11 amazing life hacks using vinegar including ridding your sofa of smells, making your towels fluffy and making faded black clothes dark again

11 amazing life hacks using vinegar including ridding your sofa of smells, making your towels fluffy and making faded black clothes dark again

January 10, 2019

The cheap condiment – starting at around 50p a bottle – is a natural cleaning product that cuts through grease and grime, and even online sensation Mrs Hinch is a fan.


Now clean queen Aggie Mackenzie – star of How Clean Is Your House? – is extolling the virtues of the versatile liquid in a new book, The Miracle Of Vinegar.

It turns out that vinegar – particularly the clear distilled malt vinegar you can buy in most shops – is a naturally hostile environment to germs and a brilliant limescale remover.

And with a recent Norwegian study warning that regular use of cleaning sprays are as bad for your lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day. it could be better for your health as well as your wallet.

From removing make-up marks on your cream carpet, to cleaning up a beer-stained sofa and unclogging plugholes, here the Sun Online examines all the ways it can help keep your home and belongings spotless…

Getting smoke smells out of your sofa

The next day, coat it with a light dusting of bicarbonate of soda and leave it for a few hours before wiping it off again with a cloth wrung out in vinegar.

The smoky smell will go – and, incredibly, it won't stink of vinegar instead. Magic.

Gleaming bathroom tiles

Instead of replacing kitchen and bathroom tiles that have become dull, you can use vinegar to make them appear as shiny as new.

For a gleaming finish, the authors advise using a solution of warm water with a splash of clear vinegar.

Using a mop with a microfibre mophead, wash the floor with the mixture until you can almost see your face in it.

For the grout in between tiles, use a damp toothbrush dipped in bicarbonate of soda with a few drops of vinegar and bleach. Then rinse and buff dry.


Soothe sunburn

Forget lathering aloe vera all over your body if you've overdone the sun on your holiday – distilled malt vinegar can be just as effective, particularly if it's cold.

Using a flannel, dab the vinegar on to the skin and it should reduce itchiness, blistering and skin peeling.

Microwave away the dirt

If you're fed up of with specks of tomato soup and bits of old popcorn lingering in your microwave, place a bowl containing very hot water and a slug of vinegar in the centre of it and leave on a high heat setting for five minutes.

The acidic steam loosens the food particles clinging to the sides, which can then be wiped away with a cloth.

Just a wee problem

A combination of limescale and dried urine can leave your toilet looking less than perfect – but you can wash away smelly old wee with a solution that's half warm water and half vinegar.

To get rid of limescale that's turned brown you'll need to dissolve 250g citric acid powder in a five-litre bucket of water and pour into the bowl.

Swish it around with the loo brush as it fizzes, and once that stops you can flush it.

Keep the scale at bay by pouring a bottle of clear vinegar into the bowl once a month. Leave overnight and then flush away.

Get shiny taps and tops

Limescale in hard water areas – including London and the the south and east of England – can clog up taps and kettles – among other metallic kitchen surfaces, leaving a flaky surface.

The book recommends using distilled malt vinegar for your chrome taps.

Soak a few sheets of kitchen paper with vinegar, wrap them around the taps, cover them with a plastic bag and secure with elastic bands.

Leave overnight and the limescale should wipe off easily the next day with a cloth, leaving a sparkly and shiny result.

To descale your kettle, they advise filling it with half-water and half-clear vinegar to and bring to a boil.

Switch it off and leave overnight. The next day empty it, rinse, refill and re-boil a couple of times to ensure a vinegary taste won't linger in your tea.

Back to black

We previously revealed laundry tricks and tips to help with your wash, including adding  a tea towel in the dryer.

But did you know vinegar can return your well-worn black clothes back to their original shade?

The authors explain that they lose their colour in the first place due to a build up of detergent in the fabric, rather than loss of black dye.

Soaking the items for a few hours in a sink filled with warm water and a little clear vinegar will do the trick.

Rinse thoroughly and machine wash afterwards.

Get foundation out of your carpet

You can also use clear vinegar to remove pesky mascara or foundation stains from your carpet.

As soon as the damage is done, quickly mix one-part vinegar and two-parts warm water into a solution, and use a clean white cotton cloth to dab – not rub – the mark off as quickly as you can.


Get out stubborn stains

Vinegar is also the key in getting persistent stains out of the sofa.

The writers say make up a solution that's one-part vinegar and five-parts warm water.

Next, use a sponge carefully – but thoroughly – to dab at any marks.

Finish by using a cotton cloth with clear warm water to go over it.

Make your towels fluffy again

There's nothing like being greeted by a brand new fluffy towel when you hop out the shower – and vinegar can help the tired old ones in your cupboard return to their hey-day.

Instead of using fabric conditioner every time you put them in the wash, only use it on the second or third instance to avoid a build-up that will leave the fibres on your towels hard and less absorbent.

On the other occasions, use the same amount of clear vinegar as you would conditioner – starting with half a cup on the first rinse – and tip it into the detergent drawer as the machine is filling up with water.

Rinse and spin well, and dry the towels on a line not a radiator.

This trick – which is how hotel towels are washed to keep them fluffy – won't leave a vinegary smell, either.

De-clog your drains

Bath tub not draining as it should? The authors suggest this could be due to over-use of bath oils which attract hair when it drains, creating blockages.

They suggest pouring a cup each of washing soda crystals and salt down the plughole, then adding a cup of clear vinegar followed by a kettle of boiling water.

At the same time, use the plunger to remove any debris. Top tip: wear gloves if you're squeamish.

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