Vinegar 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.
1. Get rid of water rings on wood with a vinegar-olive oil mixture
If you forgot to use a coaster, you may have spotted cup marks on your wooden furniture. Some people swear by this trick, but it doesn’t always work. The acid in vinegar could instead harm the varnish on the wood. Instead, try mixing some salt with olive oil and leaving the paste on the rings for a few hours, before rubbing gently to remove the marks. A mixture of bicarb and water is said to have the same effect. Wooden furniture polish can restore the shine if this process leaves a dull spot on your furniture.
2. Clean your oven with just bicarb soda, vinegar, and a few drops of dish liquid
The dish liquid is doing most of the work here because the truth is, when you mix bicarb soda and vinegar, you end up with a little bit of sodium bicarbonate and a lot of water. Instead, 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. Then clean off the soap and scrub with some hot water, until you get all of the cleaning product off.
3. Soak your knives in vinegar to remove rust spots
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. Using vinegar to clean 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. Getting rid of carpet 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.
Bonus note for safety: While both bleach and vinegar are powerful cleaning agents, when mixed together they make an even more powerful chemical weapon. Chlorine gas, used to clear the trenches in World War I, results when bleach is mixed with an acidic substance, so never mix the the two!