We all know vinegar can be a great household deodorizer and antifungal, but this natural cleaner is also one of the safest and most versatile cleaning solutions you can find. From general cleaning to more bountiful gardens, you’ll find all sorts of vinegar uses around the home.
Using Vinegar to Clean
Distilled white vinegar easily removes grease, grime, and dirt from household surfaces. “For counters and most other surfaces, a mix of vinegar, water, and dish soap can tackle even the dirtiest jobs,” says Jessica Samson from The Maids. Dish soap and vinegar also cleans scum off bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets.
Equal parts white vinegar, dish soap, and water makes a natural all-purpose cleaner you can put to work all over the house. Use less water or white vinegar only for tougher cleaning jobs—just be sure to wear gloves, because vinegar can irritate your skin.
You can also use vinegar to clean your dishes. Add two cups of white distilled vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher before you run a cycle, and your dishes will come out squeaky clean.
Using Vinegar in Laundry
White vinegar is an effective and natural way to brighten, deodorize, and soften laundry. Vinegar is safe to use in standard and high-efficiency washers and doesn’t harm the environment. Always choose distilled white vinegar; it doesn’t contain tannins that can stain your clothes.
You can use white vinegar to deodorize mildewed towels, stinky gym clothes, and pet stains. It’s also a natural fabric softener and an effective stain remover. For regular laundry use, add a half-cup of vinegar to the washer during the last rinse cycle. Don’t worry about lingering odor because the vinegar smell usually goes away on its own.
Distilled white vinegar is also a safe and natural alternative to bleach. To brighten and whiten all-cotton socks, undergarments, washcloths, and other small laundry items, boil a pot of water and add a cup of vinegar. Soak your garments overnight and then rinse them thoroughly.
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Uses for Vinegar In the Garden
Using vinegar to kill weeds is safe for flower and vegetable gardens. When sprayed or poured directly on weeds, vinegar can be a great alternative to harsh weed killers. This works especially well on weeds growing in the cracks of sidewalks. Combine a gallon of distilled white vinegar, one cup of salt, and one tablespoon of dish soap in a garden sprayer. Use caution around plants and spray your natural weed killer directly on the weeds and their roots.
Some seeds, such as okra and nasturtiums, can often be slow to germinate. To speed up germination, soak stubborn seeds overnight in a bowl of water with a few drops of white vinegar and plant as usual. In the same way that vinegar kills athlete’s foot, which is a fungus, it will also protect and even rescue plants from fungus growth. Mix equal parts vinegar and water and spray directly onto plants for an organic fungus treatment.
8 Unexpected Vinegar Uses
There are so many vinegar uses for laundry, cleaning, and gardening, but we’re not done yet. Keep reading and find even more uses for vinegar.
Slow down the signs of ageing.
Apple Cider Vinegar is a good alternative to lotions and potions as it is known to slow down the signs of ageing. The reasons for this are that it is high in minerals and potassium which are good for the complexion. Apple cider vinegar is also known to reduce and clear up problems with acne, whether taken orally or applied directly to the skin when diluted with some water.
Apple cider vinegar, when added to a relaxing, hot bath, can promote healthier skin. Aim for one to two cups of vinegar to a bathtub full of water and be sure to follow with a cool shower rinse to remove the vinegar wash. It’s great for hair too, but don’t use it too often. Like any clarifying shampoo, it is meant to be used every few weeks to refresh and clarify your hair.
Relieve athlete’s foot.
Stop the burning and itching of mild athlete’s foot with a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water. Soak affected feet in a vinegar solution for 15 minutes. You’ll not only get some relief, but you’ll also help eliminate foot odor.
Besides cleaning muck and road grime from the glass, vinegar also lowers the freezing point of water. Applying a half vinegar/half water solution with a mist sprayer to your windshield the night before a deep freeze will help to prevent frost from building up.
Mix one part cider vinegar with eight parts water and bathe the afflicted area. The change in pH will prevent blistering and also promotes the repair and regrowth of skin cells.
Soothe razor burn.
Apple cider vinegar has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties. A soft washcloth or a cotton ball soaked in vinegar will soothe and heal the rash associated with razor burn. Dab, let air dry and then rinse with cool water.
Polish shoes and metal.
Mix a cup of vinegar with a healthy pinch of salt and stir to dissolve. Add enough flour to make a paste, and you have an all-purpose polishing compound that works wonders on everything from leather shoes to brass lamps. Test in an inconspicuous area first!
Soften old paint brushes.
Stop throwing away hardened paint brushes; soak them the bristles in warm vinegar water instead. The acidic properties of vinegar will break up the paint enough for you to clean the brush normally with soap and water.
Have you heard of other vinegar uses? Tell us about them in the comments!