November 7, 2016 by admin
A wise friend of mine recently lent me her much cherished book – Vinegar, Nature’s Secret Weapon by Maxwell Stein. As well as the scores of uses in cooking, did you know it’s a major game changer in the cleaning world too?
Vinegar is strongly acidic which makes it ideal for cleaning, without any of the fumes or poisonous additives that come with many commercial household cleaners. A bottle of distilled white vinegar can be bought for around 39p for over half a litre from any supermarket, making it not just a safe alternative cleaner, but also an economical one too.
The book covers over 50 suggestions, here are 10 alternative uses for that cheeky condiment:
1 Ant Repellent
Use a solution of half vinegar and half water and wipe down any areas that seem to attract ants. Use the solution in a spray bottle to keep ants away from indoor plants and for underneath appliances and window tracks.
2 Bottle Cleaner
To remove sediment stains from bottles, jars or vases, half fill with white vinegar and shake or swill well before leaving to soak for a few minutes. Rinse out the vinegar and wash as usual to leave your bottles sparkling.
Treat brushes that have hardened dirt or paint on them by boiling them in undiluted vinegar. Leave to soak for an hour and then wash with soapy water.
4 Chewing Gum
Dissolve chewing gum on carpets, upholstery or clothing by applying hot vinegar to the affected area and gently scraping off.
5 Clogged Shower Heads
Dismantle the shower head and soak the pieces in a bowl of vinegar for a couple of hours. Alternatively pour some vinegar into a plastic bag and, using a rubber band, attach it to your taps or shower heads so that they are bathed in the solution. The acid in the vinegar effectively breaks down any lime-scale that’s built up over time.
6 Drain Cleaner
Make up a solution of 200ml vinegar to 75g bicarbonate of soda and pour directly into the clogged drain. Wait for 15 minutes before rinsing away with hot water.
7 Kettle Descaler
Cover the element with equal quantities of water and vinegar and then bring to the boil. Leave to soak overnight before rinsing thoroughly in the morning.
Mildew or mould on walls, often in poorly ventilated bathrooms, can be removed by wiping the surface down with undiluted vinegar. A top tip is to add a few drops of tea tree oil which helps disinfect the area.
9 Rust Stains
Soak the affected area in vinegar then rub salt into the stain. Allow it to dry and then wash in the normal way.
10 Windows, Mirrors and Glass Tops
To clean glass, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to a small bucket of water. To finish off, buff with a clean dry cloth or better still, a screwed up ball of newspaper.