As well as being a tasty accompaniment to chips, most people know that vinegar is a handy cleaning product indoors. But it can perform miracles outside too.

Weed remover. Pour or spray white distilled vinegar onto weeds growing in the cracks between paving stones or in your driveway. Saturate them so that the vinegar reaches the roots. Reapply on any new growth until the weeds are gone.

Barbecue cleaner. Vinegar can help remove charcoal build-up from your grill. Spray white distilled vinegar onto the cooking grate and clean the surface with a soft cleaning brush. Scrub the grate thoroughly, then rinse.

Clean garden furniture. Use white distilled vinegar to remove dirt from wooden or plastic garden furniture. A toothbrush will help you reach those difficult to reach places. Always rinse and let the furniture dry.

Prevent mildew. To keep your outdoor plastic mesh furniture and patio umbrellas free from mildew, mix two cups of white vinegar and two tablespoons of liquid dish soap in a bucket of hot water. Use a soft brush to clean the surfaces. Rinse with cold water and dry in the sun.

Keep your cut flowers fresh. Your vase of flowers will last longer if you add two tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of white vinegar to one litre of water. Trimming the stems and changing the water every five days will also give your flowers an extra lease of life.

Shine your dog’s coat. Did you know that spraying your dog with a mixture of one cup of white distilled vinegar and four cups of water will improve the shine of his or her coat? It will even help to repel pests such as fleas and ticks. (While being a common practice, we’d recommend you drop a quick call your local vet to check this is a suitable treatment for your dog.)