1989 Old Farmer's Almanac Vinegar Flashback Friday | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Flashback Friday: Everything You Never Thought You Could Do With Vinegar

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Let’s take a look back at The 1989 Old Farmer’s Almanac! This article by Earl W. Proulx tells you how to clean, polish, unclog, deodorize, and soothe nearly anything in the world, using just white vinegar and elbow grease.

Everything You Never Thought You Could Do With Vinegar

Appliances and Household Fixtures:

  • Dishwasher - To help keep the drainline clean and sweet smelling, add ½ cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle.

  • Oven - Dampen a cleaning rag in vinegar and water and wipe out the interior. This will prevent grease buildup.

  • Showerhead - To unclog, soak in diluted white vinegar overnight, or put some vinegar in a plastic bag, tie it around the showerhead, and leave on overnight.

  • Toilet bowl - Clean and deodorize by pouring undiluted white vinegar into it. Let stand for 5 minutes, then flush. Spray stubborn stains with vinegar, then scrub vigorously.

Floors, Walls, and Furnishings:

  • Carpets - To bring out the color in rugs and carpets, brush them with a mixture of 1 cup white vinegar and 1 gallon water.

  • Wood paneling - To clean, mix 1 ounce olive oil with 2 ounces white vinegar and 1 quart warm water. Dampen a soft cloth with this and wipe the paneling; then wipe with a dry soft cloth.

  • Furniture - Clean discolored or dirty wood with a mixture of equal amounts of turpentine, white vinegar, and mineral oil. Shake well before and during use. Apply with a soft cloth and rub vigorously.

Stains, Spills, and Yucky Deposits:

  • Coffee on carpet - Blot up excess coffee, then rub the stain with a solution of white vinegar, detergent, and water.

  • Ball-point ink - Saturate with hair spray, allow to dry, then brush lightly with a solution of half vinegar, half water.

  • Windows, mirrors, glasses - Add 2 tablespoons white vinegar to 8 ounces water and put in a spray bottle. Spray lightly and wipe with old crumpled newspapers. Keep away from the edges of mirrors as moisture will spoil the silver on the back.

  • Hair dye stains on clothing - Wash in detergent with white vinegar added, then bleach with hydrogen peroxide and relaunder.

Handy Tricks of the Trade:

  • Smoke odors on clothes - Fill bathtub with hot water and add 1 cup white vinegar. Hang clothes above the steaming water.

  • Washing silks - Add ½ cup Woolite and 2 tablespoons white vinegar to 2 quarts very cold water. Dunk silks up and down in the mixture but do not soak. Roll in a heavy towel and iron while still damp. If you are uncertain about washability, test item by dipping the tail of blouse or other inconspicuous part in the solution.

  • Hair care - After washing, rinse hair well with 1 cup water containing 1 tablespoon white vinegar. This removes soapy film.

  • Relieves itching - White vinegar is a time-honored remedy for wasp stings, bruises, chapped hands, sunburn, and hives. It relieves the itching of mosquito and other insect bites. Apply full-strength unless area is raw.