Vinegar doesn’t just belong in the kitchen. Here are some time-proven natural concoctions using this versatile household cleaner.
Long before Dettol and Magiclean, there was the humble vinegar.
The use of vinegar in the household traces back to 4,000BC in the Mesopotamia, where the Sumerians began using it as a miracle liquid to sanitise their abodes. Their use of vinegar was not restricted to cleaning. Realising that vinegar impedes the spread of bacteria, they also used it as a food preservative and condiment.
Over the millennia, vinegar found popularity among various cultures around the world. In ancient Greece, for instance, vinegar was one of the first medicines to be used by physicians such as Hippocrates, who prescribed it as a cure for the common cough or cold.
Fast forward to today, and it’s common to see white vinegar used for its plethora of applications in housekeeping.
We share some tried-andtested recipes for a natural clean:
For general cleaning
Fill a spray bottle with two parts water, one part distilled vinegar and a few drops of dish detergent to make an all-purpose cleaner for glass, stainless steel and laminate surfaces.
For cleaning and disinfecting washing machines
Pour 450ml (2 cups) of white distilled vinegar into your machine, and run it through a full cycle without any clothes or detergent.
For cleaning glass shower doors
Mix 110ml (½ cup) of white distilled vinegar, 225ml (1 cup) of ammonia, and 60g (¼ cup) of baking soda in 4 litres of warm water. Wipe it on the shower door with a clean cloth.
For refreshing cloths and sponges
Remove odour from cloths and sponges by soaking them overnight in a solution of 55ml (¼ cup) white distilled vinegar and water. Rinse well before use.
For removing microwave odour
Heat up to boiling point 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar in a glass or ceramic cup.
For concealing scratches on wood furniture
Mix some white distilled vinegar and iodine in a small container and paint over the scratch with a paintbrush. Increase the proportion of iodine for darker woods.
To make an insect repellent
To discourage ants and other creepy-crawlies from entering your home, pour full-strength white distilled vinegar over your door threshold and window sills.
To make an air freshener
Mix 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 450ml (2 cups of water) in a spray bottle. After the foam dissipates, shake well and spritz it in the air.