in our state. The intention is to use very HOT water to kill the most bacteria possible in one's ordinary, household kitchen--(regardless of whatever substances like vinegar or lemon juice were mixed with the dish soap). I am concerned that for the sake of simplicity in living or saving $500-600.00, we might be going too far in sacrificing our health?

No. God Forbid that you or any of the Thrifty Fun members become sick or transfer illnesses back and forth to our friends or family. Please, Joseph, you are a valuable person. Even when someone lives alone, the hot water heater is an important appliance to have in the home. HOT water uses are numerous. Look at your resources where you live. Do what it takes to get another hot water heater, please. Call your community or social services. A hot bath awaits you, Joseph.

By AuntieBim [3]10/05/2011

I beg to differ, to use an old phrase. Cold water is not "dangerous." Intelligence in cleaning is more important. It is very possible to have dishes all surfaces, clean with cold water (and/or other cleaners). Just make sure they are free of grease and food particles. If someone in the house has serious health problems, extreme cleaning is a must. But for most households, too clean can be even more dangerous than liveable clean. Keeping children (yes, "grown-ups" too!) from playing in dirt, getting dirty, touching "things" and the like can play havoc with immune systems. Exposure builds up that immune system. I won't belabor the subject, but end with the tried-and-true adage: My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.

Oh, and by the way, I have had years, many years, of washing & cleaning with cold water--even a pan of dishwater (cold & detergent) kept on the sink for days where I would scrub the dishes then rinse in hot (not boiling) water. Hang in there, Joseph.

By Joseph Raglione [16]10/04/2011

Hi Luana M.

Thanks for the feedback. I also wondered if cold water was safe for cleaning dishes. A mixture of vinegar and dish soap does clean the dishes but how much bacteria does it kill? A good question? Maybe it does not kill all the bacteria but I've been using it for six months now and I'm still alive to talk about it.

I would love to have hot steam cleaned dishes but my hot water tank blew up six months ago, and cold water is all I have along with a surprisingly small electricity bill. So small in fact that I did not rush out and buy another hot water tank. What we need are some unbiased science experiments to see exactly how much bacteria is removed with the vinegar, water and dish soap mixture.
Joseph R.

By Luana M. [82]10/04/2011

I also use vinegar on pretty much every thing however cold water is dangerous. The only for sure way to clean anything up to 99.9% is steam. Cold water does not kill bacteria, the $ you would be saving on hot water (I wrote a long, detailed researched post on saving water), would not pay for the doctor bill if you got sick from chicken, meats, droppings or just grease left on the dishes.

Use hot water. Go back in the archives and read all the tips on saving water I promise they are much safer. Your soap is what I use but cold water is dangerous it doesn't even clean the house properly. I think you should rethink this one. I wouldn't want anyone to get so sick you can literally wind up with a stomach illness, or worse.

If you wash the dishes in cold water than maybe you could have a tub of boiling water (you boiled on the stove) to rinse them in therefore killing any germs as well as rinsing off the dirty residue that get in the soap mixture. Don't waste the water you can dip the dishes not let the hot water run and run. This will save your hot water bill, and keep everyone safe, and makes the job go faster.

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