Vinegar – it smells really strong, it pickles practically everything, it tastes great on your fish and chips and it cleans things that you may normally struggle to get clean. Yes that’s right – you read it right. Vinegar is a fantastic natural cleaner that you don’t have to keep out of reach of the children and which won’t put harmful chemicals into your environment. It will also save you a fortune in the various bottles of detergents and bleaches that you normally buy.
So what can vinegar clean you ask? Well we thought we would enlighten you and highlight just some of the things you can do with a bottle of vinegar!
Now there are 2 types of vinegar that you will be familiar with – brown vinegar and white vinegar or as I like to call them – pickled onion vinegar and pickled egg vinegar. There tends to be some confusion as to whether you should use brown or white vinegar and there is certainly a difference in the price of the so what exactly is the difference?
Brown vs white vinegar
There are notable differences in the two products – brown vinegar is a malt vinegar made from malted barley and white is a purified form made from just acid and water. Brown vinegar is milder and sweeter than white but smells stronger so if you aren’t a fan of the smell then you may want to use white vinegar. Some say that brown vinegar stains clothes so prefer to use white vinegar in the wash however others find that using brown vinegar diluted and in the right quantities does exactly the same job as its counterpart without any drama. As well as the colour and the smell the other major difference is the price. Malt vinegar is much cheaper.
What can you clean with vinegar?
As well as its cleaning properties, and the ability to make things around the home sparkle, vinegar is a natural disinfectant which makes it a good all round, multi-purpose cleaner.
Cleaning the washing machine – Over time the washing machine (which never drains fully) can get a build-up of lime scale and soap scum. Every few weeks/months use a pint of white vinegar and run the machine through a full cycle whilst empty.
Stop your drinking glasses spotting – Add half a cup of white vinegar to the dishwater when washing up to prevent the glasses from spotting when dry.
Removing food from a stubborn pan – Don’t slave away scrubbing the pan – simply fill it half with vinegar and half with water and leave to soak overnight. When you come to clean it the next day the stubborn food should just wash away.
Cleaning windows and mirrors – Make that glass gleam and sparkle with a solution made up of 50% water and 50% vinegar. Simply spray and wipe with a microfiber cloth. This is also great for polishing chrome and stainless steel on things such as taps for example. Some people use white others use a more traditional method of brown vinegar with newspaper to get a streak free result.
Cleaning the toilet – A tough job calls for a tough solution so use neat vinegar! Pour half a cup of neat vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit for a while before cleaning with the brush and flushing.
Cleaning makeup brushes – How many of you are guilty of not cleaning your makeup brushes. If you knew how many germs can breed from the build-up you would quickly want to clean every one you own on a regular basis. To prevent breakouts and other skin problems just mix up a solution of a tablespoon of washing up liquid with a tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of water, give them a swirl and rinse. Now you have soft, clean brushes!
Cleaning paint brushes – if you forgot to wash your brushes last time you painted or your brushes have gone hard from regular paint build up you can heat white vinegar in a saucepan until it simmers, pour it into a jar then put your brush in the hot vinegar. Let it soak for 20-30 minutes or until the paint softens before washing them off with warm soapy water. The paint should just peel off.
Conditioning clothes – Forget expensive conditioners – if your towels have lost their softness then chuck a little vinegar in with the conditioning cycle. Now some people worry that putting brown vinegar in will stain or make the clothes smell but a diluted vinegar in a rinse cycle will do neither of these things. Some prefer to use a white vinegar but if brown is what you have in the cupboard then don’t be afraid to use it.
There are more things that you can do with vinegar but as you can see it fulfils so many different uses that it covers the jobs that ordinarily you would have 3 or 4 non-natural products for. For general cleaning you can keep a diluted spray bottle of white vinegar for use in wiping down surfaces and cleaning floors or spillages and never have to buy an anti-bac spray again!