The good oil on vinegar

12 practical household uses for vinegar

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VERSATILE: Vinegar is much more than a salad dressing. It has many practical household uses.

VERSATILE: Vinegar is much more than a salad dressing. It has many practical household uses.


Most of us have some vinegar in the pantry. Few would know just how versatile it is.


MOST of us would have a humble bottle of vinegar in the pantry, but some might not realise it's versatility - it is much more than a salad dressing.

Household experts from consumer watchdog Choice has released a list of 12 creative and uses for the tangy liquid..

Clean your kettle

Soaking in vinegar overnight will get rid of unsightly scratch marks at the bottom of your kettle.

Deep clean your dishwasher

It's no good cleaning your dishes in a dirty machine, but vinegar can be used to clean your dishwasher.

Pouring a couple of cups of vinegar into a bowl on the bottom rack of an empty dishwasher and running the dishwasher on its hottest cycle will help remove grease, limescale, deposits in the pipes and unpleasant odours.

Clean the carpet

Vinegar and dishwashing liquid can be used to make a cheap stain remover which will out perform commercial cleaning products.

Combine two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid, three tablespoons of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of water, work the mixture into a stubborn stain and blot it dry with a towel.

Take care not to over wet the carpet.

Polish glass

Vinegar can also be used as a cheap, ammonia-free window cleaner.

Mix white vinegar and water in a spray bottle in equal parts,. spray on the window or mirror, then wipe it off with newspaper, a paper towel or a dry cotton cloth.

This trick also works on ceramic-glass surfaces including cooktops, but it is best to use a microfibre cloth.

Vinegar isn't suitable for some surfaces, including marble, but on most surfaces, the mixture can be used for regular cleaning.

Adding some citrus peel to the vinegar and straining it out can remove unpleasant odours.

Make a DIY fabric softener

If you want soft, fluffy towels and to save money, add half a cup of white vinegar to your fabric-softener dispenser.

Freshen flowers

Keep flowers looking fresh for longer by adding two tablespoons of white vinegar and two tablespoons of sugar to the water.

A real bread winner

Adding a tablespoon of vinegar to dough helps bread to rise as well as giving the baked loaf better keeping qualities.

Mould remover

Vinegar can also be used to remove mould from non-porous surfaces.

Mix up solutions of 80 per cent vinegar and 20 per cent water in three buckets.

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 to prevent cross-contamination.

Do not clean with vinegar then follow with a bleach-based product, as this can create a toxic gas.

Odour killer

Multi cookers and pressure cookers can develop a nasty smell after use, because the rubber seals can trap odours.

Dilute half a cup of vinegar in one litre of warm soapy water, then soak to get rid of them.

Freshen up your Dutch oven

Stained or smelly Dutch ovens or ceramic slow cooker bowls can be remedied by adding half a cup of vinegar to a litre of water and soaking.

Clean stainless steel

Vinegar and hot water can clean stainless steel barbecue exteriors.

If you're cleaning a stainless steel oven exterior, try vinegar and a paper towel for a streak-free finish.

Soothe mosquito bites

While unproven, many believe applying vinegar to mosquito bites can soothe the itch - at very least it may create a placebo effect.

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