There’s a bottle gathering dust at the back of your kitchen cupboard that might just be able to solve some of your most common household conundrums. It’s not soap or even bleach – it’s vinegar!
The clear sour liquid isn’t just for sprinkling it over fish and chips – in fact, regular white vinegar is cheap, versatile and a great alternative to many stronger cleaning agents full of harmful chemicals.
Ready to see what it can do? Here’s 10 clever uses for vinegar that have nothing to do with food…
- Chemical-free all-purpose cleaner – Particularly if you have pets or small grandchildren roaming about, cleaning products heavy in dangerous chemicals can be a real hazard. A safer alternative is to fill a spray bottle with one part vinegar, three parts water. Add a few drops of dish soap and shake – the result is a highly effective cleaner you can use around the home.
- Flatten out wrinkles – If you have clothing that’s too delicate to iron out, try this clever trick instead. Hang your clothing then mix together a solution that’s one part vinegar three parts water. Spray a mist over the item and leave it for several minutes. The wrinkles soften and disappear.
- Remove tape residue – If you’ve ever used sticky tape to hang a banner for a birthday party or found annoying store tag labels leave a residue behind on glassware or other items, get the vinegar out. Spray over the residue and leave for a few minutes to soak – you’ll be able to wipe the remaining sticky residue clean away.
- Banish bad smells – Lingering smells in the bottom of a kitchen bin or utility room can be nearly impossible to remove. Try soaking a slice of bread in vinegar and placing in the bottom of the bin or offending area overnight. The bread and vinegar will slowly soak up and remove the scent, leaving your bin smelling back to normal come morning.
- Unclog a drain – Clear up a clogged drain with two ingredients you already have in your kitchen. Start with half a cup of baking soda – about 90g – sprinkled down the drain in question. Follow it up with a cup – or 250ml – of vinegar. Once it stops foaming, wash it down with hot water, and voila!
- Stop an itch – For insect bites and stings, stop itching dead in its tracks with a bit of white vinegar dipped in a cotton ball. It will help stop the itching and disinfect the area to promote faster healing.
- Add some shine to your dog’s coat – Do you need your furry friend looking their best for a special occasion? Skip the trip to the groomer and try this instead; add some vinegar to water and spray over your dog, then wipe down with a brush. It’s a cheap alternative to expensive pet care products and will also help repel fleas and ticks.
- Train your cat – If you have problems with scratching or certain furniture you’d prefer your cat not to climb on, try vinegar. Spray a light misting on any areas you don’t want your cat to go; they hate the scent and will naturally avoid it.
- Extend the life of your flowers – Apple cider vinegar works as a life elixir for plants and flowers. Mix apple cider vinegar and water into your vase and keep them alive and vibrant for longer.
- Remove pot stains – If you have build-up and grease that just won’t seem to go anywhere on your favourite pots and pans, try this magic solution. Pour a cup each of vinegar and water into the bottom of the dish and then place on the hob. Bring it to the boil and let it bubble for about a few minutes. This also works on well loved mugs and tea cups – gently scrub with vinegar and baking soda to remove the grimy build up!
Will you try any of these tricks at home? Let us know in the comments below!