Vinegar: householder’s dream product

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The humble bottle of vinegar is more than just the basis of a salad dressing.

Many older folk already know this, but in the right hands, vinegar can be a miracle liquid that’ll leave your house sparkling – and for a fraction of the price of shop-bought cleaning products.

But it’s not just for cleaning: vinegar has a host of uses around the home.

Kettle, dishwasher and carpet cleaning

Vinegar at the bottom of a kettle will remove marks.

This is according to Choice kitchen expert Ashley Iredale, who advises to let it soak overnight. 

“Once a year, pour a couple of cups of vinegar into a bowl on the bottom rack of the dishwasher when it’s empty. Then run the dishwasher on its hottest cycle. This will help deal with grease, limescale and deposits in the pipes, and will knock out unpleasant odours,” Ms Iredale said.

 As to carpet cleaning, nothing beats two tablespoons dishwashing liquid, three tablespoons white vinegar, and a quarter cup of water.

Other uses

For a cheap (and ammonia-free) window cleaner, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray on a window or mirror, then wipe off with newspaper, paper towel or a dry cotton cloth, says Ms Iredale.

She adds that a quarter cup of white vinegar also acts as a fabric softener while restoring whiteness to clothes.

“Adding two tablespoons of white vinegar and two tablespoons of sugar to water keeps flowers fresher, and adding a tablespoon of vinegar to bread dough helps the bread to rise as well as giving the loaf better keeping qualities.”

To remove mould from non-porous surfaces, mix up solutions of 80 per cent vinegar to 20 water water in three buckets and dip a microfibre cloth in the first bucket, clean the affected surface, then rinse the cloth in the second bucket and again in the third bucket, she says.

Vinegar can also be used to kill odours in the cooker, freshen up a Dutch oven, clean stainless steel and soothe mosquito bites.