Eco Cleaners in Your Store Cupboard – Vinegar

Vinegar is one of those Eco cleaners that was widely used in the past, but neglected throughout the twentieth century. Now, thankfully it is making a comeback.

This is a safe cleaner which is mildly acidic and mildly anti-bacterial too. The acidity helps it dislodge dirt particles and disinfect as you use it. A particularly useful attribute is its ability to cut through grease and soap scum.

For glass furniture, windows and mirrors vinegar can clean effectively without leaving any smears. This makes it a really efficient alternative to glass cleaners. The problem with conventional glass cleaner is that they tend to contain ammonia. Though it is in small quantities, the way we spray such small particles about, and then lean in to clean the surface mean we are constantly breathing in that ammonia. This can then cause irritation and possible damage to the respiratory tract.

Using vinegar as a safe cleaning product is a much better option. The only drawback for some, is the smell. But in truth the smell of vinegar soon dissipates taking other odours with it, since it is such an efficient deodorizer. If you really hate the smell just add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to improve the scent of your Eco glass cleaner. I use a few drops of tea-tree oil as it has a really ‘clean’ smell and is an effective anti-bacterial too.

An effective simple green cleaner for surfaces is just a spray bottle full of 5% acidity vinegar plus some essential oil. This makes a great all round multi-purpose cleaning product, safe to use on surfaces where food is prepared or consumed.

The acidity levels also make this a great thing to use instead of expensive products to remove limescale. Add a few tablespoons to a pint of water and boil it up in your kettle. All the limescale will fizz away from your kettle leaving it like new. For really bad limescale you can reboil several times. Simply tip the whole lot away then boil a pint of clean water to remove any vinegar scent from affecting your next cup of tea.

You can even use this spray, mixed 50% with water, as an air freshener. I add lemon juice too to give it a really healthy scent. Vinegar deodorizes the room really effectively. To combat tobacco smells leave a bowl of vinegar near a radiator, to help the vapours waft around the room taking that bad smell with it.