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Cook or Clean Part 3: White Vinegar

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

So we’re not talking the malt vinegar that you drizzle on your chips here, we’re looking at white clear vinegar which is a natural cleaning agent as versatile as you can imagine.

A spray bottle – available in all good pound shops – will come in handy as an applicator device.

So, try using vinegar…

1. As a kitchen cleaner… wiping kitchen surfaces*, cooker tops, chopping boards etc with vinegar is great way to get them sparkling clean. Microwaves can be tackled by putting half vinegar and half water into a microwave safe container and blasting it in the oven until boiling. The acidic steam will loosen splattered on ready meal residue and make it much easier to wipe off. The same strength mixture can also be used to clean down the inside of the fridge, making it squeaky fresh and odour free. A good sized cup of vinegar tipped into the sink and left to work its magic for an hour or so will also help fight a smelly drain.

2. As a laundry aid… half a cup of vinegar can be used in place of conditioner in a wash cycle. Don’t worry, your clothes won’t come out smelling of a fish supper, they’ll be fresher and brighter and even less covered in lint! Very smelly socks and pungent gym kit can be pre-soaked in vinegar and hot water overnight before throwing in the wash to help eliminate stubborn sweaty whiffs. The washing machine itself can benefit from an empty boil wash cycle with a cup of vinegar, clearing out the built up gunk in the pipes.

3. As a bathroom cleaner… a good spray of full strength vinegar around the toilet, sink and bath can kill germs and help remove stains. Blitzing the shower walls and curtain with it will also fight off mould. Limescale blocked showerhead holes can be tackled by soaking the showerhead in vinegar and water overnight.

4. As a window and mirror cleaner… make up a half vinegar, half water mixture in the spray bottle, and apply sparingly to the glass. Wipe off and buff to a polish by scrunching up that half-read Evening Standard from your work bag, rubbing it enthusiastically to the surface.

5. As an animal repellent… some say that spraying surfaces in the home with vinegar will keep cats from treading where they shouldn’t – we’re not offering any guarantees, but it might be worth a try to keep kitties off of the kitchen table. This method is also supposed to work as an ant repellent, if you suffer from those tiny terrors intruding into your home.

*There are a few things it is advised NOT to use vinegar on. Granite and marble worktops are best avoided due to the potential of the acidic liquid to etch the material. Stone floor tiles shouldn’t be cleaned with it for the same reason. There’s some argument both ways about suitability for hardwood floors, so it’s best to use a specialist cleaning agent to be sure.

There you have it. Many uses for the clear acidic stuff, but do you have any other vinegary tips?




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