Basics you need to know about household vinegar

14 Apr 2021

Household vinegar with 15% acetic acid is a household product intended for cleaning and can replace several cleaning products that are harmful to you and the environment.


It is a herbicide and a light disinfectant* for certain surfaces, 100% natural. It is essential to have it at all times in the house.


Economical and available in several sizes and in bulk at Vert Essentiel, household 15% vinegar has many virtues.


Discover our 6 tips and tricks to clean with household vinegar:

1- Controlling weeds with household vinegar

In places where unwanted vegetation grows, pour vinegar with 15% acetic acid in an easily squeezable plastic bottle with a pointed tip. Apply directly into the slots of the paving stones, between the slabs of your patio or in the cracks. For the small stone borders around the pool, it is recommended to use a small watering can in order to properly direct the application. Rinse this container thoroughly afterwards so you do not damage the plants you want to keep! With a generous application, you can enjoy summer to your liking. It is best to wait until the soil is dry on a hot, sunny day when there is no rain forecast for the next 48 hours. In addition, the effects will still be felt the following summer. As the soil increases in acidity, future seeds will germinate with difficulty or not at all. Warning: It should not be used on the lawn to fight the unwanted dandelion! Against this yellow flower whose foliage has virtues more and more appreciated, there is only one ecologically responsible solution: manual uprooting.   Are you a visual person? Watch this video (In French only) to learn more about effective ecological weed control.



2- Cleaning calcium stains on carpets

After a harsh winter, the removable carpets in your car or those at the entrance of the house are often in poor condition. Calcium proves difficult to remove, but this simple trick will help. Pour pure vinegar, ideally with 15% acetic acid, directly on the spots and simply wait one or two minutes. Rub with a brush then rinse with lukewarm water. Repeat as needed. Warning for fixed mats in your car. Do not soak the carpets at the risk of damaging the bodywork. 


3- Unclogging or maintaining pipes

To maintain your plumbing pipes or simply unclog them, watch this video (In French only) which clearly explains the steps to follow with sodium bicarbonate and white vinegar.


4- Cleaning the dehumidifier with household vinegar

Vinegar with a high percentage of acetic acid acts as a natural antifungal. Just empty the humidifier tank, pour in a little vinegar and rub with a sponge. Rinse thoroughly the tank several times before using the humidifier again.


5- Cleaning the washing machine 

Despite using a laundry detergent for High Efficiency (HE) Washers, the front load washer and traditionnal washing machine builds up soap and fabric softener residues. Over time, these residues eventually create mold and smell bad. The moist environment of the rubber joint on the front load washer promotes the creation of mold. To prevent the creation of these residues, just use between 15 ml to 45 ml of vinegar with 15% acetic acid as softener for each load of washing. However, if mold is already present, pour the vinegar directly on the joint and rub with a brush or sponge to remove it.

Another technique to clean your washer is to add the following ingredients to your washer:

– 1/4 cup citric acid

– 1/4 cup borax

– 1/4 cup household vinegar

And run a full long cycle with hot water to clean it thoroughly.


6- Descaling the coffee maker 

A fairly common use for vinegar is descaling. For example, to descale your coffee maker, simply mix a cup of water with a cup of vinegar with 15% acetic acid and pour this mixture into the coffee maker. Start the coffee maker, without any coffee, and let it complete its cycle. Then repeat 2 more complete filtration cycles with water only (no coffee) to rinse the coffee maker and remove all traces of vinegar. And now, your coffee maker will be like new! *15% household vinegar should not be used as a substitute for public health prescribed disinfectants against COVID19 or other viruses and bacteria.

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