Here at Kitchn, I feel like we’ve established that German moms are superior cleaners. They clean things right away, aren’t afraid to get on their hands and knees, and vacuum their floors with military precision.
So recently I grilled a German girlfriend of mine, Steffi, who has two little kids the same age as mine, on her cleaning techniques. I wouldn’t say Steffi is the tidiest person — often, the sink is stacked with dishes and the kids’ toys are everywhere — but we all know there’s a difference between messy and dirty. And I have never once found a trace of food on the countertop or a crusty bit on a glass in her cabinets. She’s also a no-chemicals kind of gal, so it’s actually kind of surprising that her house is so clean. And this is how I learned that Steffi has a secret cleaning ingredient she imports from Germany to keep her home spic and span: super-strong vinegar.