White vinegar, sometimes called distilled or spirit vinegar, has been a mainstay in households worldwide for thousands of years. It’s easy to understand why.
Although best known for its culinary uses, white vinegar is also great for cleaning and laundry.
But don’t confuse it with brown ‘malt’ vinegar, which is good on chips but not so much as a fabric conditioner!
1. USE AS A RINSE-AID
Help glass and cutlery stay smear and streak free in the dishwasher and prevent glassware becoming cloudy by simply pouring the vinegar into your rinse-aid dispenser.
2. GET GLASS GLEAMING
Give windows, mirrors and shower screens a streak-free shine by spraying on white vinegar and wiping off with a clean, lint-free cloth or scrunched-up newspaper.
3. BRIGHTEN SMALL APPLIANCES
Banish limescale from your kettle, coffee machine and iron. Spray onto the encrusted surface, wait for 10 minutes and rinse clean. Using hot water will enhance the reaction, helping to dissolve the limescale. To clean your iron; empty the water reservoir and fill a third full with the vinegar. Switch the iron onto the steam setting and iron an old cloth until all the vinegar has been used. Switch off and leave to cool. Repeat the process with clean water to flush out any remaining vinegar. Make sure you empty the reservoir of water every time you finish with the iron to reduce future deposits forming.
4. CLEAN UP THE KITCHEN
Vinegar is a great multi-purpose cleaner and is perfect for brightening up the kitchen sink and draining board, where limescale deposits from evaporated water can dull the surface. Simply pour onto a clean cloth or sponge and wipe over.
5. KEEP LAUNDRY SOFT
Try it in place of your usual fabric conditioner; just add 40ml to your dispenser. It will leave laundry beautifully soft and there won’t be a vinegary smell!
6. REMOVE FABRIC STAINS
Spray onto colour-safe fabrics and upholstery to remove dirt and organic stains. Then wipe over with a clean, damp cloth. It’s also great as a pre-wash stain treatment for shirt and blouse cuffs and collars, and underarm deodorant marks.
7. FRESHEN UP AFTER PETS
If your pet isn’t yet house trained, spraying white vinegar on the area of an ‘accident’ will clean and deodorise it. And the masking smell of the vinegar will deter your pet from re-offending in the same place.
8. TACKLE DULL TAPS AND SHOWER HEADS
White vinegar works even more effectively at removing limescale when it’s hot and given time to work its magic. Either wrap loo paper around the tap or shower head and spray liberally, or submerge in a plastic bag of warm vinegar secured by an elastic band. Leave for at least an hour before rinsing.
9. SOFTEN SCRATCHY TOWELS
Detergent and conditioner build-up can make towels stiff. Soak them in 200g soda crystals and 500ml hot water for an hour, before washing them as normal substituting white vinegar for the fabric conditioner. If possible, tumble dry. Repeat this method if needed until the towels are restored to their former softness.
Avoid using white vinegar on:
Frosted glass – it removes the etching· Limestone, natural stone or marble worktops· Metal plated surfaces where the plating is already peeling