Vinegar has many more uses than you might think! White vinegar is perfect for cleaning, removing stains, and making natural remedies.
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Cleaning, Removing Stains, and Natural Remedies
April 22, 2022
Who knew that vinegar could do so much? Here are some of the many household uses for vinegar—from cleaning to stain treatment to relieving insect bites. Discover vinegar’s versatility, as well as when NOT to use vinegar.
There’s a cheap, safe, and effective product that has hundreds of uses: vinegar! Let’s explore all the ways vinegar is useful, from the uncommon to the common.
Vinegar in the Garden
Defeating garden weeds: Spray white vinegar directly on plants that you want to kill, especially weeds in cracks in your driveway! Spray on a dry, sunny day. Remember that vinegar will kill plants you want to keep as well, so be careful and try to apply it directly on the leaves of the weed you want to get rid of.
Soothing insect bites: 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.)
Insect repellent: Rub a solution of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water on your skin to help repel insects. (For sensitive skins, dilute the vinegar further.)
Keeping cut flowers fresh: To extend the life of flowers in a vase, add a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to the water, plus a dash of sugar. The acidic vinegar helps to prevent bacterial growth.
Coffeepot: Every month, bring a solution of 1 cup of vinegar and 4 tablespoons of baking soda to a boil in teapots and coffeepots to rid them of mineral deposits. 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.
Cutting boards: Use white vinegar to disinfect cutting boards, especially those made of wood.
Stovetop: A solution of vinegar and baking soda will easily remove cooking oil from your stovetop.
Oven: For a clean oven, combine vinegar and baking soda, then scrub.
Microwaves: Pour white vinegar into a bowl of water and microwave it for a few minutes, then wipe out.
Dishwasher: Use as a cheap rinsing agent to get your glasses and plates clean. Also, once a year, pour a cup of white vinegar into an empty dishwasher, then run it for a short cycle to get rid of the lime and soap build-up.
Clogged or smelly sink: Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda down the sink, then add 1 cup of vinegar.
Humidifier: Clean the filter on your humidifier by removing it and soaking it in a pan of white vinegar until all the sediment is off.
Tubs and showers: 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.
Tile grout: White vinegar is actually safer than chlorine bleach for cleaning grout and caulking in bathrooms and kitchens. Spray, leave for one hour, and then scrub.
Shower curtain: Use a sponge dampened with vinegar to clean shower curtains.
Toilet bowl: 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.
Windows: Clean windows with a cloth dipped in a solution of one part white vinegar and 10 parts warm water.
Fridge odors: Rid your refrigerator and freezer of bad odors by cleaning the insides with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, then wiping dry.
Smoke odors on clothes: To remove smoke odors on clothes, hang them above a steaming bathtub filled with hot water and a cup of white vinegar.
Prevent mildew: Wipe down surfaces with vinegar to clean and prevent mildew.
When NOT to use vinegar:
Do not use vinegar on granite or marble countertops.
Avoid using vinegar where there is unsealed grout.
Do not use vinegar on wood surfaces or hardwood floors (or no-wax vinyl floors).
Never use vinegar on your cell phone or computer screen!
White vinegar is known as an effective stain remover.
Clothes: 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. It also gets rid of stinky towel mildew and makes clothes more colorful.
For removing specific stains such as ketchup, tomato sauce, etc., spray a little vinegar directly onto the stain and then launder.
Chewing gum: To remove chewing gum, rub it with full-strength vinegar.
Paint stains: Soak paint stains in hot vinegar to remove them.
Shoes: 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.
Brighten white clothes: Soaking white clothing in vinegar will help bring back their brightness.