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Household Uses for Vinegar

From cleaning shower curtains, to relieving insect bites, vinegar certainly has many functions. Here are some of our favorite household uses for vinegar.

Molasses catches more flies than vinegar.

  • Bring a solution of one-cup vinegar and four tablespoons baking soda to a boil in teapots and coffeepots to rid them of mineral deposits.
  • A solution of vinegar and baking soda will easily remove cooking oil from your stovetop.
  • Clean the filter on your humidifier by removing it and soaking it in a pan of white vinegar until all the sediment is off.
  • Vinegar naturally breaks down uric acid and soapy residue, leaving baby clothes and diapers soft and fresh. Add a cup of vinegar to each load during the rinse cycle.
  • Saturate a cloth with vinegar and sprinkle with baking soda, and then use it to clean fiberglass tubs and showers. Rinse well and rub dry for a spotless shine.
  • To remove chewing gum, rub it with full-strength vinegar.
  • For a clean oven, combine vinegar and baking soda, then scrub.
  • 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.
  • Clean windows with a cloth dipped in a solution of one part white vinegar and 10 parts warm water. This works for dirty TV screens, too!
  • For brunettes, rinsing hair with vinegar after a shampoo makes hair shinier. Use one-tablespoon vinegar to one-cup warm water.
  • Soak paint stains in hot vinegar to remove them.
  • To clean drip coffeemakers, fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly by brewing two cycles with water before using.
  • To remove bumper stickers from car chrome, paint on vinegar and let it soak in. Next, scrape off the stickers. Decals can be removed similarly.
  • Rid your refrigerator and freezer of bad odors by cleaning the insides with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, then wiping dry.
  • Apply full strength vinegar to mosquito or other insect bites to relieve the itching. (Caution: Do not do this if the affected area is raw.)
  • To remove smoke odors on clothes, hang them above a steaming bathtub filled with hot water and a cup of white vinegar.
  • To prevent mildew, wipe down surfaces with vinegar.
  • Place a vinegar-soaked brown bag on sprains to ease pain and aid recovery.
  • Use a sponge dampened with vinegar to clean shower curtains.
  • To remove salt and water stains from leather boots and shoes, rub with a solution of 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 1 cup water. Wipe over the stained area only, and then polish.
  • To loosen a stuck jar lid, hold the jar upside down and pour warm vinegar around the neck at the joint between the glass and the top.
  • Rub cider vinegar on your skin to repel insects.

We could keep on listing uses for vinegar! If you have one, add it below!

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We've had a large potted

By Jo Ann O'Fallon on March 25

We've had a large potted plant on the front porch for years.
We want to move it and there is a white calcium stain on the
concrete. We have hard water.

Please advise on how to remove using vinegar.

Thank you

Depending on how long the

By Almanac Staff on March 27

Depending on how long the stains have been there, you should be able to remove using vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. Spray the stains, making sure to completely saturate all areas. Let the vinegar set in for several minutes, then scrub with a hard/rough brush.

For all bugs: I warm 2C.

By Laura Weinhardt

For all bugs: I warm 2C. Vinegar ~ 1/2C. Ep. Salt ~ Warm just to dissolve salt, then add 16-18 drops of Essential Oil Peppermint is The best oil, it keeps bugs out, away, kills, and also smells good. You can mist your carpets, vents, bed etc. Mist your duster too wipe walls, leather, and wood, (you don't want to leave salt marks)! WORKS GREAT FOR ALL BUGS (they don't like peppermint)

Does anybody know if white

By xoxrubyxoxo

Does anybody know if white vinegar works as a centipede repellent? I've been getting centipedes almost every night, I have a cat so I don't want to use chemicals. I've tried using a dehumidifier but I'm still getting the centipedes. I tried spraying the baseboards in my apartment, and around windows and doors, to try to deter them. Has anybody else tried this, and does it work?

We're not sure about vinegar,

By Almanac Staff

We're not sure about vinegar, but have you tried drops of tea tree essential oil mixed with a little water? Spray around windowsills, thresholds, etc., but keep away from areas your cat goes, in case she might be allergic. (And don't spray on fabric.) You can also try yellow sticky traps in out of the way corners etc. Keep up with the dehumidifier--centipedes like moisture. They are out after other bugs, so sealing cracks around the home might help deter both them and the prey they are after.

I have a problem with

By D.E. Tyre

I have a problem with raccoons eating grapes as they ripen each year. For the past 3 years we have hardly had any grapes for our consumption due to these pests.
I have heard that spraying the grapes (ripe) with white vinegar will deter them from eating the grapes. Will the vinegar harm my vines? Thanks!

Use a 1 to 3 ratio of vinegar

By Almanac Staff

Use a 1 to 3 ratio of vinegar to water. This should not harm your grapes.

I used 1 part water, 1 part

By Annagail

I used 1 part water, 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle to kill ants.

Annagail when you used the

By Carrol

Annagail when you used the vinegar and water was that for indoor or outdoor. Where did you put it?

I was on the boat when my dog

By Pat Noonan

I was on the boat when my dog fell into the water. Getting her back on board resulted in several deep scratches on my hand and arm. I had nothing on board but a bottle of white vinegar which was to clean the mildew on the boat. I washed the wounds with the vinegar and they not only did not get infected but healed much quicker than would be expected. (ps I'm a nurse practitioner so know about wounds and infections).

I use white vinegar & hot

By Linda Shumway

I use white vinegar & hot water to wash my floors and then empty the water on any weeds that have popped up. Standard remedy for clogged or slow drains and if shower head is funky I tie a baggy filled with white vinegar around it and give it a good soaking. We have hard water in Arizona & sometimes it takes 2 fixings.

I put white vinegar in a

By Thelma Bice

I put white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray shower stalls and shower doors. Let set a short while and rinse and dry. Removes water spots and soap residue.

I have a problem with my

By dorothy crombie

I have a problem with my Hostas that I bring inside after Summer. I get "white flies" on them, the leaves get so sticky. I have sprayed them with vinegar, or garlic/water. During the Winter, I keep 3 of them in the basement--no problem, but the beautiful green and white leaf one, that I keep in my sun room is always affected with them. Those flies are terrible, makes even the windows sticky. It's my favorite Hosta, from Florida. Thank you for an answer. Dorothy

Put vinegar on a cotton ball

By LoriAnne Marquardt

Put vinegar on a cotton ball and rub on dry skin. Within a few uses skin will be soft.

Pour vinegar on head to remove pimples on scalp. Do not get into eyes.

We use apple cider and

By Luella Malone

We use apple cider and white vinegar white to scrub floors and everything in the house we also use white in rinse cycle in washer it softens clothes so dont have to use fabric softener we use apple cider in chicken water and dog water, we take a teaspoon of it in warm water with a teaspoon of honey almost every day it also helps in the heat for all critters in there water

great uses and cheaper than

By spotts159

great uses and cheaper than the other cleaners..and apple cider vinegar will kill weeds without harming pets....

We adopted a puppy 2 years

By pixiegirl

We adopted a puppy 2 years ago from our local humane society to have as an indoor dog, she chewed everything but when she chewed a hole in our carpet we just had installed not even a month prior I was upset but insistent on finding something that deterred dogs from chewing because we love her so but couldn't have her chewing everything. In alot of research I come up with vinegar! Put 3 part vinegar to 1 part water in a spray bottle and spray everything (couches, shoes, she was completely broke from chewing in a matter of a couple weeks, but be persistent with it. I went through our house at least 3 times a day. My family couldn't stand the smell of the vinegar but knew if we were going to have an indoor dog that something needed to be done so they quit the complaining and was happy after those couple of weeks, no more chewed shoes, toys, ect...and we had a great indoor dog.

I use vinegar to clean my

By Debbe Meade

I use vinegar to clean my parrots cages everyday. This disinfects their cages without the harmful smell of bleach.I keep a spray bottle in each room.Wipe down the cage every morning part of my routine for more than 20 years now.

We keep a gallon jug of water

By Danni Blake

We keep a gallon jug of water in the fridge, with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in it. We use this water to fill the water dishes of our cats and dog, and it keeps fleas off of them! I actually saw this on the Farmers Almanac post on Facebook, and we have tried it this whole last month, and I can't BELIEVE how well it works! Our animals used to always have fleas bad, even with flea meds from the vet, I think we live in a flea bad area, but this year they are nearly flea free! We still see one or two on occasion, but they have mostly dissapeared! It is SO nice! Even the Animals seem grateful! Thank you Farmers Almanac! (p.s. I wouldn't use white vinegar though, as someone on facebook said it was made from grapes, and grapes are bad for dogs, but the apple cider vinegar works great, and the dog has no problems with it, I think it actually is clearing up her dry skin conditions, and making her coat shiny too!)

Thank u for the Apple Cider &

By Julie Spiech Collier

Thank u for the Apple Cider & Water tip for keeping fleas at bay. My daughter's cats & dog get fleas something terrible. The one car actually is allergic to flea collars, so this will be a great way to eliminate fleas. Thanks again

A quick check on the grape

By Natalie D.

A quick check on the grape ingredient in white vinegar reveals there are no grapes used in the making of White Distilled Vinegar, only grains such as barley, oats, corn, rice, etc., depending on the manufacturer. There is such a thing as a White Grape Vinegar, but that would be listed on the label as such. I would NEVER take the word of what some random person on Facebook said as factual information.

Might want to use organic

By sheswaney

Might want to use organic apple cider (Bragg's is excellent) for everyone in the home including humans, several documented medicinal benefits! Research the benefits if there's any doubt. Good luck!!

use apple cider vinegar on

By rooster_lee

use apple cider vinegar on sunburn..just pour some on a cloth or cotton ball and put on the sunburn and it takes the burning and pain away as soon as you apply it... I do it all the time works great!!!

It kills spiders. I had

By Janet Roberts 2

It kills spiders. I had Black Widow spiders by my patio and outdoor swing area. With children outside, I was concerned about using a toxic spray, but more concerned about the spiders. White vinegar killed the spiders. I fill an empty dishwashing detergent bottle with white vinegar and spray streams around the stone patio and swing area. It has worked for over 2 years!

Does the vinegar harm the

By Frank Morris

Does the vinegar harm the plants? I see solutions of full strength and 1 for 1 with water. What works best? I have a large wood pile in the basement and want to know what mixture works best for the bugs in the wood and spiders. Thanks

What concentration of White

By Corrine Allen

What concentration of White vinegar is necessary to kill spiders? Thank you for sharing this--my patio has been taken over by spider for years--no one can sit and enjoy our backyard it's so bad!

Use vinegar full strenght on

By Virginia Tomon

Use vinegar full strenght on weeds. Just spray or pour it on. the weed is dead in hours. the plant does not like the acid in the vinegar. Works great!!

Weed Killer 1 gallon White

By Julie Spiech Collier

Weed Killer
1 gallon White Vinegar
2 cups Epsom Salt
1/4 cup Dawn (concentrate) Dish Soap
Mix in a spray or squirt bottle. Spray on the weeds or what ever u want dead. The soap helps to keep the vinegar & salt solution in the the plants u want to eliminate

Note that when you pour

By JanPiano

Note that when you pour vinegar onto weeds and hence into soil, nothing will grow in that soil for years.

I use vinegar to open clogged

By Linda Johnson 6

I use vinegar to open clogged drains,pour a couple of tablespoons of baking soda on top of your drain, pour 1 to 2 cups of boiling vinegar onto this, it will fizz and bubble,keep on until all the baking soda is gone, let sit for about 10 minutes, then pour very hot water down the drain, this works great, safe on septic tanks. I've been using this for years, and never have had a clog I couldn't break with this. Use it in all drains.

Thank you for this info!

By D.E. Tyre

Thank you for this info! Will put it to use.

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