Vinegar – the natural cleaner
When you shop next time, put a bottle of very inexpensive malt or cider vinegar on the list and you will be amazed what you can do with it. Here are a few of its many applications.
1. Descaling household appliances such as the kettle, iron, coffee maker or washing machine
This is especially important if you live in a hard water region where limestone will build up in your electrical appliances. You don’t want to drink water that contains limestone deposits as over the years it can leave deposits in your body. But limestone does not only clog up your own body, a regular descaling program will ensure that you household appliances run efficiently and keep longer, saving you a lot of money in the long run.
Try to descale appliances that gets heavily used every 3 months, appliances which are not used on a daily basis can be descaled less frequently.
How to do it: I use a kettle as an example, but of course the same procedure also applies to your other appliances, such as coffee machines.
1. Empty the kettle of any remaining water.
2. Pour vinegar (straight from the bottle) into the kettle until the bottom of the kettle is fully covered and leave the vinegar there for at least a few hours (best overnight). You will hear a small fizzing noise, that is when the vinegar dissolves the limescale deposits.
3. Once the limescale is dissolved, empty the vinegar into the sink. It may have become a bit cloudy now, as it has absorbed most of the limescale.
4. Then fill your kettle with water and boil as usual, but discard this fill
5. Fill again and you are ready to use your kettle as usual.
If your appliance has not been descaled for a long time, you may have to repeat this process until all the limestone has disappeared, but done regularly a little ‘vinegar top up’ should suffice.
De-scaling your washing machine/dishwasher: Pour a bottle of cheap vinegar into the bottom of dishwasher/ washing machine and leave overnight. Then put a quick wash on (without any clothes in the machine!). Run another empty cycle, this time adding a bit of washing powder to get rid of the odour. Then it is ready for general use.
2. Cleaning your furniture
Vinegar is generally a very good wood polish. For any routine maintenance cleaning, mix vinegar 1:1 with lukewarm water and polish your wooden furniture using a clean cloth.
To revamp your wooden furniture, mix linseed oil, turpentine, and vinegar in equal parts and polish your furniture with them. They will look new again.
3. Using vinegar for cosmetic purposes
Vinegar is one of the oldest and cheapest cosmetic ingredients. A cup of cider vinegar in the bath water together with a few drops of essential oils will freshen up your complexion and restores the skin’s ph balance.