15 tips and recipes for cleaning with vinegar

It’s no secret that vinegar is an amazing natural cleaner, but there are so many ways you can mix it with other natural products and use it to clean around the house.

It is inexpensive, incredibly diverse and not as harsh or harmful for the environment as regular cleaning products. It is easy to see why vinegar has been used for over 10,000 years.

Here’s 15 of the best ways to use it for cleaning:


1. Clean your kettle

Bring 3 cups of full-strength white vinegar to a full boil for five minutes to rid your kettle from lime and mineral deposits. Just leave the vinegar in the kettle overnight and rinse out with cold water the following day.

2. Clear clogged shower heads

Mineral deposits and blockages can put a damper on your shower time. To get the water flowing, remove the shower head and place in 1 litre of boiling water with ½ cup distilled vinegar for ten minutes. Use hot, not boiling, for plastic showerheads. If you have a non-removable showerhead, fill a small plastic bag half full with vinegar and tape it over the fixture. Remove the bag after about an hour and wipe off any remaining vinegar from the showerhead.

3. Unclog and deodorise drains

Vinegar combined with bicarb soda is one the most effective ways to unclog and deodorise drains. It is also far gentler on your pipes than commercial drain cleaners.

To clear clogs in sink and tub drains, use a funnel to pour in half a cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar. When the foaming stops, flush it with hot tap water. Then, wait five minutes, and then flush again with cold water. This technique also clears away any odour-causing bacteria.

4. Rid yourself of rust

Those rusted old tools in the garage could do with a bit of attention. Soak them in full-strength white vinegar for several days and the rust will wipe away! You can also pour vinegar on rusty hinges and screws to loosen and remove them.

5. Discourage ants

Spray undiluted white distilled vinegar in doorways windowsills, around appliances and wherever else that you find the pests coming in.

6. Refresh your scissors

Your kitchen scissors have seen the worst. But instead of using water in an attempt to clean the sticky and grimy substances off the blades, wipe them down with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar and then dry with a towel. This will leave the scissors grime and rust free!

7. Clean chrome and stainless steel

Apply a light misting of undiluted white vinegar from a recycled spray bottle. Buff with a soft cloth to bring out the brightness.

8. Get cleaner clothes

Add about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to the last rinse cycle. The acid in white distilled vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkalines in soaps and detergents. The distilled vinegar also prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener, static cling reducer, and attacks mould and mildew.


9. Goodbye water rings

If your family’s lack of using coasters has taken a toll on your wooden coffee table, these white rings will disappear by using a soft cloth dipped in a simple mixture of equal parts vinegar and olive oil and rubbing the furniture along the wood grain. Use a clean soft cloth to shine your work. For leather furniture, lightly rub the rings with a sponge soaked in full-strength white vinegar.

10. Clean the microwave

Mix half a cup of white distilled vinegar and half a cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring to a boil inside the microwave for a couple of minutes the baked-on food will be loosened, and odours will disappear. Wipe the inside of the microwave clean.

11. Shine your stainless steel

To clean your stainless steel or chrome, lightly mist the fixtures with undiluted white vinegar from a spray bottle. Then buff the fixture with a soft cloth and watch it transform from dull to bright!

12. Clean glass shower doors

Use full-strength white distilled vinegar after you have squeegeed the glass, or before you step in and turn on the water. The vinegar will help release the hard water deposits so they don’t remain on the glass.

13. Remove perspiration odour and stains from clothing

Spraying full-strength white distilled vinegar on underarm and collar areas before tossing them into the washing machine will help remove stubborn perspiration stains.

14. All-purpose cleaner recipe

Mix 3 parts filtered water, 1 part vinegar, 1-2 tsp lemon juice and 5-7 drops of lemon essential oil and add to spray bottle and fill remaining amount with hot water.

Use this on your benchtops, sinks – anywhere you need it!

15. Non-abrasive scrubber

Mix 1/2 cup castile soap with 1/2 cup of filtered water and 1/4 cup vinegar and add to a spray bottle. It’ll get grime off in no time.

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