Natural cleanser using vinegar

Mr B loves using vinegar to sanitise the kitchen counter tops and I realised I use it on several different occasions, which got me thinking: why not share with you a tip on how to clean using a natural product – vinegar?

One of the ways I use it is to clean the fridge. I used to see my granny do it and so I always believed it to be the best way! Yet there are many more and I’m sharing with you just a few.

In addition to being cheaper, it’s a natural solution with a product that isn’t loaded with chemicals, some of them harmful, and it also keeps us from using single-use plastic packaging. Some may be recycled, granted, but not all.

How to?

It’s extremely simple! To clean your fridge or your washing machine, for instance, I normally use a mix of lukewarm water and vinegar in a bowl and use a cloth for cleaning with it. The rule of thumb here is one part vinegar for one part water. You can use any vinegar you have lying around, but for this type of job I tend to go for the most “common” vinegar – white wine vinegar. Well, it’s not like I’m going to use balsamic, now is it?

For a multi-purpose cleaning solution, place your water and vinegar mix in a spray bottle. You can reuse a store-owned bottle, for instance! You can also add in a few drops of lavender essential oil, which smells divine, or tea tree oil, which is an antiseptic. If you live in a hard water area, it’s best to boil the water and let it cool down before mixing with the vinegar, as this will help remove any limestone.

Well, then, how can I use it?

The first one is fairly obvious – if it’s a multi-purpose solution, you can use it to wipe down surfaces in your household. From the kitchen to the bathroom (it helps prevent mould!) and so on. It works wonders as a window cleaner, wiping the solution off with some newspaper (this may be harder to come by if you don’t read the papers anymore)

It can be used to remove traces of glue, for example from baby food pots which can then be reused or drinking glasses when we bring them home from the store.

To clean your washing machine (did you know you should clean your machine every 40 washes or so? If you’re a cloth bum mum, then it is recommended you do this every month or every 6 weeks). Start by cleaning the detergent drawer using this mix and running water to arrive at the most hidden spots. An old toothbrush will help, trust me, or (bamboo, obviously) q tips. Then place ½ a cup of sodium bicarbonate and 2 cups of vinegar in the detergent drawer. Run a hot cycle, as hot as your machine will go. Once that is over, wipe down the rubber seals and drum and door with the water/vinegar mix and dry the rubber seals using a clean cloth. For a different (and graphic!) take on this, please read here.

To unclog drains or get rid of nasty odours from these (one of my preferred uses): Some people choose to add salt and vinegar, others add sodium bicarbonate and vinegar. I prefer the second option. Start by pouring hot (boiling!) water down the drain. Then, pour a cup of sodium bicarbonate down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. It will fizz! If you can, plug the drain and let this sit for 10 to 20 minutes. Pour hot water down the drain again.

There are plenty more uses. Which ones can you think of?