A few years ago, if someone had told me that I could clean my home with just vinegar and baking soda, I would have laughed. (Click here if you missed the post about cleaning with baking soda.)And yet, here I am telling you that you can do exactly that! Plain old, cheap white vinegar is incredibly useful around the house, and not just to add some pop to your recipes. Just one simple product can literally be used all over the house in so many more ways than you ever imagined.
- Fabric Softener
Adding half a cup of vinegar to your wash cycle can do wonders for your clothes. It prevents lint from clinging on them and not only that, it also keeps the color bright making it look brand new even when it’s been with you for a long time. But the magic doesn’t stop there. It an even remove the soap scum not only from your clothes but from your washing machine as well. In place of dryer sheets, you can simple add three quarters of a cup to your washer during it’s final cycle.
- Hair Conditioner
It may not sound very appealing putting vinegar on your hair but it actually is a very good at creating silky, shiny, build-up free hair. Plus, it has an added benefit of being cheap and very affordable. Just add some vinegar into a squirt bottle and put it right onto your scalp. It may tingle a little. Then rinse it out. You can add a few drops of essential oils if the smell bothers you, but don’t worry — you’re not going to have vinegar-scented hair for the rest of the day either way. This is also a great thing to do about once a week to cleanse your hair of all the other products you use on it regularly.
- Sore Throat Remedy
Sipping or gargling a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar can do so much for a sore throat. Some people find the taste appalling, so you can also add a tablespoon or two of honey. It’s actually more effective this way because the honey coats your throat and it’s way more pleasing for your taste buds.
- Ant Deterrent
Getting rid of ants trailing around the house can be a challenge but the secret to that is they aren’t vinegar’s biggest fans. If you see them camping, it is time to bring out your spray of half vinegar and half water. The vinegar removes the scent trails that the ants use to communicate food sources to the rest of them.
- Air Freshener
Whatever smell it may be that makes your home less than welcoming, acetic acid is your friend. Store bought air fresheners don’t really do much to eliminate smells, but rather simply cover up or mutate the odor. Acetic acid, on the other hand, absorbs these odors that you greatly want to get rid of and neutralizes the smell.
- Underarm Stain Remover
Sweat stains really have their way of ruining a perfectly good shirt or blouse. The aluminum found in your deodorant is probably not helping the case, since it combined with the salts in your sweat cause these stains to increase. Simply spray full-strength white vinegar on your sweat stains before you wash them to make it disappear.
- Sore Muscle Soak
After a long day at work or a good session of exercise, you just want to relax those sore muscles and get yourself some decent rest. Apple cider vinegar draws out lactic acid that accumulates in your muscles. You can be rid of that sore feeling by mixing a few tablespoons of vinegar into a cup of water, dip a cloth in it and apply it to the sore muscles for about 20 minutes.
- Clean Paintbrushes
Crusty paintbrushes aren’t a problem anymore because a saucepan with undiluted white vinegar boiling over medium heat is a solution will soften them up and bring them back to life.
- Neutralize Spices
Is your meal too spicy for you? That’s nothing vinegar can’t solve. Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar at a time to your meal until you have achieved just the right amount of spice.
- Get Rid of Warts
Do you or your family members have warts or veruccas that just won’t go away? Soak a cotton ball or pad in white or apple cider vinegar, apply it to the wart(s) and wrap overnight to keep it in place. It may take a few weeks of continuous treatment to get rid of really stubborn ones.
- Tenderizing Meat
Marinating your meat overnight with apple cider vinegar has proven to make it tender and very delectable. It also has its way of killing bacteria, thus keeping you safe from food-borne illnesses.
- All-around Cleaner
Full-strength vinegar removes tough smudges on glass and can magically make porcelain shine. Half-strength vinegar can cut grime on shelves and the walls of refrigerator as well as eliminate foul food smells, plus it helps to kill germs too. Paste made out of a little baking soda and vinegar can scrub down chrome. And a mixture of 1/3 vinegar, 1/3 rubbing alcohol and 1/3 water with 3 drops of liquid dishwasher can serve as floor cleaner (except for marble, granite or slate.)
- Opening Drains and Freshening Garbage Disposals
Simply dump 3/4 cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of white vinegar to your clogged drains, plug the drain and leave it for 30 minutes before rinsing with hot water. The same trick applies to garbage disposals and will leave either free of any foul smells.
- Longer Life for Cut Flowers
Flowers can wilt in just a few days, but you can squeeze a few more days out of them by adding two tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of water in your vase.
- Clean Floors
Use a gallon of warm water, up to a cup of vinegar and a spritz of dish soap to clean any kind of hardwood, tile or vinyl floors.
- Fungal Infections
Applying white or apple cider vinegar topically can help you get rid of fungus. For related ailments, soak the infected part in 1:5 parts of vinegar to water for 30 minutes daily.
- Killing Weeds
Your flawless lawns can be flawless no more once these weeds start invading them but worry no more. Household vinegar can kill unwanted (and mistakenly sprayed wanted) plants in a hurry.
- Sticker Remover
Peeling stickers or price tags from your things can be tricky as it can leave residue that you so badly want to be gone. Warm a little white vinegar and dip a rag into it. Hold the rag over the area and it will peel it right off without leaving it sticky.
- Dissolving Rust
Simmer rusty items in a saucepan filled with vinegar to remove the rust as vinegar reacts with iron oxide. Rinse well afterwards to stop the reaction.
- Cure Hiccups
A lot of people swear by vinegar curing hiccups. It isn’t very clear how it happens but it does have a way of easing these involuntary spasms.
- Removing Mineral Deposits
You can use a half-strength solution to remove mineral deposits on your coffee maker and straight vinegar solution to prevent build-up on your dishwasher. Wrap your faucets in a vinegar-soaked cloth and let sit for a few minutes for easy removal of scrub deposits. For clogged shower heads, remove it from the pipe and place in a saucepan full of white vinegar; bring it to simmer but not boil.
- Eliminating Odors
Wipe down the surface to remove the stale odors from food containers. You can also choose to leave a vinegar soaked cloth in it so that it absorbs all the odors that you want to get rid of.
- Cure Sunburn
If you’ve been out in the sun too long without protecting your skin and now look like a lobster, vinegar can help. Just fill it into a spray bottle and spritz yourself all over. Then let yourself air dry. You might want to do this over a towel or in your shower because you DO NOT want to rub it dry. Sunburned skin and rubbing do not mix well.
What are your top tips for using vinegar??
Featured Posts from the Natural Life Linky
On a green cleaning kick and need a good recipe for a shower cleaner that you can make at home? Be sure to visit Achieving Clarity for their tried and true natural shower cleaner, made with simple products you probably already have at home!
Have too much zucchini on your hands? Instead of the plain old zucchini bread (which we are BIG fans of here), you can also try out a variation like this double chocolate zucchini bread. It sounds heavenly!
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