30+ Brilliant Uses For Vinegar All Around the House
Think vinegar is just for salad dressing? Think again! Here are dozens of brilliant new uses for vinegar all around the house.
Extraordinary new uses for vinegar
Vinegar has its uses in the kitchen, but it’s just as useful throughout the home. Read on to find out how you can use vinegar to banish stubborn stains, clean your fruits and veggies, and much more.
Use vinegar to wash fruit and vegetables
You can’t be too careful when it comes to handling the foods you eat. Before cooking and serving fruit and vegetables, a good way to eliminate hidden dirt, pesticides and even insects, is to rinse them in 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar dissolved in 4 litres cold water.
Use vinegar to remove carpet stains
You can lift out a range of stains from a carpet with vinegar.
• Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 100ml white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum.
• For larger or darker stains, add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture and use in the same way. (Here are more surprising household uses for borax.)
• For tough, ground-in dirt, make a paste of 1 tablespoon vinegar with 1 tablespoon cornflour and rub it into the stain using a dry cloth. Let it set for two days, then vacuum.
• To make spray-on spot and stain remover, fill a spray bottle with 5 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Fill a second spray bottle with 1 part non-foaming ammonia and 5 parts water. Saturate a stain with the vinegar solution. Let it settle for a few minutes, then blot thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Then spray and blot using the ammonia solution. Repeat until the stain has gone.
Here are 20 more clever uses for ammonia you’ll wish you knew sooner.
Use vinegar to remove salt stains from shoes
Ice, slush and snow are hard on shoes and boots, but the worst thing by far is the salt that is used to melt it. It leaves an unsightly white stain and can cause your footwear to crack and disintegrate if it is left on indefinitely. To remove it and prevent long-term damage, wipe fresh stains with a cloth dipped in undiluted white vinegar.
Use vinegar to banish bruises
Speed healing and prevent black-and-blue marks after a painful fall by soaking a piece of cotton gauze in white or apple cider vinegar and leaving it on the injured area for an hour.
Use vinegar to get rid of the smell of smoke
If you have recently burned a steak, or if a chain-smoking friend or relative has paid a surprise visit, remove the lingering smoky smell by placing a shallow bowl about three-quarters full of white or cider vinegar in the room where the smell is strongest. Use several bowls if the smell permeates the entire house. The smoky residue should be gone in less than a day. You can also quickly disperse the smell of fresh cigarette smoke inside a room by moistening a cloth with vinegar and waving it around.
Use vinegar to clean the refrigerator
To keep your fridge looking pristine, wipe down the shelves and walls with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.
The next step? Follow these tips on how to organize your kitchen like Marie Kondo.
Use vinegar to clean cutting boards
Germs can build up on a wood surface, so spray your cutting board at least once a week with straight white vinegar, rinse thoroughly and dry completely.
Psst—this is the best way to clean a water bottle.
Use vinegar to clean the microwave
To clean up stubborn spatters, mix 1/2 cup each white vinegar and water in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Place in microwave and heat on high 2 to 3 minutes until it boils. Let it sit for a minute with the door closed, then wipe down the interior with a sponge or soft cloth. Stains should come right off! Here are more tips for cleaning your microwave, stovetop and oven.
Use vinegar to clean countertops
A daily spritz and wipe with undiluted white vinegar helps remove spills, stains and odours and keeps countertops looking shiny and new. CAUTION: Do not use vinegar on granite, marble or any porous stone countertops. The acidity of vinegar can etch the stone.
Use vinegar to clean plastic containers
Remove pesky stains and odours from plastic containers by coating them with white vinegar and letting them sit overnight. Rinse thoroughly.
Don’t miss these clever new uses for cooking spray.
Use vinegar to clean stained tea and coffee cups
Embarrassed to have friends over for coffee because of the stains in your cups? Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and salt or baking soda. Scrub the cups gently and rinse.
Use vinegar to clean your coffeemaker
It’s easy to remove buildup and keep your dishwasher and coffeepot running smoothly. Once a month, simply pour 1 cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher or coffeepot and run it through a cycle. Here are more clever spring cleaning tips you’ll wish you knew sooner.
Use vinegar to freshen up a mattress
Combat pesky dust mites, mildew and odours with a solution of white vinegar, a splash of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of tea tree oil. Pour mixture into a spray bottle, spritz the mattress, and allow to dry thoroughly before making the bed. Check out more household uses for rubbing alcohol.
Use vinegar to clean the shower
For a sparkling clean shower, boil white vinegar and put it in a spray bottle. Spray down the walls and glass door with the vinegar, keeping everything damp by spritzing every five minutes for a total of 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. For stubborn mold, water spots or soap scum, soak a non-scratch sponge in white vinegar, sprinkle it with baking soda, and scrub vigorously. Check out the 20 things you should be cleaning with a toothbrush.
Use vinegar to clean tile floors
Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with a gallon of warm water and mop floor tiles. Allow to air dry. (Do not use on stone tiles or unsealed grout.) Don’t miss these tips for cleaning vinyl floors.
Use vinegar to clean tub and sink drains
Close the drain and pour 1/2 cup white vinegar around the drain. Allow the vinegar to sit for several hours, working its way into hardened deposits and soap scum. Scrub drain area with a non-scratch sponge, drain out the vinegar and rinse thoroughly. For hard-to-remove lime buildup, create a paste of 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 2 tablespoons coarse salt. Rub paste into deposit, scrub with a non-scratch sponge and rinse. Check out five more clever uses for salt all around the house.
Use vinegar to clean the toilet
Everybody uses it, so here’s an easy way to keep it clean. Pour one cup of white vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit overnight. Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl, scrub with a toilet brush, then flush. Check out more brilliant household uses for baking soda.
Use vinegar as a hair brightener
Remove product buildup and brighten your hair by rinsing with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar from roots to ends once a month.
Use vinegar as a drain cleaner
If your drains are sluggish, pour in one cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Allow the solution to bubble and foam, then let it sit for several hours. Pour boiling water down the drain to flush the clog.
Did you know that making this mistake with a clogged toilet could make things worse?
Use vinegar to soften rough feet
Keep your soles feeling smooth by soaking your feet in 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water. Scrub gently to remove rough spots. Don’t miss these other tips for soothing sore feet.
Use vinegar as a fabric softener
For a chemical-free fabric softener, add a cup of white vinegar to the final wash or rinse cycle. (TIP: Adding even 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle helps keep dryer lint from sticking to your clothes and helps reduce static cling. Here are more brilliant laundry hacks that make washing your clothes less of a hassle.
Use vinegar to deodorize smelly socks
Dealing with stinky gym socks? Add 1 cup of white vinegar to a large pot of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and submerge socks completely. Soak socks overnight, then wash and dry as usual. (You might also consider these simple fixes for smelly feet.)
Use vinegar to clean glass-top tables
To remove fingerprints, smears and water spots from glass-top tables, wipe with a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar.
Use vinegar as a furniture polish
Buff your wood furniture to a nice shine by mixing 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 cup of olive oil. Add a few drops of lemon or orange oil if you like. Wipe solution onto furniture and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. (Test in an inconspicuous place first.)
Did one of your guests neglect to use a coaster on your coffee table? Try these tricks to remove water stains from wood.
Use vinegar to remove candle wax
To remove residue left by candle wax, wipe the affected area with a cloth that has been soaked in equal parts white vinegar and water. (Test on an inconspicuous area first.)
Here are more cleaning shortcuts lazy people will appreciate.
Use vinegar to rinse carpets
Soap residue left in carpets after shampooing can actually attract dirt. Remove the residue by rinsing the carpet with a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar per gallon of water.
Chances are, you’re making this expensive mistake with your vacuum…
Use vinegar to kill weeds
Keep your neighbours happy by pouring straight white vinegar directly onto the weeds in the cracks of your sidewalk and driveway. Saturate the weed thoroughly to make sure you reach the root. Check out more organic lawn care tips here.
Use vinegar to deter frost
Keep car windows frost-free in winter by spraying with a solution of 3 parts white vinegar to 1 part water. The acidity in the vinegar hinders the formation of ice on the window.
Here’s the genius reason you should keep a nail file in your car this winter.
Use vinegar to clean windows
To get rid of dirt and streaks on windows, mix 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol and 1/3 cup white vinegar in a 32-oz. spray bottle and fill with distilled water. Spray windows and wipe off with a lint-free cloth. Here are the 28 spots you should never skip when spring cleaning.
Use vinegar to clean a grill
If your grill grate is full of gunk from too many charred steaks or burgers, try removing the buildup by spraying white vinegar on crumpled up aluminum foil and vigorously scrubbing the grate.
Check out 45 more uses for aluminum foil you’ll wish you knew sooner.
Use vinegar to clean paint brushes
Place caked-on paint brushes in a pot or saucepan (not used for cooking) and soak in white vinegar for an hour. Place the pot on the stove and bring the vinegar to a simmer. Drain the pot and rinse the brushes with water.
Don’t miss this expert advice on how to choose the right paint brush.
Use vinegar to loosen a screw
If you have a stubborn screw that won’t come loose, try pouring vinegar slowly over the screw until thoroughly saturated. Let the vinegar sit for a few minutes, then loosen the screw. Here are more home improvement hacks that make any DIY job easier.
Use vinegar as a flea repellent
Help keep annoying fleas and ticks at bay by spraying your dog with a mixture of 1 cup white vinegar to 1 quart water.
Check out the 10 most disgusting house bugs—and how to get rid of them.
Use vinegar to deodorize a litter box
Don’t forget the cat! Remove odours by pouring 1/2 inch of white vinegar into an empty litter box. Let the vinegar stand for 20 minutes, then rinse the box with water.
While white vinegar is a saviour when it comes to a cheap, chemical-free way to clean your home, there are a few times it should be avoided. Here are the eight things you should never clean with vinegar.