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How-To: 10 Household Uses For White Vinegar

Not so long ago, I told you about some of the ways you can use baking soda around your house. Now, I've got some great uses for another eco-friendly product: white vinegar. Not only is white vinegar eco, it's also cheap: You can buy a gallon of white vinegar for less than $3.

The word "vinegar" is from the French term vin aigre, meaning "sour wine." White vinegar is made from allowing a distilled alcohol, like white wine, vodka, or gin, to oxidize. This changes the chemical components of the alcohol, making it more sour, but also more useful.

To find out how you can use white vinegar for your household cleaning,


  1. Need some scouring power? Combine 1/4 cup baking soda with one tablespoon liquid detergent. Add a little white distilled vinegar so your paste has a creamy texture.
  2. Do you have a stinky garbage disposal? Freeze white vinegar in an ice cube tray, then drop several cubes down the disposal while running cold water through it.
  3. Get rid of soap scum in your dishwasher by pouring a cup of white distilled vinegar inside the empty machine and running it through an entire cycle
  4. Remove tea and coffee stains from mugs by scrubbing them with salt and distilled vinegar.
  5. Polish chrome sink fixtures with a paste made of two tablespoons salt and one teaspoon white distilled vinegar.
  6. Clean tarnished copper and pewter with a paste using equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and table salt.
  7. Oops! Did you leave wet laundry in the washing machine? Banish the musty smell by pouring two cups of white distilled vinegar in the machine and washing the clothes in hot water. Run the clothes through again with detergent.
  8. Kill bathroom germs with white vinegar in a spray bottle. Wipe clean.
  9. Get your brights brighter by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to your rinse cycle.
  10. Your steam iron will work best if it doesn't have pesky mineral deposits in the steam vents and spray nozzles. Fill the water chamber with a mix of white vinegar and distilled water. Set it upright and let it steam for a few minutes. After the iron is cool, rinse the chamber with water, refill with water, and shake the water through the vents.

Do you have other household uses for white vinegar? Tell me about them by commenting below!

Join The Conversation
merfie23 merfie23 8 years
I use about a cup and a half of vinegar and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil and water to clean our tile floors. It makes the house smell delicious and really gets the job done! Try it.
SarahPW SarahPW 8 years
love the vinegar!
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 8 years
Cleaning glass! I spray white vinegar on dirty glass/mirrors and wipe away with old newspaper (you don't have to use newspaper but it works well and you were going to trash it anyway). The vinegar works GREAT on my glass shower doors.
mudnessa mudnessa 8 years
i add a cup of vinegar to my laundry as a natural softener and smell killer. add it with the detergent. its also a great soap scum dissolver. i read somewhere that you should make sure that the vinegar you buy specifically says made from grain on it (heinz is) otherwise there is a high probability its made from petroleum. but the health food store in my area has organic vinegar and it doesnt say made from wheat on it and i highly doubt its organic petroleum . . .
Milisa14919767 Milisa14919767 8 years
a dab of dry baking soda and a damp rag will take coffee/tea stains out of coffee mugs/dishes. I keep a box of baking soda near my sink just for this sort of stain. also a gallon of white vinegar in the toilet tank will remove lime scale buildup. Put it in before bed, let it sit overnight!
cageyme cageyme 8 years
You can also clear up a slow-running drain by pouring in one cup of baking soda followed by one cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for about an hour and then turn on the tap to rinse it all down.
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
I am obsessed with vinegar and baking soda for cleaning anything...will have to add the salt.
Cocoangel Cocoangel 8 years
I clean our coffee maker with white vinegar. You run it through a brew cycle and let it sit in the thermos/carafe to soak away the stains. Just don't forget to pour it out! Once I left a little in to soak off tough stains and my hubby made coffee. He kept telling me it was the weirdest tasting coffee!
How to Clean With Vinegar
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