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Practical Uses for Vinegar



My wife has telling me all the things she does with vinegar and how she has been substituting vinegar in place of harsher and more expensive chemicals in the washing machine and in the dishwasher.  

There are many more uses for vinegar around the house.  Check out a few that we came up with.    


1.    Clean and disinfect: A 5 % solution of vinegar that you can buy at your grocery store can kill 99% of bacteria, 82 % of mold and 80% of germs and viruses according to Michael Mullen of the Heinz Company.


2.    Cleans the dishwasher: Use 1 cup of Vinegar in the dishwasher and run it thru a cycle when empty.  The vinegar reduces the soap build up.


3.    Reduce water spots: Instead of buying those pricey spot reducers at the market, just use a couple of tablespoons of vinegar instead.


4.    Use straight vinegar to disinfect and clean wood cutting boards: Simply rub the vinegar into the cutting board just as you would if you were cleaning the cutting board after using it. If you have deep grooves in your wood cutting board, let the vinegar soak on the board for 5-10 minutes.


5.    Clean the coffee pot: Many people are familiar with this ritual for the coffee makers.  Use 1 cup of vinegar along with water poured into the water reservoir and then run your coffee maker thru its cycle.  Some coffee makers have a cleaning cycle for this.  Once the cycle has finished, rinse the coffee pot out and the use another pot of fresh water to run another cycle.


6.    Clean hard water spots off kitchen and bathroom fixtures: Soak a paper towel in vinegar and then wrap the paper towel around the fixture to remove the water spots.


7.    Clean the toilet rim: Use 5% straight vinegar in a squirt bottle to clean the rim of the toilet.  It will disinfect too!



8.    Remove Rust: Soak metal item in straight vinegar.  This can take a few hours up to a few days.  Check frequently.  The vinegar will act like an acid and eat the rust off.  Works great on rusty garden tools.


9.    Unclog your showerhead: To remove the mineral that can clog your showerhead, soak the showerhead in straight vinegar.  Heat the vinegar in a pan, remove from the heat and soak the shower head in the pan.  Be sure the vinegar covers the showerhead.  This can take 6 hours or more depending on how much mineral deposit is on the showerhead. The acid in the vinegar will eat away at the mineral deposits.  Rinse the showerhead well and you are ready to go!


10. Deodorize your sink:  Pour a cup of vinegar down the drain of your sink.  Let set for about 30 minutes then rinse with cold water.


11. Cut grease: Add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to your soapy water when doing the dishes in the sink to help dissolve the grease on the pots and pans.


12. Help clean the Microwave: To loosen food grime in your microwave, place a microwave-safe bowl with ½ cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water in the microwave and heat on high for 3-4 minutes.  Heat long enough to bring to a boil. Keep the microwave door closed for about 3-5 minutes to allow the steam to loosen the grime.  Carefully open the door and remove the bowl. Remember it will still be hot!  Wipe the interior clean!


13. Clean your windows: Use 1 cup of vinegar with 5 cups of water and you will have a great window cleaner.  Use a few drops of food coloring if you want to add some color to your window cleaning mix.


14. Pet Stain Remover: Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with a quart of water to remove pet urine stains and the odor from your carpet or rugs.  Soak a washcloth in the mixture and blot the area several times.  Use a folded paper towel to soak up the excess moisture if you need too.


15. Deodorize your lunch bag: Get rid of that funky smell by placing a piece of plain bread in straight vinegar and then place it in your lunch container overnight.  When you get up in the morning the smell will have disappeared.


16. Remove stains from clothing: Rub a small amount of straight vinegar gently onto the stain such as fruit, jelly mustard or coffee then wash as usual.  No More Stain!


17. Use as a chrome cleaner: Rub vinegar onto the chrome bumper of your car to clean it and shine it.


18. Deodorize cloth diapers: Add a ½ to 1 cup of straight vinegar to the last rinse to freshen up your babies diapers.


19. Patent Leather Cleaner: Place straight vinegar on a cloth and then rub it over the patent leather.  Wipe dry with a clean cloth.


20. Remove stickers, decals and other sticky residues: Use a spray bottle with straight vinegar and spray it over the decal or sticky area.  Allow it to soak for a few minutes and then scrap or wash off the affected area.


21. Sore Throat: The next time you have a sore throat, try gargling with some apple cider vinegar!


22. Clean your eye glasses:  Place one drop of straight vinegar on your glasses and wipe with a clean cotton cloth.


23. Remove styling product from your hair: After you shampoo your hair, rinse with a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup warm water to remove the build-up and the dullness in your hair.  Gently rub into your hair and then rinse.


24. Eliminate smells and odors in laundry: Use about ½ - 1 cup cup of straight vinegar, depending on the age of your machine and add it to your bleach dispenser.  Use the same amount of vinegar as you would bleach. This will eliminate those doggy smells and other odors from bedding and blankets when your dogs or cats like to cuddle with you on a cool evening.


25. Prevent Mold and Mildew: Use a spray bottle to squirt straight vinegar onto the walls of your tile or Formica shower and the wipe the walls down with a sponge or damp cloth. The vinegar will clean the walls and help to inhibit the growth of mold.


26. Use in place of bleach in your laundry: Use straight vinegar in place of bleach to brighten up your mixed load of laundry especially when trying to brighten up colors that are mixed into your white clothes. 


27. Stains in your Coffee Cup: Let our coffee cup soak in vinegar to get rid of that tough coffee stain build up.


28. Clean and Disinfect your Kitchen Floor: Instead of using harsh chemicals on your tile or linoleum floor, use a mixture of 1 part straight vinegar to 5 pars warm water to clean and disinfect your kitchen or even bathroom floor.  This is especially helpful for parents of small children and pet owners, both of whom like to lick and crawl around on the floor!


29. Clean your shower doors: Get rid of that dull milky look of your glass shower doors by taking straight vinegar in a spray bottle and squirting on the glass area.  Leave the vinegar stay on the glass for about 5-10 minutes and then scrub the area using a nylon backed sponge to remove the mineral scale build up.  This may take a few coats but at least you are not using chemicals that can be harmful to your family and pets.


30. Use vinegar to clean our dish sponges: Keep your dish rags and dish sponges clean and fresh by soaking them overnight in vinegar. Rinse them in the morning before use and you will have clean and fresh smelling sponges and dish rags rather than just throwing them out.


31. Clean your water bottle for the gym: Any container that you use for water, coffee, tea etc. can be cleaned safely by just using straight vinegar in the container and simply swishing it around the inside of the container.  This will naturally kill any bacteria that might be lingering around inside instead of using a harsher chemical that can leave a residue behind.


This is just a few of the many uses vinegar has around the house and in the garage. Be sure to share with us your idea of how to use vinegar in place of harsh chemicals.


Contributing information by:

Andrea Decker


Michelle Shaeffer

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Posted 2015-08-07T22:41:19+0000  by Rick_HD_OC Rick_HD_OC
My wife uses vinegar to kill weeds near our driveway.  It takes a few doses since she uses white food grade 5% vinegar bought at a grocery store.  It's amazing how many ways you can use vinegar around the house!

Recently we found that 20% non-food grade vinegar is available and marketed directly for killing vegetation.  This should be strong enough to easily kill weeds with one application.  Since it is comprised of acetic acid and water, it is much safer to use around people and pets.  Just don't use it in your kitchen...

Check it out here:  LINK

There is also a 30% acid product available which would be diluted most of the time with water for cleaning duties.


Posted 2019-04-26T15:17:54+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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