With so many cleaning products on the market, it’s easy to forget that some of the most effective items are inexpensive, and probably already in your kitchen.
White vinegar is an extremely versatile product that’s perfect for numerous household cleaning chores. It also offers a wide range of health benefits. Best of all, because it doesn’t contain the kinds of harsh chemicals you’re likely to find in other cleaning products, it’s a safer option if you have kids or pets you don’t want to expose to strong chemicals.
- Killing Bathroom Germs
- Cleaning Toilets
- Cleaning the Microwave
- Keeping Tile Grouting Clean
- Removing Lime Buildup on Faucets
- Removing Cloudy Deposits
- Deodorizing Plastic Containers
- Catching Fruit Flies
- Removing Onion Odors from Hands
- Cleaning the Refrigerator
- Getting Rid of Carpet Stains
- Extending the Lifespan of Paint Brushes
- Cleaning the Garbage Disposal
- Cleaning Urine-Soaked Mattresses
- Getting Chewing Gum Off Upholstery
- Removing Bumper Stickers
- Killing Weeds
- Restoring Leather Goods
- Seasoning Foods
- Preventing Itching
- Keeping Frost Off Your Car Windows
- Repairing Scratched DVDs
- Loosening Rusted Screws
- Improving Your Looks
The following are some essential benefits and uses for white vinegar worth knowing about:
Killing Bathroom Germs
One of white vinegar’s key ingredients is acetic acid. This is a strong substance which has the ability to kill off many germs. That’s why a lot of people keep full-strength white vinegar in a spray bottle, applying it throughout the bathroom to kill germs lingering there.
Spray your sink and your tub with white vinegar during your regular bathroom cleaning process, then simply wipe it away with a damp cloth.
White vinegar is also useful at removing tough stains from toilets. Using diluted and distilled white vinegar, pour a cup into the bowl, then let it sit for a few hours.
After you’ve waited a few hours, scrub the toilet with a toilet brush, then flush.
Cleaning the Microwave
Unfortunately, food residue often gets caked onto the microwave wall. With white vinegar and water, you can clean it off easily, while also deodorizing.
Mix equal parts of both ingredients together in a bowl, and let it boil. Place the bowl in the microwave if you haven’t already, and let the steam rise up. Close the microwave door for the best results. Eventually, the steam will loosen tough food particles, making it easier to clean them off.
Keeping Tile Grouting Clean
Too often, people use harsh bleach to clean tile grouting. This isn’t necessary. White vinegar is usually all you need to loosen up whatever is stuck between the tiles.
Spray some on the grouting, let it soak for a little while, then scrub at the grouting with a toothbrush. If you’re not having a lot of luck with this method right away, wait a little while longer. Sometimes the vinegar needs to soak longer before you can clean the grouting effectively.
Removing Lime Buildup on Faucets
Clean your faucets periodically with a paste made of one teaspoon white vinegar and two tablespoons of salt. Apply the paste to faucets and other sink fixtures, then use a cloth to rub it away. You’ll also rub away the lime buildup.
Removing Cloudy Deposits
If you have hard water, your glasses and stemware may look cloudy when you remove them from the dishwasher. Luckily, you don’t have to live with unsightly glasses, nor do you have to replace them.
Just soak paper towels in white vinegar and wrap them around the glasses. Let them sit for an hour or so, then rinse. The vinegar should have loosened the deposits that resulted in the cloudiness, so they’ll rinse right off with just a little bit of gentle water.
Deodorizing Plastic Containers
Anyone who has reused plastic containers multiple times knows they can start to smell after a while. Instead of throwing them away, save money by simply soaking a cloth in white vinegar and rubbing it over your plastic containers.
Doing so is a very effective way to remove odors. Obviously, you’ll want to rinse off the vinegar before you use the containers again.
Catching Fruit Flies
Fruit flies are drawn to sweets. Although there are other great ways to kill fruit flies, but people often recommend catching them with a simple white vinegar and fruit trap. For this incredibly effective home remedy, fill a bowl with white vinegar and pieces of fruit.
Ideally, the fruit should be somewhat rotten, as that’s more likely to attract flies. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, poke tiny holes in it with the prongs of a fork, and leave it out overnight.
The flies, attracted to the fruit, will fly into the bowl. Once inside, they usually have a very difficult time finding their way back out through the holes. In the morning, you should find many of them stuck there.
Removing Onion Odors from Hands
Cooking with onions can be a gamble. While they definitely add a lot of flavor to a meal, chopping an onion up usually leaves a telltale odor behind on your hands. To get rid of it quickly, give your hands a quick rinse with some white vinegar, then rinse it away with water.
Cleaning the Refrigerator
Want to get rid of food particles and unpleasant odors from your refrigerator? With a half-water, half-vinegar mixture in a spray bottle, spray your refrigerator surfaces thoroughly, then remove the mixture with paper towels or a washcloth.
You should remove all food before doing so, of course. You don’t want to ruin any food by getting the mixture on it, and you want to be able to reach all the surfaces more easily without having to move anything around.
Getting Rid of Carpet Stains
Carpet stains are notoriously difficult to remove. White vinegar can make the process easier.
For this home remedy, mix two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar with a quarter cup of salt or baking soda. Rub the mixture into the stain, and let it dry overnight. The next day, vacuum it up. Doing so will often remove the stain more effectively than a lot of chemical-based cleaners.
Extending the Lifespan of Paint Brushes
If you’re ready to start painting another room in your home, only to find that all your old paint brushes have dried up paint covering their bristles, don’t assume you need to replace them before you can get started on the project.
Fill up a cooking pot with vinegar, and let your brushes soak in it for an hour. After an hour, turn the stove to a low heat setting, and let the vinegar simmer. Be careful not to let it get too hot, as you don’t want to damage your brushes.
After a few minutes, remove the pot from the heat, wait for the vinegar to cool down, and remove your brushes. Rinse the brushes off, as well as any paint left behind in the pot.
Cleaning the Garbage Disposal
If you have a garbage disposal in your home, you know full well how dirty and foul-smelling it can get. To clean it up and remove unpleasant odors, mix white vinegar with an equal amount of baking soda, and pour down the drain.
As you can probably expect, this may result in some fizzing or sudsing, so you may want to cover the drain up with a washcloth after you pour the mixture in. Let it sit for a few minutes, until you no longer hear any fizzing, then rinse the drain out with warm water.
Cleaning Urine-Soaked Mattresses
Young children and pets don’t always wait until they’ve reached the bathroom to urinate. These kinds of accidents are simply part of being a parent or pet owner. Luckily, you can still save the mattress if this does happen.
Just spray it with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. You may have to scrub it in for a more thorough clean. Afterwards, pour some baking soda onto the affected area, and wait for the residue to dry. Once it has, vacuum or brush it off.
You can find more ways to treat urine odor and stains here.
Getting Chewing Gum Off Upholstery
When chewing gum ends up stuck to upholstery, car seats, or rugs, many people assume there’s no way to fully remove the stain.
This isn’t the case. Rubbing some white vinegar into it usually loosens it enough to make removing gum a breeze.
Removing Bumper Stickers
So, you backed the wrong candidate, and now you’re stuck with an outdated bumper sticker on your vehicle. You want to remove it, but you’re worried about leaving behind a sticky residue.
Once again, white vinegar is exactly what you need to fix the problem. Just spray some onto the sticker until it’s thoroughly soaked. After a few hours, the sticker should peel off easily, leaving no residue whatsoever behind.
Although the acetic acid in white vinegar is safe for humans and doesn’t damage most fabrics, it’s still strong enough to kill weeds. Just pour it directly onto any weeds or crabgrass you notice, and you’ll stop them in their tracks without resorting to chemical-based cleaners.
Restoring Leather Goods
White vinegar is actually safe to use on a wide range of garments and related items. It’s especially effective at restoring the look of leather shoes or bags that have been scuffed.
To give them back their original shine, wipe them down with a cloth soaked in distilled white vinegar. Doing so makes scuff marks less noticeable.
Don’t forget, white vinegar isn’t just a powerful alternative to many household cleaning products; it’s also a key ingredient in plenty of meals.
More importantly, it’s a healthy way to add flavor to a dish. That’s because one tablespoon of white vinegar contains no fat, and only three calories. Thus, it’s a better option for your health than many oils you might otherwise use to add some extra flavor to your favorite meal. It’s particularly useful on salads and vegetables if you’re looking for a way to reduce your daily caloric intake without sacrificing flavor.
On top of that, preliminary research indicates that vinegar may help reduce cholesterol levels. It’s also been known to reduce a person’s appetite. You’ll consume even few calories by replacing oils with vinegar, because you’ll be less hungry in general.
If you have an itchy mosquito bite or insect sting, dab a cotton ball in some white vinegar, and apply it to the affected area. Doing so reduces the itchiness, while also helping to disinfect the sting.
Keeping Frost Off Your Car Windows
If you live in a part of the world with harsh, snowy winters, you’re very familiar with this scene: waking up after an overnight storm, and finding your car windows covered in frost. Now you have to scrape it off quickly out in the cold before you can head to work.
White vinegar can save you the hassle. If you know it’s supposed to get cold overnight, apply a solution of three parts white distilled vinegar, one part water to your windows and windshield. The acetic acid in the vinegar prevents frost from accumulating, so you won’t have to scrape it off the next morning.
Repairing Scratched DVDs
Is a DVD constantly skipping or freezing? You may not have to replace it just yet. First, wipe it with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar.
Just make sure it’s completely dry before you try playing it again, or you could end up damaging your DVD player. This simple trick often fixes the problem easily.
Loosening Rusted Screws
Anyone who has ever tried to loosen an old, rusted screw might be amazed to know that white vinegar may be all you need to fix the problem.
Apply it liberally to the screw, and it should loosen up easily. Have some white vinegar on hand any time you’re tackling the kind of project where you may have to remove or loosen old, rusted screws.
Improving Your Looks
Although the idea of adding white vinegar to a bath might seem strange to you, it’s actually a very effective way to remove dead skin cells, letting the healthy skin below the top layer shine with greater radiance.
Just add a half cup of white vinegar to a warm bath, and you’ll enjoy a calming experience that boosts your looks in the process.
Again, you don’t need to rely on harsh chemicals to clean your home. White vinegar is an inexpensive substitute for numerous cleaning products, and it happens to offer tremendous health benefits when used in meals.
These are just some of the smart ways you can use it around the house. Along with other products we’ve already covered, like baking soda, it will help you maintain a clean home without spending a lot of money.