Several years ago Teacher and I decided we wanted to find more natural ways of cleaning than the chemical-based products we’d been using. At the time there weren’t very many “green” alternatives available and the ones we could find were really expensive, so we decided to try regular old white vinegar.
We soon discovered that vinegar does almost everything! Not only does it clean, it can kill weeds, lighten cakes, and much, much more. You can use any kind of vinegar for cleaning, but cider vinegar may stain porous materials so be careful with it. Since white vinegar is generally the cheapest we buy it by the gallon and use it for everything.
Here are some of the ways vinegar can be used around your home. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised by some of them – I sure was!
1. Soak legumes in cider vinegar overnight to make them more digestible and reduce gas.
2. Use 1 tablespoon vinegar with 1 teaspoon baking soda as an emergency egg substitute, or to produce an amazingly light cake.
3. Add 1 tablespoon to scrambled eggs to add extra flavor and zest.
4. Before whipping egg whits, wipe your mixing bowl with vinegar to remove any cooking oil residue.
5. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar for every 3-4 egg whites for extra-fluffy meringue.
6. Mix one part vinegar with one part water to clean windows, mirrors, toilets, vanities, walls, showers, tubs; pretty much everything!
7. For no-wax floors add 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar to each gallon of water.
8. To clean pet accidents from carpets, blot wetness with clean towels then wet the area with a vinegar/water solution. Let stand several minutes before blotting with more clean towels.
9. Help prevent mildew by spraying shower walls and curtain with vinegar.
10. Freshen fabrics by lightly misting with a vinegar/water solution.
11. Use vinegar in place of fabric softener; it will soften fabrics and remove body odor from clothing.
12. For persistent body odor, spray armpit area with vinegar before washing.
13. To remove detergent residue from the washing machine, run an empty cycle on hot with 1 cup of vinegar in place of detergent.
14. When washing cloth diapers, add vinegar to the final rinse to help rinse away the last of the detergent, to soften diapers, and to neutralize urine odors.
15. Soak new fabrics in vinegar to keep colors from bleeding.
16. Replace your dishwasher rinse aid with vinegar to remove spots and save money.
17. Soak cloudy glasses in vinegar for 5 minutes to remove hard water deposits.
18. Run an empty dishwasher cycle with a quart of vinegar in place of detergent once a month to remove deposits and help keep the drain clear.
19. Disinfect cutting boards, cupboards, and other hard surfaces with a mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. (from Preservion – Health Research, Consultation, Education.)
20. Get rid of fruit flies by mixing apple cider vinegar with a little water and a drop of dish soap.
Bath and Body
21. Rinse your hair with 1/2 cup vinegar in one quart water to add shine and softness.
22. Add a cup of vinegar to your bath to soften your skin and rinse away soap residue.
23. Soak fingertips in a mixture of 1/2 cup water and 2 teaspoons vinegar to help nail polish last longer.
24. Use a 50/50 vinegar and water solution in place of toner.
25. Soak feet in 5 parts water and 1 part vinegar for 30 minutes to soften and deodorize.
26. Use full-strength vinegar to kill weeds and grass in unwanted areas.
27. Instead of tomato juice, use vinegar to neutralize skunk spray stink.
28. Soak clay flowerpots in vinegar/water solution to remove those scaly stains.
29. Clean your car windows and chrome with vinegar and water for an extra shiny finish.
30. Raise the acidity of your soil by adding vinegar when watering azaleas, gardenias or rhododendrons.
How do YOU use vinegar in your home?
PS – For many more ways to use vinegar, check out: