Monday, 5 December 2011

Vinegar, vinegar & yet more vinegar...


I keep a large bottle of vinegar under the sink. Purchased from the Chinese supermarket at the end of the road, it costs me £2.99 for 5 litres. I think that's a pretty cheap cleaning ingredient, (& I get to exercise one set of arm muscles on my 2 minute walk home...)

Apart from cleaning my new-to-me decanter the lazy way, here are some of the other ways that I use vinegar:
  • descaling taps; rags or kitchen paper wrapped around taps, soaked in vinegar & left to descale all by themselves- please note we do not have plated taps, this process would de-plate them pretty quick!)
  • descaling shower head; detach & sit in a solution of half water/vinegar overnight
  • descaling the kettle; a few cm of half vinegar/water left over night in the kettle & then rinsed & boiled 3 times with tap water before use
  • descaling the toilet pan; bale out water & leave a mix of half water/vinegar overnight
  • clean limescale off stainless steel; spray a half vinegar/water mix on & leave for about 10 mins before wiping
  • windows/glass; 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water (great for shower cubicles too)
  • getting rid of remnants of sticky price labels; dab with neat vinegar
  • greasy/oily stains; dab with neat vinegar & wash
  • descale washing machines/dishwashers; run about a cup worth of vinegar through a rinse cycle
  • cheap fabric softener; replace fabric conditioner with about half a cup of vinegar in fabric conditioner drawer of washing machine (your washing will not smell of vinegar)
  • cleaning really dirty floors (non wood) ; a capful in with the bucket of water & detergent helps to degrease (also works for really greasy roasting trays, etc...)
  • unblock drains/clear plug holes; pour approx one cup of vinegar over a cup of bicarbonate of soda (do this in situ as the mixture foams!)
  • neutralising smells; dabbed, poured on areas depending on material at site (I stopped dogs using my front wall as a 'place to leave their calling cards' by sploshing some neat vinegar over the site!)
  • wasp stings; dab on neat vinegar
  • itchy skin: a capful of cider vinegar diluted in a basin of warm water may help...
  • & on chips (of course!)
What do you use vinegar for?

20 comments:

KarenV said...

We use it a lot for descaling - worked great on our horrible loo! (we have very hard water). We also use it as fabric softener and window cleaner but there are a few things on your list I haven't tried yet, so I'll be pinning the list for future reference.

I wish we had a place locally to get the 5 litre containers though, I have to buy the smaller bottles so it's not as economical. Wish I'd known about the wasp sting remedy this summer too!

Not So Granny said...

I have two other uses:
1) instead of rinse aid in the dishwasher
2) I use it in the cloth nappies pre-wash to get rid of excess powder and stuff that makes them stop being absorbent and soft. It is also used as a fabric conditioner for them too sometimes.

Lucille said...

I had just done my kettle before I came here and now I'm going to do the shower head. The kettle was especially satisfying as it is a clear glass one which was clouding up.

Annie said...

I use white vinegar to clean things too, but can't abide it on chips! I also use it as a modifier when plant dyeing fibre. Useful stuff for sure.

Penelope said...

Wow, thanks for all these amazing tips. I like the idea of using it as fabric softener, I do use vinegar for cleaning and descaling xox I love natural everyday household ingredients for cleaning. Lemons are also a favourite X

Mrs. Micawber said...

All of the above! We keep a gallon jug under our sink too. And a gallon of apple cider vinegar, which we use mostly for personal hygiene. A tablespoonful in a cup of water makes a wonderful hair rinse (follow with a cup of plain water). Vinegar and oil in equal proportions work well for cleaning and polishing wood. I like to soak my shower curtain in a vinegar/water mixture to get rid of hard water stains (I do this in a bucket right in the bathtub). And should you ever be stung by a jellyfish, pour some vinegar over the sting to neutralize the venom. It stops the pain almost instantly (personal experience speaking here).

backlanenotebook said...

I am going to add it to a bucket of hot water to clean the quarry tiles on the kitchen floor. I'll let you know.

Rachel said...

Hmm - never. Rarely even in cooking! But after that list, might see whether I can find a source of large enough quantities to make it sensible.

just Gai said...

White vinegar is also an effective fungicide.

The Coffee Lady said...

In huge tubs? From the Chinese supermarket? Why did nobody tell me before?

Calico Kate said...

Just five minutes after reading this I was chatting to a friend on the phone and we were talking about cleaning floors - not something either of us does a lot which is why it was a red letter day phone call - she had just done hers using a green scourer! I was able to tell her about the vinegar trick although it was too late she replied she would try to remember for next years floor clean!!
Lots on there I didn't know about so will see if I can get it in large quantities too. Although having soaked a particularly limescaly enamel kettle I bought in a 2nd hand shop in I think neat vinegar, tho perhaps I diluted it, it completely failed to shift it so now I will try it neat!
CKx

KatEzat said...

I just did the shower plug hole with your suggestion of a bicarb of soda and vinegar mix. Oh my word! The foam was quite exciting! I like this kind of cleaning... Keep up the good work ;)

Unknown said...

I use it on towels, and actually did some this morning!

Will be trying the plug hole idea later today

Eco Thrifty Living said...

I've been using a vinegar / lemon juice / salt mix in a sprayer for everything from washing the dishes to cleaning my toilet to washing my hair!

Stanman said...

Yes! I use vinegar for cleaning loads of areas around the house. I really don't see the need to spend out on loads of different cleaning chems! Using as a replacement to fabric softener is a new one to me though - will it really not make the clothes smell? The last thing I want is to smell like a fish and chip shop! Does it have any softening capabilities as well?
Also, for the taps, you should check out something called a 'Limey' which works loads better than the drenched rag. We used to use the same technique, but this is 100 times better. Think we got it from Amazon.
Anyway, great post, I think I may need to go get some more now!

Stanman said...

Yes! I use vinegar for cleaning loads of areas around the house. I really don't see the need to spend out on loads of different cleaning chems! Using as a replacement to fabric softener is a new one to me though - will it really not make the clothes smell? The last thing I want is to smell like a fish and chip shop! Does it have any softening capabilities as well?
Also, for the taps, you should check out something called a 'Limey' which works loads better than the drenched rag. We used to use the same technique, but this is 100 times better. Think we got it from Amazon.
Anyway, great post, I think I may need to go get some more now!

danielle jones said...

How would I go about descaling my h2o x5 mop? It's producing very little steam but is heating up, reading up it seems that it could be limescale x any tips would be great x

Marny said...

It's not the cleaning that bothers me, it's the decluttering in order TO clean!!

Anyway - I use white vinegar for some household cleaning, as in windows and mirrors.

However, food is more important to me. LOL

I don't always want mayonnaise in my tuna salad so I use a dollop of it and then white vinegar for consistency during mixing. Love that tang!

Sweet and sour pork chops! Oh yes! Brown the chops, remove them to a holding plate. Add sliced onions to the pork grease in frying pan, cook until the consistency you like ... add a little bit of sugar, then white vinegar, along with whatever spices you like (garlic, pepper, salt) ... put the chops back into the sauce, cover, and when chops are tender and cooked - EAT!

I use the gravy on mashed potatoes, served with the pork chops. Add green veggie as a side. Salad. Happy Camper!

Marny said...

Another food item that I make:

Slice Green onions (aka Scallions)
Slice cucumber

In a large glass, add white vinegar for about 1 inch then add water. Pepper, Salt, a bit of Sugar, and for a little color, some Paprika.

Mix. Taste. If not tart enough, add more vinegar, if too tart, add more sugar. Depending on the amount of cucs and onions, the 1 glass if usually enough for me for a few meals.

Thrifty Household said...

Danielle, I'm not sure what an h2O x5 mop is... I'd read what the manufacturer suggests about descaling & follow their advice.

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