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natural cleaning

Home, Home and Garden

Uses for Vinegar Around the Home You Wouldn’t Expect

white vinegar uses
white vinegar uses

Think vinegar is only for chips? Wrong! Here are 13 unexpected uses for vinegar around the home.

A few months ago I shared some surprising uses for coconut oil by Californian artist Yumi Sakugawa, which you guys really loved.  Well, today I’m sharing another one of her fabulous illustrations for WonderHowTo on 13 unexpected uses for vinegar.  This is just as good and surprising as the coconut oil illustration!

Testing the alkalinity of soil with vinegar?  Stopping pets from scratching their ears? De-wrinkling clothes?  All with vinegar?  Alchemy.  Pure alchemy!

Please note, these uses for vinegar are for white distilled vinegar, rather than malt or apple cider vinegar. THere’s where I buy my white vinegar in bulk.

13 Surprising Uses For Vinegar

uses for vinegar

In case you are using a text reader, then here is what the infographic says:

Cure Hiccups

Simply swallow one teaspoon of vinegar to make hiccups go away.

Stop Pets Scratching Their Ears

Another use for vinegar is to wash your pet’s ears and then wipe their ears down with vinegar to make them less itchy.

Increase Grease-Fighting Potency of Dishwashing Liquid

Add 3 to 4 tablespoons to a bottle of dishwashing liquid and give it a few shakes to boost its cleaning power.

De-Wrinkle Clothing Without Using An Ironing Board

After removing your clothing from the dryer, mist it with a 1 parts vinegar to 3 parts water solution. Then hang up your clothing and let it dry. Genius!

Eliminate Ants From Your Home

In a more unexpected use of vinegar, you can help eliminate ants. Simply spray your kitchen counter and other surfaces with vinegar, and wipe dry. This will deter ants from coming back. Please note, you shouldn’t spray vinegar on natural stone, granite, quartz, or marble countertops as it may etch them.

Remove Stickiness & Grime From Scissors

Simply wipe down the scissor blades with a paper towel or cloth soaked in vinegar.

Make Your Brick Floor Look Amazing

Wipe the surface with a damp mop dipped in a solution of one cup of vinegar and one gallon of warm water.

Minimise Scratches on Wood Furniture

This is such a handy use for vinegar! To make a scratch less noticeable, simply mix vinegar and iodine in a small glass jar, and then painting over the scratch with the solution using a small artist’s paintbrush.

Test the Alkalinity of Your Soil

Place a handful of soil into a container and pour in half a cup of vinegar. If the soil fizzes, it is more alkaline. If it does not, it is more acidic.

Poach Eggs Like A Pro

Adding a few teaspoons of vinegar to water whilst poaching an egg will make the egg whites congeal more easily.

Make it Easier to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Add two tablespoons of vinegar to every litre of water to make eggs easier to shell.

Relieve Jellyfish Stings

Adding vinegar to the skin will help neutralise the stinging created from the tentacles left in the skin.

Neutralise the Spiciness In Foods

Finally, in our last of the uses for vinegar, have you added too many spicy spices whilst cooking? Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to your food to help neutralise the spiciness. You can add more if needed, just keep tasting to check your food.

And there you have it!  13 very unexpected uses of vinegar! Were there any surprises here for you? Did you learn anything new? And have you got any more questions about vinegar? Here’s everything you need to know about white vinegar for cleaning.

ps: you might like this post on natural cleaning products that you can make with vinegar, and also this post on why you should wash berries in vinegar!

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Make Your Own Homemade Cleaning Products

homemade cleaning products
homemade cleaning products

Want to make your own homemade cleaning products but don’t know where to start? Let me show you how with these super simple recipes.

I want my home to be clean, but at the same time, I don’t really want a cocktail of chemicals in the air that I breathe, or on the surfaces that I touch or prepare food on. Particularly as scientists have warned that some household cleaning products could be as bad for your lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Meanwhile, there is a link between cleaning products and breast cancer.

As there are all sorts of health and environmental dangers associated with using cleaning products, over the past few years we’ve been trying to cut down on the number of harsh chemicals we use in our home.

We first switched to using more eco-friendly cleaning products. And where we can we’ve also started making our own homemade cleaning products. Let me show you how to make them.

What You’ll Need

To get started, you’ll need a few simple supplies.

To make my homemade cleaning products, I have a small selection of essential oils, that I buy from eBay*.  I’ve got lavender, lemon, sweet orange, peppermint, and tea tree.  As well as smelling great, I like them because these specific oils have great cleaning and germ-killing properties.

essential oils for cleaning your home

Next, you’ll need a bottle or two of white vinegar.  Vinegar is quite a key component in making homemade cleaning products.  You can buy white vinegar in glass bottles in the supermarket that you can transfer into a spray bottle. A more economical way is to buy white vinegar in bulk, which is very economical, and you can refill any empty spray bottle.

In terms of spray bottles, here’s where I source glass bottles to hold my homemade cleaning products.

Homemade Cleaning Products

Now that you’ve got your supplies, let me show you my step-by-step instructions for making my homemade chemical-free cleaning products.  You can make them easily and cheaply, and I promise you they are as effective as any shop-bought chemical cleaner.

I’ve got a host of recipes here for your kitchen and bathroom, and for doing laundry and the dishes.  They’ll soon have your house naturally sparkling!

Please note that vinegar shouldn’t be used on granite, marble, quartz, or other forms of natural stone.

Homemade Kitchen Cleaning Spray

For my homemade kitchen cleaner, I add twenty drops of lemon oil and twenty drops of lavender oil to a solution of 250 ml cooled boiled water and 250 ml white vinegar.  Lemon is a great degreaser and lavender has brilliant antibacterial properties.

household kitchen cleaning products made with vinegar and essential oils

My home-made spray made light work of my dirty worktops.  Here you can see the before and after shots:

before and after cleaning with vinegar

Sparkling clean, and germ-free without any trace of harsh chemicals!  When you use the spray (or any other vinegar-based homemade cleaning products) then you do get a smell of vinegar. However it completely disappears once dry, and you’re left with a very light and pleasant scent of the essential oils.

For an extra cleaning boost, you can add 1 teaspoon of regular washing up liquid to the oil, vinegar and essential oil solution.

If you have any tough spots of grime or dried in food then try spraying it with a liberal amount of vinegar and leaving it to soak for 10 minutes before wiping. If that doesn’t help, try a light sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda on the affected area, and then rubbing it with a damp cloth. You may want to patch test this in an inconspicuous area first to test that it’s not going to damage the surface you are cleaning.

This homemade cleaning product keeps for up to around 8 weeks. However if it starts to look or smell bad before then, then do discard it and make a fresh batch.

Homemade Bathroom Cleaner

You can also make homemade bathroom cleaning spray, again using vinegar.  This time, to the 250 ml cooled boiled water and 250 ml vinegar solution add 20 drops of lavender oil and 20 drops of tea tree oil.  Tea tree oil has brilliant antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, making it brilliant for cleaning bathrooms.

bathroom cleaner spray made with vinegar and essential oils lavender tea tree

I’ve been spraying my homemade cleaning spray on my tiles after showering to inhibit the growth of mould and remove soap scum. I also use it to wipe down the sink and toilet and everything else.  Again, it initially smells of vinegar but when it dries you can’t smell the vinegar. Only a very subtle aroma of tea tree and lavender.

Again, the shelf life of this is around 8 weeks.

Homemade Fabric Softener

I’ve used vinegar for years as a homemade fabric softener, but I’ve only just started adding essential oils to the vinegar.  Simply fill an old jar with vinegar, and add around 30 drops of orange oil to your vinegar for softened clothes and a delicate and clean aroma to your laundry, without a hint of vinegar, I promise!  With regards to the dosage I just fill up to the line on the fabric conditioner drawer of my machine and that seems to work a treat.

As you are not adding water to the vinegar, your homemade fabric softener will last indefinitely. Again, if it starts to look or smell bad then do discard and make a fresh batch.

Homemade Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Vinegar also makes a fantastic rinse aid in your dishwasher. It leaves your glasses, cutlery and plates sparkling!  I just use the same solution as I do for my fabric softener – making it fantastically multipurpose!

Do you make any of your own homemade cleaning products?  Do share in the comments below!  I’m always on the lookout for great tips!

PS: if you enjoyed this then you might also enjoy my post on green cleaning favourites.  I’ve been on quite the green cleaning journey and plastic reduction journey since I wrote this, and have since shared lots of recipes and methods, that I’ve summarised in my cleaning favourites post.

PPS: I’ve been on ever such the green cleaning journey since I published this post AND my post on my green cleaning favourites.  I’ve written a book all about green cleaning, called Fresh Clean Home, with over 35 recipes for every room in your home. It’s available to purchase now.  Do check it out!

Main image from here, all others are my own.