Living in a hard water area, might mean cleaning vinegar is already a cleaning-cupboard staple of yours. If not, prepare to add a brilliant, versatile product to deal with many jobs around your home. Natural and nasty-free, cleaning vinegar is a cheap, effective tool for your domestic challenges!
Here we’ve listed our five favourite uses for cleaning vinegar (and a couple of other basics from your store-cupboard) which will avoid extra plastic bottles and nasty chemicals when buying specific cleaning products for these jobs.
LIMESCALE IN THE BATHROOM
Mix 250ml of cleaning vinegar with 1 tbspn of Bicarbonate of Soda and 1 capful of washing up liquid in an empty clean bottle (this will fizz up a bit – don’t wear your favourite top for this job!). Add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil if you like, but keep to a minimum to avoid smearing. Shake this well to mix.
Spray surfaces (fab on shower screens and taps) leave for a while for stubborn limescale. Use a clean cloth ( we like to use old flannels or trashed T shirts) to polish off. It will smell a little (not much if you have added essential oils) though nothing like as strong as malt vinegar and it disappears quickly.
Pour a kettle of boiling water down the plughole. Tip/drop 1 tbspn of Bicarbonate of Soda down the plughole followed by 250ml of cleaning vinegar. This will fizz up, you can then put the plug in and leave for 15-30 mins. Flush down another kettle of boiling water.
CLEAN YOUR WASHING MACHINE
Mix 50ml of cleaning vinegar with 50ml of cool water. Using a damp rag, use this mixture to clean around the seal, the drum and the washing machine door. If your liquid/powder tray is removeable, you can clean this with a bottle brush and the mixture too.
Next, add 450 ml of cleaning vinegar to the drum and run a hot wash (60 degrees +). At the end of the cycle, open the door and leave to cool (overnight is best). There will be a vinegar smell for a while but this will go! This will help remove limescale like a dream from inside your machine.
Spray all around the toilet bowl with a cup of cleaning vinegar. Sprinkle half a cup of Bicarbonate of Soda around the bowl. Leave this to fizz then follow with a jug of hot water and leave for 10 or 15 mins. Scrub then rinse thoroughly.
CITRUS GLASS CLEANER
Put the peels from oranges, lemons or limes into a large lidded jar ( a mason jar is perfect – but use whatever you have). You can also add some herbs if you're feeling adventurous - rosemary is great. Eucalyptus also works well. Fill the jar with cleaning vinegar and close the lid. Let this ferment for 2-4 weeks (4 is best). Sieve the liquid and dispose of the peels. Put about half of your liquid into a bottle with a spray attachment and half water. You now have amazing smelling cleaning spray which works really well on glass, windows and other surfaces.
REMEMBER – vinegar is acidic. Do not use on natural stone, granite, marble quartz etc We would also avoid using on unsealed or waxed surfaces. You can test on an out of sight area if you have any reservations.