Monday, October 3, 2016

Miracle Cleaning Product by Melinda Curtis

While I was helping my son prepare his house for sale a few weeks ago, I faced what most people call an impossibility: grout that hadn't been removed after installation and messy grout lines.

So I did what most people do: I Googled. And what did I find? Nothing. Nothing but failed attempts by others. But I continued to Google, trying different variations of search terms, because this has worked for me before. And what did I find? Someone who'd had a kitchen accident. They'd dropped a bottle on their white kitchen tile. The bottle broke, but not the tile. While they were cleaning up, the grout dissolved!

What bottle did they break? Balsamic Vinegar. That's right. The bottle many of us have on the shelf.

Well, my son didn't have any on the shelf. So I did have to buy some and since I hadn't tried it out, I bought the cheapest Balsamic Vinegar I could find. $3.49. In between filling nail holes and touching up paint on the wall, I took a paper towel, wet it down with Balsamic Vinegar, and wiped at the clouds of grout on the tile. It took about 30 seconds, but the grout came off on my paper towel!

Let me tell you, the entire family was so excited, they each had to try their hand at it! I was so excited I didn't take any before/after pictures.

One item off the punch list, I continued my rounds of filling holes and touching up paint, and found myself in the bathroom. Now, this being a first home for my son and his wife, they were in a neighborhood with very hard water. They had used every cleaning product sold to try and clean their tub/shower. Nothing worked. But guess what? Balsamic Vinegar does!

I realize it's weird to get excited about something that cleans and is natural (imagine what it does to your insides!), but I won't apologize. Balsamic Vinegar is the new Windex...ba-da-bum!

Did you get the My Big, Fat Greek Wedding reference?

I hope this post makes someone breathe easier about some stain or grout line they've been trying to remove. And if you happen to have a cleaning lady who does this all magically, I hope I've entertained. Do you have a special cleaning trick? I'd love to hear about it!

Melinda Curtis is an award-winning USA Today bestseller. Her next release is A Heartwarming Holiday (a steal at 99 cents with a coupon for $1 off your next Heartwarming purchase). Her November release is Marrying the Single Dad, where an auto mechanic and a hair stylist fight over ownership of a once classic car...Hey, I bet my hero Joe would love the power of Balsamic Vinegar!


21 comments:

  1. I've done a fair share of tiling/grouting and I've honestly never heard of using balsamic vinegar. I'm going to have to try it just for the heck of it! :-) I've always used (and have seen professional tilers use) a razor blade to clean off excess grout. The downside of it is having to be careful not to score the tiles. As I said, I'll have to try the vinegar.

    I'm looking forward to your next release, Melinda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me with a razor blade...not a good idea!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for introducing us to your new secret weapon, Melinda. LOL! Yes, I got your reference to My Big, Fat Greek Wedding. I love that movie! I look forward to your next release.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jill. Tried it on chlorine clouds on pool tile this weekend. It loosened it up, but wasn't magic

      Delete
  3. Mel, thank you, thank you. I've just been trying a variety of cleaners on hard water stains in 2 toilet bowls. Honestly, some of the best only color the stain a lovely green or blue. So I'm going to try this post haste. I don't have a cleaner secret I've used, but use regular cheap white toothpaste to fill nail holes in walls before painting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheap white toothpaste is great to clean the silver, Roz - although you then need to wash away the minty smell before Thanksgiving!

      Delete
  4. You're such a genius, Mel! We have an old ball and claw bathtub that was here long before the 40 years we've been here. I'll try to see if your tip works even when the enamel's giving out. What a good mom you are to help your kids clean! (I'd have probably said, "Remember all the times I asked you to help me clean, but you had better things to do?" I'm vengeful that way. Happy Monday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it was only 3 days. You know how long it takes to get a house ready to sell? A lot longer than that!

      Delete
  5. Nice timing Mel. I am in the middle of a massive house renovation and just this weekend the backsplash was installed but the installers didn't wipe away the excess grout. Grrrr. Will be trying the balsamic vinegar. My best trick is baking soda in an aluminum pan to clean silver.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Way to go, super-cleaner! I can just picture you in rubber gloves, with a big S on your shirt.

    I wonder if plain old vinegar would work. It's so much cheaper, and I think it's more acidic. The Balsamic is thicker, though, so it might cling to the tiles better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plain vinegar doesn't work nearly as well. I think it's the acidity level in the balsamic

      Delete
  7. I love Magic Erasers. I have them stashed all over the house. They get rid of almost anything that's not supposed to be on hard surfaces! They really are magic :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love household tips and this blog is full of them today! I have a recipe for stripping old paint off of furniture that involves vinegar and a couple of other things. If anyone wants the recipe, I'll dig it out.

    I'm looking forward to your next book, too, Mel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love your recipe! I need to strip some paint off a dresser.

      Delete
  9. Wow! Love these creative cleaning solutions!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Mel! I have used regular vinegar for lots of things, but I hadn't tried balsamic vinegar. Can't wait to try it. Here's a great cleaning tips for people with little ones running around. When juice or kool-aid gets spilled on carpet, DON'T blot it up with a paper towel. It only sets the stain. Instead, get salt. Plain 'ol table salt and pour it on the juice. Wait until the salt is dry and vacuum it up. The salt absorbs the juice much faster and it doesn't get into the carpet. I discovered this trick when I ran an in-home daycare center and had brand new carpet. For almost everything else, I use baking soda and vinegar. :) Suddenly I feel the need to go clean something.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Super cool! I use vinegar a lot for cleaning and have balsamic v in the pantry for food, but haven't used it for cleaning. Great tip!

    ReplyDelete