Ways to Use Vinegar in the Home

Touted for its health benefits, vinegar is a must-have in the home for a host of other reasons

We use vinegar in cooking, especially in Chinese cuisine and salads. Research has also shown that vinegar offers plenty of health benefits, even for people with conditions like diabetes. But vinegar offers more than that. Inexpensive and economical, white vinegar can be used for many purposes in the home. We look at some key areas in the home where vinegar comes in handy.

Cleaning

White vinegar is effective for killing mould, bacteria and germs, which is why vinegar is great for cleaning places like the kitchen and bathroom. Because food is handled in the kitchen, using vinegar for the kitchen is an alternative to chemical-based cleaners.

Make a solution of half white vinegar and half water, and use it to clean the microwave, countertop, as well as coffee and tea stains. For the bathroom, create a similar solution in a spray bottle and use it for your bathroom sink, water closet and tiles. Vinegar also slows down the build-up of grime and dirt.

Don’t worry about the pungent smell. Keep your windows open and the smell will dissipate in less than an hour. You can also opt to add a few drops of essential oil to your vinegar and water solution to mask the smell.

Cooking

Vinegar offers plenty of health benefits, and research has shown that vinegar helps the body take in calcium from your foods. So the next time you make a salad, concoct your own vinaigrette. Start with a base of olive oil and vinegar, and add other ingredients you like, such as chopped garlic, pepper, salt and your favourite herbs. Forget about those chemical-based solutions for washing vegetables and fruits that you see in the supermarket. Washing vegetables and fruits with vinegar works well in killing bacteria.

Laundry

Yes, vinegar can be used for bringing back your tired clothes to life too! If your favourite black clothes look a little worse for wear due to soap residue, just add half cup of white vinegar in your final rinse. Doing so also boosts the colour in your clothes too. If the kids have stained their clothes with spaghetti sauce on their clothes yet again, spray on your mixture of white vinegar and water solution before throwing the clothes in the wash. Left the iron too long on your favourite shirt? Try this: make a solution of half-half white vinegar and salt, warm up the solution and then rub the solution on the scorch marks.

Gardening

White vinegar works just as well for your plants. If weeds are an issue in your garden, pour undiluted white vinegar on them to keep them at bay. Some flowering plants love acidic soil, so to help these plants thrive, add white vinegar to your watering can before you water them. If the flowers you just bought are looking a little droopy, add in some vinegar to the vase to refresh the flowers. Got an army of ants in your garden? Pouring some white vinegar might be the solution you are looking for.

Pets

Animals do not like the smell of vinegar. Period. So if your cat keeps marking his territory on your favourite chair, then it’s time to wipe it down with some white vinegar. You can do the same if your cat keeps scratching that vintage piece of furniture you just bought. Stains and deposits may gather in fish tanks, so to get rid of the problem, wipe it down with white vinegar. Make sure you rinse it well before placing the fish back into the tank. Got a flea problem? Add a few drops of white vinegar to your pet’s drinking water to eliminate the issue.