Household Uses for Vinegar

Cleaning, Removing Stains, and Natural Remedies

household-uses-vinegar

Here are some of our favorite household uses for vinegar. From cleaning shower curtains to relieving insect bites, vinegar has a multitude of uses!

(Note: In this article, “vinegar” refers to “distilled white vinegar” unless otherwise noted. )

Cleaning with Vinegar

Vinegar is a common ingredient in countless homemade cleaners and is especially helpful for cleaning household appliances.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Use a sponge dampened with vinegar to clean shower curtains.
  • 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.

You’ll notice that baking soda is often used as a sidekick to vinegar. Find helpful household uses for baking soda here, and see a list of more natural household cleaners.

Remove Clothing Stains with Vinegar

  • 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.
  • To remove chewing gum, rub it with full-strength vinegar.
  • Soak paint stains in hot vinegar to remove them.
  • 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.

See our page on how to remove stains for more tips.

Natural Remedies with Vinegar

  • For brunettes, rinsing hair with vinegar after a shampoo makes hair shinier. Use one-tablespoon vinegar to one-cup warm water.
  • 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.)
  • Place a vinegar-soaked brown bag on sprains to ease pain and aid recovery.
  • Rub apple cider vinegar on your skin to repel insects.
  • Apple cider vinegar can be used to make a refreshing summer drink known as switchel or Haymaker’s Punch, or a remedial cold-weather tonic called fire cider.

Explore another page about vinegar and its impressive versatility. We could keep on listing vinegar uses for pages! If you know of one we missed, tell us about it in the comments below!

Reader Comments

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Thanks. We have 4 dogs and 1

Thanks. We have 4 dogs and 1 of them is very allergic to advantage. We have tried tree tea oil, baking soda baths...the list continues. I will definitely try this! I also use a Apple cider vinegar for heartburn. 1 medicine dosage cup full of Apple cider vinegar straight followed by a glass of water to wash the taste away. Works instantly!

use apple cider vinegar on

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

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!

What concentration of White

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!

Does the vinegar harm the

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

Fruit flies! Larvae will wash

Fruit flies! Larvae will wash off produce and wind up maturing in sink drains.Instant infestation. Boiling water, cut by half with white vinegar and poured into drains will end the reproduction cycle. Sinks, bathtubs, shower drains are all targets. Once a week will get it started. Thereafter it depends on how often rinsing veggies etc. is done. I hate those little ANNOYANCES. They LOVE to swan DIVE from the RIM of my Wild Turkey GLASS into my BOOZE. Homie don't PLAY that! BOIL the bastards.

Just making a comment to

Just making a comment to Jack's post

Use vinegar full strenght on

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!!

Note that when you pour

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

Weed Killer 1 gallon White

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

I use vinegar to open clogged

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!

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

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