Yesterday I deep-cleaned my entire kitchen with vinegar and water. (And I may have whistled while I worked.) Vinegar just makes me happy. It really gets the job done and I feel great about using it. I keep a spray bottle under the sink filled with a 1:4 ratio of distilled white vinegar and water ready for action: granite counters, Marmoleum floors, windows, appliances, greasy stove hoods, cork placemats, maple cutting boards, cabinet doors — nothing escapes the vinegar treatment.
It’s gotten to the point where I equate the tangy smell of vinegar with ‘clean.’ I used to feel that way about bleach. I know you can add essential oils to vinegar to dissipate the smell, but I don’t. I just like it plain. It’s comforting.
I got to wondering how vinegar is made. This explanation comes from The Vinegar Institute:
Vinegar is made by two distinct biological processes, both the result of the action of harmless microorganisms (yeast and “Acetobacter”) that turn sugars (carbohydrates) into acetic acid. Many of our favorite foods involve some type of bacteria in their production – from cheese and yogurt to wine, pickles and chocolate. The first process is called alcoholic fermentation and occurs when yeasts change natural sugars to alcohol under controlled conditions. In the second process, a group of bacteria (called “Acetobacter”) converts the alcohol portion to acid. This is the acetic, or acid fermentation, that forms vinegar. Proper bacteria cultures are important; timing is important; and fermentation should be carefully controlled.
I typically buy a gallon bottle of generic white distilled vinegar, which is made from corn. Not organic, of course. Typing that makes me feel not so great. There are organic white vinegars, like Spectrum Naturals, for four times the price.