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  • Writer's pictureAttracta Roach


I thought I should have a chat to you about Vinegar. As part of my green life I have learned to make great use of vinegar for many things, particularly cleaning, as well as cooking. I love it because it is so versatile and it's so inexpensive and all-natural.

Vinegar is one of the oldest products used by people. Over 10,000 years ago, people discovered vinegar when wine was opened to the air for too long. The ancient Greeks and Romans found vinegar was great as a preservative, while others used vinegar as a tonic to give them strength and vitality. Over the years as cultures developed, people learned how versatile vinegar is.

Acetic acid makes up about 5 percent of most vinegars. There are many different types of vinegar from pure white to wine to cider, all produced by oxidization. The most common vinegar is white because it has so many uses. Did you know there are two ways to process vinegar?

Over the years many cultures used the fermented process where pure alcohol (that usually came from grain or sugar) was fermented into acetic acid and then was mixed with water. Imitation vinegar is derived from petrochemicals creating pure acetic acid and then mixed with water. The law states that vinegar created by the imitation process must be labelled “Imitation Vinegar” or food acid 260, while fermented vinegar can be just labelled “Vinegar” (Refer to Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) law regarding the labelling). It is something to be aware of when choosing which right type of vinegar to us.

Once you have got the right vinegar there are so many jobs it can do around the house:


  • People worry that vinegar will harm fabrics, but in fact what it does is dissolve the detergent residue from clothes. Adding a cupful of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine can brighten colours, give you cleaner clothes while acting like a fabric softener to reduce the static. Also, it is a great mould inhibitor.

  • Great at removing stains like deodorant stains, mustard and tomato sauce.

  • Can be used to lift chewing gum from upholstery.


  • To unclog the sink pour about 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda down the sink and then pour in about 120ml of white distilled vinegar. Place the plug in the sink for about 10 minutes while the 2 chemicals will fizz. Rinse through with boiling water.

  • Put one cup of vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher before you run the cycle. Once the dishwashing cycle is completed watch your glasses sparkle. No more cloudy glasses!

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the burnt areas, add a cup of vinegar and let sit overnight. Once the fizzing has subsided, I sometimes add water to fill the dish. Scrub in the morning.

  • To clean flasks and vases, place a tablespoon or two of baking soda into the flask, then a good glug of household vinegar. It will start to bubble, but wait for the bubbling to subside before placing the lid on the flask, otherwise you may have an explosion on your hands. Shake the container a few times. Allow to soak for one hour, but preferably overnight if the stains are bad. Then rinse out it out and rinse with tap water. Let dry before refilling.

  • As a window cleaner, mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Spray your windows and scrub with newspaper to get a streak free result.

  • Get rid of stains from your cups and mugs by scrubbing stains with equal parts salt and vinegar.

  • To eliminate odours and germs spray full strength vinegar around sinks and taps, and then wipe away with a damp cloth. You can also to the same to plastic containers.

  • Pour two cups of diluted white distilled vinegar into the toilet bowl and leave overnight. All you need to do next is scrub it well with a toilet brush and flush.

Other uses

  • To get rid of weeds growing in cracks in footpaths and driveways, pour white vinegar on the weeds by saturating the plants to ensure the vinegar reaches the roots.

  • Soak a cloth with vinegar and wrap around cheese, then place in an airtight container and refrigerate. This should prevent cheese from moulding.

  • Once a month rinse a tablespoon of vinegar through your hair to remove hair product build-up and to brighten your hair.

And many more uses that I am still learning about. If you have other ideas we would love to hear from you.

Keep living earthly passionate,

Attracta & the earthly passion team

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