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Vinegar Uses

8 Household Uses For Vinegar

Incredibly affordable and environmentally safe, vinegar is an ideal product for homes with small, curious children who love to touch and taste. How can you use it? Keep reading for eight ideas!

1. General Cleaner and Disinfectant

From countertops to windows to bathtubs, many household surfaces can be cleaned with vinegar. "You can clean and disinfect just about anything with vinegar and water," Joy B. shares. And as mother-of-two Katherine C. advises, you can use pure vinegar or a diluted solution, depending on the severity of the dirty situation: "Use vinegar full-strength for tough cleaning jobs and to remove lime or hard water stains, or mix the vinegar with warm water for a milder green cleaner."

2. Fabric Softener

"I use vinegar in the rinse cycle to remove residue from detergent and to soften clothes," shares mother-of-five Lori P. "I use 1 to 2 oz depending on load size. And when clothes are dry there is no vinegar scent." As a natural fabric softener, vinegar is an especially smart choice when a family member has sensitive skin or allergies to dyes and perfumes.


3. Odor Remover

Is a strong scent lingering in your home? Vinegar is a natural odor remover. Ontario mom Jessica G. boils vinegar to remove odor evidence of her wood-burning stove, while Ohio mother-of-five Deborah B. simply sets out a small bowl of vinegar. She explains: "Remove lingering tobacco odors by filling a small bowl or saucer with apple cider vinegar and placing it in the room where the odor is. . . . Within a few days your room will smell fresh and clean."

4. Stain Remover

Whether you're cleaning carpets or cloth diapers, vinegar is a powerful stain remover. Mother-of-one Toni L. gives the following directions: "Put a good amount of baking soda on the stain, then spray/sprinkle some white vinegar over the baking soda. It will go really bubbly and smell very strongly of vinegar. Put in wash and ta-da! Stain gone!"

5. Blemish Treatment

Some moms claim vinegar is also a simple remedy for curing pimples. As Joanne E. suggests, "To banish blemishes fast combine one teaspon salt and three tablespoons vinegar in a bowl and dab on pimples using a cotton ball. Let sit 30 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water."

6. Drain Cleaner

Moms like Jodi L. swear by baking soda and vinegar for freshening up kitchen drains. "To keep sink drains clean and odor free, I periodically pour baking soda into the drain, then white distilled vinegar," she relays. "The foaming action cleans the pipes."

7. Pots and Pans Cleaner

Why spend 20 minutes scouring off burnt food when vinegar and baking soda can do the work for you? As mother-of-three Sharon G. suggests, "Use vinegar and baking soda for stainless steel pots. . . . Sprinkle the bottoms (inside bottoms) of the pans with baking soda, put on over the heat (stove), [and] pour on vinegar after a minute. This will lift any baked-on crud."

8. Weed Killer

Vinegar can be a helpful tool outside, too. Vicki H. advises: "Vinegar in a spray bottle kills grass and weeds in sidewalk cracks too . . . my new fave."

How else do you use vinegar in your home? Share your tips in the comments below!

This article first appeared on Circle of Moms on April 11, 2011.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
AngelaMacDonald31072 AngelaMacDonald31072 5 years
LICE!!! White vinegar will dissolve the "glue" that holds the nits on the hair shaft making them easier to pick or comb out. It will not kill them by itself, but you can use it in conjunction with olive oil or mayonnaise, which will suffocate them. I have used this method with a few kids and it worked brilliantly. See Google for complete instructions.
nouhad81239 nouhad81239 5 years
sun burn: pour 1 glass of vinegar in the bath filled with warm water, it helps the itchiness and it cools down the after sun burnt skin. One of my south African friends said this to me when my husband has had a sunburn and it worked like a dream.
AuroraMar AuroraMar 5 years
I like this article. I will definately use this in my sinks as a fabric softener and stain remover!
BarbaraCampbell2905 BarbaraCampbell2905 5 years
I'll add one they missed, pour baking soda down a clogged drain and follow with vinegar pour at least 1/3 bottle of vinegar and watch it foam and sizzle as it clears the drain. Also, it really did take coffee, soda and tea stains out of the carpet that have been waiting to me for over two months, soaked the area with vinegar rubbed it with an old wash cloth and added more vinegar. I then added baking soda, sprinkled heavily on the spots. It was amazing, and here I had been wasting money on Draino which is not enviromentally safe. I just let it dry and vacuumed it up and my bathtub drain is still working great.
CaprishaPitre CaprishaPitre 5 years
My grandmother used to use vinegar and clorox to get rid of fried food odor, and to give her house a fresh clean smell. I place little glass jars all over my house, 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 clorox, it makes it smell fresh and clean. It also gets rid of any odor very fast...
AllieVayner AllieVayner 5 years
Great way to clean your hardwood floors...leaves no residue. 1/2 -1/2 warm water to vinegar .
DyanTaylor DyanTaylor 5 years
Fill spray bottle w/ one part vinegar one part fresh Lemon Juice one part water one squirt Dawn Dish detergent Shake to mix and use for window cleaning. It's streak and smudge free, honest!!!
DeeLewis4982 DeeLewis4982 5 years
I didn't see any commets on cramps ...but cramps in legs/toes/fingers....anyplace take a small sip (if you can plain if not add a little water) Its wonderful they are gone!!
LizWatson39826 LizWatson39826 5 years
Use white vinegar in your dishwasher instead of rinse aid. For those of you, if any, who use cloth nappies, wash them in white vinegar. Stops nappy rash.
MaryWilliams56677 MaryWilliams56677 6 years
use instead of conditioner for hair washing
vinegar (suka) and chicharon =YUMMMMY!
ShayneBernard ShayneBernard 6 years
I use it in my dishwasher for the rinsing agent. Works great with no spots! And no chemicals!
ChristaWandschowski ChristaWandschowski 6 years
Nice tips,i even use vinegar to wash my floors and walla it shines so beautifull,u can even use it to clean your fridge.
SusanPease SusanPease 6 years
I put vinegar in my dishwasher every so often to remove the white build up that makes my glasses foggy. Dishes become sparekly once more.
MarleneRice43654 MarleneRice43654 6 years
JennyDick JennyDick 6 years
Vinager works great on shower glass doors. It is the only thing that will get off hard water spots. So much cheaper than cleaning products.
camillefaheyblackman camillefaheyblackman 6 years
I use vinegar in my home for finger/toe nails. Wash them with vinegar so that you will not get an infection after working in the garden or going odd chores.
Great uses for vinegar
CarmenHevia CarmenHevia 6 years
I put some vinegar in a small bucket and put my shower-head inside for about 20 minutes. It softens all the 'gunk' out and leaves it shining like new...
EdithARel EdithARel 6 years
I use vinegar in with the laundry as a fabric softener. I fill up my downy ball about 3/4 and through it in. The clothes come out nice and soft, even when hung up to dry.
LisaM91659 LisaM91659 6 years
Vinegar as a hair rinse once in awhile makes your hair shimy and feels awesome.....and does not smell like vinegar. Try it .... you'll love it
CarolCannon79147 CarolCannon79147 6 years
apple cider vinegar on a soft damp sponge takes the bite out of even the worse sunburns
JackieMoulder JackieMoulder 6 years
This really works! :-)
CoMMember13630762029514 CoMMember13630762029514 6 years
Vinegar and water simmering in a pot for a few minutes rids the house of them ugly flies - doesn't kill them, but they soon disappear
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