51 Incredible Uses For Vinegar That Everyone Should Know
Amazingly simple, yet deceptively powerful, household vinegar is one of the most versatile and effective products in your house. Did you know that this incredible household solution has a myriad of alternative uses?
From cleaning your kitchen to saving your garden, vinegar can be used all around your home. Here are the top ways a simple bottle of vinegar can transform your everyday lifestyle and cleaning methods.
1. Microwave Cleaning Made Easy
A microwave is used to reheat lots of different foods and drinks. Sometimes those foods and drinks spill or bubble over. As the microwave continues cooking, the spills become more strongly attached and are hard to get loose to properly clean. So how do you remove these stubborn stains?
Pour an equal amount of water and distilled vinegar into a glass bowl. Then, heat the mixture in the microwave. The steam created will begin to loosen even the most stubborn stains. After releasing the steam, use a towel and the liquid mixture to continue to scrub the remaining residue from inside the microwave.
2. Clean Your Shower Head Using Vinegar
Sometimes when you are taking a shower, you may notice that the water pressure has diminished. This usually occurs as a result of an accumulation of dirt residue. If the residue is not removed, it will eventually lead to blockage. Fortunately, vinegar is here to help you out.
To clean the residue: Prepare a cleaning solution with ½ cup of vinegar with one quart of clean water. After this, put the solution in a polythene bag and tie it to the shower head. Always ensure you use clean water for this purpose.
3. Sunburn Solution
If you spend time outdoors, you have more than likely had a sunburn at some point. They can range from mildly irritating to downright painful, and the only cure seems to be time. Here’s one method that can help to ease sunburn discomfort.
Use distilled apple cider vinegar that has been refrigerated. Pour an amount on a towel and press the vinegar on the sunburned area. The itching and skin peeling associated with a sunburn will be minimized, although you’ll just have to wait for the redness to fade.
4. Sore Throat Solution
Waking up to, or developing, a sore or raspy throat may be a warning sign of worsening conditions. At the very least, the pain and discomfort from a sore throat is worth finding a cheap and easy fix. The answer, once again, is vinegar.
Try filling a cup with warm to hot water, then add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the mixture. Now, drink up. The taste may be somewhat bitter, but the results are worth the flavor. Add some honey to sweeten the drink, if needed.
5. Dishes and Dishwasher Cleaner
Cleaning dishes in the sink is time-consuming and wastes water. Using a dishwasher is a better option. But, sometimes your dishes have a bit more build up that regular dishwasher tablets just can’t seem to cut through. Try running a dish load with a cup of vinegar, instead. The vinegar will cut through the soap and grease residue to leave your dishes sparkling.
You can also clean the dishwasher itself with the same vinegar. Just like dishes, the inside of your dishwasher can become coated with soap, grease, and even mineral deposits from the water. Vinegar breaks through this grime and rejuvenates your dishwasher. Used regularly, vinegar makes sure the grime never has a chance to build up again.
6. A Vinegar Soak for Softness
Summer is on the way, which means summer shoes like flip flops and sandals are coming out. So, how are your summertime feet looking? Dry and cracked heels are not it. Try vinegar and a secret ingredient to restore your smooth, soft skin.
Soak your feet in a container filled mostly with vinegar, but add a healthy dash of mouthwash, too. Yes, mouthwash. This chemical combination does wonders for removing dry and dead skin, leaving your feet feeling baby soft.
7. Window Wash for Cars and Trucks
Your car’s windshield takes a lot of abuse. From rain and dirt, to all sorts of flying and leaping insects, a windshield can get pretty dirty. If you wash your car at home, try spraying some vinegar on your windshield and scrub with a soft towel or rag.
The vinegar is quite effective at removing stubborn stains. Vinegar goes to work on these stains and helps to get that windshield clean and clear. Make sure to wash off the vinegar from the windshield after you’ve scrubbed it clean.
8. Clean Teeth and Fresh Breath
Because some vinegars only contain mild acidity, it is an excellent product to use to whiten your teeth without hurting your enamel. You can swish vinegar like a mouthwash or even brush your teeth after dipping your toothbrush in the vinegar.
Vinegar does an amazing job at removing stains from teeth, just like it removes stains on household surfaces. The vinegar also disinfects your mouth, removing bacteria which cause bad breath. Brush your teeth with toothpaste to finish, since vinegar can have a strong smell to some. The final brushing also removes any acids from the vinegar, so your teeth aren’t compromised.
9. Keep Your Garbage Disposal Fresh and Clean
A garbage disposal is a highly useful item found in lots of kitchens. Being able to send food waste away safely makes it easier to clean and reduces the food waste in the trash and in landfills. One drawback would be that old food smell created by the disposal.
Cleaning and disinfecting the disposal can be tricky, since it’s inside your sink. A great solution is to use an ice tray to make frozen lemon vinegar water. Equal parts water and vinegar go in the cube tray then top it off with a lemon wedge. Once frozen, toss a lemon vinegar cube in your disposal for a handy and hands-free clean up.
10. Remove Burn Stains from Pans
Whether you are an expert or novice cook, you’ve most likely burnt food in a pan at one time or another. Although these pans may look rough initially, there is hope to revive them. Vinegar and elbow grease is sure to come to the rescue.
Pour equal parts water and vinegar into your burnt pan and bring the mix to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and add two tablespoons of baking soda. After letting the pan and mixture sit for a few minutes, wash it out and scrub with a scrubbing sponge. Your pan should end up looking as good as new.
11. Send Fleas Packing
Those of us with pets really love our fur babies. But we don’t love the vermin that want to invade our houses. Fortunately, a little apple cider vinegar can help keep fleas at bay.
Combine equal parts apple cider vinegar with water in a spray bottle. After washing, spray down your pets with this potent, yet safe, mix. Fleas, as well as other parasites, are not fond of vinegar and will avoid it when possible. A regular spraying of this mixture keeps the fleas off and your pets happy.
12. Fluffy Linens and Towels
Each time you use your towels and linens, a bit of exfoliation occurs. Dead skin, oils, and other bits of dirt can accumulate. This accumulation causes towels to lose their soft and fluffy look and feel. Try a little vinegar in your next towel or linen laundry load.
The vinegar helps to release and remove the residual dirt and oils in towels and helps bring them back to a clean and comfy texture. Add about half a cup of vinegar to your regular laundry load to see fresher towels and linens.
13. Reduce Bruise Healing Time
Some days it feels like the walls and corners are moving into our way. For some of us, bumps and bruises come with everyday life. Either way, it would be nice to get rid of any unsightly black and blue spot as quickly as possible.
Try dousing a paper towel with white vinegar and press it on the bruise for a minute or so. The vinegar helps the bruise heal faster and reduces the discoloration quicker.
14. Wash Your Fruit and Veggies
Fresh produce is a great source of vitamins and minerals and is an important part of a balanced diet. Unfortunately, most agricultural practices require spraying pesticides in order to maintain high yields and quality produce. You and your family don’t want to eat these chemicals, so you should always wash your fruits and vegetables before eating.
Washing produce in a vinegar soak is even more effective for removing contaminants. Additionally, a vinegar bath can extend the shelf life of produce by up to a week. Just be sure to wash thoroughly with water, following the vinegar soak.
15. Fresh Flowers Forever
Fresh flowers have a way of brightening up a room. Between the beautiful colors and floral fragrances, flowers are a great temporary decoration. Unfortunately, they will eventually fade and need to be replaced. Try adding some vinegar to the water in your vase to extend your flowers’ lifespan.
When you first bring home your flowers, start by cutting a quarter of an inch off the stems. Then, create a mixture in the flower water by adding one teaspoon of sugar and two tablespoons of vinegar. This mixture serves as plant food and helps flowers continue to stay fresh and vibrant longer.
16. Sink Maintenance
Sinks can become clogged and may develop a foul odor if too much food and grease build up in your pipes. Cleaning out your sink should be a regular practice to combat such build-up. Try pouring some vinegar down the drain to alleviate both problems.
Start by loosening up the pipe gunk by running hot or boiling water down the drain. Next, pour a cup of baking soda in your drain, with a cup of vinegar to follow up. Then, plug up the sink drain for 5-10 minutes. The bubbly chemical reaction that will occur effectively clears your pipes and helps reduce any foul odors.
17. An Effective Weed Killer
Other than in your home, vinegar can be used in your yard and garden too. If you’re planting a garden for flowers or for veggies, keeping weeds out ensures your valuable plants aren’t robbed of nutrients. If you’re keeping a well maintained yard, you’ll want to know how to keep unsightly weed patches out.
Try pouring or spraying just vinegar on weeds to kill them without using any harmful chemicals. Vinegars with higher acidic content tend to work best for this application. You can also combine a gallon of vinegar with a cup of salt and a tablespoon of dish soap for a guaranteed weed killer.
18. Clean and Repair CDs and DVDs
Although many people choose streaming services for many of their movies, TV shows, video games, and music, many of us still own CDs and DVDs and still play them. Unfortunately, for this type of media format, scratches can signal the end of their playability. Nobody wants to get halfway through the movie only for it to glitch out.
Don’t throw away those scratched discs just yet, though. Try wetting a soft towel with plain vinegar and wiping down the playing side of your scratched discs. Once completely dry, your music and movies should play normally again.
19. Catch and Kill Flies
Nobody likes flies in their house, especially in the kitchen. However, the food areas in a home always have the potential to attract insects and pests. As a solution, try setting a fly trap using vinegar and dish soap.
Pour some vinegar into a jar and add a little bit of dish soap to the top. This combination lures the flies in, but sends them to a vinegar bath demise. Add a paper towel cone to your jar to help more flies crawl in, but not back out.
20. Mildew or Mil-don’t
Have you ever forgotten about a load of laundry in the washing machine? Or have you misplaced some clothes after coming home from the beach or pool? The undeniable mildew smell which came to reside within those clothes could be a dealbreaker. Don’t give up on them yet, though.
Add a 1/2 cup of vinegar to the laundry when you re-wash these clothes. Some essential oils can also be included to help give your clothes an extra smell boost. If the clothes are extra smelly, stop your washing machine after it fills up to allow the vinegar to soak the clothes for a bit.
21. Revitalize Your Wood Furniture
Despite our best efforts, scrapes and scratches can and will appear on your wood furniture. You may even be considering refinishing an item with noticeable scratches. Try this fast and effective vinegar-based solution first.
Combine apple cider vinegar with iodine in a spray bottle. Apply some of this mixture to the wood surface. Once covered, buff out the wood surface with a soft towel or rag. Your wood should appear clean and scratch free afterwards. Use more iodine in the mix for darker woods.
22. Stubborn Stains Begone!
There’s nothing like putting on your favorite shirt or outfit. It feels great on you and your confidence radiates. But, when a stain shows up, you might be considering a replacement. Don’t lose hope yet.
Try spraying or dabbing vinegar on the new stain. Remember to give the vinegar a little time to sit on the stain. Even if you don’t wash the clothes right away, the vinegar will work to loosen the stain so it washes out more easily.
23. Create a Clarifying Shampoo
Some folks struggle with excessively oily hair and scalp. Fortunately, there are shampoos available to combat such a problem. But these shampoos can be expensive or hard to find. Vinegar is a great solution for a clarifying shampoo.
Mix together one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water in an old shampoo bottle. When applying, make sure you massage the mixture into your hair and scalp completely. Then, allow the treatment to sit for a few minutes. The vinegar will break up the oily residue. Wash and rinse thoroughly after five minutes for clean and shimmering hair.
24. Clean Keyboards
Have you taken a close look at your laptop or desktop keyboard lately? Are some of the numbers and letters looking a little dingy? Grab a soft towel, a small container, vinegar, and water and let the cleaning begin!
Turn your computer off first. Then, mix equal parts water and white vinegar in your container. Wet the towel, squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible, then wipe away. For the in-between areas that the towel won’t reach, try using q-tips.
25. Release and Reduce Wrinkles
Wrinkles in our clothes can ruin a good fit. Ironing is great for removing wrinkles, but can take time, and an iron may not always be available. Solve your crease crisis by making a wrinkle release mixture with some vinegar and hair conditioner.
Use a clean or new spray bottle for an applicator. Combine two cups of water, a tablespoon of vinegar, and a teaspoon of hair conditioner and mix well. Then, when taking clothes out of the drier, spray them with the wrinkle remover. As they dry, fabrics will remain loose and wrinkle-free.
26. Windshield Wiper Reprise
Life hacks are designed to save us a little money, here and there. Extending the lives of common products is often the focus. A perfect example would be wiping down your car wiper blades with vinegar.
Wiper blades can retain stubborn dirt and grime from the road. This leftover grime can be attributed to the streaks you may see on your windshield. Giving your wipers a once over with vinegar on a rag will help to remove the dirt and grime causing the streaking.
27. Keep Your Toilet Tank Freshened Up
Of all the spaces and places in your house you clean, the bathroom is often the most demanding. In particular, the toilet and toilet area regularly need to be cleaned and disinfected. Consider adding vinegar to your tank as maintenance between deep cleanings.
Vinegar in your toilet tank serves a few purposes. The vinegar will reduce the grime and dirt build-up in the tank and bowl. It will also help to remove hard water stains and mineral deposits, as well as keep new ones from occurring. Vinegar is also mild enough that it won’t affect any of the rubber seals in your toilet.
28. Water Ring Round-Up
Earlier, we discussed how to use vinegar to remove scratches in wood furniture. Another common marring of wood furniture are water rings from condensation on glasses and cans. These whitish rings can ruin the look of your furniture.
Try mixing equal parts vinegar and olive oil and apply with a soft towel or rag. When applying, work the oil and vinegar mixture with the grain of the wood. The water rings will begin to fade away. Finish up by using a clean cloth to wipe up the excess oil and vinegar.
29. Un-stick Your Stickers
Whether removing old bumper stickers from a car or sticky labels on household objects, there is often some adhesive left behind. This leftover sticky residue attracts lots of dirt and is outright unsightly. It’s also a little tough to completely clean away.
Try some vinegar and a plastic scraping tool to clean off old stickers. Pour some distilled vinegar on the sticker and allow it to sit. The adhesive will start to release. Then, you can scrape the sticker, adhesive and all, right off the surface. An old credit or ID card can work well as a scraping tool too.
30. An Easy All-Purpose Cleaner
Cleaning your house is an ongoing battle. But using all kinds of chemicals and extra-strength cleaners to achieve cleanliness can also add toxic substances to your household. Finding effective cleaning alternatives can be difficult.
Fortunately, vinegar is an excellent cleaner, with hardly any negative side effects. Mixing equal parts vinegar with water in a spray bottle will create an everyday cleaner for almost any surface. Adding a couple of drops of essential oils in the mix can help leave your home smelling fantastic as well.
31. Dust Deterrent
Vinegar is an excellent cleaning product. It can also be used as a way to keep dirt and dust from attaching itself in the first place. Create a mixture of water, vinegar, olive oil, and essential lemon oil for an amazing dust deterrent.
Combine one cup of water, a quarter cup of vinegar, a couple drops of lemon oil, and two teaspoons of olive oil. Put the mix in a spray bottle and spray and wipe down your surfaces. Non-wood surfaces will clean easily with the vinegar and lemon oil and wood surfaces will appear to have more luster from the olive oil. Plus, dust will also be repelled from sticking and attaching to your surfaces after an application of this mixture.
32. Spruce Up Your Tile and Grout
The biggest appeal to vinegar as a cleaner is its versatility and relatively harmless nature. Vinegar is effective at removing stains, odors, and germs from almost any surface. Grout and tile are just another of many examples.
Using warm water and vinegar in an equivalent mixture, apply evenly over the tile and grout. Let the mix sit for a few minutes and then scrub and rinse. The vinegar helps loosen discoloration on both the tile and grout. Wash the area down with fresh water for a clean finish.
33. Smelly Trash Cans and Other Odors
Anywhere that we collect or deposit our trash is going to develop a smell. Trash cans, both in the house and outside, need a solid clean up from time to time. Vinegar is a safe and cheap alternative to heavy chemical cleaners.
As you spray out your trash cans with a garden hose, add vinegar and agitate it with the spraying water. You can also add some essential oils, such as lemon or peppermint, to help leave the cans with a more pleasant smell.
34. Bugs and Bug Bites
Mosquitoes and other biting flies can be quite a problem, especially in the summer months. One bite can cause some to itch themselves raw. Instead of making the bite worse by scratching, try a bit of vinegar on the itchy spot.
Dab a small amount of vinegar on a cotton ball or piece of tissue paper. Then wipe or blot the bug bite(s). The vinegar will help relieve the itching as well as disinfect the area, helping the bite to heal faster. A little vinegar in a spray bottle can also be kept with camping gear for those times away from home.
35. Carpet Clean-Ups
Carpet stains can be tough to remove, even with big-name cleaners. Stains can be set on carpet and are then ground in place from foot traffic. These stains might give you fits. However, sometimes the simplest options give the best solutions.
Vinegar, combined with baking soda or salt, can effectively remove even the toughest stains. Create a mixture of two tablespoons of vinegar with a quarter cup of either baking soda or salt. Apply the mixture to a stain and let the mix sit until it is dry. Once dry, vacuum up the area. The stain should disappear, along with the dried mix remnants.
36. Vinegar: The Odor-Outer
Have you ever had a smell in a house that you couldn’t locate? Some homes, especially older ones, can develop a musty or stale smell. These odors seem to linger and are often hard to remove. Try vinegar and some simple chemistry to help eliminate the odor.
In a medium bowl or pan, submerge a piece of white bread in vinegar. After letting the bread soak up the vinegar, place the bowl or pan near the offending odor for at least a day. The yeast and acid from the bread and vinegar combine to create a powerful odor absorber.
37. Clean Hardwood Floors
The lifespan of hardwood floors depends on the level of care they receive. The majority of owners prefer using non-toxic cleaners that do not affect children and pets. One of the most effective ways of cleaning hardwood floors is using vinegar.
Begin by sweeping and dusting your floor. After this, mix half a cup of vinegar with one gallon of warm water. Dampen your mopping rag in the solution. Mop in the direction of your floorboards. Be sure to rinse the mop regularly and freshen the vinegar solution wherever it appears dirty.
38. Use Vinegar to Clean Washing Machines
In addition to their high efficiency, washing machines save a lot of cost by minimizing water wastage. However, they tend to develop a bad musty odor. Such smells can make you and your visitors uncomfortable. Cleaning your washing machines with plain water and soap won’t eliminate such odors.
Fortunately, you can use vinegar to get rid of bad smells from washing machines completely. To remove dirt and bad smells, wipe the rubber seals using a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Also, be sure to remove all debris from the crevices in your washing machine.
39. Freshening Up Sponges
Frequent use of a sponge to wash dishes provides favorable conditions for bacteria to thrive. Suppose this happens: the sponge transfers these bacteria to your utensils during cleaning, leading to infections. Fortunately, instead of throwing away the sponge, you can effectively clean it using vinegar.
To clean a sponge with vinegar, put it in a dish with half-filled water and add a quarter cup of vinegar. In addition to killing the colonizing bacteria, vinegar will also make it smell new and better.
40. Use Vinegar to Clean a Bathtub
Using vinegar is an easy and affordable way of cleaning a bathtub with soap scum. Using vinegar, you can do away with all the soap scum without wasting grease. Use a mixture of vinegar and liquid dish soap.
Heat half a cup of white vinegar for 30 seconds. Mix the white vinegar with the dish soap. Spray the bathtub and shower walls with the resulting mixture. Leave it undisturbed for half an hour before you wipe it dry.
41. Fridge Cleaning Solution
Sometimes, bottles can leak into a refrigerator. In addition, some fruits can rot in your fridge if they are kept for an extended period of time. This can give your appliance a non-welcoming smell and leave behind stains.
However, you can completely do away with these odors and stains using vinegar. To clean a fridge using vinegar, mix with equal parts of vinegar and water. Be sure to give the side walls a good cleaning too.
42. Vinegar For Rusty Tools
After a long day of gardening, your shovel, hoe, and rake are sure to get dirty. Luckily vinegar can do the trick. Simply let your tools soak in a bath of vinegar overnight, then rinse them off with water in the morning.
Vinegar can also do wonders for grime and rust. Even if your tools have been rusting away in your garage or shed for some time, try using vinegar and clean the rust right off.
43. Deter Ants, Insects, and Spiders from Your House
These insects don’t like the smell of vinegar; thus, you can keep them away from your home by spraying vinegar around window sills and on door thresholds. Mix one part of vinegar and three parts of clean water in a spray bottle. In addition, add a teaspoon of liquid soap.
Use the same spray bottle to spray spaces that might harbor spiders, insects, and bugs. With this, your house will be entirely safe from these creepy crawlers.
44. Use Vinegar to Control or Deter Cat Mischief
Vinegar has a smell that cats don’t like. Therefore, if you want your cat to stop causing mischief in a particular area, put a sponge soaked in vinegar in that area. Furthermore, in case your cat is marking its territories in your house, spray those spaces with vinegar.
Spraying vinegar will get rid of odors and also prevent future recurrence. You can also neutralize a pet stain using three parts of water and one part of vinegar.
45. Sanitizing or Killing Microbes on a Toothbrush
Most people use toothbrushes for extended periods; therefore, it is important to sanitize and keep them free from microorganisms. Prepare a sanitizing vinegar solution by mixing ½ a cup of water with two spoons of white vinegar and two spoons of baking soda in a glass.
Soak your toothbrush for 30 minutes. After soaking, rinse the brush thoroughly with clean water.
46. Use Vinegar to Whiten Your White Clothes
White clothes tend to turn dirty and darker with time due to regular washing and the use of detergents. You can prevent this by adding white vinegar to the washing solution. The recommended amount of white vinegar for regular clothes is 1-2 cups.
However, if you wish to whiten specific clothes, soak the specific clothes in a mixture of water and vinegar overnight and wash the following day. Use two cups of vinegar against five cups of clean water.
47. Vinegar as a Hand Hygiene Solution
Our hands are the most active parts of our bodies. Therefore, due to the number of tasks they perform, they collect many microbes and debris. Following a busy day in the garden, you can get rid of all debris and microbes from your hands with a bit of vinegar.
Washing hands with distilled vinegar gets rid of debris and microorganisms that can cause diarrhea. Furthermore, cleaning your hands with vinegar doesn’t produce itching.
48. Remove Bad Smells from Athletic Shoes and Clothes
Sweating in your clothes and shoes is a normal physiological response during running or any physical activity. However, this can produce bad odors in your laundry spot. Normal detergents might not get rid of the odor.
Suppose soap fails, then white vinegar may be your only savior. You only need to add 1 or 2 cups of white vinegar into the washing solution to do away with the odors. If you prefer a deeper clean, prepare your athletic gear in a mixture of vinegar and water overnight before cleaning the following day.
49. Use Vinegar to Give Your Scissors a Shiny Look
Scissors, especially when kept in the kitchen, can get sticky or develop some bad-looking residues. However, these should not be a concern, as long as you have access to white vinegar.
Prepare a solution of white vinegar and clean water. Soak a clean piece of cloth in the solution. Squeeze the cloth thoroughly to get rid of any excess solution. Subsequently, apply the damp cloth to the blades. Ensure you wipe the blades completely dry to prevent rusting. This will give your scissors a new amazing look.
50. Deep Clean Your Oven Using Vinegar
Vinegar is one of the most effective cleaning agents on the market. White vinegar is an excellent remedy if you plan to deep clean and remove bad smells from your oven. The task is very straightforward. You only need to put water and baking powder mixture in your empty oven overnight.
After the overnight stay, wipe off the paste-like mixture and spray with vinegar. Let the resulting foam stay for 15 minutes. Finally, wipe your oven completely dry and enjoy a clean and freshened oven.
51. Stains In The Shower or Bathtub
Your shower or bathtub is the place to get clean, and thus needs to be cleaned often. Stains and buildup often occur in these areas, but did you know you can easily clean the stains out of your shower or tub using vinegar?
Mix equal parts water and vinegar into a bottle and warm it for a couple of minutes. Now spray the warm mixture into your shower to loosen the tough mineral deposits that plague your shower.