Weekly insights for anyone who wants to set up, buy, run and market a successful B&B


I send an email each week with links to the latest blog post, updates on the training courses and other B&B related news.



White bowl of bicarb and a glass of vinegar on a white round tray -

6 Natural Cleaning Hacks Using Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar

running a bed and breakfast Nov 03, 2023

I recently discovered my new favourite cleaning hack. As someone who doesn't particularly enjoy cleaning, this discovery has been a game-changer for me.

Living in an area with hard water, I have an ongoing battle against limescale. And we rely on a biodigester septic tank, so my cleaning product options have often felt limited, particularly as I prefer using environmentally friendly brands like Bio-D, Method, and Ecover. However, these products sometimes don’t quite do the job, especially when it comes to dealing with stubborn toilet limescale.

It all started when Rob had to tackle some drain blockages last week. Following an internet recommendation, we used bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to flush out the drains, finishing off with boiling water - he’d already got in there with his drain cleaning rods. Not his favourite job for a Saturday morning….

This simple yet effective trick, a long-standing favourite of mine for our B&B showers, left the drains smelling as sweet as a drain can.

Having purchased industrial quantities of vinegar and bicarb at the local supermarket, it occurred to me that this same technique could work for the limescale in our toilets. A quick Google search confirmed my suspicion.

I put 1 cup of bicarb, followed by one cup of vinegar down the loo, left for an hour, poured down a kettle of boiling water, then finished off with a toilet brush. The most effortless toilet cleaning ever with hardly any scrubbing!

Here are five other ways I use bicarbonate of soda and vinegar as a natural cleaning solution:

First though a warning to never use bicarb on aluminium. The 2 have a chemical reaction and the aluminium can become discoloured.
Though using aluminium foil and bicarbonate of soda is a great hack for cleaning silver - I tried it on some cufflinks of Rob’s the other day - works wonders. Check out the article here >> How to polish silver the green way

1. Microwave Cleaner

Mix a few tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda with water to form a paste, apply it to the microwave interior, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then wipe away the grime.

2. Stainless Steel Cleaner

Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on a damp cloth and gently rub stainless steel surfaces to get rid of smudges. Follow up with a vinegar-soaked cloth for a gleaming finish.

3. Tile and Grout Cleaner

Create a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water, apply it to dirty grout, and let it sit for a while before scrubbing. Add vinegar, then wipe away.

4. Freshen Up Drains

Pour a cup of bicarbonate of soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Leave for 30 minutes to an hour, then flush with hot water. This will not only clear blockages but also get rid of unpleasant smells

5. Glass, mirrors and showers

Put distilled vinegar in a spray bottle - the internet recommends half vinegar and half water but I always prefer straight vinegar.
This was my magic trick at the B&B for cleaning shower screens, mirrors and windows.
If you fancy a bit of scent, dissolve a few drops of your favourite essential oil in some vodka and add it to the vinegar.

Using these simple, eco-friendly solutions not only simplified my cleaning routine but has also proved to be better for our septic tank and the environment.

For more blog posts on cleaning check these out:
Should you do a room refresh when guests are staying

Top 10 tips for cleaning your bed and breakfast

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news & updates from B&B Academy
Don't worry, your information will not be shared 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason. You can unsubscribe at any time