While I doubt that many of us enjoy doing household chores in general, what I personally dislike about them (beyond the sheer drudgery) is the number of chemicals they tend to involve.
From window sprays and bleach to toilet bowl cleaners and everything in between, they all seem to be filled with chemicals I’d prefer to avoid handling and inhaling.
While more natural and eco-friendly alternatives continue to pop up on store shelves worldwide, they often cost significantly more than their chemically-laden counterparts.
So while I do encourage people to purchase these products — both as an investment in our health and in the well-intentioned companies making them — I also love to discover life hacks that empower us all to step away from the conventional, regardless of our financial state.
Here is a quick list (in video and written form) outlining 10 simple vinegar-based life hacks for cleaning around the house:
1. Cleaning Out Your Iron
If your clothing iron doesn’t seem to steam and press as powerfully as it once did, clogged outlets are likely to blame. To remedy this, fill the iron to the 1/4 mark with vinegar and use it face down on a slotted baking sheet, while consistently pressing the steam function until the liquid runs out.
Rinse the water compartment out and your appliance should be functioning like new.
2. Shoe Cleaner
While I personally do not support the purchase of leather-based products, vinegar is a proven restoration tool for those of us who do. Simply mix 1 cup of water with 1/3 cup of vinegar and use a microfibre cloth to gently clean and restore your leather shoes.
Thankfully, I’ve also tried this cleaning method on my fake leather dress shoes and found it just as effective (but always do your research before taking a chance and damaging your cherished footwear).
3. Glass Cleaner
Most traditional glass cleaners are laced with unwanted ammonia, but thankfully there is a safe and easy alternative. Fill a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% vinegar and watch as this simple mixture gives you that same streak-free shine.
As the video outlines, you can also add in a few drops of lemon to boost it with a fresh scent, or some blue food colouring to help differentiate it from your other homemade cleaners.
4. Weed Remover
Find yourself regularly battling weeds amongst your pavement or stones? Avoid traditional weed killers by using vinegar instead. Simply pour vinegar into the cracks of the affected concrete areas. Let it sit for 24 hours and return to find the vegetation killed and ready to be removed.
5. Computer Keyboard Cleaner
As I type this, I realize how badly my laptop keyboard could use this cleaning right now. Rather than investing in those expensive foams or play-doh-like keyboard dirt removers, simply use vinegar straight from the bottle.
First be sure to turn off your computer and then lightly dampen a cloth in vinegar. From there, use the cloth to not only clean the keys, but to also get into all of the crevices of the device. You can also dampen a q-tip to get into the finer places with adequate pressure.
6. Cleaning Out Your Dishwasher
Just like every other appliance, your dishwasher could also use a cleaning from time to time to maintain top performance and hopefully lengthen its working life. To do this, simply fill your washer’s soap dispenser with vinegar, pull out the inner basket, and run the unit on ‘Pots and Pans’ mode.
7. Sterilize Your Toothbrush
While simply replacing your toothbrush is always a good option, vinegar is also a good solution for those of us not quite ready to part with our current brush. Fill a mug with vinegar to the point that the entire head of your toothbrush will be submerged in liquid. Put the brush into the mug for 30 minutes to help clean and sterilize it.
To get rid of the vinegar odour, just massage some toothpaste into the brush under hot water.
8. Remove Bathroom Ceiling Mould
The dampness of bathrooms makes them highly susceptible to mould growth. If you ever find a mould stain on your ceiling, vinegar may just be the answer to cleaning it. Put 2 parts vinegar and 1 part borax into a cup followed by warm water to fill the remainder of the container. Mix the concoction until the borax has dissolved, then dip a paper towel into the mixture.
Dab the mould spot, then start rubbing to see it disappear (in most cases). Not a fan of borax? Simply research a healthier alternative.
9. Restore The Power Of Your Bathroom Faucet
If you find your bathroom faucet doesn’t have the same power it once did, or that it misfires some of its stream, chances are it is partially clogged. To fix this, soak a cotton ball into vinegar for a few seconds.
Apply the soaked cotton ball directly onto the faucet and hold it in place with a rubber band for 15 minutes. When removing it, wiggle the cotton ball around to remove any final deposits trapped in the head and run your water on hot to get it firing like new once again.
10. Couch & Furniture Cleaner
Help eliminate smells in your furniture by pouring 1/4 cup of vinegar into a spray bottle followed by two tablespoons of fabric softener. Top off the bottle with water, shake it up well, and spray a light coat over the furniture. Once done, get a dry towel and rub into the fabric in a smooth, circular motion until dry.
You can also check out See What Happens When You Use Vinegar In The Garden