December 28, 2016

Vinegar – not just for fish and chips!

I was introduced to the wonders of vinegar when I first moved out of home. I hadn’t hit the shops yet to purchase all the new wonderful things I would need to clean my new home, so luckily my mother arrived with a bottle of white vinegar and some cloths in hand to start the cleaning!

Here are some of the many uses of vinegar around the home – some I have tried personally and still live by it, others I am yet to try but it is great information to have handy in case the only thing you have is a bottle of vinegar!

Salt and Vinegar Cat


  • Clean bench tops and make them smell nice again with a cloth soaked in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
  • Clean the microwave by mixing 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Any baked-on food will be loosened, and odours will disappear. Make sure you wipe clean.
  • Clean the shelves and walls of the refrigerator with a half-and-half solution of water and white distilled vinegar.
  • Grease buildup in an oven can be prevented by wiping with a cleaning rag that has been moistened in distilled vinegar and water.
  • Stains on hard-to-clean glass, aluminum, or porcelain utensils may be loosened by boiling in a solution of one part vinegar to eight parts water. The utensils should then be washed in hot soapy water.
  • To clean windows, spray with half vinegar, half water. Wipe clean with either newspapers or cloth.
  • To clean wood paneling, use a mixture of 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 2 cups warm water. Apply to paneling with a soft cloth. Dry with a clean cloth.
  • Renew sponges and dishcloths by placing them in just enough water to cover them. Then add 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. Let them soak overnight.
  • Clean stainless steel by wiping with a vinegar dampened cloth.
  • To clean wooden cutting boards, wipe with vinegar.


  • Freshen vegetables. Soak wilted vegetables in 2 cups of water and a tablespoon of vinegar.
  • Make buttermilk. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk and let it stand 5 minutes to thicken.
  • Prepare fluffier rice by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water when it boils.
  • Try cider or malt white distilled vinegar instead of ketchup with chips. Nothing like a little salt n vinegar!
  • To make basic vinaigrette salad dressing use 1 part white distilled vinegar to 4 parts oil.
  • Tenderise meat with white distilled vinegar. Use it in marinades or when slow cooking any tough, inexpensive cuts of meat.


  • Leather articles can be cleaned with a mixture of distilled vinegar and linseed oil. Rub the mixture into the leather and then polish with a soft cloth.
  • To remove scorch marks from an iron, rub with a mixture of vinegar and salt.
  • Get rid of lint in clothes. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  • To make your “brights brighter”, add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  • To remove scorch marks from an iron, rub with a mixture of vinegar and salt.
  • Remove tough stains. Gently rub on fruit, jam, mustard, coffee, tea. Then wash as usual.
  • Get smoke smell out of clothes by addibng a cup of vinegar to a bath tub of hot water. Hang clothes above the steam.
  • Remove musky smells from cotton clothes by sprinkling them lightly with white distilled vinegar and then pressing them.
  • Remove perspiration stains from clothes by applying one part vinegar to four parts water,then rinse.


  • Repel ants by spraying undiluted white distilled vinegar outside doorways and windowsills, around appliances and wherever you find them coming in.
  • Clean dentures by soaking them overnight in vinegar, then brush away tartar with a toothbrush.
  • Soothe a sore throat. Put a teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water. Gargle, then swallow.
  • To keep dogs from scratching their ears, clean with a soft cloth dipped in diluted vinegar.
  • Give acid-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and gardenias a little help by watering them with a white distilled vinegar solution now and again. A cup of white distilled vinegar to a gallon of tap water is a good mixture.
  • Discourage cats from getting into the kids’ sandpit with white distilled vinegar
  • Rid the windshield wipers of road grime by wiping them with a white distilled vinegar-soaked cloth
  • Kill weeds. Spray full strength on growth until plants have starved.

I know there are MANY more uses for vinegar, so let us know your tips!

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  1. Hello, Why distilled vinegar? I’ve always used plain old white vinegar. Is distilled more expensive? and harder to find?


    • I would assume they are basically the same for most uses. I usually use white vinegar as it is easy to find and can buy it cheaply in bulk.

      But for clarity this article linked below says:
      “Simply put, distilled vinegar has been purified more than white vinegar.
      Since white or spirit vinegar contains a higher percentage of acidic content, it is more ideal a household cleaning agent. It provides an eco-friendly solution for eliminating dirt and bad odor on a wide array of materials like fabric, metal, glass, fur, tiles and many others. It can also be used as a urine-cleaner for pets, as well as a natural herbicide or weed killer. White vinegar does not contain ammonia; it thoroughly cleanses without leaving strong and harmful smell.
      Distilled vinegar, being the milder variation, is more suitable for cooking, flavoring, food additive and food preservation. Additionally, it can be used as a household remedy. For instance, it is an effective way to cure or prevent athlete’s foot and warts. It is also very helpful in relieving sunburn and prevents the skin from peeling or blistering.”

      RELATED ARTICLE: Difference Between White and Distilled vinegar

  2. Where can we buy white distilled vinegar ??

  3. No one mentions cleaning vinegar which you can buy from most supermarkets, that can be found amongst cleaning goods mostly seen close to bleach. This vinegar is much stronger than normal vinegar!

  4. JessIca Garner says:

    I love using vinegar for cleaning, infact now the only things I buy for cleaning is vinegar, bicarb, earth choice dishwashing liquid (which apart from the homebrand is the cheapest at woolies) and laundry powder.

    Shower cleaner:
    Mix approx 2 parts dishwashing liquid to 8 parts HOT vinegar spray on everything (make sure it gets everywhere) and wipe clean. It works soooo well you dont need to scrub. I use a 1 litre gardening pumping spray gun cause it does get a bit tying spray then whats left chuck in the toilet and use it to clean it. Makes the tapware shine, kills mould, but I think most importantly it makes cleaning off the soap scum sooo easy. Also works on the mirror too.
    you might have seen a similar recipe on pinterest using dawn liquid and 1/2 vinegar 1/2 dawn but I find it takes forever to wash the soap off.

    to clean the oven:
    Chuck bicarb all over the burnt on bits, spray vinegar to make bubble, leave to dry then spray again and wipe off, shouldnt even need to scrub. I also use this method to clean the george forman.