A Perfect Pantry

Home Cleaning Remedies: Different Ways with Vinegar

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    A quintessential element of salad dressings, white vinegar is one of the most versatile weapons in homemade cleaning remedies.

    Simple and effective, vinegar is cheap and can be found in any supermarket. Below are a few ways in which vinegar can be used to freshen up the home.


    Cleaning surfaces and stains

    • Fill a jar with fresh orange peels and white vinegar
      • The solution is suitable for general cleaning
      • Leave the jar open to eliminate unwanted pet or kitchen odours
      • Also suitable as a citrus-infused vinegar  for salad dressings
      • Spaces lacking ventilation - especially bathrooms - are prone to developing mould along the ceilings and walls. Use a solution consisting of one part water to four parts vinegar with either of the following methods:
        • Wipe surfaces over with a microfibre cloth
        • Cut an old pair of stockings about halfway up the leg and slip it over a broom. Soak it in vinegar and scrub when cleaning hard to reach surfaces.
        • Dab a clean cloth into a solution with equal parts water and vinegar. Switch off and unplug any electrical products and wipe down the exterior of hard surfaces. This keeps hardware clean and dust-free.
        • Removing carpet stains*
          • Light stains: mix 2tbsp salt and ½ cup vinegar. Rub into the stain, let it dry then vacuum.
          • Heavier stains: mix equal parts vinegar and corn starch. Rub into stain using a dry cloth and let it dry for two days before vacuuming.
          • Steam clean your microwave: Fill a bowl with one cup of water to ¼ cup vinegar. Place in the microwave and cook on high for five minutes. Once the bowl has cooled down, use the vinegar solution to wipe all surfaces of the microwave.
          • Using a spray bottle, lightly mist undiluted white vinegar to clean chrome and stainless steel fixtures*. Gently buff with a soft cloth to help bring the brightness back to life.

    *always spot clean on an inconspicuous section to test suitability



    • Remove unwanted smells in the air: fill ¾ of a shallow bowl with vinegar and place it in the area where the smell is strongest. An alternative is to moisten a cloth or sponge with vinegar and wave it through the air.
    • Refresh the smell of your refrigerator by mixing equal parts vinegar and water, and wiping the interior and exterior surfaces.
    • Hands tend to smell unpleasant after slicing onions, meat and seafood. Scrub hands with salt and a splash of vinegar to remove the smell.


    Fabric care

    • Add a few capfuls of vinegar to the rinse cycle to plump up wool sweaters.
    • Add half a cup to the rinse cycle to dissolve any soap residue.
    • Dab a cotton rag into a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, and rub gently over the surface area of salt-stained leather or suede shoes*.

    *always spot clean on an inconspicuous section to test suitability



    • Fill a kitchen sink with water and one cup of vinegar. Soaking fruits and vegetables in the solution for 10 minutes results in clean fruits without wax and dirt residue.
    • Adding ½ cup vinegar to the bath has a two-fold effect: it helps soothe dry skin and results in a cleaner bath tub. Using an essential oil can also help to offset the smell.


    There are dozens of other ways vinegar can be used to repel dust and unwanted smells. Have a homemade cleaning recipe you’d like to share? Leave your tips in the comments section.

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