DIY house cleaning & maintenance: The Wonders of Vinegar

cleaning with vinegar tips

If you are South African you are probably familiar with the wonders of adding a splash of vinegar to your slaptjips. Perhaps you enjoy the occasional gherkin, pickled in a marvellous broth of white vinegar and spice. Or, maybe you just keep a bottle around for a rainy pancake days to add a dash to your batter.

Most of us keep a bottle of white vinegar in the pantry. But what many people don’t realize is that vinegar belongs in the shelf with the cleaning supplies just as much as in the kitchen. Don’t believe me?

Here is a list of ways in which you can use vinegar (regular old vinegar from the supermarket shelf) to clean and freshen your home:

Drain pipes

A clogged drain can ruin anyone’s day. Did you know that you do not need expensive cleaning supplies and appliances to solve the problem? Vinegar and baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) is your DIY solution to greasy drain pipes!

Step 1: Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda directly down the drain pipe.

Step 2: Pour 1 cup of white vinegar down the drain and let it fizz for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse the drain with a kettle of boiling water (at least 4 cups).

You can follow these steps whenever your drain is giving you trouble, or simply do it on a regular basis (monthly) as preventative measure.

Sticky marks on surfaces

Stickers and tape often leave behind a sticky mess on walls and surfaces. Get rid of sticky marks by filling a spray-bottle with white vinegar, spray directly onto the mark and let it saturate for a minute, then wipe away with a cloth.

Unpleasant smells

In summertime it doesn’t take long before your rubbish bin starts smelling like a dump site, even when it’s empty. And refrigerators, even though cool inside, have the tendency to develop unpleasant smells… Here’s your solution: Simply wipe the inside surfaces of your bin or fridge with vinegar, or soak a sponge in white vinegar and place in the bottom of your empty rubbish bin or fridge overnight.

Your washing machine or dishwasher smelling a bit… odd? Add half a cup of white vinegar to your next wash. Yes, even clothes washed with vinegar will smell a lot fresher!

Fruit flies

Summertime can be a time for relaxation but together with the sunny season usually arrives a few extra ‘challenges’… If you like to keep your kitchen stocked with summer fruit you may find yourself plagued by fruit flies. Try this fruit fly-trap: pour some apple cider vinegar into a small bowl. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and use the tip of a sharp knife to puncture a few tiny holes in the plastic. The fruit flies will be drawn to the vinegar and make their way into the bowl – where they will stay!

Wrinkled clothes

Don’t have time for ironing every T-shirt but don’t feel like looking like a crumpled mess either? Get the wrinkles out of your clothes by using a mix of vinegar and water (1 part vinegar, 3 parts water). Spray shirt with your mix and put on a hanger to dry. No more wrinkles!

Pets

There’s nothing quite like the company of a cat to cuddle with on the sofa. The trouble begins when kitty starts scratching at your furniture… Prevent your furniture from getting scratched up by spraying the upholstery with something that cats hate: white vinegar! As a bonus the vinegar will remove smells and freshen up the fabric!

Fresh flowers

To receive the gift of fresh flowers can make your day but fill you with disappointment if they wilt overnight… Keep your flowers fresh for longer by adding some apple cider vinegar and sugar to the vase: Dissolve 3 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons vinegar into a litre of warm water to make a ‘pickle’ that will keep the decay away!

From DIY to deep cleaning

Well, we hope that these DIY tips will help you out in those emergencies when you just don’t have the cleaning supplies to get the job done. If you are ready to call in the assistance of a professional cleaning service (with professional equipment and cleaning supplies) to help you with regular house cleaning or a once-off deep clean, don’t hesitate to contact us for a quote.

Watch the video about thes DIY house cleaning with vinegar: