Unilever logo
Cleanipedia ZA logo

How to disinfect with vinegar: 3 ways to use vinegar at home

Distilled white vinegar is a natural cleaning agent, which has many different uses around the home. Read on to find out where you can put vinegar to good use!


Reading Time: 5 minutes

White wine vinegar for cleaning using vinegar to clean the bathroom
ZA ECom Leaderboard

Distilled white vinegar is a natural cleaning agent and can be used in many different ways around the home.

Vinegar uses around the house are extensive. For instance, if you’ve ever wondered how to remove odour from clothes, vinegar will absorb any strange smells – not just from your laundry, but from household appliances too. Cleaning with vinegar has many surprising uses! This article will explore the uses of vinegar around the home, from how to disinfect with vinegar to how to wash clothes with vinegar.

White vinegar has many uses, but no product is infallible. Do a quick spot test on a small, unnoticeable area of any surface to ensure that this method is safe.

Top 3 Uses of Vinegar Around the House

As a non-toxic, natural cleaning agent, white vinegar is particularly good for odd little jobs where either commercial cleaning products don’t exist, or they contain chemicals that may be less eco-friendly or less healthy for a house with small children. Here are three examples:

  1. How to wash clothes with vinegar: Washing clothes with vinegar may sound odd at first, and indeed, vinegar won’t clean clothes on its own. However, when used alongside a good laundry detergent, it helps to brighten colours, remove soap residue and reduce static cling.

    • Add 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the final rinse in your washing machine, and let it work its magic!

  2. Eliminate odours: If you’re wondering how to remove odour from clothes vinegar can tackle this too! Simply follow the instructions above when doing your laundry. Vinegar can also be used to freshen kitchen appliances, and makes a great substitute for a commercial air freshener (although its own odour will be temporarily rather pungent).

    • Fill a microwaveable bowl with 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup of water, and microwave it to boiling point for 2-3 minutes. This will clear any odours from your microwave. The liquid and bowl will be hot, so wait until the bowl has cooled down before removing from the microwave.

    • Soak a sponge in diluted white vinegar, wipe down the inside of your oven, rinse with water and air-dry – and your oven will be odour-free. You don’t want chemicals from a commercial air freshener on your cooking surfaces anyway, as they will contaminate your food.

  3. Combat limescale: Vinegar uses don’t stop at laundry. In addition to washing clothes with vinegar, its natural acidity means it can also be used to tackle limescale and break down hard water deposits on kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

    • Boil a diluted solution of white vinegar in a kettle and let it soak overnight to dissolve any limescale inside. Rinse the kettle out thoroughly with cold water before using to remove any residue.

    • If your shower head is clogged with limescale, unscrew it and soak it overnight in a bowl of water mixed with vinegar.

Cleaning with vinegar, and substituting this natural cleaning agent for commercial cleaning products where appropriate, means you can maintain a healthy, eco-friendly household with ease!

Safety Warning

  • Vinegar is not a substitute for soap – Vinegar is an acid, and many soaps and alkaline cleaners (like dishwashing liquid) are the only products that can really lift grease from your dishes.

  • Vinegar should be not used on aluminium and cast iron pans – These metals are reactive surfaces that will actually be damaged by vinegar. Always use a commercial dishwashing liquid instead.

  • Vinegar should not be used on waxed surfaces – Vinegar will strip away wax, leaving a surface dull. Never use vinegar on a waxed car or varnished wooden floors.

  • Vinegar should never be combined with bleach – Adding an acid like vinegar to bleach will result in chlorine gas, which is toxic.

The Poll

What’s most important to you when it comes to cleaning?

0 Votes

Originally published