Surprising Uses For Vinegar You Definitely Want to Know About
1 Clean Your Dishes & Dishwasher
While buying dish tablets to run in your dishwasher is certainly easy enough, vinegar may provide an even more simple solution. Rather than filling your dishwasher with dish tablets, try running a cycle with a bit of vinegar. The vinegar is strong enough to cut through the grease and grime on your dishes, leaving them much cleaner than before.
But while washing dishes is one of many uses for vinegar, the vinegar can also keep your actual dishwasher sparkly clean. Every few months, pour a cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run a cycle. The vinegar will clear out any lime, hard water, or soap scum that inevitably builds up in your machine. By running a short cycle with vinegar, you ensure your dishwasher is clean enough to work at peak efficiency.
2 Wash Car Windows
Considering your car experiences a lot of wear and tear as it bounds down the road, it needs something a little stronger than normal glass cleaner to remove built-up grime. Next time you wash your car at home, try cleaning the windows with a bit of vinegar.
While washing your windows, spray a healthy amount of vinegar onto the surface. Then scrub it with a rag and wash away the liquid as normal. The acidity of the vinegar will cut through all that built-up dirt, leaving your windows clean and clear.
3 Whiten Your Teeth
If you want a mouth full of pearly whites, you’ve probably realized that brushing alone isn’t enough to clear your teeth of stains. Instead of scrubbing away at your choppers, embrace one of the many uses for vinegar.
Once a week, clean your teeth with a toothbrush dipped in white vinegar. The vinegar will clear away surface stains and plaque, leaving gorgeous pearly whites behind.
4 Eliminate Stinky Odors
Cleaning your house is only half the battle. While your surfaces may be dirt free, it’s difficult to eliminate those lingering smells that make your home less-than-pleasant. But if you ever run into a smell you can’t remove, turn to vinegar.
Combine vinegar with water and a few drops of lemon essential oil. Then spray the mixture around your house, particularly in stinky places like the bathroom or the trash can. The vinegar eliminates the smell and the lemon fills your home with a fresh, pleasant scent. Stinky odors will disappear with your handy gallon of vinegar by your side.
5 Heal Mosquito Bites
Mosquito bits are truly the worst. If you live in a mosquito-heavy area of the country, then you know how frustrating these bites can be. While it’s best to don bug spray to keep the mosquitos at bay, the occasional pest might find its way past your defenses, leaving a lovely welt on your arm.
If you itch the mosquito bite, you’ll only make things worse. But stopping yourself from scratching is easier said than done. If you’re dealing with a mosquito bite, take advantage of one of our favorite uses for vinegar. Simply soak a cotton ball in vinegar and dab the liquid on your mosquito bites. Not only will it put an end to the itching, but it will also disinfect the area, allowing the bite to heal more quickly.
6 Eliminate Carpet Stains
Carpet stains are so frustrating. They stare up at you day after day, mocking your inability to clean them effectively. But if you want your carpets to look good as new, embrace vinegar.
In a bottle or bowl, mix two tablespoons of vinegar with a quarter cup of salt or baking soda. Then rub the mixture into your carpet, ensuring it covers the entire stain. Allow the mixture to dry completely before vacuuming it up. The vinegar mixture should remove the stain, revealing clean, mark-free carpets.
7 Make Your Towels Fluffy
After they’re used over and over again, towels lose their soft and fluffy appearance. Instead, they start to look dingy and rough — that’s not exactly what you want to wrap yourself in after stepping out of a warm shower.
If your towels could use a little refresher, pull out your bottle of vinegar. Next time you wash your towels, include half a cup of vinegar in the cycle. The vinegar will revitalize your towels, making them fluffy and inviting once again.
8 Soak Your Feet For Soft Skin
If you can’t find time to get to the nail salon, you can give yourself an at-home pedicure using a bit of vinegar. While painting your nails is usually one element of a pedicure, a true salon treatment also demands soaking your feet in liquid to rid yourself of any dead skin.
To make a salon-worthy treatment at home, combine vinegar with a bit of mouthwash. Then soak your feet in the mixture for roughly 15 minutes. When the time is up, scrub your feet and watch all that dead skin flake off. By the time you’re done, your feet will look like they were treated by a professional.
9 Banish Fleas From Your Pet
Pets are prone to fleas, but that doesn’t mean you want to invite these critters into your home. Rather than searching for a flea shampoo that does the job, use vinegar to banish the pests from your pet’s coat.
Combine one part apple cider vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. After shampooing your pet during their next bath, spray them with the vinegar mixture. The vinegar creates an unpleasant environment for any pest, including fleas. If you apply the mixture regularly, you’ll ensure that your pet lives a flea-free life.
10 Deodorize & Clean the Garbage Disposal
After you use your garbage disposal again and again, you’ll notice that it starts to emit a rather yucky smell. But of course, no one wants to stick their hands into the dark depths of their sink to clean out all the food bits trapped inside. Thankfully, one of the many uses for vinegar is its ability to quickly and painlessly clean your garbage disposal.
Next time you need to clean your disposal, get an ice tray and create cubes that include a lemon wedge, one part vinegar, and one part water. Then pop the tray into the freezer until the cubes are frozen. When you need to clean your disposal, simply pop one or two of those cubes down your sink and run the disposal. The mixture will clean out any yucky grime that causes a nasty smell, leaving your disposal clean and your kitchen smelling of lemons.
11 Heal Bruises Faster
Everyone gets the occasional bump and bruise every now and then. But wouldn’t it be great if you could get rid of those marks on your body just a little bit faster? With vinegar, you can!
Next time you get a nasty bruise, soak a paper towel in distilled white vinegar and press it into the bruised area. The properties in the vinegar will help to heal the bruise more quickly, removing the mark from your skin and stopping the associated pain.
12 Wash Fruit to Preserve It Longer
This is one of the uses for vinegar that you can use all the time. When you purchase new fruits and veggies from the store, take a moment to wash your produce in vinegar. Simply fill your sink with warm water and add half a cup of vinegar. Then allow the produce to sit for roughly ten minutes. Rinse them off before storing them in your fridge.
The vinegar will clear out extra gunk that makes your produce go bad more quickly. If you wash your produce in vinegar first, you’ll notice you get an extra week out of your fruits and veggies.
13 Remove Stains
No matter how careful you are, you’re bound to get the occasional stain on your clothes. But rather than scrubbing away with stain-remover or, even worse, tossing out the item altogether, grab your handy-dandy bottle of vinegar.
As soon as you notice a stain, lightly rub a bit of vinegar into the affected area. Then toss the item into your hamper and wash it as usual. There’s no need to wash right away — vinegar will still do the trick, even if it takes you a few days to get around to your laundry. When you do wash the stained item, the vinegar will lift the mark right out, leaving your garment as good as new.
14 Help Cut Flowers Last Longer
A bouquet of flowers looks gorgeous in your home. Unfortunately, it also has a short shelf life. As soon as those flowers are cut from their parent plant, they start to die. Within a few days, your gorgeous bouquet will be a wilting mess.
However, if you know the uses for vinegar, you can prevent your flowers from dying so quickly. When you get your new bouquet, add two tablespoons of vinegar and one teaspoon of sugar to the water in the vase. The vinegar mix acts as flower food, allowing your bouquet to stay healthier for a longer period of time.
15 Make Your Own Clarifying Shampoo
If you deal with a particularly oily scalp, then you know the trouble of keeping your hair clean without damaging the strands. But rather than purchasing an expensive clarifying shampoo to cleanse your roots, try making your own at home using vinegar.
Using an old shampoo bottle, mix together one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water. Shake up the mixture and apply it evenly to your hair, combing it through from roots to ends. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes, then wash it out. When you’re done, your hair will be perfectly clean and shiny. Repeat the same process at least once a week to keep your locks oil-free.
16 Repair Scratched DVDs
While streaming services are all the rage nowadays, plenty of people still turn to their trusty DVDs when they want to watch a movie. There’s just one problem with these discs: they tend to get scratched. But rather than classifying your DVD as a lost cause, turn to your bottle of vinegar.
Among the many uses for vinegar, this all-purpose liquid is also an effective way to repair scratched DVDs. If your disc skips or freezes, simply wipe down the bottom part with a soft cloth soaked with white vinegar. When the DVD dries completely, insert it into your player and prepare for a skip-free movie.
17 Kill Pesky Fruit Flies
Even if you’re a total animal-lover, fruit flies are always considered unwelcome houseguests. Thankfully, you don’t have to put up with these pesky critters flying around your kitchen. That is, not if you have a little vinegar.
Take a small saucer or jar and pour in a bit of apple cider vinegar. Then add a few squeezes of dish soap on top. Place the dish in the area where you’re having the most trouble with fruit flies. The flies will be attracted to the smell, but they’ll soon drown in the liquid, leaving your kitchen a fly-free zone.
18 Get Rid Of Odor
We’ve all dealt with odd odors in our house from time to time. Even if your home doesn’t smell particularly bad, it might exude an unpleasant, musty scent that’s hard to fully get rid of. But no matter what odors you’re dealing with in your home, vinegar provides a solution.
For this hack, you’ll simply need a bit of vinegar and a slice of white bread. Place the white bread in a bowl and fully immerse it in vinegar. We know it sounds odd, but just give it a try! Once the bread is soaked, place the bowl in the smelly area of your home for 24 hours. The acid in the vinegar will combine with the yeast in the bread, absorbing any odors and leaving your home smelling clean and fresh.
19 Fix Clothes That Smell of Mildew
Once you throw your laundry into the machine, it’s so easy to forget about it. Unfortunately, if your wet clothes sit for an extended period of time, they develop a gross mildew smell that’s difficult to get rid of. Thankfully, among the many uses for vinegar is the ability to put an end to that scent for good.
If you’re dealing with wet, day-old laundry that smells of mildew, don’t panic. Instead, just rewash your load again with half a cup of white vinegar and a few drops of essential oil. The vinegar will remove that funky smell, leaving clean clothes behind.
20 Use As Weed Killer
If you’re trying to keep your home garden alive and thriving, getting rid of weeds is your first priority. But chemical weed killers can not only damage the plants you’re trying to grow, they can also have harmful effects on your family and pets.
To keep your home a chemical-free zone, use vinegar as a weed killer. Look for a high acidity vinegar and pop it in a spray bottle to rid yourself of the pests in your garden. Use the vinegar on its own, or combine one gallon of white vinegar with a tablespoon of dish soap and a cup of salt for an even more effective mixture. Using this method, your garden will be both weed and chemical-free.
21 Buff Out Scratches In Wood Furniture
No matter how careful you are with your wood furniture, scratches are bound to develop over time. That’s part of the natural wear and tear, but it doesn’t mean it looks good. If you want to keep your furniture in pristine condition, use a little vinegar.
Mix apple cider vinegar with iodine in a bowl or bottle. Then spread the concoction over the scratches in your wood. This simple hack should buff out all the scratches, leaving smooth wood behind. If the wood is darker, use a bit more iodine to get the results you’re looking for.
22 Calm Sunburn
Getting a sunburn is frustrating and painful. While you should always wear sunscreen if you’re stepping out on a sunny day, it’s likely you’ll be cursed with an unfortunate sunburn at some point in your life. But instead of just waiting it out while your skin suffers, soothe your sunburn with a bit of vinegar.
Pop a bottle of distilled apple cider vinegar into the fridge. Once it’s cool, pour it onto a soft cloth and gently pat your burned areas. The vinegar has properties that can help to minimize peeling and itching. While the bright red color won’t go away, the vinegar will make you a little more comfortable while you wait for your sunburn to fade.
23 Make a Wrinkle-Releaser
The many uses for vinegar aren’t limited to the kitchen. You should also keep a bottle of this substance on-hand in your laundry room. After washing your clothes, you likely have to iron delicate pieces in order to rid yourself of those pesky wrinkles. But ironing is time-consuming and not exactly enjoyable. Instead of wasting time at the ironing board, try making a wrinkle releaser with a bit of vinegar.
In a spray bottle, combine a teaspoon of hair conditioner, a tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of water. When your clothes come out of the dryer, mist them with your new spray. The spray relaxing the fibers in your clothes, eliminating wrinkles immediately. No ironing necessary!
24 Fix Streaky Windshield Wipers
In addition to cleaning your car windows, vinegar can also help to increase the effectiveness of your windshield wipers. As the wipers get older, you may notice they start to streak and stick. Instead of making your window cleaner and allowing you to see better, they just smear the dirt and water across the windshield.
However, you don’t have to replace ineffective wipers altogether. Instead, soak a cloth in distilled white vinegar and rub it back and forth across the rubber. The vinegar will remove stubborn dirt and grime that’s leading to streaky windows. With this simple hack, your windshield wipers will be as good as new.
25 Soothe Sore Throat
For most people, drinking vinegar sounds like the worst idea in the world. Vinegar isn’t known for its pleasant flavor, but it might be just what you need to get rid of your sore throat.
Next time your throat feels a little raw, grab a cup of hot water, and add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Then stir in a bit of honey for sweetness. Once that’s done, drink the whole concoction. Your breath might smell bad, but your sore throat will be much better.
26 Clean Dusty Computers
Just like most things, our computers tend to get dusty after a while. Unfortunately, computers are rather difficult to clean. Dust seems to refuse to be removed, no matter how much you try to wipe down your laptop.
If you want a truly clean computer, use a little vinegar. First, turn off your computer. Then mix equal parts of white vinegar and water together. Grab a soft cloth and dip it into the mixture, squeezing out as much liquid as you possibly can. Carefully and gently, wipe the cloth over your computer. The vinegar will clear out all that stubborn dust, leaving a shiny laptop behind. If you want to get those stubborn spots around the keys of your keyboard, follow the same process, but use a cotton swab to clean.
27 Remove Water Rings From Furniture
What’s worse than stubborn water rings on wooden furniture? While coasters are the best way to protect your furniture from water rings, people are often too lazy to use them. Once the water rings appear on your furniture, you may have resigned yourself to the idea that you’ll never get them off.
Well, that’s not the case. If you want to remove those marks, mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil together. Apply the mixture to the stained area with a soft cloth, moving with the grain of the wood. Then use a clean cloth to wipe up the mixture. Once you’re done, those water rings will be gone for good.
28 Remove Bumper Stickers Completely
It’s all fun and games to put bumper stickers on your car until you realize that you can’t remove them. Oftentimes, bumper stickers are there for life. If you do try to take them off, you’ll be stuck with sticky residue clearly marking out the former home of the sticker.
If you want to get rid of those bumper stickers for good, pull out your undiluted, distilled vinegar. Pour the vinegar onto the top and sides of the sticker. Allow it to soak in for ten to fifteen minutes. Then, use a piece of plastic, such as an old credit card, to scrape away the bumper sticker. Not only will the vinegar remove that pesky sticker, but it will also remove all the sticky residue it leaves behind.
29 Make Your Own Dusting Spray
While vinegar is the perfect solution to cleaning your home, it can also keep your space from getting dirty in the first place. Instead of reaching for your reliable feather duster, keep dust from settling into your furniture with a bit of vinegar.
Among the many uses of vinegar, this nifty liquid also helps to repel dust. Simply combine a quarter cup of vinegar with a cup of water, two teaspoons of olive oil, and a few drops of lemon essential oil. The vinegar will cut through the grime and grease on your surfaces, while the oil adds shine and a protective layer over wood. The finished product is a cleaning mixture that keeps dust from settling onto your surfaces, reducing the amount of time you have to spend cleaning.
30 Create An All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
Instead of cleaning your home with harmful chemicals, try washing away the dirt and grime with a bit of vinegar. While chemicals get the job done in leaving your space sparkling clean, they’re not the best choice for a healthy body. Rather than filling your home with harmful toxins, create your own all-natural cleaning spray with vinegar.
Using an empty spray bottle, mix one part white vinegar to one part water. If you want to add a pleasant scent that will leave your space smelling fresh, include a few drops of the essential oil of your choice in the bottle. The resulting spray is perfectly suited to clean anything, from kitchen countertops to hardwood floors.
31 Clean Your Toilet Tank
While your toilet bowl is one obvious area of the bathroom that needs a good clean fairly regularly, your toilet tank is often forgotten about. But much like the bowl, the tank can also get very dirty. Over time, dirt, grime, and water stains build-up, which can impact the overall function of your toilet if not addressed. Thankfully, vinegar provides a solution.
To keep your toilet tank clean and running smoothly, you simply have to add vinegar to the water. The vinegar will help to clear out mineral deposits from the inner components, keeping your toilet in pristine condition. Plus, it won’t damage any of the components and it requires very little effort on your part. Add a little vinegar every now and then, and you’ll never have to worry about your toilet tank.
32 Unclog Your Sink
Just like your shower drain, your sink can get clogged over time. Certain particles may build up in the pipes, resulting in a mess of gunk that won’t allow your sink to drain correctly. But instead of reaching for a harsh, chemical-filled drain cleaner, you can unclog your sink with a little vinegar.
First, pour a good amount of boiling water down the drain. Then follow up the water with a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of vinegar. After that’s done, put a drain plug in the sink and allow the mixture to sit for five to ten minutes. The vinegar will react with the baking soda, causing a bubbling mixture that will clear your pipes. To ensure your pipes are fully clear, pour a few more cups of boiling water down the drain. After that, your sink should be as good as new!
33 Clean Your Microwave Quickly
Microwaves are such handy little devices, but they can be a pain to clean. After a few uses, little bits of food end up stuck to the inside. If you don’t wipe them off right away, they adhere so stubbornly to your microwave that it almost feels like you’ll never get them off.
Thankfully, vinegar makes cleaning your microwave easy and quick. Fill a small bowl with distilled white vinegar, then add an equal amount of water. Put the bowl in the microwave and warm it up for two to three minutes until you see some steam rising from the bowl. Then dip a cloth into the mixture and use it to wipe the inside of your microwave. The steam will first loosen the grime, allowing you to easily wipe off any excess food particles and make your microwave sparkling clean.
34 Clean Burnt Pan
Even the best chefs in the world burn their pans from time to time! Therefore, it only makes sense that us amateur home cooks would deal with the same problem while cooking at home. But while a burnt pan initially looks like a disaster, it’s not so hard to clean with just a little vinegar.
If you’ve scorched the bottom of your pan, don’t panic! Simply place the pan back on the stove and fill it with one cup of water and one cup of vinegar. Then bring the mixture to a boil. Once the water and vinegar are bubbling, turn off the heat and add two tablespoons of baking soda to the pan. Allow the baking soda to sit for a couple of minutes before tossing out the liquid and cleaning the pan as normal with a scouring pad. Once you’re finished washing, your pan should be clean and burn-free.
35 Clean Dirty Tiles
Vinegar is so useful because it cleans, disinfects, and deodorizes all at once. Not only that, but it’s a natural product that’s free of harsh chemicals you often use to clean your home. With all these many benefits, vinegar is the perfect solution to clean stubborn tiles.
If the tiles in your home are riddled with stains and grime, grab your trusty vinegar. Mix about half a cup of vinegar with a gallon of warm water in a bucket. Wipe down the tiles to remove loose dirt, then mop or wipe over them with the vinegar solution. The vinegar will easily lift stains and stubborn grime, leaving clean, sparkling tiles behind.
Did you know that, on average, a woman spends between 16 and 17 hours a week doing household chores? Whether she’s a woman at home or a businesswoman who has to balance work and family, the average remains about the same. While such a number of hours seems immense even for the woman at home, imagine how the businesswoman can seem to lack the time to have a life outside of her mandatory occupations? It’s several hours that could be used for many other purposes that are certainly more fun, but that will also have a very positive impact on her physical and mental health.
- Vacuuming or watching a TV show?
- Dusting all the furniture in the house or having a drink with friends?
- Washing dishes or spending time with family?
The choice is pretty obvious…
And, knowing that with the generation of millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996), women tend to be more educated than before, therefore work more, have a probably wider social network and have greater purchasing power, it is obvious that for them, household chores are far from being a priority in their lives.
Indeed, today, according to the Pew Research Center:
- 39% of women have a bachelor’s degree or higher, in contrast to 25% of boomers;
- 72% of women are in the labor market.
That’s why the shorter and sweeter the household chores are, the better!
On the other hand, still according to Pew Research Center, the millennials have been greatly affected by the Great Recession, so that many of them continue to live with their parents much longer than previous generations. In 2018, 15% of the 25-to-37-year-old generation was still living in the family home, nearly double the number of past generations combined. While this cohabitation may be viewed negatively for some reasons, it does have great financial benefits for both parties, but also benefits at the household level!
By sharing the space, everyone can share the household chores, and therefore have more free time for other things! If we add to that the countless ways to optimize our time and make cleaning easier, it is possible to greatly reduce this average of 16 to 17 hours of housework per week!
So whether it’s daily or weekly chores, or meal preparation, no one will say no to a few good tricks to make it quick and easy. Thanks to our tips and tricks articles, you’ll be able to save a lot of time on housework and enjoy more the good things in life!