Thousands of years ago, people discovered a product with the potential to change many lives – Vinegar. It was an instant hit and quickly became used by the Babylonians, Romans, and Greek as a preservative. Some, like the Chinese, believed vinegar could improve vitality and strength. It also had healing properties.
Acetic Acid, the magic ingredient in vinegar, is one of the most popular and oldest products in the market. Many different kinds of vinegar are produced. However, white vinegar is considered the most versatile, affordable and useful.
White vinegar has numerous household applications, is eco-friendly, making it popular with those avoiding harsh or toxic cleaning chemicals and such substances around their children and pets.
It does not irritate allergies like other cleaners with a fragrance. White vinegar can be used for many other tasks around the home and in the kitchen.
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The collection of uses and tips below come from many sources, consumer suggestions, articles on the web and other published sources. These tips and uses are for informational purposes and have not been tested. Review them, check them out and try them for yourself.
We’ve also included some recommendations on items and surfaces you should NOT use vinegar on. Enjoy the collection of vinegar uses below:
Using White Vinegar As An All-Purpose Cleaner
Removing Carpet Stains
- One teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
- One teaspoon liquid detergent
- 1-pint warm water also clean water
- One towel or soft brush
- One hair dryer or fan
To remove non-oily stains from the carpet combine a mixture of one teaspoon of white distilled vinegar with a teaspoon of liquid detergent in a pint of warm water. Using a towel or soft brush apply the mixture on the stain and rub gently.
Use a moist towel with clean water and blot dry. Repeat the process until you remove the stain completely. Dry using a hair dryer or a fan. Trying to remove the spot as soon as possible produces the best results.
Vinegar can also loosen chewing gum stuck to your rugs, carpeting, and car upholstery.
Floors – No-Wax
Add 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar to lukewarm water (half a gallon) and use this solution to wash no-wax floors.
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Have you been asking about how to clean hardwood floors with vinegar? So much depends on the finish of your floor. If you have any doubts, only use a cleaner designed for hardwood floors. Most recommend NOT USING vinegar on hardwood floors as the vinegar will strip the finish.
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Using vinegar is one of the best ways to clean woodwork, wash painted walls and Venetian blinds. Combine 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar, 1 cup of ammonia and a 1/4 baking soda with a gallon of lukewarm water.
Using this solution for cleaning will not only help remove dirt and grime from the surfaces quickly but will not leave streaks or dull the painted finish.
To prevent streaks on the windows and make your windows sparkling clean, combine equal quantities of white distilled vinegar with lukewarm water. Use this solution to clean the windows using a soft cloth, wipe the windows dry. Microfibre cloths work well for washing and drying.
Remove Alcohol or Water Marks on Wood
“Fix” rings on wood surfaces left behind by water condensation from glasses sitting on wood surfaces or other such marks. Combine equal quantities of white vinegar and olive oil or vegetable oil and rub into the area to remove irritating water and alcohol stains. You can use the same mixture as a furniture polish.
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When cleaning waxed furniture be careful! Vinegar will strip the coating of wax right off of your furniture, resulting in a dull looking finish. A safe solution is to apply a furniture polish designed for use on waxed furniture.
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Clean Those Worn DVD’s
Bring dirty or scuffed DVDs back to life by wiping them with white vinegar and a soft cloth. Make sure the DVD’s dry completely before playing them in the DVD player.
Vinergar Uses For Cleaning The Kitchen
Cleaning Automatic Coffee Maker
Using vinegar is one of the best ways of getting rid of mineral deposits accumulated in automatic coffee drip maker due to hard water. Using white distilled vinegar fill the reservoir and run the vinegar through a brewing cycle. One the cycle finishes rinse the tank using warm water. I always triple rinse with hot water. For specific instructions check the owner’s manual.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances
Use a soft cloth dipped white vinegar helps when cleaning stainless steel appliances and makes it easier to eliminate streaking. However, before using vinegar, apply it first on an unnoticeable area before using on the whole appliance.
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As we shared above Vinegar is a powerful acid. The Acetic Acid can etch marble and granite counters found in today’s modern kitchen. Instead of using vinegar on a granite or marble countertop, clean using warm water and a liquid dishwashing soap. This should clean without damage.
Polishing Brass, Copper, and Pewter
Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in one cup of distilled white vinegar and blend the mixture with flour until the becomes a paste. Apply this paste to your brass, pewter or copper items and allow it to stay on for about 15- 20 minutes, Use clean, warm water to rinse and polish after they dry completely.
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Say No To Vinegar on Carbon Steel Blades unless you want them to turn black.
Clean The Microwave
Steam produced from a bowl of boiling water and vinegar can loosen stubborn food from your dishes. It can also help you get rid of bad odors in your microwave. Add one-quarter cup of white vinegar to one cup of water and boil this solution in the microwave. This will help loosen food splatters and act as a natural deodorant.
Disinfect and Clean Wood Cutting Boards
Apply white distilled vinegar at full strength and wipe wood cutting boards to clean and disinfect.
Refresh Kitchen Drain
Once a week, pour 1 cup of white distilled vinegar down the kitchen drain. Allow the vinegar to stand for about 30 – 45 minutes before flushing with cold water.
Garbage Disposal Cleaner
Make one tray of vinegar ice cubes by combining one cup of vinegar and enough water to fill the tray, then freeze. Run the cubes through the disposal. Then flush the disposal using cold water for about a minute.
Use white vinegar to deodorize and clean the garbage disposal. Mix equal parts of baking soda and vinegar to put it down the sink or drain. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes, flush out your drain with warm water, and enjoy a stink-free, clean sink.
For both the above methods: When done I like to put two cut up lemons in the disposal, turn on the water and then turn on the disposal for a lemony fresh smell.
Mix equal quantities of water with white distilled water to wipe down and wash inside your refrigerator for a thorough cleaning.
Eliminate Gnats/Fruit Flies in the Kitchen
Leave a bowl with water, 2 tablespoons of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons of sugar or some mashed fruit along with a few drops of dish soap to attract fruit flies. Cover the bowl with clear plastic wrap. Poke holes in the plastic wrap. Make sure you remove the source of attraction (ripened produce).
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Wash cabinets, counter tops, and floors with distilled vinegar to help keep ant invasion at bay.
Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odor
Put a glass in the refrigerator filled with one cup of apple cider vinegar. This should eliminate any odor within two days.
Dish and Glass Cleaning
In case your stemware gets a bit cloudy from your dishwasher, you can wrap the glasses in clean paper towels soaked in white vinegar. Allow the glasses to sit for some time. The cloudy deposits will easily rinse off.
Many DIY’s across the web have shared the following:
Along with the regular dishwasher soap, pour one to two cups of white distilled vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher along, then wash through a full cycle.
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However, adding vinegar may help get dishes clean, but the vinegar can be harsh on any rubber parts inside your dishwasher. Skip the vinegar and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Using Vinegar As A Cleaning Product In The Bathroom
To get rid of soap residues from shower doors, rub them down with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar.
Unclog and Clean Faucets and Showerheads
Shower heads and faucets may become clogged from corrosion or a buildup of calcium. Use white distilled vinegar to remove the corrosion from faucets and showerheads by soaking them. Saturate a small towel in vinegar and wrap the showerhead or faucet and allow it to sit overnight.
Others suggest taking a plastic bag, filling it with vinegar, then placing showerhead in the filled bag, tying it off and allowing it to “soak” overnight.
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Using white vinegar followed by soda to easily help eliminate soap scum and film build up on a bathtub. Use clean water for the final rinse.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Using white distilled vinegar and a brush can help remove even the most stubborn stains from your toilet. In fact, adding 3 cups of distilled white vinegar to your toilet bowl and allowing it to sit for 30- 45 before flushing it will help effectively deodorize the bowl.
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Cleaning Grout or Tile
You don’t need to use bleach on your tile or grouting. You can simply let white vinegar properly soak on it, and just scrub with a basic toothbrush.
Vinegar in the Laundry Room
Freshen Baby Clothes
To help keep baby clothes soft and fresh, add one cup of distilled white vinegar in the water of the rinse cycle. This will not only help break down the uric acid and remove odors from the clothes but will also help get rid of any soapy residue, making the clothes fresh and soft.
If a toddler has an accident’ on the mattress, clean it with white vinegar and water. Once you’re done, pour some quality baking soda on the mattress then vacuum or brush the residue away.
To make your wool and cool blankets fluffy, soft and free of soap odor, add 2 cups of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle of the machine.
Removing wine stains from permanent press fabrics, cotton polyester, and 100 percent cotton clothes are best when done within 24 hours. To remove wine stains from these fabrics, use a sponge and apply vinegar directly on the stains. Gently rub the spot. However, ensure that you follow the instructions given on the manufacturer’s care tag.
Better Clothes Cleaning
White distilled vinegar is gentle on fabrics but strong enough to break alkalizes in detergents and soaps. Therefore, adding one cup of vinegar to the final rinse cycle of the machine will help your clothes rinse better, making them softer and cleaner.
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DO NOT Clean clothes with vinegar and bleach mix! When you mix vinegar and bleach it creates a toxic chlorine gas. The gas alone is bad enough for you. Mixing it with water will completely ruin your clothing. More
Deodorant Stained Clothes
Spray vinegar on deodorant-stained shirts. This makes it possible to remove the discoloration. Vinegar can also fight off tomato sauce, ketchup or mustard stains.
Add a cup of vinegar to your washing machine to freshen up your clothes. Acetic Acid does not harm your fabrics but dissolves the cleaning soap’s residue, so it does not dull dark clothing. White vinegar can also act as a static reducer, mildew inhibitor, and fabric softener.
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Just like dishwashers DIY sites recommend adding vinegar to the washing cycle. The same holds true for washing machines. The rubber parts may suffer damage from the vinegar acid.
To remove holes caused in fabric usually after a seam or hem is removed, place the fabric on a cloth moistened with white distilled vinegar and iron it.
Prevent Color Draining from Clothes
To prevent colors from draining from clothes, immerse them in white distilled vinegar for a few minutes before washing.
Cleaning Vintage Lace
Immerse the lace in cold water and rinse a few times. Next, use a wool detergent (Woolite) and wash the lace gently with your hands. However, if you still see rust spots, remove them using a mixture white distilled vinegar with hot water.
Clean Scorched Iron Plate
Combine equal quantities of white distilled vinegar and salt, then heat them up in a small pan. Rub the mixture on the iron surface to get rid of burned and dark stains.
Generally, you can use white distilled vinegar to gently rub on scorch marks helps remove the marks in an efficient way.
Combine two parts linseed oil with 1 part white distilled vinegar and use rub this mixture in a circular motion to clean leather items. Allow mixture to set for 10 minutes and use a soft, clean cloth to buff and polish. Learn More
Unclog Steam Iron
Have you heard of this iron-cleaning trick?
Add an equal amount of water and white distilled vinegar in the water chamber of the iron. Position the iron in an upright position and turn on the steam for five minutes. Unplug the iron and allow it to cool. When you empty the water tank of the iron, any loose particles should be removed.
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NOTE: This “recommended” tip may damage your iron. You’re most likely better to follow the instructions suggested by the manufacturers.
Include one cup of white distilled vinegar in final rinse cycle when washing your curtains. Take care not to squeeze or spin dry the curtains. It is highly recommended you hang the curtains immediately for drying.
Lawn and Garden Solutions With White Vinegar
Kill Grass On Sidwalks and Driveways
Pour white distilled water (full strength) on grass found on driveways and sidewalks to kill the grass. Spray white vinegar at full strength on crabgrass and continue the procedure on any new growth until the plants have starved.
Mix equal parts of water and vinegar to spray on garden slugs to kill them.
Help Flowers Stay Fresh Longer
In 1 quart of water, combine two tablespoons of white vinegar along with two tablespoons of sugar to extend the lifespan of your cut flowers. Add vinegar to the vase with a teaspoon of sugar.
Combine two tablespoon of white vinegar and two tablespoons of sugar in water of one-quart vase to help keep flowers stay fresh longer. Change the water and trim stems every five days.
Neutralize Garden Lime
To avoid rough and flaky skin after working with a garden lime, wash your hands with white distilled vinegar. Scrub terra-cotta pots with white vinegar to help remove excess lime.
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Enhance Soil Acidity
If you live areas with hard water, when watering acid loving plants like gardenias, rhododendrons or azaleas try a mixture of 1 gallon of water combined with 1 cup of white distilled vinegar. The added vinegar will help release iron in the soil for the plant to use.
Combine 1 part vinegar with 8 parts of water. Make another solution of sugar and water with the same 1 to 8 ratio. Combine both mixtures and feed the plant as needed.
Bumper Sticker Residue
If your car has a bumper sticker which won’t go away, try removing it by gently spraying some vinegar on it to saturate the area. Wait a few minutes, and the sticker should easily peel off.
Frost Free Car Windows
Wipe your windshield and car windows with 3:1 vinegar-water mix to keep them frost-free during the winter season.
Pet Protection with White Vinegar
Stop Pets From Scratching Ears
Use undiluted vinegar to wipe itchy ears to keep cats and dogs from scratching them.
Keep Cats Away
Cats always avoid vinegar. So, if you want them to stay away from your furniture or sitting areas, you can spray the area with a vinegar solution.
When it comes to outdoor areas, you can soak a small sponge in white vinegar and keep it near the entrance to keep cats and some other animals away from your property. You can even spray vinegar in different areas.
Bad Skunk Odor
Vinegar can also help you get rid of bad skunk odor. You should soak the pet with a mix of water and vinegar, and rinse with some fresh water.
Deodorizer and Disinfectant
As mentioned earlier, vinegar is a very versatile product. Use it as a deodorizer and disinfectant to clean almost anything. From your sofa cushions to shower curtains, you can use vinegar to clean almost anything and keep it fresh.
Before using white distilled vinegar to remove stains caused due to pet accidents, always test the carpet for color fastness. To clean a “fresh” pet accident, sprinkle vinegar over it and wait for a few minutes. Using center to outwards motion blot it up using a dry cloth. If the stain is stubborn, repeat the procedure.
Remove Odor on a Dog
Wash your dog with fresh water. Combine one cup distilled vinegar in two gallons of water and drench the dog’s coat with this solution. Do not wash the solution off with water. Allow the dog’s coat to dry completely. The odor will be gone.
Keep your pets free from fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Add one teaspoon of white distilled vinegar to his each quart bowl of drinking water. However, this ratio is appropriate for a forty pound animal.
Eggs: Poaching, Boiling and Making Egg Whites Fluffier
Add a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the water while poaching eggs, it can help the whites stay properly formed.
Also, add a few tablespoons of pure white vinegar to water while boiling eggs. The vinegar works to help make sure that even if the shells crack, whites don’t leak out.
To make egg whites fluffier, take 1-2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar in a bowl and soak a paper towel in it. Wipe mixing bowl and beater using the soaked vinegar towels. Dry them using cloth or paper towel before whisking egg whites.
Get All the Excess Out
Don’t waste the last bit of mayonnaise or salad dressings in the jar. Add a few drops vinegar, close the jar tightly and shake well. You will be stunned to see all the remaining “leftovers” you can now easily use.
Freshen Up Vegetables
If your leafy vegetable greens are wilted, soak them in cold water with a spoonful of white vinegar to perk them up.
Fruit and Vegetable Wash
Wash your fruits and vegetables with a 1:9 part ratio of vinegar to water. Mix 1 part vinegar (I like Apple Cider Vinegar) to 9 parts water and thoroughly swish the produce or fruits around. Rinse thoroughly – I like to triple rinse the fruit or produce with clean water. Studies show that washing in vinegar help destroys bacteria on vegetables and fruits. [source]
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Remove Onion Odor
After chopping an onion, easily eliminate the bad odor from your hands by rubbing them with white vinegar.
Get Rid of Left Over Cooking Smells
Take a small pot which includes 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 cup of water. Set the pot on the stove and allow to simmer.
Reduce “Gassiness” In Cooked Cauliflower and Broccoli
While cooking vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli, add some vinegar to the water. This will reduce the “gassiness” induced by these vegetables, and perk up the dish’s taste. This can also be effective while cooking beans.
Keep Potatoes White
Keep potatoes white by leaving peeled potatoes in water to which you’ve added two teaspoons of vinegar. Additionally, boil them in water to which a teaspoon of cider or white distilled vinegar has been adding to help them remain nice and white.
Boost The Flavor
Add flavor to your gravy, soup or sauce taste fresher, just add a teaspoon of your favorite specialty vinegar to it.
Soak fish in water to which a tablespoon of vinegar has been added before cooking. This will help make for a sweeter taste, more tender and hold its shape better. Adding one tablespoon of vinegar when poaching or boiling fish will help prevent the fish from crumbling easily.
Cake Icing and Homemade Candy
A great tip to prevent cake icing from becoming sugary is to add a tiny bit of vinegar to the ingredients before cooking. A similar practice can also be accomplished when preparing sugar candies.
To prevent doughnuts from soaking extra oil, add a teaspoon of vinegar to hot oil before frying them. However, ensure that you use caution when you add vinegar to oil.
Cleaning your hands with vinegar will help get rid of stains caused by fruits and vegetables.
To get rid of the stale smell often found in a lunchbox, place fresh bread pieces dampened in white distilled vinegar in the lunch box overnight.
To make rice less sticky and fluffier, add one teaspoon of distilled water in boiling water before adding the rice.
Consume one to two tablespoon of traditional balsamic vinegar for heartburn or acid indigestion relief.
Applying apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to sunburned areas can help provide relief.
Soothe Jellyfish or Bee Sting
Douse “stung” area with vinegar to get relief from itching and soothe irritation.
Rinsing your hair after shampooing with a solution of two cups of warm water and a half cup of vinegar will help provide some relief from dandruff.
Relieve Dry, Itchy Skin
Add 1-2 tablespoon of vinegar in your warm water bath to get relief from the dry and itchy skin.
Prepare a mixture of vinegar and cornstarch and apply on affected areas to ease itching.
Applying cold vinegar immediately to skin burns will help prevent blisters but will also provide instant relief.
Combine two parts water with one part of vinegar in a bucket and soak your toes in it for 10-15 minutes.
Inhale vapor mist from a steaming pot of water containing several tablespoons of vinegar. This can help clear respiratory congestion.
Soothe A Sore Throat
In one cup of hot water, add one teaspoon of vinegar, two tablespoons of honey. Gargle this combination of vinegar and honey then drink to relieve sore throat.
In 2 gallons of warm water add one cup of distilled white vinegar. Soak your feet in the mixture for about 30-45 minutes. Remove dead skin from callused areas of your feet and heels using a pumice stone.
Ease Morning Sickness / Weight Loss / Blood Pressure
Drink a concoction of 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of water and add honey to help calm a queasy stomach and fix the root cause of acid reflux. Doing the same thing regularly will also result to weight loss, regulates blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels.
Add a cup of distilled white vinegar in lukewarm water and soak the affected area for about one15- 20 minutes daily until the wart disappears.
Other Odds and Ends Along with Miscellaneous Stuff
To soften a stiff paintbrush, soak it in hot distilled vinegar and rinse with warm soapy water.
Leather Shoe Cleaner
The presence of salt on your shoes from your feet sweating can damage leather and reduce their life span. To shoes clean and prevent salt stain built up, combine 1 part water and 1 part vinegar. Using a cloth, dab the solution sparingly into the solution, then dab the salt-streaked parts of your shoes. Repeat the process several times until you remove the salt completely. Don’t allow salt stains to build up.
To get rid of blackened soot on the front glass doors of a fireplace, combine water and white distilled vinegar in the ratio of 1:1 and wash the fireplace doors with it. However, if your doors have a spring loaded clip, remove them and place them flat on newspapers. Using a spray bottle, spray the water/vinegar solution on them and soak. Wipe them clean using newspaper.
Eliminate Lime Stains From The Car
Dip a soft cloth in a white vinegar solution and gently rub the cloth on the stain until it gradually disappears.
NOTE: Test a small area to prevent any discoloration.
Gold Jewelry Cleaner
For sparkling new looking gold jewelry, submerge a jewelry item in one cup of apple cider vinegar for 10-1 5 minutes. Remove the item from the solution and pat dry using a soft, clean cloth.
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DO NOT use vinegar on phones and touchscreens. These electronic devices use a protective coating on the screen and wiping it with vinegar can eat it away.
Coloring Easter Eggs
Add food coloring to a cup of hot water to which you’ve added one teaspoon of vinegar. Adding vinegar will not only prevent streaky, uneven colors but will also help keep dyes bright.
Search the web, and you’ll find many more uses for vinegar around the home. This collection of tips, ideas, uses and methods offers a good place to start.
NOTE: ALWAYS TEST before applying or making a complete application.