Cleaning with Vinegar

– – – Your house won’t smell of chips 

Following my previous Housewifery post Cleaning with Bicarbonate of Soda I’m going to tell you all about one of my other favourite cleaning products. The clue is in the title – vinegar. And no, your house won’t smell like a bag of chips, unless – y’know, you scatter chips across your living room. So here you go, cleaning with vinegar.

I use distilled white vinegar for the most part but vinegars such as malt, white wine or cider can be used in some cleaning recipes but they tend to be a bit pongy in some instances. I buy it in 5 litre bottles from Asian supermarkets (when I’m stocking up on good noodles or my favourite soy sauce) and decant into smaller bottles for around the house.

10 top tips for cleaning with vinegar

1. Clean your microwave by placing a bowl made up of equal parts white vinegar and water inside. Cook on high for around 3mins.  It will take away niffy food smells and strangely also makes it easier to clean.
2. Stop ants coming into your property by spraying white vinegar around doors and windows (outside).
3. Cut the amount of washing powder you use in half by adding around 175ml of white vinegar to your washing machine drum.
4. Add two tablespoons of white vinegar to the rinse when handwashing your tights. It should make them last longer.
5. Soak a cloth in white vinegar then drape over taps to remove white hard water stains.
6. Clean wooden chopping boards by wiping first with hot water and then with white vinegar.
7. Make up a spray cleaner by adding 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water to a spray bottle. Use in both kitchen and bathroom to clean mirrors, counter tops, sinks, baths, showers, toilets and floors.
8. Clean windows with white vinegar, buff with newspaper.
9. Add a glug of white vinegar into the fabric softener slot of your washing machine for fluffy, soft towels or blankets.
10. De-scale your kettle by filling with vinegar, boiling and then doing the same with water. Rinse well.


P.S. Recharge your towels or nappies by washing without detergent on a v hot wash with vinegar, then doing it again with bicarb and continuing to wash as normal with vinegar in place of fabric softener. You’re welcome!

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  1. love, love, lurvvveeee vinegar. Even on my chips! I have used it for years, with kids with eczema, we don’t like commercial, chemical cleaners, that are bad for skin, bad for airways to breathe, bad for environment, bad for the purse, just plain old bad. Vinegar is cheap, cheap, cheap, and can be used for soooooo many things. One of the things that I did not see in your post is a room deodoriser. Especially when winter virus bugs come to visit. Just 50/50 vinegar/water and spritz it around all the rooms in the house once a day. I clean bathrooms with it deodorise sinks with it, windows, floors. We have a caravan, and everytime we use it, as we are closing up and packing up, I put vinegar down the sink to clean out the hose before packing away. Love it. Thanks for a great post.

  2. Great post! I do use vinegar, although looking through your list I have learnt a few new ways in which to do so. I mainly use white vinegar for rinsing the dishwasher and washer, cleaning the bathroom and shower. Love the idea re the ants, as I am having a problem with them at the moment.

  3. I always use white vinegar especially for cleaning the kitchen and getting rid of smelly shoes. If you spray white vinegar on cotton balls then stuff them in old trainers it gets rid of the smell in one quick jiffy.

    I don’t even know why there are so many cleaners out there when this does the job of all

  4. You must have a super clean house.How about a holiday downunder Ill make room for you but please bring the bi-carb and vinegar lol xx

  5. I use it for getting rid of limescale (we live in a very hard water areas) – but have never thought of it for fluffy towels! Our water never seems to let us get fluffy-as-new towels so this will prove really useful! Thanks!

  6. Wotcha. Now. I must have done summat wrong. Because I cleaned my bathroom glass with vinegar once and it STANK for a whole week. So, I have to confess it has put me right off. BUT perhaps this is because I didnt use distilled and regular malt instead. I live in a very hard water area and the idea of having fluffy towels is enough to make me want to try again…

  7. Loving all of these ideas.
    Joyce we do just that too, we also use it in the car after we’ve transported our friend’s dogs. I also make up something with a mixture of bicarb and vinegar which I think is in my bicarb post.

    Landgirl – Malt does tend to use a bit of a niff. I tend to reserve that for sinks, swiftly followed by boiling water. I’d recommend distilled white vinegar for your towels (it may take a couple of goes by the way) and for mirrors.
    Let me know how you get on!

  8. I add a few cap fulls of either eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil to my white vinegar / water bottle before cleaning to mask the vinegar smell. I also use the same mix, including bicarb soda, for laundry, and find the eucalyptus oil especially, makes my laundry smell lovely, almost clinical, but fresh!

  9. I use vinegar as a fabric softener. I just add a drops of lavender water soluable essential oil into the rinse compartment with the vinegar and my clothes, sheets and towels smell divine.

  10. These are brilliant! I shall definitely be trying them, I never knew vinegar was so helpful! xx
    Sirens and Bells

  11. Generally, I use it for the rinse cycle in the wash machine and for putting down plug-holes. Sometimes for cleaning but I shall make a note of other ways to use it too.

  12. Yes I do…it is wonderful i agree!

  13. Would it work on spiders as well as ants I wonder? (arachnaphobe)

  14. Great tips as usual! Whilst I do use it a bit I probably don’t use it as much as I could.

    Note to self….Try harder!

    X x

  15. When I was little, my Army dad would make me scrub the bathroom mirrors with vinegar and newspaper…according to him, that’s the way the Army did it.

  16. I know what I’m adding to my shopping list now as my kettle needs a bit of TLC

  17. Your blog is a constant source of education and delight to me. Just wanted to say so :)

  18. I pour about a cup into each toilet, leaving the lids down, before we leave home for a few days. supposed to keep the toidy bowls fresher.

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  20. This is bloody marvellous – I had ABSOLUTELY no idea that you could use vinegar to clean with (it would appear that I have lived a somewhat sheltered life), although it does make me worry a little about all the vinegar I eat on chips… what is that doing to my insides?

    Another excellent post xx

  21. Absolutely awesome post! Though I am quite lazy at times, my dirty secret is that I also kinda adore cleaning. It can be so refreshing and I really like teh idea of cleaning with green products. Thanks for some more suggestions :) x

  22. Vinegar rocks! I love it on everything (ok, well, almost everything) – but I never thought to clean with it though!

    Thank you for the wonderful tips!

  23. Great tips, thank you! Quick question though – I used (straight) vinegar to clean my bathroom last week and it seems to have created a bad film on my tile, sink and faucet. At first everything seemed spic and pan, but it seemed to attract soap scum or water minerals or something. Has this ever happened to you? What to do about it?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Where do you get cheap white vingear from, it I go into tesco or somewhere it costs something like £1 a 500ml bottle! Malt is less than 20p? I heard you can get 3 or 5 litres for £3?

  25. Anonymous says:

    I got mine from Tescos yesterday for 59p! Put paid to the black mould around my son’s bedroom window it did!

    from @mrsmarsa

  26. When using it to clean the kitchen – does it kill bacteria as effectively as say, dettol spray? For example, when you’ve been cutting raw chicken. Ew I have a serious raw chicken poisoning phobia! Also, is it possible to add something to the spray to make it smell nice without being able to taste fragrance on the chopping board etc? I love the smell of the Tesco eco kitchen spray – it smells really fresh & i cant imagine vinegar & water having the same effect on me psychologically! I love the smell of bleach too because I just know its definitely clean!!

  27. Great tips! I just bought a food processor and a mixer and they look so bad with water stains. Will vinegar work on them? Should I soak them in it or just give them a little wipe?

  28. Adding a touch of vinegar (half a spoonful or so) to the water you rinse your hair with will give it a glossy shine and it s good for the hair.

  29. Adding a touch of vinegar to the water when you rinse you hair (last rinse, half a spoonful or so) will give it a glossy shine. Not as glossy as some special conditioners perhaps but it is still good for the hair.

  30. Jasper's Dad says:

    Recently I added to my fleet of robot cleaners, a similar machine that scrubs the floor the others just vacuum! Half a dozen sachets of ‘Hard floor Cleaner’ came with the machine which did the job well. I of course then called the agents and tried to place an order for more sachets of this magic formula. ‘Sorry Sir’ we don’t sell it but recommend malt vinegar in lieu! Being a mere male I had never heard of this application for vinegar although a lot goes down my neck in salads and coincidentally I spotted some bottled vinegar specifically for cleaning in our local supermarket! This advice and accounts of use has given me enough courage to try my new found potion in the hope that I won’t find the new ‘toy’ reposing in the middle of the floor surrounded by a chutney of parts dissolved in acetic acid! Thank you

  31. Chiara says:

    People in the South of Spain use it to rinse their hair because the water that comes out of the tap there dries it up. Vinegar leaves your hair shiny, shiny, shiny!

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