Look in your kitchen cupboard. Is it filled with noxious cleaning products that have difficult to read ingredients? Many products are bad for the health of you and your family, as well as for the environment as a whole. The chemicals you pour down your sink don’t simply disappear after all.

But, luckily, there are alternatives to these unnatural, unhealthy substances. Take simple old vinegar for example.

Vinegar is an acid which acts as a powerful disinfectant. It is a natural product and is biodegradeable. Also, it has no harmful chemical reside or toxic fumes to contend with. Here is how you can begin to clear out the bottles of chemicals under your sink and use a useful and effective alternative, easily:

vinegarTo clean cutting surfaces, utensils and hands that have been used to prepare meat/ chicken or fish (to prevent the spread of salmonella) wipe down the surface with vinegar and rinse hands and utensils in a vinegar solution.

Kitchen counters can be disinfected by using a solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle – squirt onto the surface and wipe dry with a clean cloth.

To sterilise baby bottle teats, add a teaspoon of vinegar to a glass jar filled with boiling water and microwave for 1 minute.

To get dishes sparkling clean and disinfected add a cup of vinegar to the rinsing water, or to the bottom of the dishwasher before the cycle.

To clean the inside of a microwave, use vinegar. Vinegar can also be used to absorb odours in a microwave. Add a cup to a shallow dish and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Clean drains by pouring half a cup of baking soda and then 1 cup of vinegar. Do this once a month to help dissolve any grease build up in the pipes.

For more information on cleaning with vinegar, visit www.diylife.com