Reasons you should (and shouldn't) use vinegar around the house

It’s no secret that vinegar is an amazing natural cleaner, but there are so many ways you can use it to clean around the house. It is touted to be a miracle cleaner, and in many cases, it is.

However, while it has a number of uses, vinegar isn’t always the solution and, on occasion, can be downright dangerous.

Here’s a few things you should (and shouldn’t) use vinegar for!

Things you should use vinegar for:

1. Deodorising a smoke smell.

Ad. Article continues below.

We’re not all chefs in the kitchen, but we don’t want to be reminded of that fact with a lingering burnt smell. As soon as the offending food or item is out of the room and danger, put 3/4 cup of vinegar in a pot and heat on the stove to eliminate odours.

2. Unclogging drains.

Vinegar and bicarb soda is one of the most effective ways to unclog drains, and is cheaper and less harsh on your drains. All you need is a funnel, bicarb soda and some vinegar. Pour 1/2 cup bicarb soda followed by 1 cup vinegar into the drain. When the foaming goes down, flush with hot water. Wait five minutes, and then flush again with cold water.

3. Renewing your sponges.

Don’t throw out that sponge straight away – place it in enough water to cover it, then add 1/4 cup of vinegar. Soak overnight and wring out.

Ad. Article continues below.

4. Keeping eggs from cracking while boiling.

Add a tablespoon or two of white vinegar to the water. It’s that simple!

5. Steam-cleaning your microwave.

To clean your microwave, place a glass bowl filled with a solution of 1/4 cup vinegar in 1 cup water inside, and heat the mixture for five minutes on the highest setting. Once the bowl cools, dip a cloth or sponge into the liquid and use it to wipe away stains and splatters on the interior, which will now be much easier to get off.

Things you shouldn’t clean with vinegar:

Ad. Article continues below.

1. Water rings on wooden furniture.

If you forgot to use a coaster, you may have spotted cup marks on your wooden furniture. Some people swear by this trick, it doesn’t always work. The acid in vinegar could harm the varnish on the wood.

2. Your oven.

There’s a well-propagated tip of mixing bicarb soda, vinegar, and a few drops of dish liquid to clean your oven, when instead, the dish liquid is doing most of the work. Use a sponge and dish liquid to create suds on the glass. Then, add a few drops of water to a couple tablespoons of bicarb soda in a bowl (enough to get a thick paste). Use this to scrub away at the soapy glass, cleaning it off after you’re done.

3. Rust spots from your knives.

Ad. Article continues below.

This doesn’t actually work, and neither does lemon juice. But what does work is a potato, sliced in half with the sliced side rubbed in bicarb soda. Scrub your knife with the potato then wash, and rub with a little bit of vegetable oil to help prevent more rust.

4. Cast iron utensils.

Cast iron and aluminum are reactive surfaces. If you want to use vinegar to clean pots and pans, use it exclusively on stainless steel and enamelled cast iron cookware.

5. Carpets for odours.

While vinegar is a good stain remover on carpets, it isn’t the best for getting rid of odours. Vinegar might mask the odour, but it won’t eliminate the reason for the odour. Use an enzymatic carpet cleaner instead.

What do you use vinegar for?