Here I am again with stuff about vinegar.
You can use vinegar to clean off grease. I put baking soda and vinegar in a pot and use it to clean my stove. I just dip a scrubby sponge in it and start rubbing. It gets the crud off the burner covers, too. This works great, a lot faster and easier than harsh chemicals. And it fizzes like one of those toy volcanoes kids want to make. The only thing missing is the red dye... and the volcano. Well, okay, almost everything is missing except the fizz. But you know, sell the sizzle not the steak. Or the fizzle not the fake. Whatever. I've also used straight vinegar on a sponge to try and get old hardened grease splatters off the side of a cabinet, it works ok but it works better with the baking soda.
You can also use vinegar and salt to scrub crud out of a cast iron pan, if you got it really cruddy. If you don't have a lot of seasoning in your pan, though, it'll take it off. I guess it's up to you if it's worth using under those circumstances, but being nontoxic it's probably better than detergent.
For some of you this all may be old hat, but personally I really would prefer to use pennies worth of baking soda and vinegar on my stove than some kind of junk in a $5 bottle that probably causes cancer. Expensive is not always more effective.
I might also mention something called Vinegar of the Four Thieves. This is an herbal vinegar alleged to have acted as a prophylaxis against the bubonic plague. These thieves took some and went looting empty houses; they were caught and made to divulge their secret to long life before they were executed. I posted a couple recipes for this about a year ago, I think. But you can also just google it. Even if it's not the panacea that people thought it was back then, it still makes a good salad dressing.
And of course, you can use apple cider vinegar to make ginger switchel. Yum.
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