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Clever Uses for Vinegar – There are a lot of versatile ways to use vinegar around the house. It’s an all-purpose cleaner, brightener, as well as a herbicide. As well, vinegar can be used by itself or mixed with water or baking soda for various tasks and cleaners around your house. You can save money (and be better for the environment) by replacing many expensive cleaning products.

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  • Clean the shelves and walls with a solution of half water and half vinegar.
  • Bring a solution of one cup vinegar and four tablespoons of baking soda to a boil in teapots and coffeepots to rid them of mineral deposits.
  • Vinegar breaks down uric acid and soap residue and leaves baby clothes and diapers soft and fresh. Add a cup of vinegar to each load during the rinse cycle.
  • To loosen a rusted screw, pour vinegar on the screw and let it sit. It will easily unstick.
  • Eliminate odors in plastic food containers by wiping them with a cloth dampened with vinegar.
  • Candle wax drips gently wipes away with a cloth soaked in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.
  • To remove old paint from paintbrushes, place brushes in a pot with vinegar. Soak for an hour, then turn on the stove and bring the vinegar to a simmer. Drain, rinse, and air dry.
  • Remove light scorch marks on fabrics, rub gently with vinegar. Then wipe with a clean cloth. You can also use this technique on antiperspirant stains.
  • Most carpet stains can be pulled up by making a paste of 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and ¼ cup salt or baking soda. Rub this solution into the stain and let dry. Vacuum the residue the next day. I recommend testing an out-of-sight area of the carpet first. (How often should you clean your carpet? read more…)


  • You can even brighten dingy socks. Make old socks look new or get stains out of sweaty gym clothes by soaking them in a vinegar solution. Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring to a boil, and drop in the stained clothes. Let them soak overnight, and in the morning stained clothes are fresh and bright.
  • Restore leather handbags and shoes by wiping white distilled vinegar on scuffed areas. It will restore their shine and help hide the marks.
  • White distilled vinegar will kill weeds growing in the cracks of your walkway and driveway. Saturate the plant so the vinegar reaches the roots.
  • Add two tablespoons of white vinegar and one teaspoon of sugar to a quart of water. Pour the solution into your vase of droopy flowers and they will perk up.
  • Prevent windows from frosting over in a storm by coating them with a solution of three parts white distilled vinegar to one part water. The acidity hinders ice from forming.
  • If your kids get crayon marks on the walls or floor, dip a toothbrush in white vinegar and gently scrub. The vinegar breaks down the wax. It’s a great, non-toxic way to clean up after children.
  • For residue left by stickers or price tags. Apply vinegar to the gunk, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe the glue away.
  • Similarly, remove bumper stickers from car chrome, paint on vinegar and let it soak in. Then simply scrape off the stickers. Decals can be removed this way as well.
  • For sticky scissor blades, wipe them with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar. Vinegar won’t ruin the blades or rust the metal.


  • Spray your dog with one cup of white distilled vinegar mixed with one-quart water. The solution is a cheap alternative to expensive pet-care products for keeping their hair shiny., plus the vinegar will help repel pests like fleas and ticks.
  • Help eliminate cat box odor by pouring a half-inch of white distilled vinegar into the empty litter box. Let stand for 20 minutes, then rinse with cold water.
  • You can remove the stain and smell from a pet accident by mixing ¼ cup vinegar with a quart of water and blotting the mixture onto the stain. Continue dabbing until the spot is gone.


  • Marinating in vinegar knocks out bacteria and tenderizes the meat. You can make a marinade by adding ¼ cup balsamic vinegar for every 2 pounds of meat to your own blend of herbs and spices. Allow the meat to marinate from 20 minutes to 24 hours, depending on how strong you want the flavor. Next, cook it without rinsing.
  • Add two tablespoons of white distilled vinegar to one pint of water. Use the mixture to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly. This solution kills more pesticide residue than just water.
  • To keep eggs from cracking as they boil by adding two tablespoons of white vinegar to the water. The eggs will stay intact, and the shells will peel off more easily.
  • You can also steam away stuck-on food in your microwave. Fill a small bowl with equal parts water and vinegar, and place it in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. Steam will fill the microwave, making clean-up a breeze. For a clean oven, combine vinegar and baking soda, then scrub.
  • You can use vinegar to make Easter eggs brighter. The trick is to mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar with ½ cup of hot water, then add food coloring. The vinegar keeps the dye bright and prevents the color from streaking.
  • Reduce soap buildup and food residue by pouring a cup of vinegar into your empty dishwasher once a month and letting it run a full cycle.
  • Use vinegar to remove charcoal buildup from your grill, spray white distilled vinegar on balled-up aluminum foil and scrub the grate thoroughly.
  • To help keep cheese from molding, wrap cheese in a vinegar-soaked cloth and place it in an airtight container and refrigerate. 
Uses for vinegar


  • Spray full-strength vinegar around the sink and tub to kill bathroom germs. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • Clean and deodorize your toilet bowl by pouring undiluted white vinegar into it. Let stand for five minutes, then flush. Spray stubborn stains with white vinegar, then scrub vigorously.
  • Soak your loofah in equal parts vinegar and water for 24 hours to dissolve soap residue, then rinse in cold water. It’ll be just like new!
  • Add ½ cup of vinegar to warm bath water for a cheap spa session at home. The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving you feeling soft and smooth.
  • To get rid of lime buildup on faucets, make a paste of 1 teaspoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Apply to sink fixtures and rub with a cloth.
  • Vinegar is a natural, non-toxic way to clean clogged pipes. Pour one cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white vinegar, down the drain. Let the products bubble and foam, then flush the pipes with a pot of boiling water.
Vinegar uses


  • To remove gum from either fabric or hair, heat a small bowl of vinegar in the microwave. Next, pour the warm vinegar over the gum saturating the area. The gum will dissolve and you can easily remove it.
  • You can also brighten your hair and eliminate dandruff. Remove hair product buildup by rinsing a tablespoon of vinegar through your hair once a month. For a dry, flaky scalp, pour one cup of apple cider vinegar over your scalp, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water. Do this once a week.
  • Add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to your wash cycle. The acid reduces static and keeps dryer lint from sticking to your clothes.
  • Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spritz your home to neutralize odors in fabrics, carpets, shoes, or any sprayable surface.
  • Dab a cotton ball soaked in full-strength white vinegar on mosquito bites and insect stings. It will stop them from itching and help disinfect the area so they heal faster. (However, if the affected area is raw, do not do this.)
  • Soak your feet for 20 minutes a day in one part vinegar to two parts warm water. The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving your feet soft and smooth.
  • Brush your teeth once a week with white distilled vinegar. Dip your toothbrush into the vinegar and brush thoroughly. It will help prevent bad breath, too.
  • Before you apply nail polish, wipe your nails with a cotton ball soaked in white distilled vinegar. The clean surface will help your manicure last. 

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