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Fabuloso Is A Latino Staple But Switching Out The Cleaner With Vinegar Helps The Planet

Growing up in a Latino household often means that you are very familiar with some kind of hardcore cleaning routine, and this time of year is no exception. In fact, according to a 2010 study by Garcia Research, 40 percent of Latinos reported the holidays as their peak season for cleaning. The study also investigated the housekeeping lessons shared between generations, revealing that cleaning is widely considered a rite of passage in Latino families, a ritual taught to jovenes by their madres y abuelas. Be that as it may, when you’re a kid, nothing te da pereza quite as much as the scent of Fabuloso rousing you awake on an early Saturday morning.

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Still, those scents have come to define many Latinos’ memories of youth and childhood, and it’s true that these characteristic products often carry over into our cleaning routines as adults. It’s no secret that Fabuloso is especially beloved, with Latino creators crafting things like Fabuloso-scented candles to keep its fragrant spirit alive. 

But perhaps your abuelita wasn’t a major proponent for Fabuloso or Jabon Zote? Maybe you were taught how to blend natural products to make your home positively reluciente? Or maybe you grew up with all the traditional favorites, but you’re curious about a more natural, low-waste approach to keeping your home clean?

No matter which category you fall into, there is one household item that covers all the cleaning bases—something you probably have in your pantry right now. Whether you want to switch up your cleaning routine or learn new uses for your favorite natural product, we’ve got you covered.

Vinegar comes in many shapes and sizes, all of which offer their own unique variety of benefits. And even if you hate the taste of this highly acidic liquid, there is no denying its impressive range of magical uses.

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While vinegar isn’t a super common staple in a Latin American kitchen—often replaced by the acidic properties of various citrus fruits (especially limes)—it’s a relatively typical component of certain salsas and adobos. But beyond its culinary uses, vinegar has serious cleaning superpowers that are totally safe, nontoxic, inexpensive, and sustainable.

Distilled White Vinegar

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All-Purpose Cleaning Solution

In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup of distilled white vinegar with 3 cups of water and use on literally everything. You can use this solution to achieve streak-free windows, perfectly clean stovetops, showers, and tile floors. If you don’t love its astringent smell, let the vinegar sit in a jar with your favorite herbs, like thyme, rosemary, lavender, or eucalyptus (lemon or lime peels would also be an amazing addition), then strain and mix with water.

Microwave Cleaner

The microwave is truly a gift from the heavens—how else would you heat up your Cup o Noodles at the end of an especially spendy month? We all know how asqueroso the microwave can get, but vinegar is the perfect solution. To get rid of any weird smells or cooked on food, combine ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high until the mixture comes to a boil and steam forms on the window. Let the window cool slightly, then wipe away any residue.

Sink Drain Cleaner

La cocina can be one of the grossest parts of your home—a 2012 study proved that kitchen sinks may harbor more bacteria than the darkest corners of the bathroom, and although vinegar and lemon can clean some bacteria, they aren’t capable of killing the most harmful. Still, if a strange smell is emanating from your sink drain, pouring 1 cup of distilled white vinegar down the drain once a week, letting it sit for 30 minutes, then rinsing with cold water can help keep the bowels of your sink super fresh.

Apple Cider Vinegar

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Fabric Softener/Laundry Detergent

This one’s pretty simple: add ½ cup – 2 cups of apple cider vinegar (depending on what it is you’re washing) during the last rinse cycle, to remove any potentially-irritating soap residue and leave your clothes in a perfectly comfortable and anti-microbial state.

Hair Rinse and Conditioner Alternative

Apple cider vinegar is packed with nutrients that support healthy skin and hair, including B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium. And for those who experience conditions like dandruff, apple cider vinegar can offer relief due to its antimicrobial properties. It is also anti-inflammatory, which means that it can guard against the inflammation response that often leads to a dry, flaky scalp. All you have to do is mix 2-4 tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar with 16 oz of water in a spray bottle. Spray your hair from the scalp to the ends after your typical shampoo routine, and voila—super soft, shiny, and healthy hair.

READ: There’s A New Latina Candle Collection Inspired By Smells From Your Childhood

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