How to clean with Strong White Vinegar
White vinegar is a darling in natural home keeping circles – and for good reason. It’s versatile and safe! Vinegar can be used as a sanitizer all around the home, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. It does a great job of bring up luster and shine on glass and stainless steel. In the laundry it works as both a deodouriser and fabric softener.
A little vinegar history
Vinegar & people have such a long history. It can claim an astonishing 7000 years of human use and counting! In a time of not knowing if a modern cleaning agent is safe to use or not, vinegar well and truly stands out of the crowd as tried and trusted.
Records of its use stretch back pre-Babylonian times, when Ancient Sumerian people discovered that ‘soured’ or off alcohol, like wine that had been exposed to air, gave a new and very useful tool, vinegar. They found vinegar could stop food from spoiling, which in a time before refrigerators was lifesaving. From this beginning spans an amazing history of vinegar being used for preserving food, as a health giving medicine and, as a cleaner.
How to use vinegar in your home cleaning routine:
Continuing to use vinegar today as a cleaner makes more sense than ever – hands down safe and effective, newly synthesized chemicals will never have the same safety record.
10 simple ways to use vinegar in your cleaning routine:
- Shining glass, windows and mirrors: Dilute Figgy & Co. Strong white vinegar, 1/3 vinegar with 2/3 water and store in a trigger bottle. Spray then buff glass with a lint free cloth.
- Shining stainless steel: Dilute Figgy & Co. Strong white vinegar, 1/3 vinegar with 2/3 water and store in a trigger bottle. Spray then wipe benches and appliances in the same direction as the metal grain. A Spruce cloth give a streak free finish and works well for this
- Dishwasher rinse aid: Dilute Figgy & Co. Strong white vinegar with equal parts water, use this in the rinse aid reservoir.
- Water spots on shower glass: Spray clean glass with undiluted vinegar and leave for 30minutes. Give the glass a scrub with a stiff brush or non-scratch glass cleaning pad (3M or Scotchbrite)
- Odour eater for washing: vinegar works well because it kills bacteria that cause odour. Add washed items to a bucket of hot water with ¼ cup strong white vinegar. The is best for robust textiles only
- Compost bucket: If your inside collection bucket is getting a bit whiffy, spray with diluted vinegar.
- Fabric softener: Vinegar as a fabric softener has been used for as long as soap has been used in the laundry. Soap can to bind with water minerals in the wash in areas with higher water mineral content, this can make clothes feel stiff. Adding white vinegar to the rinse breaks this down and rinses the minerals away. Read our blog on Vinegar Vs Fabric softener
- Wool washing: Wool fibers are a protein based textile that respond to different pH levels. Washing with soap which is an alkaline cleaner will leave the woolens clean, but sometimes scratchy as the fibers have been fluffed up. A final rinse with vinegar balances the pH and settles and smooths the fibers. For hand washing, add a few tablespoons to the rinse water. Read our washing woollen blankets blog
- As a sanitizer in the kitchen: Vinegar preserves food because is kills bacteria that cause food borne illness. Harness this power in your kitchen by using vinegar to manage and reduce microbes in germy hotspots.
- As a sanitizer in the bathroom: Dilute down to either half or a third vinegar and a half to 2/3 water. Store in a spray bottle and use in the shower or on the loo. Spray in the shower to keep mould growth at bay in winter and to wipe up toilet training messes and freshen up under your loo seat and floor between deeper cleans.
How you wouldn’t use vinegar in home cleaning
1. Electronic screens: Instead use soapy water and a lint free cloth to buff.
2. Surfaces that react with acid: This includes grout and natural stone bench tops. Over time acid based cleaners will cause micropitting on stone bench tops causing dulling.
3. Mixed with baking soda: We often see DIY recipes calling for baking soda and vinegar in the same recipe, to be mixed and stored for later use. mixing these ingredients has an immediate reaction, they fizz and neutralise each other. This has cancelled the cleaning ability of both the backing soda and the vinegar. Best to use these separately or mix like this when it is the fizzing action you are wanting to use. For example as a drain refresher for the kitchen sink!
4. Mixed with soap: Soap and vinegar are opposites on the pH scale, when used together vinegar destabilizes the soap by dropping its pH, and it reverts back to an oily sludge – no longer a cleaning powerhouse. Stick to using them separately and keep in mind the old rule, washing with alkili (soap) and rinse with acid (vinegar).
Why Figgy & Co. strong white vinegar is perfect for your cleaning cupboard
Figgy & Co. Strong White Vinegar is:
Double strength. This means you can choose to use it diluted down to regular strength or undiluted for jobs that need a bit more oomph without the burden of harsh chemicals. Regular supermarket white vinegar is 4% acetic acid, Figgy strong white vinegar is 9.9% acetic acid, this is also known as pickling strength. To dilute our vinegar down to regular strength simple add 1.48L of water to 1L of strong white vinegar
New Zealand made and naturally brewed. Vinegar making happens two ways these day – the traditional way and the new industrial way using petrochemicals as inputs. Naturally brewed means making vinegar using the traditional way thousands of years old. The natural process is where firstly a sweet liquid is brewed to make alcohol (like grape juice to wine), then the alcohol is fermented with oxygen and vinegar making bacteria (like when wine is left open to the air and it goes ‘off’). Simply put sugar to alcohol, alcohol to vinegar
Versatile all around your home. With the option of diluting or not, you will find a use for our white vinegar all around your home. Why not keep some neat in the laundry or under the kitchen sink and dilute the rest to have a handy spray cleaner on hand for windows, mirrors, grimy spots and rinse aid.
“I just love using this product for my windows and tap wear, it’s also great for disinfecting my benches”
Monique, product review 2022