I love cleaning with vinegar because it’s a fantastic guilt-free natural cleaner: you can pour it down the loo without worrying about polluting our waterways and its non-toxic formula makes it a great choice for my family home. Its unrivalled cleaning power has seen me through many a cleaning challenge.
Vinegar is a cleaning ingredient as old as time, and one that I remember my grandmother being quite evangelical about. White distilled vinegar has stood the test of time as a cleaning cupboard essential due to its versatility and easy availability. It’s definitely a staple in my cleaning cupboard
When I was researching formulations for our own blend of scented vinegar, I was fascinated by the stories and handy tips from yesteryear. Talking to my mum and her friends about their tried and tested techniques for this cleaning classic, it revealed some very useful tips.
** Please, never do not combine vinegar with bleach or other cleaning chemicals
What can you clean with vinegar?
The uses for vinegar are certainly varied, but here’s what I clean with this wonder ingredient:
- Washing machines
- Windows with vinegar
How to clean a toilet with vinegar
Vinegar has fantastic acidic properties, making it ideal for softening limescale in the toilet bowl. Once softened, it can be easily lifted and cleansed away. Conscious about flushing harmful chemicals down the loo? Vinegar is a great option to keep your conscience clear.
- Pour vinegar into the loo bowl, ensuring that you direct it around the sides
- Allow to sit for three or four hours - or ideally overnight
- Scrub the bowl with a little more vinegar
- Flush to rinse
- If needed, wipe with some more vinegar and repeat until your loo gleams
How to clean your washing machine with vinegar
Cleaning your washing machine will help prevent too much limescale build up (especially a problem in hard water areas like our beautiful Norfolk) and keep the pipes in good working order. Vinegar is a great option for this due to its sanitising and acidic nature.
To make the whole process less of a chore and a little more special, use our scented vinegar for added freshness.
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions before you look to clean the machine with white vinegar. You don’t want to invalidate your warranty
- Making sure the drum is empty, add a cup of vinegar and run on a very hot (or preferably a boil) cycle
- Once the cycle is finished, allow the inside of the drum to air
How to clean your windows with vinegar
This one is a real vintage cleaning tip reminiscent of the 1940s household. The shine and streak-free finish that you achieve with vinegar (plus a labour-saving squeegee and hefty dose of elbow grease) is spectacular.
- Combine one part hot water to one part vinegar in a bowl (if your windows are particularly dirty, add a little dish washing detergent). Or decant into a spray bottle if you prefer
- Remove any ornaments or other items from your window sills, remove any blinds and if necessary, tie back your curtains
- Using a sponge or a cotton dish cloth, wash your windows by dipping or spraying directly on the glass
- Remove excess water with a squeegee, starting at the top and working your way downwards
- Give the glass a final wipe with soft microfibre cloth, working in circular strokes
How to clean your kettle with vinegar
Kettles build up mineral deposits after a while, which look unsightly and can affect the taste of your boiled water. Not nice for your morning cuppa. We recommend using vinegar as it is foodsafe, and with proper rinsing it will clean your kettle effectively without leaving a chemical taste
- Combine one part warm water to one part vinegar
- Pour the solution into your kettle
- Boil the vinegar and water mixture, then switch off the kettle, unplug it, and allow to cool
- Take a microfibre cloth and, dipping it into your solution, clean the outside of the kettle
- Use a bottle brush or a scourer to clean the inside of the kettle
- Empty the kettle and rinse, rinse, rinse
- Boil a couple of kettles of plain water to ensure no vinegar solution remains
How to clean silver with vinegar
Return lustre and shine by polishing your silverware with a vinegar solution - from jewellery to ornaments and dinnerware
For silver jewellery:
- Soak in a solution of ½ cup of white vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda (it will fizz when you combine)
- As little as three minutes can be enough to clean it adequately, so keep an eye on it
- Make sure you rinse it under cold water afterwards, and dry thoroughly
- Take a clean glass baking dish -bear in mind that this is where you’ll be soaking your silverware, so make sure it is large enough
- Line the dish with foil, shiny side up
- Combine a tablespoon of ordinary baking soda and a tablespoon of sea salt. Add this to your dish
- Add ½ a cup of distilled white vinegar to the dish - it will start to fizz
- Carefully pour in one or two cups of boiling water
- Add your silverware to the dish and allow to soak. 30 seconds can be enough for lightly tarnished pieces, heavily stained items may need a few minutes
- Remove the silverware with washing up gloves or tongs (be careful not to burn yourself on the hot water)
- Buff and dry with a microfibre cloth
How to clean brass with vinegar
Unlacquered brass is suitable for cleaning with vinegar, to reduce smudges or stains. However you must check that it’s definitely unlacquered before you start - if the brass tarnishes easily and doesn’t have a coating, it will be unlacquered.
- Combine equal parts plain flour and ordinary household salt until a paste is formed
- Using a microfibre cloth, rub the paste onto the brass
- Allow to sit for at least an hour
- Rinse off the paste with a damp cloth, slowly uncovering the newly clean brass
- Ensure that all of the paste is removed
- Dry with a soft cotton cloth
Use vinegar to clean your home and add a little sparkle in the most natural way possible, with this homemaker’s eco-friendly favourite. It will transform your cleaning routine.