Everyone knows that vinegar is great for cooking, but did you know it has many other uses? Vinegar can be used around the home in lots of ways. The best part is that it's inexpensive and readily available.
If you're looking for a natural alternative to fabric softener, white vinegar is just the thing. This common household ingredient is inexpensive and easy to find in any grocery store. It's also mild enough to cause skin reactions or discolor clothing as some detergents might.
Here are some great uses for vinegar around your home. You'll save money by using less harsh chemicals.
Use White Vinegar to Kill Weeds
One of the best ways to kill weeds is by using white vinegar. Pour white vinegar directly onto the leaves of the plant you're trying to get rid of. You can also use full-strength vinegar in spray bottles to kill weeds on sidewalks or driveways. Just be sure you don't get any on your clothing, as it will stain. For best results, use vinegar on a day of dry, sunny weather.
Care for Your Home Pets with Vinegar
Pets such as dogs and cats are often bothered with itchy and scaly ears, especially if you have a dog with floppy ears like a retriever. Dilute white vinegar in equal parts water and use a cotton ball to clean the inside of your pet's ears. You can also make a gentle shampoo by adding one or two tablespoons of vinegar to your pet's bathwater to remove odors from its fur.
If you see unwanted cats creeping around your yard, spray or pour vinegar on the plants they like to use as a litter box, and they will move elsewhere.
Clean Your Coffee Maker with Vinegar
If you're a coffee-lover, you know that once you've brewed a pot, the last thing you want to do is dump it down the drain. However, stale coffee can ruin your next pot-brewing experience. Run some vinegar through your coffee maker to remove the unwanted flavors of old coffee and put yourself on track for a smooth-tasting cup.
Extend the Life of Your Cut Flowers with Vinegar
When it comes to extending the life of your flowers, there are so many theories that exist. Such theories include the use of copper penny, lemon-lime soda, and aspirin. However, try adding a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the water and a dash of sugar, and you may be surprised to find your flowers lasting much longer.
Cleaning Kitchen with White Vinegar
Cleaning vinegar is a natural cleanser and degreaser. With the addition of a few drops of lemon essential oil, you can make your kitchen an all-natural cleaner. Add distilled white vinegar to water in spray bottles and add about ten drops of lemon oil for every one cup of the solution. Spray the cleaner on surfaces, let it stand for a few minutes, and wipe away.
You can also add a few drops of olive oil into a cup of distilled vinegar, let it sit overnight, and then add that to your spray bottle in the morning. Rinse it with cold water.
Cleaning Floors with Vinegar
White vinegar is safe enough to use on most surfaces, but it does have a strong smell. The vinegar odor can be reduced by adding a few drops of lemon or tea tree essential oil to the water in your spray bottles. This mixture is safe enough to use on hardwood floors.
In addition, if you add some white vinegar to a bucket of warm water and mop the floors, you'll be cleaning your floors and helping fight against allergens like dust mites at the same time.
Cleaning the Dishwasher
If your dishwasher smells less than fresh or doesn't seem to clean your dishes as well as it once did, try adding 1/2 cup of vinegar to an empty dishwasher cycle to freshen it up. If your dishwasher has a rinse agent dispenser, fill it with white vinegar to help freshen the rinse water.
Adding white vinegar to your dishwasher also works as an eco-friendly alternative to using additional detergents for cleaning the dishes. Learn more about this by following our guide to the best dishwasher detergent substitutes. Just run a wash cycle with some vinegar but skip adding any detergent like chlorine bleach. If you have a clogged and smelly sink, pour 1/4 cup of baking soda, add one cup of vinegar, and cover the drain tightly.
Use Vinegar as Fabric Softener
And you can use it as a fabric softener: Add 4 cups of vinegar to the rinse cycle instead of liquid fabric softener, or add half a cup when using a front-loading washing machine. After spraying vinegar on your fabric, wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth. You can use the same vinegar to clean a washer.
Clean Windows with Vinegar
And it's also good for cleaning windows. Mix one part vinegar with two parts water to make a multipurpose cleaner that can be used on windows, glass, and even mirrors without leaving behind streaks or smudges. This solution is perfect for cleaning car windows, too– remember to use it sparingly.
All-Purpose Cleaning Solution
Vinegar is one of the world's best all-purpose green cleaners with dozens of cleaning uses. Diluted vinegar on a soft, lint-free cloth is excellent for cleaning and polishing all kinds of surfaces, including Counters and other kitchen surfaces, Mirrors and windows, Bathrooms, Toilets, and Faucets.
After filling your plastic bag with equal parts water and vinegar, tape and leave it there for a day for vinegar to dissolve any lingering mineral deposits. You can also use distilled white vinegar to clean hardwood floors, carpet stains, and wood furniture, especially when combined with olive oil.
Clean Your Microwave with Vinegar
Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup of distilled vinegar and set it on high. Heat the vinegar for 2 minutes or until it starts to boil, then let it sit in the microwave, undisturbed for about 10 minutes to let it cool, then wipe away any food residue.
Shine Up Silver with White Vinegar
Combine half a cup of distilled vinegar and eight oz. of water in a shallow bowl and add the silver, making sure it is completely submerged. Put on some rubber gloves and use an old toothbrush or scrubber to scrub off any grease gently. Rinse with warm water, then dry completely using a soft cloth.
You can also drop a tarnished silver in a baking dish to soak it with baking soda, sea salt, vinegar, and boiling water. Dry thoroughly with a dry cloth, then buff with a clean cloth.
FAQs on Uses for Vinegar
What is the difference between washing vinegar and cleaning vinegar?
Washing vinegar and cleaning vinegar are both white vinegar, and they contain the same percentage of acetic acid (5%). Therefore, it is safe to use either type of vinegar for all your household needs.
What does vinegar do in a laundry?
Vinegar contains acetic acid, meaning that it's safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers.
Final Thought on Uses for Vinegar
As you can see, vinegar has so many uses which you can relate to almost all of your daily tasks. With vinegar, you wouldn't need many products anymore. This versatile has a lot of uses, not only as an ingredient but also as a cleaning tool. Keep the environment green and clean by using vinegar for your daily tasks.