Most of us spend a small fortune on cleaning agents over the course of a year. But it might surprise you to know that a very effective household cleaner might already be in your kitchen cupboard. White vinegar can be a powerful cleaning agent when used in the following ways.
1. DRAIN CLEANER
Hair, dust, soap and dirt can clog up sinks and drains relatively easily. But you can keep them clear — without calling out professional drainage experts — with just a little vinegar and some baking soda. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain, and then add around half a cup of white vinegar. You should see the drain start to fizz as the vinegar cleans and deodorises.
2. SHOWER HEAD CLEANER
Pour a cup of white vinegar into a plastic sandwich bag, and tie the bag to your shower curtain with cable ties and elastic bands — ensuring the head is fully submerged in the vinegar. Leave overnight, and then rinse the vinegar away. Scrub the head with a brush to remove any remaining deposits.
3. VINYL FLOOR CLEANER
Fill a standard cleaning bucket with hot water, and add a cup of white vinegar to make a powerful floor cleaner that will cut through grease and neutralise odours.
4. WINDOW CLEANER
Create a solution of one part water and one part white vinegar, and apply it to your windows with paper towels. The solution will cut through dirt and leave your windows streak-free.
5. WASHING-UP LIQUID
Add two to four tablespoons of white vinegar — depending on the size of your bowl — to your usual soapy water solution. This will boost your detergent’s cleaning power and leave dishes without streaks.
6. MILDEW REMOVER
Pour white vinegar into a clean spray bottle, and spray it onto tiles, grouting, shower curtains and silicone sealant. Leave for 30 minutes, and scrub clean with a scouring pad. Or in the case of shower curtains, soak them in vinegar before machine washing them.
7. ODOUR NEUTRALISER
Mix a solution of one part white vinegar and three parts water. Spray affected areas using a clean spray bottle, and blot dry with paper towels or microfibre cloths. This method is particularly good at removing pet smells from carpet.
8. SOAPSCUM REMOVER
Soapscum can accumulate quickly around baths, on shower heads and on shower doors. To remove it, spray white vinegar over the affected area and allow 30 minutes of contact time. Then use a stiff-bristle brush to scrub away the scum.
9. LAUNDRY SOFTENER
Fill your washing machine’s fabric softener dispenser with white vinegar. This should help to soften your clothes without leaving an odour.
10. TOILET CLEANER
Lock the stopcock in your toilet’s water tank, and flush the toilet. It won’t refill, which will empty the toilet and allow you to get at water rings. Spray white vinegar on the toilet bowl, and use a stiff-bristle brush to scrub away unsightly deposits.
Whenever it’s time to clean, think to yourself: “Can vinegar do the job of an expensive cleaning agent?” In many cases, the answer will be yes!