White vinegar is cheap, versatile and essential in every frugal household.
We often use it as a condiment to accompany our food, but did you know that white vinegar is also a fantastic cleaning agent? Using vinegar in the bathroom is not an odd thing to do in frugal households and is actually a match made in heaven, especially to address mould which is a problem in many bathrooms! Here are just some of its great uses.
1. General spray and wipe
Benches, basins, shower screens, tiles and toilets can all be cleaned with a cloth/rag/sponge and a spray bottle filled with half vinegar and half water. Everything will come up sparkling and you can make this solution from a stronger or weaker vinegar to water ratio to suit your needs.
Tip: You may also opt to add few drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil, which are all great deodorisers, cleaners and bacteria killers.
2. Lime scale and calcium build-up
For taps over baths or sinks, soak a rag or paper towel in vinegar and wrap around the base of the tap for a few hours or overnight and wipe clean in the morning. For shower heads with lots of external build-up, mix vinegar and bicarb into a paste, coat the shower head and leave for a few hours. Scrub quickly with a brush before rinsing clean.
3. Restricted water flow
Too much gunk blocking your shower head? Just remove the shower head and soak for a few hours in straight vinegar. After soaking, give it a quick scrub!
Tip: If gunk doesn’t remove easily, wrap a watertight plastic bag full of vinegar around the shower head, secure with an elastic band and leave to soak.
4. Dirty grout
Clean by spraying straight vinegar onto it, then leaving for 15 minutes before scrubbing off with an old toothbrush.
5. Stubborn marks and stains
Whether it’s on the vanity, floor or in the grout, a sprinkle of bicarb and a spray with vinegar will fix it! Apply bicarb first then spray with vinegar and leave it for a few moments to fizz up, then just wipe clean or give it a scrub if it’s really stubborn!
6. Grotty bathtub
Bathtubs can get really grotty with all the soap scum, kids mess and the dirt that comes off us, so sometimes, a strong clean is in order. Just wipe the tub over with straight vinegar then sprinkle it with bicarb soda, giving it a good scrub and rinse.
7. Kids bath toys
That rubber duck a bit mouldy, or that squirting fish smelling a bit funky? Vinegar is the answer! Soak all the kids’ bath toys in vinegar with a few drops of tea tree oil for a few hours, then rinse with water and wipe clean. The mould will disappear and so will the yucky smell!
8. Dirty, foggy mirror
Clean your mirror with a damp ball of newspaper sprayed with white vinegar. Afterwards rub the mirror with eucalyptus oil, again applied with a wad of newspaper. This will stop the mirror fogging up while you’re showering.
9. Dirty sponge or loofah
If your husband comes home as dirty as mine, you’ve probably noticed dirty, grimy build-up on your loofah. Give it a soak in a bowl of vinegar and water overnight and rinse several times in clean water before using. It will be like new again!
10. Shine bathroom door and tiles
Water spots and scum are a common problem in many bathrooms, but it is actually very easy to get your bathroom door, ceramic tiles, and almost all fixtures back to their sparkling self. All you need to do is prepare a mixture of half a cup white vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, and 1/4 cup bicarb mixed in 3.7 liters of warm water. Dip a cloth in the solution and wipe, wipe, wipe!
Tip: For ceramic tiles, use 1/2 cup of ammonia and replace bicarb with 1/4 borax.
11. Natural air freshener
Aside from cleaning, vinegar is also one of the best natural air fresheners around – and you don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket for it! Instead of using expensive and chemical laden air fresheners, just mix in a spray bottle 1 teaspoon of bicarb soda, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 cup of water and a few drops of your favourite essential oil (nice but not necessary) and spritz into the air to freshen and eliminate odours.
The best thing about white vinegar is that aside from getting your bathroom to look physically clean, it is also a disinfectant so you’re getting a thoroughly clean bathroom in the process. White vinegar is said to kill germs and household bacteria like “salmonella, E. coli and other gram-negative bacteria”! How can something so cheap do so much?
There are really so much more that you can do with white vinegar. There are almost a hundred things that white vinegar can do for your household! Aside from using vinegar in the bathroom, you can also use white vinegar to clean your office supplies (including your keyboard and mouse!), clean the furniture, the rugs and the carpet, leather, cloth, and wood, remove grease stains, clean stainless steel – you can clean virtually anything! Oh yes, white vinegar is purely fantastic.