Vinegar is almost as versatile as baking soda when it comes to cleaning. White vinegar is the cheapest vinegar to find at your local supermarket, but most sorts of vinegar will do the job. Having said that, I would probably not use top-quality cider vinegar just to clean the bathroom taps (what a waste!) and I don’t recommend using balsamic vinegar for any cleaning purpose at all – the balsam in it makes the vinegar rather sticky. Save the fancy vinegars for marinades and cooking.

If you, like my other half, find the smell of vinegar a bit overpowering and unpleasant, you can add essential oil to it. Any essential oil you like will do, but lavender, tea tree and pine oils are antiseptic, which is an added bonus. (My other half, I might add, objects to the smell of vinegar but doesn’t mind the over-scented chemical muck that leaves me with streaming eyes, a sore throat and cracked hands for the next few days… but he doesn’t do the majority of the house cleaning, does he?)

The bathroom is a great place to splash the vinegar around, as vinegar kills mould – and the bathroom is the place where mould is most likely to show up, even if the rest of the house is nice and dry. So wipe vinegar around any areas where the dreaded grey-blue (or orange or brown, or pink…) scunge turns up.
Keep cleaning vinegar separate from your cooking vinegar by decanting some vinegar into a pump-spray bottle (or a low powered water pistol – may help encourage the kids to help with the cleaning). Add the essential oils and shake well.
You can use vinegar neat or dilute. The more concentrated it is, the more effective it will be.

Other bathroom vinegar ideas:

* Vinegar is acidic, so it will get rid of the limescale on taps. It may take a while to work, so you may have to leave the vinegar to work for a wee while (make use of a zip-lock bag partly full of vinegar fastened around as much of the tap as possible) or else get scrubbing.

* Vinegar also shifts soap scum off taps, porcelain and glass (Who managed to get all that soap onto the mirror? And how?)

* Vinegar can also help to get rid of that dreaded bath ring. Spray the bath down with neat vinegar after use to help melt away the bath ring.

* Wipe the loo seat with scented neat vinegar, both the top and the bottom. While you’re at it, wipe the rim down as well. This will kill quite a few germs. Don’t bother wiping it off – it will evaporate and release some of the scent. And, unlike commercial cleaning products, it won’t hurt the skin of whoever sits on the toilet next.

* That spray bottle with the dilute vinegar and essential oil can also do double-duty as a toilet air freshener.

* To unblock the bath or sink, clear any hairs, etc. from the plug trap and carefully tip a cup of baking soda down the drain (use a funnel). Heat up another cup of vinegar and while it is still hot (preferably boiling), tip it down the drain after the baking soda. The resulting fizzy reaction will blast out the blockage. If it doesn’t, then either call the plumber (in the case of the bath) or get under the sink and unscrew the pipes to see if some stupid nong has stuffed cotton buds down the sink and remove these cotton buds (better still – make stupid nong remove the scummy, stinky greenish-black cotton buds so they know not to do it again).

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