White vinegar – Wikaniko – Supplier of Eco Products

Why I can’t call this a ‘Life Hack’

You know there are some words or sayings that for reasons unknown just get your back up?

I have a few…Lush, is one of the top ones.  Oddly I don’t take issue with it when used in its original context… “the jungle was so lush and green” That, I can cope with.  But if you tell me “You gotta try this, its lush!” you have instantly erased any desire I had to try the thing. (Unless its cake…there are always exceptions to be made for cake.)

Another is ‘Life Hack’.  It appears to have become a coverall phrase for a good idea, or a job something can perform that isn’t immediately obvious.  Which is fair enough, but more often than not they are not all that groundbreaking, I saw a great one not so long ago – 10 life hacks using paperclips – No1 was holding paper together…

So rather than Heres some White Vinegar life hacks, Im just going to say –

You NEED white vinegar in your Life!

Humble, unassuming White Vinegar, it can be so easy to overlook this product. It doesn’t have much glitz or glamour, it’s not a hot topic, but it does several jobs really well & can quietly save you a fortune whilst also being better for the planet. Here are a few of the jobs it will happily do for you, no questions asked!

  •  Replace your fabric conditioner (especially great for towels, gym wear and anything else that is designed to wick moisture off you!) Fabric conditioner put a coating on fabric that prevents it absorbing or wicking moisture.
  • Use as a Rinse aid in your Dishwasher
  • Cleaning Windows / Shower screens/ mirrors /glass doors. Streak free shine!
  • Make a fruit & Veg wash. The vinegar dissolves wax that may be coating the surface and removes pesticide residues. Make sure to rinse the food thoroughly in water.
  • Remove limescale from taps /shower heads /draining boards/ kitchen sinks
  • Remove fabric stains (dirt and organic) – Always test first!  Also good to brighten up collar and cuffs and any underarm marks.
  •  If your Pet has an accident spraying with white vinegar will clean and deodorise it. ( Also works when potty training toddlers goes a bit wrong!)
  • Unblock drains. Poor some bicarbonate of soda down the drain, follow with double the amount of white vinegar. when it stops foaming Run some hot water down. Wait a few mins and then run some cold water. Cleans and deodorises.
  • Gets rid of grease from Hobs, extractors, worktops and tables. Mix 50:50 with water, add 3 drops of washing up liquid.
  •  Cleaning inside and outside your Fridge.
  • Cleaning Wooden chopping boards
  • Clean windscreen wiper blades
  • By spraying your car windows with 3 parts white Vinegar to 1 part water will (supposedly, we haven’t actually tried this yet!) keep frost from forming. Far less toxic than Antifreeze!
  •  It’s great at removing wax, from candles to crayons.
  • Super at deodorising,  – for things like lunch boxes or plastic containers, place a slice of bread soaked in white vinegar in overnight, smell all gone by morning.
    For a room, place a shallow bowl of vinegar in the room and the smell will go. Works well for smoke, (aka-  it’s not burnt its caramelised!) fish,  bacon etc.   Or put ½ a cup of white vinegar into a saucepan of water and boil, and let it simmer for a while.

White vinegar can be used to clean or freshen up so many things around the home.  Whilst it does have a smell, it quickly goes as the vinegar dries leaving everything clean and fresh.

Please always try on small inconspicuous areas first as with any cleaning product.
We would love to hear if you have any other uses for it that we haven’t yet found!

(Please don’t use white vinegar on – Frosted glass, limestone, natural stone (i.e granite or quartz)  or marble worktops, metal plated surfaces where the plating is already damaged)

Also whilst we can at the moment only find White vinegar in plastic bottles, we feel that the saving on overall plastic made by using just this one product vs several. Plus the savings on chemicals in the home and water ways. Plus the fact that you can re-use and recycle the bottle. Whilst obviously not perfect is also better than not using white vinegar…

Try White Vinegar round Your Home! 

Spring Cleaning (The Recipes)

Following on from our last post about switching up your eco cleaning products we have had some requests for recipes. So I have listed some below for you.

These are not of my own devising, although we do use some of them at home, but they have all been sourced from elsewhere, and sources where I could remember are listed below.

Hope they help!

Multi –purpose cleaner

Ingredients – Water, White Vinegar, lemon essential oil and eco washing up liquid (Wikaniko recommends BioD)

Fill a spray bottle to half way with water, then top up to ¾ full with White vinegar. Add 10 – 15 drops of Lemongrass essential oil, add a few drops of washing up liquid. Shake well before use.


Tile Cleaner

Ingredients – Bicobonate of soda, white vinegar, lemon juice

Mix 2 parts bicarb to one part white vinegar and one part lemon. Use a damp cloth to apply the mixture to the tiles and leave for 10mins before rinsing off. This is also good for draining boards, sinks, baths.


Toilet Cleaner

Ingredients – Bicarbonate of soda, White Vinegar

Flush Toilet so sides are wet, Sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda, then drizzle with white vinegar. Leave it alone for at least 30mins or as long as possible and the scrub with a toilet brush.


Blocked drains

Ingredients – Equal parts bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar, boiling water.

Pour bicarb down drain and follow with vinegar, solution will foam up, leave for a few minuets and follow with boiling water.


Furniture Polish

Just Oilve oil, or two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice.


Cleaning gloss paint and UVPC window frames

1 x Tablespoon Soda Crystals dissolved in 1 bucket of hot water


Glass Cleaner

50% White Vinegar to 50% water, spray on windows and buff with a  cloth, or if you are feeling really retro, newspaper!
(I actually usually use the white vinegar neat. Especially for things like the shower screen, we live in a very hard water area and thinks get limescaley quickly)

So there you go, you can clean your whole house with just a few basic ingredients. Essential oils are an option to add scent and can be used for added antibacterial or anti fungal properties.



Tips –

  • Bicarbonate of soda is great at deodorising so you can sprinkle it onto carpets or upholstery and leave for a few mins and vacuum up to freshen them up.
    It can also be sprinkled into smelly shoes or trainers left for a few hours and then shaken or vacuumed out.
    Leaving some in a ramekin in your fridge can absorb any bad odours trapped in there.
  • Essential oils can add antifungal and antibacterial properties to cleaning products, but you only need a few drops.
  • Be sure to test any new cleaning products on a small inconspicuous area first.
  • Do not mix Bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar together in a sealed container
  • Do always keep cleaning solutions out of the reach of children
  • Always make sure to shake home made solutions before use
  • Beware of using certain essential oils such as TeaTree around CatsWe’d love to hear how you get on with making your own cleaning solutions and if you have an recipes you love let us know!

Spring Cleaning (even if spring is AWOL!)

We have looked at how changing the products you use to do your laundry can have a dramatic effect on;
the environment
nd your purse/wallet.

So to continue our theme, we are going to look at another easy place to make simple changes that have a big impact, and that is the products you use to clean your home.

And not just in the Spring but all year through. Oh yes, my friends eco cleaning is for life not just for Spring time 😉

One of the problems that we all face is effective advertising. We see the products on TV or in magazines, so we feel they must be good, perhaps we have been using them for years or our parents used them and we trust them, they are familiar. But what if …

First we are going to talk VOCs. This is the abbreviation for Volatile Organic Compounds and whether you have heard of them before or not, they are important. They are chemicals that have a high vapour pressure at room temperature, which basically means at room temperature they will be or become a gas/ vapour.

They are given off by a lot of things… almost everything in fact to some degree, but the vast majority of them that are present in your home will come from paints, furnishings and cleaning products.
They are also responsible for the quality of most people’s indoor air to be up to 10x lower in quality – or more polluted – than that of the outside.

As many of us spend an awful lot of our time indoors these days, this is not something to be taken lightly. They have been linked to all sorts of health issues, but to list them all here would smack of scare mongering to me and that is not what this is about, so I will just mention that one of the main ones is Asthma and if you want to know more about VOCs then please have a look into them.

Now obviously the VOCs are invisible, we can’t see them – although we can sometimes smell them and we may be able to notice their effects. – but what we can see is the host of warning labels on the back of the bottles of many of the cleaning products. If you go to the cupboard where you keep them and line them all together and just look at those warnings. Those diagrams mean things like ‘Irritation’ – to skin eyes or airways ‘environmental hazard’ ‘flammable’ ‘corrosive.’ There may be phrases such as ‘only use in well ventilated areas’ or ‘poses threat to wildlife’.
Not all eco products are completely safe of course. We would always recommend keeping anything cleaning related out of the reach of children or pets, but to me it just makes sense to minimise the risks as far as I can.

What about the wider environment? Well, if you are not washing all those chemicals away down your sink, or flushing them down your toilet, then you are straight away doing the environment a great favour. Many of the chemicals can cause great problems in the waterways from straight up death of aquatic life to algal blooms. Even water that ends up being treated in the treatment plants cannot be stripped of all the chemicals we put into it.

When we clean our homes, unless we are washing everything down afterwards with a lot of water, we are also leaving behind a ‘film’ of these chemicals on the surface we have just cleaned. So are they really clean?

We have become obsessed in recent times with everything being germ free, but is germ free really what is best for us? With Allergies, Eczema, Asthma etc on the rise, maybe we need a few more germs in our lives and few less chemicals? And you can still combat the nasty germs without the chemicals.

Also you can save money. I know, it just keeps getting better, right? You do not need to have anywhere near the amount of cleaning products in your life that the commercial manufacturers would have you believe.

So how do you make the switch?

As with most of these things it makes little sense to throw all of your current cleaning material away and rush out (or online!) and get new. But if you cannot now stand to use your current supplies again, then please please do not simply throw them away or wash them down the drain. You can take them to hazardous waste disposal (contact your local recycling centre) or even donate them to be used elsewhere.

The good news is that, as ever we have a variety of options for you to replace your cleaning products with from things that won’t feel dissimilar to raw ingredients that you can make your own cleaning products with.


Bio-D offer a great range of cleaning products, including a Multi Surface Cleaner,  Toilet Cleaner, Bathroom Cleaner and Floor Cleaner. All of these are made with Bio-D’s care and attention for ingredients and backed by their strict environmental policy.


  • 100% of their range is Hypoallergenic, Vegan and Cruelty Free.
  • The products are also made in the UK and come in 100% recycled and recyclable packing.
  • They are concentrated and last for ages.

These products are a great place to start on your journey towards a more eco clean home.

Back to Basics?

What if you want to take it a step further and really get back to basics? To know exactly what you are cleaning your home with? No problem, and it is actually pretty simple and straight forward, you only need a few key ingredients and you and your home can find a whole new world of clean.

White Vinegar.

This is a good place to start, super for cleaning glass and windows , it is also a natural disinfectant And can combat limescale. (but not to be used on plated surfaces). It is also great for mould and mildew, so wonderful for bathrooms, especially if teamed up with some essential oil.
White vinegar is actually great for so many things that it really should be considered for a prime spot in your cupboard. (So good in fact it deserved it’s own post, which you can read HERE)  It is not the best at removing dirt though so it does need some back up.


Bicarbonate of Soda

Bicarbonate of Soda, is super at deodorising – carpets, upholstery, bins, drains, fridges. And also great for mild abrasion, it cleans well without scratching so can be used on shiny or delicate surfaces.
It’s super at cleaning up grease and grime so great for kitchen and bathroom surfaces.



Soda Crystals

These are amazing value and have so many uses. They are amazing for cleaning paintwork and the frames of UVPC windows. They’re good at removing stains from carpets and upholstery.
They dissolve grease so great for drains, cookers hobs, and backsplashes. They can clean floors, tiles, silverware, jewellery, bins, toilets and many more things! (not to be used on aluminium).

Citric Acid

Citric Acid is great if you have build up of limescale, whether it is in your kettle or your shower head, around your taps or in your iron. Getting rid of limescale in appliances means they need to use less electricity too, so it enables them to run more efficiently.

Essential Oils 
For scent and antibacterial cleaning qualities you can look to essential oils.
Tea Tree is an excellent option (although beware if you have cats as it is not so excellent for them – in fact if you’re a cat it’s toxic).
Other options are Lavender, Lemon, Orange, grapefruit, Cinnamon, Clove Eucalyptus and Lime. So you can mix it up depending on your favourite scents.

Hydrogen Peroxide is great also for disinfecting when needed, for example after contact with raw meat.

Olive Oil makes a wonderful furniture polish. Especially if you would rather avoid beeswax.

Hopefully that you gives you some ideas on how you can spring clean your cleaning. The good news is that going back to basics can cut down your plastic use too and save you money.

Wikaniko - Supplier of Eco Products

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