10 Brilliant uses for vinegar — room by room

Contributed By: Tovah Paglaro, David Suzuki’s Queen of Green

Since there are 1,001 uses for vinegar, you might think there’s nothing it can’t do. Not true. Vinegar cannot solve world hunger. Nor can it phone your grandmother every Sunday. Short of that, this super substance is practically unstoppable. Especially when it comes to cleaning!

The high acidity level makes vinegar effective for killing mould, bacteria and germs. Regular distilled white vinegar is more than sufficient for most jobs, but for really gross messes, get extra punch by increasing the acidity — pickling vinegar, for example, is seven per cent acidity instead of the average five per cent.

Vinegar in the kitchen

  • Freshen sponges and dishrags by soaking them overnight in a 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar and just enough water to cover them. Throw them in the wash and they’re as good as new!
  • Remove soap buildup and odours from the dishwasher by running an empty machine with one cup of white distilled vinegar.
  • Similarly, loosen grime and tackle microwave odour by bringing a bowl of vinegar and water solution to a rolling boil in the microwave for three minutes.

Vinegar in the bathroom

  • Remove soap buildup with a non-toxic scouring solution. Mix one part salt to four parts white distilled vinegar and say goodbye to soap scum naturally.
  • Deodorize the toilet bowl and leave it sparkling by soaking the basin with three cups white distilled vinegar for half an hour before scrubbing and flushing.
  • When the bathroom’s clean, apply vinegar’s magic to your head! Fight dandruff naturally by massaging vinegar into your scalp. Results beat the store-bought shampoos, and they’re cheaper and friendly for the earth.

Vinegar in the living room

  • Enjoy crystal-clear windows with equal parts vinegar and water. The first time you try this, chemical residue from your old cleaner might leave streaks. Cut through the grime by spraying with undiluted vinegar.
  • Restore bright colours to your carpet by brushing on a vinegar solution. Mix one cup white distilled vinegar to every four cups of water. (Best to spot test in an out-of-sight corner.)

Vinegar in the laundry room

  • Reduce static without chemical-laden dryer sheets by adding half a cup of vinegar to to the rinse cycle of your washing machine. As an added benefit, this will preserve the colour of your clothes!
  • Restore the white to stained socks and dull dishcloths by boiling them briefly in a large pot of water with one cup white distilled vinegar. Let them soak overnight and wash normally.

Vinegar in the kid’s room

  • To clean and disinfect kids’ toys, add a good-sized splash of white distilled vinegar to soapy water.
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