I’ve always loved vinegar. Not only does it taste great on fish and chips, a la British-style, but vinegar is a wonderful, and cheap, product to use for cleaning around your home. With so many things a 50 cent bottle of vinegar can be used for, try these top five cleaning uses for vinegar in your house. You might be surprised how effective they are.
Vinegar As Water Softener – Weirdly, white vinegar (don’t use the colored stuff if you’re using it in water to wash clothes with), is an incredible water softener when doing your laundry. Just pour half a cup of white vinegar into your washing machine during its final rinse, and in your kitchen or bathroom sink, and use the water as you normally would. You’d think vinegar would smell, which is often why people don’t think about using it for a water softener, but it really doesn’t. As the vinegar starts to evaporate, the smell goes away and, even in laundry, you’ll only end up with soft, not smelly, clothing.
Remove Sticky Residue From Labels – You know that nasty sticky glue that’s left behind after you peel a label of a product, household appliance, plastic container, glass, or even a book? Well vinegar is an incredible way to get rid of it. If it’s a small plastic or glass item, you can always soak it in a mixture of water and vinegar and then scrape off the remaining glue with a small dull knife. Or, if it’s something like a refrigerator, a toaster oven or even a book, just soak a cloth in some white vinegar then use it to rub the sticky residue away from the item. For me, it sometimes takes two quick attempts but, the second time, the item is guaranteed to be glue free and non-sticky.
Clean Silver Jewelry With Vinegar – Instead of buying expensive jewelry cleaner, mix up half a cup of white vinegar with a tablespoon of baking soda. Once the baking soda has completely dissolved, put your jewelry in the mixture and leave it sitting for 1-2 hours. Then remove from the vinegar mixture, run your jewelry under the tap to get rid of the vinegar solution and rub quickly with a soft cloth. Voila, lovely shiny jewelry and for a fraction of the cost of jewelry cleaner. I’ve even managed to get clean an old silver bangle I hadn’t worn in 20 years and was so tarnished I thought I’d never be able to wear again. With vinegar? So clean it was almost blinding and not one spot of tarnish left.
Remove Furniture Rings – One of my favorite uses for vinegar is to use it to remove rings left by wet cups and glasses on furniture. So unsightly and just about impossible to remove any other way, if you mix some vinegar with some cheap olive oil and rub it onto the furniture with a cloth, all you have to do is polish it like you would with normal furniture polish and, suddenly, the ring has gone. Again, on darker, stubborn rings I’ve occasionally had to apply the vinegar-olive oil solution twice, but boy, does it look gorgeous afterward. Just mix a quarter cup of vinegar (on darker furniture I use malt vinegar) together with a quarter cup of olive oil and polish with it.
Clean the Bathroom with Vinegar – The absolute best use for vinegar is as a bathroom cleaner. Vinegar mixed with equal parts water is perfect for cleaning and shining soap-scummed tiles, glass shower doors, sinks and the toilet, faucets and even for plastic shower curtains (just pour vinegar into the first wash in your washing machine along with some soap powder and wash as normal). Vinegar is also a natural disinfectant so will get rid of all those nasty bathroom germs too.
Vinegar is the wonder cleaning product everyone should have bottles of in their home. It often does the job of much more expensive cleaners and stain removes and at literally pennies a half cup, you can get your whole house shiny clean for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.