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The proof is in the vinegar

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): The proof is in the vinegar

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The proof is in the vinegar

Did you catch that UGLY photo?  That is a photo of the sink faucet in our master bathroom in our rental home here in Belgium.  The water that tries to force itself out of there is the same water we put into our mouth when we brush our teeth and wash our faces.  Many of you know our water is HARD here in Europe...well, here in Belgium, you can almost chip the stuff, like taking an icepick to a piece of ice!  Even your glass of water will have these calcium "floaters" in there.  How do you get rid of THAT on any surface in your house without scrubbing or using harsh chemicals?  Read on for the easy 2-step method and also a photo of my faucet...during and after getting "treated"!

First things first, vinegar basically EATS calcium and mineral deposits.  Since vinegar will evaporate and become ineffective, when I treat showerheads and faucets, I get a papertowel sopping wet with vinegar.  Wrap the offending piece in the papertowel.  Then wrap that papertowel with plastic wrap, being careful to cover all openings so the vinegar doesn't evaporate.  Let it soak and do it's thing for about 24 hours.

After 24 hours is up, unwrap and just wipe with a rough sponge or a toothbrush (not yours or DH's either).  All the calcium will come off, and you'll actually SEE the faucet itself, and look, I can see the aerator even!  For messy showerheads, I have also used Ziploc baggies filled with vinegar and then tied them off with tape.  No need to take the showerheads down to soak them in vinegar...don't do an extra step that you really don't need to do!

Now I know at least one of you is going to say, ewwwww....your faucet still has rust on it....well, that I can see the DOES have rust!  I didn't get a chance to see that before, okay.  We do have a lot of iron coming out of the faucet too (can you tell I don't drink faucet water directly here?)....hence, the rust.  Of course you can get rust off with an acidic based rust cleaner, or to scour it off...but the only way to keep it off completely is to keep that area dry (not gonna happen here) or rub it with oil (also not gonna happen), I'll monitor it, and if it gets too much out of control, I'll splurge and get a new faucethead.  Can you tell I am cheaper than cheap?

Oh, and FYI, while we are talking about can use it to clean and disinfect just about anything, but please do not use it on your tile floors.  Yes, it works great on the tile part, but over time, it'll eat through your grout!

How's the water where you are?  Do you have rust or hard water problems?  Do YOU drink out of the faucet where you are?



Blogger Luba said...

The water here in Korea is so so. It's not horrible but it's definitely not very good. Having a 10 month old Daughter we invested in a good water filter that way if we ever do need water out of the sink and such we feel better about it. However, for the most part we buy bottled water here!

February 8, 2011 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger rovingrose said...

Oh man, thanks for posting this. I had no idea that vinegar evaporated like that. I tried this tip when we lived in ND with hard water (not as hard as where you are though) and it didn't work. Now I understand why ... hope that doesn't sound too dumb.

February 9, 2011 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Nope, not at all! You can even treat flat surfaces, say the soap dish on the edge of your sink...again sopping wet papertowel, then cover with plastic wrap as best as you can to keep the vinegar in there and soaking. I just treated a little sink in our guestbath and the sink looks like new now.

February 9, 2011 at 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried this on our shower door and WOW! It really works. I usually have to sit there for a long time with a scrapper to get the stuff off, and that doesn't even work that well. I tried this trick, taped down the sides of the plastic wrap so it was sealed tight, and let it sit. It wiped right off! (We live in ND right now as well, rovingrose)

Thanks so much!!


February 11, 2011 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger JennyO said...

Love it, I always used Lime Away but it scares the crap out of me. Glad to know I can go to something less likely to eat my skin away with the calcium. The plastic bag tied onto the faucet has saved me much time. The shower door though? Hmm did you stick the soaked paper towels onto the doors then seal it? I'm thinking I might try that our doors are G-ross... We're in Germany with the lovely hard water you speak of ;)

February 12, 2011 at 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenny O- Thats exactly what I did. I folded the paper towel a few times and placed it onto the shower door, covered that with plastic wrap and then took packaging tape to make sure it was all sealed and wouldn't fall off. It looks like i spent ours cleaning it, but really, alls I did was sleep! and then take it off.


February 13, 2011 at 4:21 PM  

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