Vinegar is one of the hardest working products you can have around the home, so today I thought I would share my top 10 uses for vinegar around the home. I’d love to hear what you use this multi-talented item for too!
1. Homemade cleaning products
Vinegar is the prime ingredient in many of my homemade cleaning products for the kitchen, the bathroom and pretty much everywhere else around the home. It’s safe, non-toxic and really, truly works. Between vinegar and baking soda you are pretty much sorted in the cleaning department, removing the need for a cupboard full of single-purpose cleaners.
2. Remove rust
Another great use for vinegar is for the removal of rust, particularly from old tools and nuts & bolts. Simply soak them in undiluted vinegar then rinse clean. It might take a few days of soaking for really rusty items, but eventually it will break down the rust and they’ll be as good as new (or at least close to!). You can also pour vinegar onto a cloth and rub over rusted hinges to make them easier to remove.
3. Shine silver & polish brass
Vinegar can help bring back the shine to your silverware by soaking them in a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar combined with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Leave them soaking for two to three hours then rinse under cold water and dry with a cloth. Vinegar is also useful for polishing your brass by making a paste out of vinegar and baking soda, then using a cloth to rub the paste into your brass item until the tarnishes are gone. Then simply rinse and polish dry!
4. Chemical free weeding
Spraying vinegar directly onto weeds in your garden will help kill them in a much gentler, safer way than industrial strength weed killers. It might take a few more goes to completely kill the weed, but as a chemical free weeding option it’s a good one.
Vinegar is also useful to up the acid content of your soil by adding a little to your watering can before watering the base of plants that thrive on acidity.
5. Unclog drains
If you find your drains are a little clogged up then vinegar and baking soda are your friends here too! Not only will they unclog the drain in a gentle manner but they will deodorize the drain too! All it takes is pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda into your drain followed by a cup of vinegar then pop the plug in and let it fizz for a few minutes. When the fizzing subsides flush out the drain with some hot water and you’re good to go.
6. Remove pet odours
Pets are wonderful but sometimes they leave some unfortunate smells around the place. If your pet has had an accident blot the area then either mop with a mix of equal parts water and vinegar for wood or tiles, or for carpets or rugs use a water and vinegar mix to blot the spot followed by covering the area with baking soda and leaving overnight. The next morning vacuum up the baking soda and the odour should be gone!
You can also use vinegar to remove the smell from kitty litter trays by pouring vinegar into the bottom of the empty tray and leaving it to sit for 20-30 minutes, before pouring it out and rinsing under cold water.
7. Clean your fridge & microwave
To get the inside of your fridge sparkly clean combine equal parts vinegar and water and use a soft cloth to wash the shelves and walls of your fridge, including the fruit & vegetable baskets. This will help not only clean the fridge but deodorize it as well, and if you’ve got spots of mildew then spot clean that area with full strength vinegar to kill it off and prevent it returning.
Vinegar is also an excellent cleaner for your microwave and it removes the need to use much elbow grease too! Steam clean your microwave by popping a bowl containing 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 cup water in the microwave and turn on for 5 minutes on high. This will help loosen all the baked on foods from the sides and top of the microwave, and then once the liquid has cooled down you can dip a cloth in and wipe the foods away. Easy as that!
8. Remove sticky labels
Price tags, stickers and labels can be incredibly annoying to remove from items like jars thanks to the sticky residue they leave behind. Pour a little full strength vinegar on a cloth and sit it on the sticky residue for a few minutes, then gently scrub and the sticker should easily come away leaving nothing behind. I’ve also used eucalyptus oil in the past to do this, but vinegar is a much cheaper option!
9. Keep flowers fresh
I love having flowers around the home but I hate it when they start to wilt too soon. Adding 2tbs of vinegar and 2tbs of sugar to the bottom of your vase before adding water (and flowers of course!) will help keep your flowers fresh and lasting longer. Replacing the water, vinegar and sugar every few days will really help keep them around even longer too!
10. Brighten laundry & remove stains
Vinegar is an excellent addition to your laundry as well! Adding 1/2 a cup to your load will help brighten your clothes without causing damage and removes the need to buy a special colour-boosting product. You can also soak whites that have gone a little yellow in a mixture of warm water and vinegar (12 parts water to 1 part vinegar) overnight before popping them in the machine in the morning.
If you get stains like wine or tomato sauce on cotton clothing then treat immediately by sponging with undiluted vinegar then washing in the machine. Add some vinegar to the wash cycle to really help draw out the stains.